Do we get to interview the potential residents?

After evaluating all of our applicants, CYMT will recommend one to be your church or ministry’s resident during the three years of the program.  We seek to make the ministry’s needs, theology, and personality with one of our applicants.  Your ministry will have the opportunity to interview them prior to their placement.


What is a Partner Ministry’s financial obligations for a Placement resident?

  • $81,000 total cost
    • $2,250 initial payment due March 15
    • $2,250 due beginning of each month for 35 months (Begins July)
  • 35-month contract
  • Provide housing and utilities for resident (and family)
  • Mileage:  If a partner ministry is more than 40 miles from the residents CYMT discussion group meeting location, a ministry will incur the following additional monthly mileage expenses:  # of miles to meeting location – 40 miles x 2 (roundtrip) x $.25 x 4 trips a month =

What is the difference between a Placement resident and a Professional Education resident?

CYMT partners with churches, nonprofits, camps and other faith communities to help build sustainable, thriving youth ministries.

Partner ministries & placement residents: Partner ministries that are in need of a youth minister will go through CYMT’s extensive matching process to be matched with an incoming placement track resident. Once matched, your new resident takes on the role as your ministry’s youth director for their 3-year residency. Over 80% of our partner ministries go on to hire their resident as their full-time youth minister once they have graduated the program.

Partner ministries & professional-education residents: Partner ministries that already have a youth director will partner with CYMT through the Professional-Education track – meaning that we will provide your youth director the same education, training, and resources given to Placement track residents, and partner with your ministry team to provide support for your growing youth ministry.


What are the partner ministry expectations?

Here are example Memorandum of Understanding documents that list requirements for partner ministries.

Example MOU for Partner Ministries of Placement track residents (ministries hiring a youth minister through CYMT)

Example MOU for Partner Ministries of Professional Education track residents (ministries who already have a youth minister)


When do residents begin their placements?

The CYMT academic program begins in August.  We try to have all residents begin their appointments by the 2nd Sunday in July.  A resident may start their appointment earlier if mutually agreed upon by the ministry, resident, and CYMT.


What happens at the end of the agreement years?

Our hope is that ministries will hire their resident full-time.  The ministry and resident will each discern whether that is the right next step during the final semester of the program.


How many residents stay at their ministry setting after the program?

Almost 70% of our residents are hired by their church/ministry at the end of the program.


What degree will I earn?  What if I want to earn an MDIV?

During the three years of your graduate residency, you will earn the credits necessary to obtain a Master of Arts in Youth Ministry.  

If you discover before you graduate that you would like to complete a Masters of Divinity degree, you can transfer some credits toward an M.Div. from your MAYM degree. You would meet with the Academic Dean at Austin Seminary about transferring degrees. In the past most credits have been able to apply towards the degree, but it is up to the seminary.

If you earn and graduate with the MAYM degree, then generally only about 24 credits (give or take a few) will be accepted by another seminary toward their M.Div degree. In most cases that would leave you needing 50+ credits (depending on the school). The other transferring option would be to refuse the MAYM degree, and transfer all of your credits into an M.Div. program at another seminary: Instead of applying to graduate in your third year, you could apply to another seminary and seek to have all of your credits (44 or so) applied toward an M.Div. Generally schools will allow a transfer of just under half the credits for any degree, and most M.Div. degrees around somewhere between 72 and 100 credits. So you’d be about halfway to an M.Div.

CYMT alumni have earned Masters of Divinity in these forms from Princeton Theological Seminary, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Memphis Theological Seminary, and Union Theological Seminary.



What seminary will I go to and what classes will I take?  Are classes online?  How often do I attend classes on campus?  What are intensives?

As a CYMT graduate resident, you are enrolled as a full-time Master of Arts in Youth Ministry degree student through Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.  To learn more about Austin Seminary, visit their website at

You can view the requirements for this degree and course descriptions here.

