James Penner and Associates

JPA is an innovative youth consulting and research group that resources and educates  individuals and organizations who care about youth, their families and their communities. Their insights are instructive and even revolutionary.  They seek to help empower adolescents and young adults to become all they can be. 

James’ consulting is informed by continual connections with youth and young adults directly –relationships he has forged over the last three decades and continues to forge.   These emerging adults are ASSOCIATES – strategic consultants and researchers for James in his work.



James Penner, BA (Education), MA (Sociology)

JP is a Lethbridge-based speaker, author and sociologist who researches and consults with parents, educators, and professionals about youth and youth issues.   He is widely versed in the recent literature on youth, and brings a unique synthesis of experience and conviction. His style is dynamic, his approach is warm, and his effect is inspirational.

Because of his breadth of background, he has an uncanny ability to make youth understandable, when many people find their attitudes and behaviors sometimes incomprehensible. He has a reputation for being approachable and treating people with dignity and respect, no matter their age, race or status.   He has recently completed national research on spiritual trajectories of young adults raised Protestant and Catholic (www.hemorrhagingfaith.com).  He spends time weekly in retreat, developing an interior life adequate for his exterior roles.   This affords him time to keep discovering what Frederick Beuchner defines as vocation, where one’s “great gladness meets the world’s deep need.”

 “James is a superb resource for people who care about youth. He is one of very few Canadians who is both a skilled researcher and experienced practitioner, allowing him to thoughtfully discern what’s happening with youth as well as explore how those who value youth might respond. Penner further fuses findings with faith, and presents his insights with clarity, warmth and passion. I commend him most highly.”

-Dr Reginald Bibby, Author of Resilient Gods: Religion’s Demise and Rise in Canada and Everywhere Else (forthcoming in 2017), U of Lethbridge Dept of Sociology