New Church Resource Helps Teens Explore Dating Relationships

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Feb. 24, 2016 /Discipleship Ministries/ – A new resource to help high school teenagers learn about developing healthy dating relationships is now available from Young People’s Ministries (YPM).

The module, "Teen Dating: Making Smart Choices, Respecting Yourself,” is another in an expanding list of resources from YPM, a unit of Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church, to help teens in the church grow in their understanding of sexuality as a good gift from God.

“This newest module joins “Hope and Self Acceptance, An Additional Module Related to Teens and Suicide,” in exploring issues of faith and sexuality for high school teens,” said Michael Ratliff, Associate General Secretary at Discipleship Ministries and head of the YPM division. “They are both additions to Young People’s Ministries “SEX: A Christian Perspective on our Bodies, Decisions, and Relationships” for younger youth.

The module on dating for high school teens explores the theological concept that all people are called by God to be in relationship with each other, treating every person with love and respect and working together for God’s purpose in the world, Ratliff said.

The goal of the session is for high school students to understand that they can be in control of their relationships and can set relationship and sexual boundaries they are comfortable and confident keeping. The two-hour module includes extensive information and engaging learning activities about healthy dating relationships and how to recognize unhealthy behaviors. It is designed to explore communication and decision-making skills that can help develop healthy relationships.

The module was written by Cindy Klick, youth program director at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

“I was interested in writing the module because the topic is so important, often under-addressed in the church and misrepresented in our culture,” Klick said. “High school youth using the module should find helpful resources and accurate information that they can share with their friends and ways to start healthy conversations with their parents.

“People teaching the material can hopefully work past any personal stigma or embarrassment to the point that they can be confident and comfortable sharing these resources with students who don't always have that relationship in other areas of their lives,” she said.

For more information and to order the faith and sex downloadable resources and modules go to

For discussions, articles and other resources about youth faith and sexuality join an online community at

The mission of Discipleship Ministries is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, Discipleship Ministries is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit, the Press Center at or call the Office of Communications at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 1726.