The CYMT graduate residents attended the National Youth Workers Convention (NYWC) in November in Nashville as a part of the CYMT curriculum. The convention is geared for people who work in ministry with teenagers and includes training, resources, inspiration, and encouragement for participants.
Derek Walker is a first year graduate resident at CYMT and shared his thoughts after attending NYWC:
Before going to NYWC I was a little apprehensive. Our schedule for the weekend was packed full, I was already exhausted, and I was thinking to myself that I could really use the time to prepare for our Christmas events that were coming up.
However, NYWC was a great experience for me and it totally exceeded my expectations. It was revitalizing and refreshing, and it provided me with many new ideas for the youth ministry at my church. It was nice to have some time for me. Time to step back a little, time to reflect, and time to recuperate. I left feeling more energized and even more excited for the ministry that God has called me to.
Big Room worship was a highlight of the weekend. I love contemporary worship and to be able to participate in that was a blessing. I also enjoyed listening to some anointed speakers who both spoke to my heart and also challenged my theology.
By attending NYWC we attained some credits for our contemporary issues class; this involved us attending various workshops and seminars around the theme of young people and technology. I found these seminars interesting and beneficial to my ministry. The seminars equipped me with some new ideas to try out and also alerted me of some of the dangers students face with technology.
It was a hugely beneficial weekend which I thoroughly enjoyed and I would recommend it to anyone involved in student ministry.
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.