Mark Devries is the founder of Youth Ministry Architects (2002) and Children’s Ministry Architects (2010), a hands-on coaching service for churches whose ministries are in transition or who hope to move any of their ministries strategically forward.
Since 1986, Mark has served as the Associate Pastor for Youth and Their Families at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, where he continues to oversee the youth ministry on a part-time basis.
Mark has trained youth workers across the United States and Canada, as well as in Russia, Uganda, South Africa, Ecuador, Trinidad, Nicaragua, and Northern Ireland, working with a wide variety of denominations. He has taught courses or been a guest lecturer at a number of colleges and seminaries, including Princeton Theological Seminary (Princeton, NJ), Vanderbilt Divinity School (Nashville, TN), David Lipscomb University (Nashville, TN), Travecca Nazarene College (Nashville, TN), King College (Bristol, TN), Montreat College (Montreat, NC), William Tyndale College (Detroit, MI), Presbyterian College (Montreal, Quebec), Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte, NC), Tyndale Theological Seminary (Toronto, Canada) and Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI).
Mark is the author of a number of books, including Sustainable Youth Ministry (IVP), Family-Based Youth Ministry (IVP, Revised and Expanded, 2004) and 2011 releases, Before You Hire a Youth Pastor and The Indispensable Youth Pastor (Group Publishing), both co-authored with YMA Vice-President, Jeff Dunn-Rankin.
Mark’s articles and reviews have been published in a variety of magazines and journals, including The Christian Century, Theology Today, Group, Youthworker Journal, Preaching,and Lifelong Faith Journal.
Mark served as the general editor for The True Love Waits Bible. In recent years, he and his wife Susan co-authored (with their good friends Robert and Bobbie Wolgemuth) a flip-book on marriage entitled, The Most Important Year in a Woman’s Life/ The Most Important Year in a Man’s Life, which was nominated for the Gold Medallion Award. Mark has also contributed to a number of training manuals and textbooks, including Youth Ministry Handbook (Word, 2000), Starting Right (Zondervan, 2001), and Reaching A Generation For Christ (Moody, 1997), The New Interpreter’s Bible Handbook for Preaching (Abingdon, 2007) and Jesus-Centered Youth Ministry (Group, 2007). Mark’s writings have now been translated into Korean, Chinese, and Afrikaans.
Mark graduated Summa Cum Laude from Baylor University in Waco, Texas with a B.A. in English and Greek in 1980, and from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1986 with a senior concentration in Youth Evangelism. Throughout his years spent in Waco and Princeton, Mark was involved in youth ministry–working with Young Life in both Waco and Montgomery, New Jersey and serving on the youth staff at the First United Methodist Church in Waco. Upon graduation from Princeton, he was awarded the first Robert Boyd Munger Youth Ministry prize.
Mark serves as the chairman of the board for the Center for Youth Ministry Training, a two-year residential, masters-level, youth ministry training program based in Nashville. He also serves on the Alumni Board for Princeton Theological Seminary. Mark is a presenter for Homeword’s “Understanding Your Teenager” seminars. And in addition to partnering occasionally with popular Christian musician, Mark Schultz, Mark is a frequent seminar speaker, training youth leaders at both the Youth Specialties’ National Youth Workers Convention and the Simply Youth Ministry Youth Ministry Conference.
Mark lives in Nashville with Susan, his wife of over 30 years, and they have three grown children: Adam and his wife, Sara, Debbie and her husband, Trey, and Leigh. Mark and Susan have two granddaughters, Parish and Nealie.