Except for the national conventions and conferences that we will attend, intensives will take place on the Austin Seminary main campus or at their Nashville extension campus.  Intensives take place 3-4 times a semester.  The rest of your coursework is completed online except for discussion groups. See below for info on Intensives and discussion groups.


What are Intensives?

CYMT Residents are placed in either our Texas Region or our Southeast Region for their 3-year residency. All students, regardless of which region they are placed, attend Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary through our hybrid classroom model. Through this model, residents are not confined to being in a classroom every day like traditional seminary, but instead, attend Intensives: a set amount of days each month where residents attend class to cover their coursework with their professors and peers. Intensives take place at Austin Seminary’s campus for Texas-based residents, or at our Nashville extension campus of APTS if they are a Southeast-based resident. There are a few times per year that residents will travel to attend Intensives at the same site.


What are discussion groups? Where do they meet?

Discussion groups are an extension of the classroom and provide Graduate Residents with the opportunity to discuss topics from class with their cohort.  Discussion groups happen on the weeks between Intensives.

Discussion groups are located regionally based on the location of our residents each year.  We have discussion groups that meet in Nashville, North Alabama, Birmingham, Memphis, West Tennessee, Austin, Houston, Dallas, etc. We also have discussion groups that meet via video conferencing.


Why choose CYMT instead of just going to seminary?

Most seminaries provide no youth ministry specific training; therefore, we provide theological and practical training applicable specifically to youth ministry. Residents will be equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to be effective youth ministers for the long-haul.

Of course, CYMT residents do go to seminary.  All residents earn a MA in Youth Ministry through our partnership with Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Does the MAYM meet the requirements for ordination as a Deacon in the United Methodist Church?

The MAYM meets most of the requirements for Deacon in the UMC.  If you use your electives to take the UM courses, you should be able to graduate with almost all of the required courses for graduation.  Please consult your conference for specific course requirements. Half of our UM residents are pursuing ordination as a Deacon.



What is a coach?

You will be assigned a coach when you receive your placement. He or she will attend your church visit with you, work with you and your partner church throughout your graduate residency, and meet with you weekly. Typically, CYMT coaches have more than a decade of youth ministry experience that they will use to help you develop as a youth minister. 



What do I do as a Youth Director?

Youth Directors wear many hats.  Youth Directors are in charge of building a web of relationships to support teenagers within their community along with the creation and direction of programming that leads students to a relationship with Christ.  If you consider yourself to be passionate about investing in youth, making a difference in your community, public speaking, event planning, relationship building, discovering your theology and helping students discover their theology, this may be the job for you.


How long is the Graduate Residency Program?

The graduate residency program is 3 years.  After completion, your partner ministry will have the opportunity to offer you a job if they choose.  You can either accept, or look for a new job.


How does job placement work?

Throughout the interview process, we will get to know you, your personality, and your theological beliefs.  At the same time, our team is working to get to know our partner ministries, their beliefs, and desires for the position.  We work hard to match partner ministries and Graduate Residents based on personality, theological fit, and giftedness.


What are the denominations CYMT works with?

CYMT partners with congregations and individuals representing the theological views and diversity of mainline Protestant Christianity. We partner with mainline Protestant denominations including the United Methodist Church, Presbyterian (PCUSA), Cumberland Presbyterian, Lutheran (ECLA), Episcopal, Disciples of Christ, American Baptist, and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Our partner seminary is Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.


I already have a job as Youth Director, can I stay at my current job and complete the program?

Absolutely.  You will need to take the Professional Education Track.  This track receives all of the same benefits as the graduate residency program.  Details can be found here.


When will I know where I am going to work?

Our goal is for you to know which partner church you will be serving by May 1.  Later in May, you will be expected to come and meet the church where you will be serving. Your coach will work with you and the church to find an appropriate date for everyone.



What is a cohort?

Your cohort is the group of 12 Graduate residents that will be serving at ministry sites throughout your region (either the Southeast region or the Texas region.) 



