“During my senior year of college, finishing my bachelors degree in Commercial Art: Graphic Design, more strongly than ever before, God was calling me into ministry. I was scared at the thought because I didn’t exactly know where God was leading me. Deep in my heart I knew that I had a strong love and passion for youth, but didn’t know at what capacity God was calling me. As doors continued to open for me in that direction it was like God, Creator of the Universe, was holding down a bright neon sign that said CYMT. It’s kind of crazy how it all fell into place for me. CYMT has been a perfect fit to the puzzle that I had been searching for.
“What I find to be so great about CYMT is that they placed me in a church that truly fits me best. Also, CYMT students are a community of people who support each other and can relate to the struggles and the celebrations of working in the church with youth. Being assigned a coach has truly helped me in so many aspects. My coach is there for me at any time of the day with encouragement, listening ears, support, wisdom, and of course unconditional love and grace. The clincher for me in deciding to apply to CYMT was the retreat style format and the fact that it would be through MTS. Being born into the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination, and strangely enough, with my father’s interest in genealogy, I have found out that one of my ancestors was one of the founders of the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination, Samuel King and his son-in-law McGee. The CYMT program being connected to MTS only seemed too perfect for me to be a part of it.”
Joanna Bellis, Youth Director at Brenthaven CPC
CYMT is proud to announce the expansion of our original initiative into Theology Together 2.0. CYMT aims to develop a curriculum to be used in local congregations and ministries. Taking what we have learned about engaging youth in deep theological reflection during missional experiences and embedding those processes into congregational youth ministries.
"I hope students come away from my courses with the ability to think more deeply, richly and theologically about their youth ministry practice. I think a lot of what happens in youth ministry happens unreflectively and can be deforming to young people, and my courses are intended to give students a theological framework for evaluating and reforming their youth ministry practice."
Of course, I want students to drink deeply from the academic readings, lectures and discussions, and I want them to be informed by the academics. But more than that, I want them to see that youth ministry is a calling of God, an important part of God’s mission in the world, one that should give them pride and evoke humility at the same time.