The CYMT Story

The Center for Youth Ministry Training equips youth ministers and churches to develop theologically informed and practically effective youth ministries.

 

TRAINING

 

Equipping youth ministers,
Cultivating youth ministry

 

The Center for Youth Ministry Training equips youth ministers and churches to develop theologically informed and practically effective youth ministries.

CYMT partners with congregations and individuals representing the theological views and diversity of mainline Protestant Christianity. We partner with mainline Protestant denominations including the United Methodist Church, Presbyterian (PCUSA), Cumberland Presbyterian, Lutheran (ECLA), Episcopal, Disciples of Christ, American Baptist, and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Our partner seminaries are Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and Memphis Theological Seminary.

Core Components

Together, these core components create a more holistic approach to increase retention within youth ministry after residents graduate from CYMT.

 

COHORT

Residents are part of a dynamic, grouplearning
community that provides encouragement and
support as they walk through ministry
together.

 

 

COACHING

Residents and churches receive one-on-one coaching from a youth ministry veteran to help master and apply critical skills.

 

CLASSROOM

In retreat-style, four times per semester, residents will be challenged to think theologically about ministry and empowered to create ministry programs that evoke deep, life-changing Christian faith

 

CHURCH

Residents get hands-on experience in a local church where they serve 25 hours weekly as a youth minister.

 

 

 

CARE

Residents receive pastoral care and encouragement, empowering them to seek wholeness in their life.

 

 

VIEW PROGRAMS

CYMT Locations

CYMT offers regional campuses in Tennessee and Texas through partnerships with Memphis Theological Seminary and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Partner churches are from multiple denominations within a four-hour radius of Memphis, TN and Austin, TX

Statement of faith:
we believe in—

 

One God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

In Jesus Christ, God incarnate, whose death and resurrection make possible the reconciliation of God and humanity.

The Holy Spirit dwelling in every believer and in the church.

The Bible to be the inspired, authoritative Word of God.

Affirming the church is the most faithful expression of the body of Christ on earth and unity of all believers in Christ.

In the priesthood of believers, that all disciples of Jesus Christ are called to share in his ministry here on earth.

In ministry for and with youth, the church of today and tomorrow.

 

CYMT does not make doctrinal statements beyond our statement of faith instead choosing to openly balance the theological variances of mainline Protestant Christians by living out the widely-accepted Reformation statement, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.”

The CYMT Story

  • The Idea Sparked

    In 1999, Rev. Dietrich “Deech” Kirk was attending seminary at Memphis Theological Seminary and had a conversation with a friend about the frustrations of how to “do” youth ministry after leaving seminary. Deech’s friend had a solid theological background but no one had trained him in the actual day-to-day ins and outs of local church youth ministry. Deech went back to class and, instead of taking notes, wrote out his vision for a youth ministry institute that would educate and train youth ministers simultaneously.

  • Like-minded

    In 2004, Mark DeVries and his senior pastor were discussing the need for a youth ministry training program to be sponsored by First Presbyterian Church in Nashville. Eventually, Mark and Deech met to discuss youth ministry consulting and discovered that God had given both of them the same vision for a youth ministry training program.

  • Task Force Created

    In 2005, a task force was created with members from Brentwood United Methodist Church and First Presbyterian Church with the intention of exploring the possibilities of starting a youth ministry training program. Both churches invested $25,000 to launch the program and empower the organization to raise the long-term support.

  • CYMT was Founded

    On March 1, 2006, with the approval of both the First Presbyterian Session and the Brentwood UMC Church Council, and the arrival of offi cial incorporation documents, the Center for Youth Ministry Training was born.

  • Grant Received

    In 2007 CYMT received a $925,000 grant from the Eli Lilly Foundation to help the CYMT develop its program, create a new campus, host a Youth Ministry Think Tank, and develop Lilly research into useable resources.

  • First CYMT Class

    The inaugural CYMT class was commissioned to ministry in 2008.

  • Partnership with MTS

    CYMT officially partnered with Memphis Theological Seminary (MTS) in 2009 to create an innovative retreat based program, and CYMT students who complete the three-year program graduate with a Master of Arts in Youth Ministry through MTS. CYMT’s ministry expanded to serve churches in much of the Southeast region, including Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kentucky.

  • First MTS Class

    And in 2010, the first eight residents graduated from MTS with Masters degrees.

  • Collide – Theology Together

    In 2014, the Eli Lilly Foundation awarded CYMT a 3-year $240,000 grant to launch the Theology Together initiative as a part of their high school youth and the theology program.

  • Texas Campus Launch

    In May of 2015, the CYMT Board of Directors and the church leadership of Bethany UMC in Austin, Texas unanimously voted to partner to launch a CYMT campus in Texas. The first cohort of CYMT residents will begin at the Texas Regional Campus in the Fall of 2016. This expansion will allow CYMT to serve churches within a 3-hour radius of Austin, Texas including churches in Houston, San Antonio, and eventually Dallas and Fort Worth.

  • Partnership with APTS

    CYMT partnered with Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 2016 to create a retreat-based Master of Arts in Youth Ministry program to serve the Texas Region

  • Innovation Laboratory Grant

    In 2017, CYMT receives a $1.1 Million grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc. to create a research-based incubator for innovation in youth ministry.

