The John Hancock Center for Youth and Family Ministry, located on the campus of La Sierra University, is a research and resource center providing support to youth ministry professionals, and parents worldwide. The Hancock Center was established in direct response to recommendations from the Valuegenesis research taskforce.
Following the comprehensive Valuegenesis inquiry into the formation of faith, values and commitment among Adventist youth, the Project Affirmation Taskforces formulated clear recommendations for immediate planned change. They called their recommendations "Imperatives for Action." These visions of a more effective church included an unprecedented call for the establishment of youth ministry centers to support and expand the educational efforts of the union and local conference youth ministry leadership. The recommendations concluded with this clear call: "In response to the need to renew professional and volunteer youth ministry, we recommend that youth ministry resource and research centers be established."
On May 23, 1991 the La Sierra University Board of Trustees voted the establishment of the center as an official university entity and approved the commencement of both fund-raising and educational activities. The John H. Hancock Center for Youth Ministry had come into being.
To provide national leadership and resources to aid those working with Adventist youth and young adults in better understanding them, and the effects of the home, church, and school on their faith maturity, and values development.
To provide statistical based resources and training to parents, pastors, and educators as they help youth and young adults to develop a high level of mature faith, and solid core values
The Project Affirmation: Valuegenesis study of Adventist youth begun in 1989 was an important landmark study carried out by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America. It was without question the largest and most comprehensive study ever made of church youth. It assessed their faith and values in the context of the most influential institutions: family, church, and school. It was possible to identify what it was in those venues that encouraged a mature faith, and positive values development. The impact of the study set in motion a whole series of events—planned changed conferences, vision-to-action focus groups, new concerns, attitudes, training programs, priorities of the home, school, and church, and publications—that resulted in more effective way to help youth to a life of commitment and loyalty to the Adventist church.
This project is unprecedented in size scope. In Valuegenesis2 we conducted a population sample of almost 25,000 students in Seventh-day Adventist schools. This is almost twice the number of respondents that was achieved in the original Valuegenesis project of 1989. Valuegenesis2 involves in–depth observations of highly effective congregations and schools. It place high priority on bring new information and insight to your schools.
The project aims at making a positive difference in the lives of youth in the family, church, and school. It will do this by identifying those things one can do to develop and maintain effective ministry and nurture in these venues. This, in turn, will strengthen the faith of our children, teenagers, and adults.