Erik Ullestad, Jake Bouma


(2 customer reviews)

The questions are hypothetical. The conversations are real.

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What if there were a resource that not only made expressing an opinion less intimidating, but actually made it fun for people to explore and expand theological concepts in community?

Hypotherables is a radical new spin on youth ministry curriculum that uses original, compelling stories to stimulate spirited group discussions about a range of spiritual topics. Everyday faith issues like evangelism, honesty, temptation, and grace are reframed in the form of captivating stories culminating in a HYPOTHEtical question for the group to discuss—free from the fear of “wrong” answers. And because each story is an imaginative modern paRABLE—full of twists, turns, drama, and comedy—leaders can easily take the conversation even deeper. The informative sidebar commentary and convenient discussion guides make it nearly effortless to draw out rich biblical truths from the layers of metaphor embedded within each story.

This product is a digital download containing 10 one-of-a-kind hypotherables. Each session comes with:

  • A high-definition narrated video of the hypotherable
  • A slide presentation (in both Keynote and PowerPoint formats) for leaders who wish to narrate the story in their own voice and style
  • A Script + Commentary with the story, slide change cues, and informational remarks
  • A Conversation Catalyst with follow–up questions, thematic talking points, relevant Scripture references, and a closing prayer

It’s draining to be constantly creating or seeking out fresh new ways to spark meaningful faith conversations with your group. But it doesn’t have to be. With Hypotherables, the questions are hypothetical, but the conversations are real.



Every teenager is different, and many learn better when they experience something on their own. Hypotherables gives students a chance to interact with hypothetical situations in the real world—with peers and leaders they trust. I love the idea of creating a safe space where there are no wrong answers…of building a space where teens can find the right answers for their unique situations on their own. I can’t wait to use this resource with our students.

With Hypotherables, Jake and Erik are bringing something incredible to the youth ministry world.

Brooklyn Lindsey
Justice Advocate, Nazarene Youth International 


With very little exception, I’ve never been a big fan of curricula. As a youth worker I found them restrictive, as a theologian I encountered them as theologically thin. This was true until Hypotherables. I’m happy to say, of this curriculum, I’m a BIG FAN. In this curriculum you’ll discover freedom and depth that promises to leave a lasting impact on your young people. Jake Bouma and Erik Ullestad are two of the most creative young leaders I know, and in Hypotherables you’ll see both their passion and talent in technicolor.

Andrew Root, PhD
Olson Baalson Professor of Youth and Family Ministry, Luther Seminary
Author of Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker (Baker Academic, 2014)


In my fifteen years of working with youth, more and more I’ve realized that youth don’t want, or need, to hear any more lectures or youth group talks. Rather, they need opportunities to be engaged in meaningful and creative conversations and discussions that allow them to practice and experiment with their developing faith. With the release of Hypotherables, Jake Bouma and Erik Ullestad have provided youth workers with a tool that will help create space for just those kinds of transformational discussions.

Rev. Adam Walker Cleaveland
PC(USA) Minister and Blogger



About the Authors

Erik Ullestad is a youth minister in Des Moines, Iowa, who’s been collaborating with Jake in a variety of capacities since 2008. He is a husband, father, sports enthusiast, aspiring musician, and beloved child of God.

Jake Bouma is a youth worker in Des Moines, Iowa, who’s been collaborating with Erik since their friendship began in 2008. He is a husband, feline enthusiast, cancer survivor, semi-pro theologian, and vessel of God’s grace.


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2 reviews for Hypotherables

  1. Lauren (verified owner)

    My students hate sharing things about themselves but are fascinated by stories. This curriculum has been a Godsend and an answer to prayers. It allows students to hear a story, enter into the narrative, and interact and answer in a way that is safe for them but still engages. It has made conversations so much easier and more comfortable for my students. Thanks Youth Cartel!

  2. Ashley

    I purchased this bundle a few years ago and have used them sporadically as they fit. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. It is a beautiful way to draw people (young and old) into conversation through vivid storytelling. The authors do a great job of tying in Biblical reference and discussion, too. I’ve recommended this affordable and versatile tool many times, and I won’t stop. Just try it. It gets people talking.

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