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Bob Hepburn

Founder, Young Urban Black Males Ministries
Associate Professor, Urban Studies Department
Email: rhepburn@easter.edu


D.Min., Westminster Theological Seminary (Anticipated 2015)
M.A., Westminster Theological Seminary
B.A., Rowan University
At Eastern Since 1997


A few years after coming to faith in Christ, Bob found himself enrolled in an urban ministry curriculum – one that the Lord Jesus personally and purposefully designed to develop and mature him in the faith. While he admits being initially a somewhat reluctant student of street culture, “Hep” quickly discovered the joys and sorrows of an incredibly wide bandwidth of street-related ministry experiences and opportunities. (He remains convinced they were not all just for those he found himself ministering to, but for him as well.)

Bob serves on the faculty of the Center for Urban Theological Studies (teaching courses in theology, philosophy, and urban youth culture and ministry); Eastern University (teaching courses in the M.A. of Arts in the Urban Studies Urban Youth Leadership program and for the Campolo College of Graduate and Professional Studies); and Biblical Theological Seminary. He is working on a Doctorate of Ministry in Urban Missions at Westminster Theological Seminary and is a member of Great Commission Church in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia, PA.

As an urban missiologist and practitioner for the past 32 years, Bob's been involved in youth and young adult ministries in Paterson and Camden, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Baltimore, MD; and Washington, DC. As a musicologist, he maintains a regular year-round retreat and conference itinerary, ministering to youth and young adults. He's also worked with a number of church vocal groups in Philadelphia, PA and Paterson, NJ. Seeking to help bridge the gap between the Church and street / hip-hop culture, Bob founded YUBM Ministries in 1992. His ministry tasks center on discipleship (focusing on leadership development) and evangelism (sharing the street-relevant Christ with urban youth and young adults – a crew remarkably open and receptive to the things of the Lord). More information on his ministry is available at the YUBM Ministries Web site: http://www.yubm.org.

Courses Taught

Theological Foundations for Urban Youth Ministry, Advancing Youth Development, Urban Youth Culture

Research Interests

The church and hip hop culture, missiology, street culture

Select Articles

  • Hepburn, B. (1989). Penetrating an Urban People Group: The Street-Oriented, Youth Urban Black Male. Journal of Urban Ministry.
  • Hepburn, B. (1992). Rap Music: A window into a Culture. Journal of Urban Missions.
  • Hepburn, B. (1992). Rap Music: Give Me My Respect, Man! Journal of Urban Ministry.

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