About MORF

What does “MORF” mean?

Official definition: MORF [mawrf] verb – the internal transformation into the likeness of Christ brought about by the Holy Spirit as well as the spiritual formation building blocks that help a disciple take off the old and put on the new. Translation: We want to help teens become more like Jesus.

Who is MORF for?

Youth ministers, youth workers and parents. Really, anybody influencing teens and interested in seeing them follow Christ for a lifetime.

Why is MORF for adults if it “loves teens?”

MORF Magazine promotes spiritual devotion in teenagers by focusing on the spiritual health and depth of parents, youth ministers and youth workers. We encourage adults because the most significant factor in the sustained spiritual growth of a young person is a parent or mentor actively modeling personal devotion to Christ. It’s trickle down (spiritual) economics. A teen’s chances of remaining devoted to Christ increase exponentially if devoted adults pour into them.

What is inside MORF?

Inspiring true stories about:

  • Parents, youth ministers and youth workers
  • Bible study
  • Prayer
  • Christian community
  • Influence (Some people call this “witness,” but we can silently influence people for Christ simply by what we choose to do or not do.)
  • Essential Biblical Truths
  • Service

These things build a person’s relationship with God. If someone’s really doing this stuff and helping people know Jesus, we’ll talk about it.

How do I get MORF?

Physical copies of MORF magazine magically arrive in mailboxes. (It’s actually the US Postal Service, not magic.) Purchase bundles of 12 for $20 at store.studentlife.com.

Digital copies of the magazine are always available to everyone on www.MORFmagazine.com. Sign up yourself, your team and your parents for a digital subscription HERE.

How do I use MORF?

MORF is meant to refresh, encourage and inspire people who pour into the spiritual lives of teens. Read it! You can also use it to train your ministry team and parents. Link to articles from the web site, sign them up for digital subscriptions. We freely give MORF to you and give you permission to freely give it to anyone you believe will benefit from it.

How do I give MORF?

Sign up yourself, your team and your parents for a digital subscription HERE

How often does MORF come out?

Four times a year:

  • New Year (Jan.)
  • Spring (May)
  • Summer (July)
  • Fall (Sept.)

Who makes MORF?

Bryan photo
Creative Director: Bryan Belknap

Bryan Belknap joined Student Life as creative director for MORF in 2011. Author of eight books and numerous videos, he has written for Lionsgate, Sony, GROUP and Relevant, among others, and been a featured speaker/teacher at conferences across the country. He most recently served as director of small gatherings, children and youth at Ecclesia Hollywood. He is married to Jill and they have a son, Cash.


Laurel Dawn photo
Art Director: Laurel-Dawn McBurney

Laurel-Dawn McBurney is the art director for MORF Magazine at Student Life as well as a designer for marketing materials. She is a proud Auburn graduate and has dabbled in branding design and advertising design prior to working with Student Life. She loves her family, Auburn football and interior design blogs.
Jenna photoManaging Editor: Jenna DeWitt

Jenna DeWitt is the managing editor of MORF magazine. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Baylor University, where she served as editor of Focus magazine and Arts and Entertainment editor of The Baylor Lariat. Jenna loves Christian music, Great Britain and all things Baylor.

Web & Digital Developer: Ford HenleyFord photo

Ford joined the Student Life team in the fall of 2012 bringing his wealth of knowledge in search engine optimization and coding to the web development team. Ford originally grew up attending Student Life camps in high school. 

MORF is produced by Student Life. 

To advertise in MORF, contact:
Scott Hancock

How can I write for MORF?

MORF is always looking for encouraging and inspiring true stories about the different areas of discipleship for our blog, newsletters and magazine.

Send your ideas or completed articles to:
Jenna DeWitt
Managing Editor - jenna@morfmagazine.com

For more information about writing for MORF, check out our Frequently Asked Questions.  

MORF Really Does Love Your Teens

In case you haven’t noticed, this magazine is not targeted directly at teens. (Hopefully the tip off was the utter lack of Bieber or Twilight photos.) That said, the cover blurb proclaims MORF “The Magazine That Loves Your Teens,” which might be a bit of a head scratcher.

MORF Magazine exists primarily to promote spiritual devotion in teenagers, which is why we every issue focuses on the spiritual health and depth of parents, youth ministers and youth workers. (Huh?) You read that right. We encourage adult mentors because the most significant factor in the sustained spiritual growth of a young person is a parent or mentor actively modeling personal spiritual growth.

When you grow in your personal faith, the teens around you have a far better chance of experiencing their own growth.

No pressure, right?

Actually, it’s no pressure at all because the Holy Spirit’s the one in charge of transformation. Your job is to draw as close as humanly possible to Jesus and hopefully be able to echo Paul’s desire in 1 Corinthians 11:1

Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.

It’s a spiritual version of trickle-down economics. By setting aside the meetings and phone calls and email and Facebook and whatever else to devote some time to God in prayer, Bible study, Christian community, service, essential Biblical Truth, service or influencing the world around you for the Kingdom, you exponentially increase the chances that the young people within your sphere will follow your lead to the foot of the cross.

That takes a weight off. … Or does it?

Many people in ministry – whether that’s paid, volunteer or simply parental (yes, all parents are by definition ministers to their children. Read Deuteronomy 11:18-21 and weep.) – often get so overwhelmed doing “good” work, they forget to put in real work on their personal connection with Christ. (That definitely described me.)

It’s similar to a marriage relationship. You get so caught up in the business of being married – the bills and errands and Billy’s soccer practice – that you forget to focus on what actually knits your heart to a mate – the long conversations and road trips and dates and shared hobbies and life experiences. Unfortunately, the elements that build a healthy marriage often get crowded out by the urgent yet mundane, which is a tragedy.

Especially since the children of a strong marriage have an exponentially greater chance of enjoying a strong marriage of their own. (See how I did that? The connection? If not, go back and read it again.)

MORF Magazine wants to make you a strong follower of Christ, because strong followers beget strong followers beget strong… you get the picture. MORF doesn’t pretend to love your teens more than you. Our hope is to somehow make you even better at loving them.