The Center for Youth Ministry Training’s Graduate Residency jumped into full swing August 6-9, 2012, with our orientation and first academic retreat of the year. This retreat laid the foundation for our community and training for the rest of the year. We want to give our partner churches some insight into what we did during the week and orient you to the CYMT program as well.
What did we do?
There are three primary components to the CYMT Orientation Retreat each year:
The Lilly Foundation’s research on sustainable pastors shows that pastors or youth pastors who make it for the long haul have two things in common: a mentor and a peer group. CYMT’s coaches and staff serve as mentors to our graduate residents. First year orientation is where peer relationships of support and encouragement that we hope last for a lifetime of ministry begin. The new cohort spent time getting to know the other graduate residents with whom they will intimately journey over the next three years. Additionally, the new first year residents were oriented to the CYMT Graduate Resident Policy and Procedure Manual, including child protection policies. We highly encourage each pastor and onsite supervisor to review our policies and procedures manual so that we are all on the same page. First year graduate residents were also oriented to the Memphis Theological Seminary faculty, staff, and campus. You can see all the new graduate residents and partner churches here.
One of the unique aspects of the CYMT program is a community of 32 graduate residents and 10 staff all focused on youth ministry. During orientation our community focused on welcoming the first year graduate residents to the family. We ate, played, and worshiped together. Our group stayed at the Olford Retreat Center in East Memphis, which provided a wonderful environment for these activities.
Before you think we spent all our time having fun getting to know each other, classes take up the majority of all retreats. Residents spend eight hours each day in intensive coursework. Each course covers one-third of a semester’s material on each of our retreats. You can learn more about this Fall’s courses here; if you would like to see all the courses residents will take over their three years, click here to see the MA in YM overview.
Below you can find a list of our 2012-13 academic retreats. These retreats are required for all residents.
August 6-9, 2012 Orientation and Retreat 1
September 20-22, 2012 Retreat 2
November 8-10, 2012 Retreat 3
November 29 – December 1, 2012 – Elective Youth Ministry Summit – Nashville, TN
January 30 – February 2, 2013 Spring Retreat 1
March 14-16, 2013 Spring Retreat 2
April 18-20, 2013 Spring Retreat 3
May 9-11, 2013 Elective Youth Ministry Summit
First year churches, we hope you are getting to know your coach. You can find a list of all our coaches here. As a reminder to everyone, below is a list of our staff members. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need something. General questions can be directed to Julia Wilburn () who will make sure you get what you need, or call us at 615.823.7595.
DIETRICH KIRK - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR "Deech" Kirk served as the youth minister of Brentwood United Methodist Church for six years before becoming the Executive Director of the Center for Youth Ministry Training in 2006. He continues to serve as one of Brentwood's assoicate ministers. He is one of the co-authors of Now What? Next Steps in Your New Life with Christ. When he is not leading the CYMT, speaking at youth events, or training other youth workers, Deech enjoys spending time with his wife Keeley and daughters Carlisle and Hallie.
LESLEIGH CARMICHAEL- DIRECTOR of COACHINGLesleigh directs the coaching process for the CYMT students. She has been with CYMT from the beginning and transitioned to her role of Director of Coaching in the Spring of 2008 from the many jobs she had before. She is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). When she is not working at CYMT, Lesleigh enjoys spending time with her husband, Jamey, and their two daughters, Anna Lauryn and Karaley. Lesleigh also serves as a lead consultant with Youth Ministry Architects.
ANDREW ZIRSCHKY - ACADEMIC DIRECTOR Andrew has more than a decade of experience as a youth and college minister at churches in Idaho, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. He holds an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary where he is currently completing a Ph.D. in practical theology. He has also been named a Timothy Scholar by the United Methodist Foundation for Evangelism based upon his research emphasis in youth and young adult ministry. Andrew is an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene and a staff consultant for Youth Ministry Architects. Andrew has been married to his wife Kristina since 1995, and they have two children, Evan and Anna. When he's not reading and writing, he enjoys various outdoor activities including snowboarding, white water rafting, running, and mountain biking.
KRIS KONSOWITZ - MEMPHIS REGIONAL DIRECTORKris has been the Director of Youth Ministries and Young Adults at Collierville United Methodist Church in Collierville, Tenn. for more than two decades. She is married to Bob and they have three children: Melissa, Chris, and Laura. Kris serves the Memphis region coaching, supervising coaches, and partnering with churches to build foundations for effective youth ministry.
KEELEY KIRK- PR AND ADMISSIONS COORDINATORKeeley specializes in public relations, marketing, graphic arts, and business organization. Keeley lives in Brentwood, Tenn. with her husband, Dietrich, and their daughters Carlisle and Hallie Mae. Keeley manages all public relations activities and coordinates the admissions process for the CYMT.
JULIA CANADA WILBURN - EDITORIAL DIRECTOR/OPERATIONS MANAGERJulia directs the editorial efforts for the Resources section of cymt.org manages operations and events for CYMT. She has an extensive background in marketing in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Prior to joining CYMT she was a freelance marketing consultant. A native Tennessean, Julia, her husband Jonathan, and their son Malone live in Nashville with their dog, Elwood, and they enjoy traveling, cooking, biking, and going to concerts.
JIM EDWARDS - DIRECTOR of FINANCEJim Edwards volunteers his time as our Director of Finance. Jim is retired from a life in business with Sage Employment. He and his wife Katie have one son, Steven, and enjoy spending their time traveling and playing golf.