Emily Mastin, class of 2017, recently graduated from CYMT’s Graduate Residency program. Through her three years in residency she has served at Franklin First United Methodist Church, and is continuing to serve her church as their full time Youth Minister now that she has graduated.
Emily had a great experience throughout her 3-year residency, but building new relationships through an intentional cohort was the most monumental aspect. “Out of the five [CYMT Core Components], Cohort was one of the hardest for me to adjust to, but also one of he most valuable and treasured. Finding ways to connect and live into these relationships proved to be a powerful way for me to process and see the actions of God in my life.”
Emily urges any new resident starting in their Graduate Residency to not be afraid to lean into this intentional community. “Even if you’re only seeing other residents once a week during class, use that time to build your relationships.”
She has even taken her appreciation for community and applied it to the way she teaches her youth. When asked what she considers the biggest truth she has emphasized to her youth group over the years, she states, “The importance of a church community. I want my youth to know that they are created by God to be in community with other people. When they live into that truth, they will find people they can process their questions, doubts, and celebrations with. 
Emily expresses that she has experienced the faithfulness of God throughout many different aspects of her residency, even from the very beginning. She remembers getting her initial acceptance call and being overwhelmed by the power of God in that moment. She also recalls the moment she first realized she could see herself at her church, Franklin FUMC, for the long haul. It was then that she realized she was truly doing exactly what God has called her to.
In her 3 years, she also discovered a new joy of learning through her time in the classroom. She was initially hesitant to go back to school, but found that it made a huge difference to be studying something she cares about so deeply. “I saw my passion for youth ministry growing through the work done in the classroom. I have discovered a love for learning about ministry and desiring to be a better youth leader based on what I am learning. The classroom showed me that youth ministry is always changing and it’s valuable to continue studying even after graduating.”
Emily has learned instrumental truths about her love of youth ministry through the community built between her peers, her incredible coach, and even through her own youth.
When describing her CYMT residency she notes, “CYMT has been a reminder of God’s faithfulness in my life. I started out with excitement but hesitation and listened as God pushed me closer into community with the people I’d be spending 3 years with. It was a slow process to build those relationships, but by the time they were established, I felt truly at home in CYMT. [From those relationships], I learned how to be a better disciple of Christ and member of a Christ-centered community. 
My final year of CYMT showed me how truly passionate I am and how called I am to do youth ministry. I felt God’s faithfulness more than ever in my final year and have been incredibly thankful for the way God works in CYMT to help people called to ministry pursue their calling.”