CYMT feels strongly about caring for the Graduate Residents within the program in order to ensure the success of both the Graduate Resident and the Partner Ministry.  If you are in need of counseling, CYMT will be able to help connect you to a counselor and provide resources as needed.



Is there a minimum GPA?

CYMT expects applicants to exhibit the capacity to do masters level theological education, therefore we require a 2.8 undergraduate GPA.  Anyone applying with less than a 3.0 GPA will be expected to submit an explanation for how they intend to succeed at the Masters level.



Where will I live?

Partner churches are expected to provide housing for their Graduate Resident. Most residents live in apartments or houses owned or rented by the churches. The church will work to provide suitable housing for you during your residency. They will cover rent and utilities.

You will be responsible for cable, phone, or internet if you desire them.


Do I need to bring furniture?

We do not expect churches to provide furnished housing. However, if you have furniture needs, the church and CYMT will work with you to help locate basic needs. It is your responsibility to let the church and CYMT staff know if you need assistance securing furniture. The cost of moving your belongings to where you will be living is your responsibility.


What is the CYMT statement of faith?

Visit our About us page.


What are the summer and winter schedules?

From the middle of May through August 1, there is no coursework associated with the Master of Arts in Youth Ministry. You will continue to serve your church as the youth director and receive coaching.

From mid-December through until the first week of January, there is a winter break from coursework although you will continue to work at your church and receive coaching.


How much do we get paid?

Residents receive a $12,000 a year stipend in addition to housing.


What is my cost to be in the program?

You will pay a $50 application fee when you apply. You are responsible for a one-time $2000 resident fee due by June 15 of your first year. However, there are incentives for applying early and being accepted to the program.  If you apply by November 15 and are accepted, your fee is discounted to $1500.  If you apply by January 15 and are accepted, your fee is discounted to $1750.  All applications admitted after January 15 will be required to pay the $2000 Graduate Resident fee.  You can contact the CYMT office if you need to make special arrangements to pay your fee.


What if I leave the program early?

Each Graduate Resident must sign a service agreement that outlines the conditions for receiving the full scholarship and the consequences for leaving the program early. Residents leaving the program early will be responsible for reimbursing CYMT for academic expenses paid on their behalf that have not been forgiven under the CYMT Service Agreement.


Can I defer my student loans?

Yes. You will be a full-time student at Austin Seminary, and, therefore, you can have your student loan payments deferred. You can contact your lender or go online to get the papers to request the deferment. They mail deferment papers the first week after the start of the semester.


Do I get vacation?

You will be given 10 days of vacation each year. CYMT’s calendar year runs from July 1 to June 30. Your CYMT coach and your partner church must approve vacation in advance. Vacation shall not include more than two Sundays that you have responsibilities.


Are scholarships available?

You receive a scholarship to Austin Seminary for being enrolled in CYMT’s graduate residency program. If you are eligible for additional scholarships through your denomination or local church, then you may be eligible to have your residency fees paid for you.  You can also contact Austin Seminary for additional financial aid if needed.

Please let the CYMT staff know if you are eligible for additional scholarships or need additional financial assistance.

When was CYMT founded?


The Inaugural Class graduated in 2008.

CYMT has 107 Fellows (alumni).

CYMT has worked with over 120 partner churches.


Where have residents come from?

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Missouri, Oklahoma, Idaho, Oregon, California, Colorado, Mississippi, West Virginia, Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, New Mexico, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Northern Ireland, Iowa, Cameron, Washington, Kansas, Bahamas.

Denominations our residents have come from Baptist, Church of God, Cumberland Presbyterian, Disciples of Christ, Episcopal, Lutheran, Nazarene, Non-Denominational, Presbyterian (USA), and United Methodist.

The denominations of churches that have partnered with CYMT thus far are Cumberland Presbyterian, Lutheran, Presbyterian (USA), Baptist, Episcopal, and United Methodist.

How many residents are currently enrolled? 53

What is the average age of the CYMT residents? 24

Percentage of Male Residents – 50%

Percentage of Female Residents – 50%

Percentage of Residents who are married = 20%