Congregations have limited the role of teenagers in worship, causing them to leave the church and abandon faith because they find more life outside than inside the church. They have placed young people in separate buildings and spaces, away from adults and children, robbing the church of all ages the opportunity to worship with the complete body of Christ. They have told young people that they are the “future of the church.” Yet, teenagers are the church in the present. Teenagers are the church now.
We believe that worship has the potential to be the most important training ground for teenagers to hear and tell the story of God working in the world.
And, worship has the potential to be the place where teenagers are regularly reminded that they are made in the image of God, that they matter in the kingdom of God, and that they have a place in the body of Christ, just as they are.
anima was founded and is located at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Samford is Alabama's top-ranked private university with nationally ranked academic programs rooted in the university's Christian mission. anima is the Center for Worship and the Arts, housed in the School of the Arts, at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Samford is Alabama's top-ranked private university with nationally ranked academic programs rooted in the university's Christian mission. Samford University’s School of the Arts prepares today’s artist to shape tomorrow’s world by inspiring artistry, promoting scholarship and realizing professionalism to serve the community in the spirit of Christ.
Empowering teenagers to connect their imagination, creativity, and enthusiasm to the power and possibilities inherent in worship and the arts.
anima has three pillars that guide our work: Worship, Teenagers, and Arts.
anima is committed to worship practices that advance the story of God so that all might experience the love of Christ and the church might extend hospitality to the neighbor. [Mark 12:29-31]
anima is committed to upholding teenagers as full, active, conscious worshipers in the body of Christ, mentoring young artists as worship leaders, and advocating for intergenerational worship practices that provide spiritual nourishment for adolescents, as well as all stages of life. [1 Timothy 4:6-16]
anima is committed to recognizing the unique contributions of artists and promoting all of the arts as rich resources that encourage the full, active, and conscious participation of worshipers in communities of faith. [Exodus 35:30-35]