North Park University Names Director for Center for Youth Ministry Studies

Daniel White Hodge
Dr. Daniel White Hodge, the new director of the Center for Youth Ministry Studies.

Daniel White Hodge is noted scholar, speaker, teacher and writer

CHICAGO (January 27, 2012) – North Park University named Dr. Daniel White Hodge director of the University's Center for Youth Ministry Studies (CYMS). Hodge, 38, will assume his new role at the University on Feb. 15.

"We are excited to welcome Dr. Hodge to the North Park University community," Dr. Joseph Jones, University provost. "His work and commitment to serve in the field of youth ministry studies will be a great asset in our vision to engage students, youth workers and pastors in the growth and development of youth throughout this country."

Hodge brings 18 years of urban youth experience with organizations such as Young Life and World Vision, as well as related scholarship, speaking, teaching and writing experience to his new role. "I believe this is a natural fit with the work I've been doing," he said in an interview. "I've always heard great things about North Park University. I'm excited because it really fulfills what I've been doing most of my life. I'm looking forward to making this a national center for resources and for people wanting to do youth ministry."

A factor in his decision to join the University was its emphasis on diversity and justice, and the fact that those themes resonate throughout the North Park University community, he said. The University's Christian environment and its urban emphasis because of its location in Chicago were other influential factors, Hodge said.

Hodge, who will also have teaching responsibilities at the University, hopes his work will enhance what students already care about, he said. "A lot of students are taking up social justice, and I'm excited to engage in those conversations," Hodge said. "Students are willing to wrestle with how to put a theology around how we live godly and justly at the same time."

Hodge is a native of Menard, Texas. He earned a bachelor's degree in social and behavioral science from California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, plus a master's degree in intercultural studies, and a doctoral degree in philosophy of intercultural studies, both from Fuller Graduate Schools, Pasadena, Calif.  He has taught subjects such as urban youth culture, Black popular culture, Hip/Hop discourse, race, ethnicity, religion, and sociology at several colleges and universities including the University of California at Los Angeles; California State University Northridge; Vanguard University of Southern California, Costa Mesa; Asuza (Calif.) Pacific University; and Fuller Graduate Schools. Hodge has lectured at other higher education institutions, such as Stanford (Calif.) University, the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and Union Theological Seminary, New York.

Hodge is fluent in English and Spanish, and is an ordained pastor of the Evangelical Ministerial Association. He has written two books, Heaven Has a Ghetto: The Missiological Gospel & Theology of Tupac Amaru Shakur, published in 2009, and The Soul of Hip Hop: Rims, Timbs & a Cultural Theology, published in 2010. His third book, The Hostile Gospel: Finding Religion in the Post Soul Theology of Hip Hop is expected to be published this year. Hodge has also published articles in journals and written book chapters.

Hodge has worked in the music industry. In 1997, he produced a compilation album of West Coast Hip Hop recording artists. He was a recording engineer for artists such as Snoop Dogg and in the early 1990s, wrote musical scores for the first season of "New York Undercover" on Fox Television.

Hodge, his wife, Emily, and their five-year-old daughter, Mahalia Joy, currently live in Minneapolis.

The Center for Youth Ministry Studies serves Christian leaders dedicated to holistic ministry with adolescents. It provides resources and training through workshops, webinars and other resources; consulting services; and networking and connections through partnerships throughout the United States. The center is a partnership of the University, North Park Theological Seminary, and the Department of Christian Formation of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), Chicago. The University and Seminary are both affiliated with the ECC.

Use @npunews to follow North Park University News on Twitter. For further information or resources, contact John Brooks, Director of Media Relations and News, via email or at (773) 244-5522. Learn more about North Park University.

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