Youth ministry is both an ancient and modern phenomenon, where strong Biblical patterns regularly collide with changing cultural and ministry models. Current studies show shocking attrition in post-graduation church attendance and measurable decreases in key spiritual indicators in young people.
Yet the youth ministry “industry” that includes local churches, growing para-church organizations, residential Christian camps, spiritually-oriented adventure programs, and missions trip agencies, continues to press into the challenge of reaching youth for the Kingdom. The platforms for engaging youth are diverse and plentiful. This program will prepare students to strategically minister to young people where they are.
“…I felt the Lord leading me to find something that melded practical service with all the education I was receiving at college. So I applied and jumped into this year-long frenzy of teamwork, event-planning, teaching, and discipleship. Alongside Ben and Krista, I was confronted with the rigors of full-time ministry, and at times it felt overwhelming.
But when I saw students develop into leaders and disciplers of their own, I knew that God’s gospel purposes were being fulfilled and it was completely worth the struggle.”
Josh (Intern, Cuyahoga Valley Church)
Upon completion of this program, students will minister effectively within a youth ministry environment as demonstrated by the following competencies:
- Actively shepherd individuals toward God, helping them grow in faith and mobilizing them as productive Christ-followers.
- Create programming that is driven by a clear sense of mission and purpose.
- Apply group and team theory for recruiting, developing, mobilizing and mending teams for maximum effectiveness.
- Understand structural models for the governance of non-profit organizations and how they shape and empower practical ministry.
- Demonstrate a working knowledge of financial stewardship, including basic budgetary principles and procedures for non-profit organizations.
- Apply a working knowledge of legal issues and loss control strategies to the delivery of ministry organizations and their programming.
- Establish a Biblical foundational philosophy for ministering to youth and develop basic skills and competencies for effective youth ministry.
- Understand modern youth culture and its impact on adolescents and their worldviews.
- Establish a comprehensive strategy for effective communication in youth ministry.
- Effectively train teens to influence their world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Professional Ministry Core (18 credits)
- Dynamics of Discipleship
- Principles of Ministry Strategy
- Developing Dynamic Teams
- Governance & Admin of Nonprofit Orgs
- Financial Mgmt of Nonprofit Orgs
- Risk Management of Nonprofit Orgs
Youth Ministry Focus (12 credits)
- Youth Ministry Philosophy
- Adolescents & Youth Culture
- Communication in Youth Ministry
- Youth Ministry Evangelism