Fall 2015 Courses




The following courses will be offered by Memphis Theological Seminary for students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Youth Ministry degree program (this includes all CYMT graduate residents) during the Fall 2015 semester. They are offered in retreat-based format on the campus of Memphis Theological Seminary.

All residents will take the following core course:

Introduction to Interpreting the Old Testament

Instructor: Judy Stack-Nelson (Ph.D. Princeton)

An introduction to the literature, history, and methods of interpreting the Old Testament. The course intends to assist the student in appropriating the biblical texts for the practice of ministry.

In addition to Old Testament, all second and third year residents will take the following course:

YM02352: Theological Foundations for Youth Ministry

Instructor: Andrew Zirschky (Ph.D. Princeton)

This course introduces students to youth ministry as a practical theological discipline and guides them toward developing and articulating their own theological rationale for the practice of youth ministry. With a shared understanding that theological commitments give shape to ministry, we will examine various theological starting points for conceiving and practicing youth ministry.

In addition to Old Testament, all first year residents will take the following course:

Youth Ministry Practicum 1

Instructor: Rev. Dietrich Kirk (MAR Memphis)

Students will gain in-the-trenches youth ministry experience by serving in a local church as a part of their practicum experience. The program is designed for all students to work full- or part-time as a youth minister during their education allowing them to put all the pieces together—everything they learn from peers in their cohort, the professors in the classroom, and from their coach.

All residents are enrolled in Formation for Ministry. They take three one-credit courses over the three years of the program.

Formation for Ministry I, II, and III

Instructors: MTS Staff

Spiritual formation for ministry and the integration of theological education with family life, church, and the larger community are essential for development as Christian servant leaders. Credit for this class is earned over a period of the first, second, and last semesters of the student’s degree program. This class will help ground participants in covenants of accountability that lead to lifelong theological learning, holy friendships, and a set of practices that will sustain pastoral excellence throughout their lives. Participants will explore major themes of Christian life and leadership, including: Being and Becoming a Beloved Child of God, God’s Dream for the World, Wholeness and Health, Building Relationships and Learning to Live in Solidarity With Those Made Poor and/or Marginal in Society, Keeping the Sabbath, Power, Money, Building the Beloved Community, Call, and Discipleship Over the Long Haul.   

The following course is an elective courses. All residents are encouraged to participate in the Contemporary Issues in YM course even if they choose not to take it for credit.

Contemporary Issues in Youth Ministry — Preparing Parents for Spiritual Leadership

Instructors: Dr. Andrew Zirschky and Guest Lecturer Karen Marie-Yust

Contemporary Issues courses investigate a current topic of discussion in the field of youth ministry through engagement in a national or regional youth ministry event with additional guided course hours and readings in the topic. The course is repeatable  with unique topics investigated at each offering. The topic for the fall semester 2015 is the preparation and nurture of parents for guiding their children and teenagers into spiritual experiences and growth. The course conference will be held December 3-5, 2015. 


Related Articles

CYMT Launches ‘Theology Together 2.0’ – Changing the Climate of Youth 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.

Q&A with the Professors of the Master of Arts in Youth Ministry: Part II


"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."

Q&A with the Professors of the Master of Arts in Youth Ministry: Part I


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.