The Center for Youth Ministry has completed another year and God continues to do amazing work in and through our ministry. We continue to be blessed as we seek to develop theologically informed and practically effective youth ministries. Before we look forward to next year, I want to highlight the accomplishments from 2013-14:
- Theology Together Grant: CYMT received a $240,000 grant from the Lilly Foundation to fund our Theology Together initiative. We will create summer immersion experiences in which youth have the opportunity to encounter God through service and theological reflection.
- Graduates: CYMT commissioned our seventh class of youth ministers, and in May, we commissioned six graduate residents. Three received their Master of Arts in Youth Ministry and three are continuing on to complete their Masters of Divinity.
- Graduate Jobs: All of our graduates have either been hired by their partner churches or have accepted offers to work at other churches.
- Dr. Andrew Zirschky: Andrew Zirschky, our Academic Director, successfully defended his dissertation and received his Ph.D. in Practical Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary.
- Largest Incoming Class & Partner Churches: CYMT welcomes our largest class with 14 new graduate residents and partner churches this fall.
This year has truly been a wonderful year in many ways. The most significant thing that continues to happen through our ministry is that youth experience the love and grace of Jesus Christ. May we never forget the reason we do these things. We look forward to 2014-15 with great anticipation. Here are some of the goals we are excited about for next year:
1. Grow our regional capacity to 42 graduate residents and churches
We are well on our way to achieving this goal next year. We will have 36 graduate residents this fall and our incoming class has 14 partner churches and graduate residents.
2. Expand into a new region
We are looking at innovative ways that would allow us to expand into other regions. We are in conversation with leaders in Charlotte, Houston, and Indianapolis. We also added our first church in the Knoxville area and are already talking with other churches there about next year.
3. Hire a Development Director
As we seek to faithfully live into the vision God has for CYMT, we will need to continue to raise support for our mission. We are currently evaluating our capacity to hire a Development Director to join our staff and hope to identify someone in the coming months. The successful hire of a Development Director will help us begin the process of securing funding to support CYMT into the future. We hope to raise funds to endow our Youth Ministry Professorship and church grants for rural and urban congregations.
4. Host National Youth Ministry Event
We are hosting The Summit November 7-8, 2014 in partnership with The Youth Cartel. We are excited about the unique nature of the youth ministry training that takes place at The Summit. Eighteen leaders in youth ministry and related fields will be here to share thought provoking Ted-type talks as well as create space for practical and theological reflection. We hope you will make plans to join us.
5. Subtle Improvements
We do not have any major changes that we are making to our curriculum or program this year, but we continue to take your advice and make subtle improvements to a variety of areas. This year, we are paying particular attention to the teaching and outreach components of our training.
We cannot wait to see what God does this year! To God be the Glory!