Partner Churches

 

Hillcrest UMC

Resident(s) serving there:

Keri Cress

Alumni serving there:

None

Heartsong UMC

Resident(s) serving there:

Nick Guera

Alumni serving there:

None

Lexington FUMC

Resident(s) serving there:

Connor Fowkes

Alumni serving there:

None

Trinity UMC

Resident(s) serving there:

Stephen Tedder

Alumni serving there:

Emma Loane & Carlisle Jones

Trussville FUMC

Resident(s) serving there:

Drake Roberts

Alumni serving there:

None

Providence UMC

Resident(s) serving there:

Pierce Drake

Alumni serving there:

None

Forrest Hills Presbyerian

Resident(s) serving there:

Christina Moore

Alumni serving there:

None

Vestavia Hills UMC

Resident(s) serving there:

Jeremiah Stone

Alumni serving there:

None

Troy, UMC

Resident(s) serving there:

Lexi Finley

Alumni serving there:

Leta Williams

The Foundry UMC

Resident(s) serving there:

Jeremiah Law & Justin Bowers

Alumni serving there:

None

Smyrna FUMC

Resident(s) serving there:

Trevor Gentry

Alumni serving there:

None

Nolensville United Methodist Church

Resident(s) serving there:

Meggie McDowellInvest in Youth

Alumni serving there:

Josh Vegors & Sam Tidball

Medina FUMC

Resident(s) serving there:

Matt Barrick

Alumni serving there:

None

Manchaca UMC

Resident(s) serving there:

Michael Niswander

Alumni serving there:

None

Live Oak Church, TX

Resident(s) serving there:

Katie Brown

Alumni serving there:

None

Galloway Memorial UMC

Resident(s) serving there:

Nonnie Bennah

Alumni serving there:

None

FUMC White House

Resident(s) serving there:

David Cowan

Alumni serving there:

Tiffany Malone

FUMC Shelbyville

Resident(s) serving there:

Alden Procopio

Alumni serving there:

None

FUMC Murfreesboro

Resident(s) serving there:

Hannah Duffett

Alumni serving there:

Chelsi Warren

FUMC Millington

Resident(s) serving there:

AJ Clarke

Alumni serving there:

None

FUMC Martin

Resident(s) serving there:

Bryant Fisher

Alumni serving there:

None

FUMC Lewisburg

Resident(s) serving there:

Emily Edison

Alumni serving there:

Michael Wilkinson

FUMC Katy

Resident(s) serving there:

Zach Cheesman

Alumni serving there:

None

FUMC Jackson

Resident(s) serving there:

Christian Hesling

Alumni serving there:

Adam Simpson

FUMC Hurst, TX

Resident(s) serving there:

Kara Jazombek & Garrett Gottlob

Alumni serving there:

None

FUMC Fulton

Resident(s) serving there:

Kat Keller

Alumni serving there:

Tori Mick

FUMC Ft.Worth

Resident(s) serving there:

Kat Bair

Alumni serving there:

None

FUMC Dickson

Resident(s) serving there:

Jed Hanes

Alumni serving there:

None

FUMC Covington

Resident(s) serving there:

Andrew Davis

Alumni serving there:

Sara Gaylon & Jason Smith

FUMC Brady TX

Resident(s) serving there:

Jey Jones

Alumni serving there:

None

FUMC Arlington, TX

Resident(s) serving there:

Brittany Wright

Alumni serving there:

None

First Presbyterian Nashville

Resident(s) serving there:

Kody Whitaker

Alumni serving there:

Trey Wince, Leigh DeVries, Teddy Christianberry, Courtney Blacksten, & Anna Wheeler

First Presbyterian Lewisburg

Resident(s) serving there:

Linzi Anderson

Alumni serving there:

None

First Presbyterian Huntsville

Resident(s) serving there:

Louise McCallon

Alumni serving there:

None

First Presbyterian Columbia

Resident(s) serving there:

Diane Maloney

Alumni serving there:

None

First Presbyterian Franklin

Resident(s) serving there:

Janelle Brinker

Alumni serving there:

None

First Pres Cookeville

Resident(s) serving there:

Josh Dupree

Alumni serving there:

None

Connell Memorial

Resident(s) serving there:

Paige Bach

Alumni serving there:

Kate Adcock

Colonial Hills UMC

Resident(s) serving there:

Haley Woods

Alumni serving there:

None

Christ the King Lutheran (Birmingham)

Resident(s) serving there:

Scott Elliot

Alumni serving there:

Kelly Mongoven

Capleville UMC

Resident(s) serving there:

William Parker

Alumni serving there:

None

Canyon Lake UMC

Resident(s) serving there:

Katherine Reed

Alumni serving there:

None

Bracken UMC

Resident(s) serving there:

Caleigh Smith

Alumni serving there:

None

Bethany UMC 2

Resident(s) serving there:

Ryan Nordon, Jose Suarez, & Jordan Burk

Alumni serving there:

None

Arlington United Methodist Church

Resident(s) serving there:

None

Alumni serving there:

Mark Taylor