CYMT values the role of theological education in the life of a youth or children’s minister. We believe that being theologically informed helps youth ministers to lead and listen to their youth in a way that is not possible, absent from theological education. Being able to participate in theological education at the same time as working in a ministry context enriches the classroom experience by bringing real time examples and case studies to the classroom to discuss among peers.
When asked what is your favorite class you have taken through CYMT?
Brooke Freeman, Second Year PE Track Resident serving at Dunwoody UMC, replied:
Mission and Evangelism with Rick Diamond. I enjoyed the readings but really enjoyed the class discussions and Dr. Diamond’s stories. He got me to think about, “What is mission and evangelism,” in a different perspective.
What classes are you currently taking and which do you like best?
Emily Sprunger, Third Year Placement Track Resident serving at Dyersburg UMC, replied:
We are taking intro to Hebrew Bible and Theological Methods. I like Theological Methods because it helps to enrich our youth ministries and understand why we teach what we do.
What class has had the biggest impact on you thus far?
Daphne Turnage, Third Year Placement Track Resident serving at Dalewood UMC, replied:
“‘Pastoral Care and Mission of the Church.’ In Pastoral Care, you get to work through your own trauma and issues. Also, a lot of youth and parents struggle with mental health so the class gave me some tools to help combat the issues faced by youth and parents.
‘Mission of the Church’ taught me that wherever the Lord puts you is your mission and helped me to separate colonialism from mission.”
Josh Day, Third Year Placement Track Resident at LiveOak Church, replied:
“‘The Doubt Class I took with Andrew Zirschky.’ It helped to understand and remember that doubt is happening with teens and how too often the church pushes doubt to the side and gives someone a book to read and basically says, ‘Come back when you aren’t doubting anymore.’ It is important to create space for teenagers to doubt. Thus, this class taught me to be intentional in bringing doubt to the forefront.”
Austin Gay, First Year Placement Track Resident at Birmingham UMC, replied:
“‘Intro to Hebrew Bible.’ I was raised Assemblies of God and thus this class has challenged my thinking and approach to scripture. It has been incredibly difficult but very valuable because I think it is in the challenging classes, in the wrestling with theology that you really grow and your belief and faith is really refined in a way that you wouldn’t get if you are learning the same things over and over again.”
Rebekah Small, First Year Placement Track Resident at Lehman UMC, replied:
“‘Practicum.’ It has been equipping us with the real time tools we need for ministry. Even though I was a youth ministry major in undergrad, they didn’t teach me how to run a budget or build a calendar. So this class has been teaching basic skills but has been really helpful instead of learning these lessons the hard way.”
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