Mark Yaconelli is a writer, speaker, retreat leader, spiritual
director, community activist, youth worker, storyteller, disco
dancer, husband, and father. He is the program director for the Center
for Engaged Compassion at Claremont School of Theology.
Mark is the founder and director of The Hearth: Real
Stories by Regular Folks, a personal storytelling series and
community-building project produced in Ashland, Oregon, in which a
diverse group of community members tell true stories around a
particular theme to raise funds for local charities.
Mark speaks and leads storytelling events each year at
fundraisers and retreats for various non-profit organizations
including the Boys and Girls Club, Compassion International, the
Salvation Army, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Foundation, and
Mark spent 20 years working with young people and the people who
serve them (parents, youth workers, pastors) in congregational,
camp, and conference settings. His research and ministry with young
people has been ground-breaking in its exploration of spiritual
direction, contemplation, and ancient spiritual practices as the
basis of formation with young people. In 1996, he co-founded
the Youth Ministry and Spirituality Project at San Francisco
Theological Seminary, a grant funded project that sought to test
the integration of contemplative practice and awareness within
congregational youth ministry programs. He directed that project
from 1996 to 2006.
Interviews and profiles of Mark Yaconelli's work have appeared
in the national media including the Huffington Post, Wall
Street Journal, ABC World News Tonight, New York Times Online,
Washington Post Online, and CBS Radio. Feature
articles on his work with teens have appeared in The Christian
Century, Immerse, Group Magazine, Youthworker Journal, and
many other Christian publications.
Mark is the author of Contemplative Youth Ministry
(2006 Youth Specialties), Growing Souls (2007 Zondervan),
Downtime (Zondervan 2008), and Wonder, Fear, and
Longing: A Book of Prayers (Zondervan 2009).
Mark Yaconelli holds an MA in Christian Spirituality from the
Graduate Theological Union and a Graduate Diploma in the Art of
Spiritual Direction from San Francisco Theological Seminary.
He is a popular speaker and retreat leader throughout the United
States and the United Kingdom.
Mark lives in Southern Oregon with his wife Jill, sons Noah and
Joseph and daughter Grace.