Partner Ministry Questions

Partner Ministry Residency Questions

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

Partner Ministry & Job Placement Resident: Partner ministries that are in need of a children’s minister, youth minister, family minister, campus minister, or other staff person will go through CYMT’s extensive matching process to be matched with an incoming placement track resident. Once matched, your new resident joins your staff for their 3-year residency. Over 70% of our partner ministries go on to hire their resident as their full-time youth minister once they have graduated the program.

Partner Ministry & Professional Education Resident: Partner ministries that have a staff member who wants to participate in the residency program will partner with CYMT through the Professional-Education track. We will provide your staff member the same education, training, and resources given to Placement track residents, and partner with your ministry team to provide support for your growing ministry.

  • $81,000 total cost
    • $2,250 initial payment
    • $2,250 due beginning of each month for 35 months
  • 35-month contract
  • Provide housing and utilities for resident
  • 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 =

  • $30,000 total cost
    • $2,000 initial payment
    • $800 due beginning of each month for 35 months
  • 35-month contract

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 match 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.

Here are examples of the 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)

Placement Track residents begin their placement at a mutually agreed upon date by the ministry, resident, and CYMT.  Placement residents typically start their placement in June or July if they are being classes in August.  Placement track residents begin their placement in January if they are starting in the Spring semester.

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 their final semester of the program.

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

CYMT partners with congregations and ministries representing the theological views and diversity of mainline Protestant Christianity. We have partnered with mainline Protestant denominations including the United Methodist Church, Global Methodist Church, Presbyterian (PCUSA & PCA), Cumberland Presbyterian, Lutheran (ECLA), Episcopal, Disciples of Christ, American Baptist, and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Our partner seminary is Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.  We gladly will discuss theological fit with other denominations or non-denominational churches or ministries.

Resident Questions

Academic Questions

During the three years of your graduate residency, you will earn the credits necessary to obtain a Master of Arts in Youth Ministry (MAYM).  Visit the Graduate Residency page for MAYM degree requirements.


Yes.  Residents can continue their graduate studies after the 3-year residency program to complete a Master of Divinity (MDIV) degree.

At APTS: All 44 hours (88 APTS credits) of the MAYM program apply directly to the MDIV program at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. If you take a 9-12 hours per semester, you can complete the MDIV program at APTS in 4 semesters or 2 years following the MAYM degree.  Residents completing their MDIV at APTS will earn two degrees: MAYM and MDIV.  If you would like more information about the MDIV program, email Tiffany in on our Admissions Team.

At another seminary: At the end of the program, you could apply to another seminary’s MDIV program. You would want to have a conversation with their admissions office about how many of your credits (44) will apply toward their M.Div.

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

  • 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.  You can view the requirements for this degree and course descriptions here.  Intensives will take place on the Austin Seminary main campus or at their Nashville extension.  Intensives take place 3-4 times a semester.  The rest of your coursework is completed online except for discussion groups. See below for information on Intensives and discussion groups.

All students, regardless of where they are placed, attend Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary through our hybrid educational model. Through this model, residents are not confined to being in a classroom every day like traditional seminary, but instead, attend Intensives. Intensives are 3 or 5 days gatherings where residents attend classes with their professors and peers.  Each required core or youth ministry course is a combination of two 3 day and one 5 day intensives.  Elective courses take place on one 3 day intensive with course work before and after the intensive.  5 Day Intensives take place on Austin Seminary’s campus.  Residents attend 3-Day Intensives at both at Austin Seminary’s campus and at APTS’ Nashville extension. There are a few times per year that residents will travel to attend Intensives at the same location.

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 also have discussion groups that meet via video conferencing.


Most mainline denominations require a Master of Divinity (MDIV) for ordination.  Several CYMT alumni have continued on to get MDIV’s and are ordained in the PCUSA, UMC, ELCA, and Episcopal denominations.

The MAYM does meet the requirements for ordination as a Deacon in the United Methodist Church.

Because learning to do ministry cannot be learned solely in the classroom.  CYMT’s combination of on-the-job training, coaching, theological education equips you with the tools and knowledge necessary to be effective youth, family, children, or campus ministers for the long-haul.  When you graduate you will not only have a degree, but 3-years of professional experience as you seek to live into your call.

Most seminaries provide no youth ministry specific classes or professional training. CYMT’s partnership with Austin Seminary is the largest graduate program in youth ministry in the country.  Not only will you experience youth ministry specific education, you will be a part of a community of individuals who share a similar call and passion for young people.

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.

From the middle of May through August 1, there is no coursework associated with the Master of Arts in Youth Ministry. You could choose to summer elective.

From mid-December through until the first week of January, there is a winter break from coursework.

Residency Job Placement Questions

Youth Ministers wear many hats.  Youth Ministers 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, helping youth discover their theology; this may be the job for you.

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.

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.

January start applicants receive a discount on their residency fees if they:

  • Apply by June 1st for $500 off residency fees. 
  • Apply by August 1st for $250 off your residency fees.

Summer/Fall start applicants receive a discount on their residency fees if they:

  • Apply by November 15 for $500 off residency fees. 
  • Apply by January 15 for $250 off your residency fees.

You can contact the CYMT office if you need to make special arrangements to pay your fee over time.

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

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.

If you apply for a summer start, our goal is for you to know which Partner Minister you will be serving by May 1.  We will then work with you to set up a time to come and meet the leadership of the ministry or church where you will be serving.  Your coach will work with you and the ministry to find an appropriate date for everyone.

If you are a January start, our goal is to introduce you to your Partner Minister in November or December.

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

Yes. We do not expect ministries to provide furnished housing.

However, if you have furniture needs, the ministry and CYMT will work with you to help locate basic needs. It is your responsibility to let the ministry 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.

From the middle of May through August 1, there is no coursework associated with the Master of Arts in Youth Ministry.  Although, you could enroll in a summer elective.

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.

You will continue to serve your ministry as the youth director year round.


You will be given 10 days of vacation each year which as a part-time employee is the equivalent of 3 weeks. Your CYMT coach and your Partner Ministry must approve vacation in advance. Vacation shall not include more than two Sundays that you have responsibilities.

Absolutely.  You will need to take the Professional Education Track.  This track receives all of the same benefits as the graduate residency program while allowing you to stay at your current ministry.  Details can be found on the Graduate Residency page.

General Residency Questions

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.  You will sign a Service Agreement or Academic Agreement upon entering the program.

Job Placement Track – CYMT Service Agreement

Professional Education Track – Academic Agreement

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.

You are provided 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 Admission Team know if you financial assistance and if you will be receiving additional scholarships.

You will be assigned a coach when you start the residency program. They will work with you and your partner ministry throughout your graduate residency. They will meet with you weekly. Typically, CYMT coaches have more than a decade of youth or children’s ministry experience that they will use to help you develop as a youth or children’s minister.

Placement residents whenever possible your coach will attend your partner ministry introductory visit with you

Your cohort is the group of Graduate Residents who begin the program with you and who will be journeying with you during the 3 years of the program.

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.  Our goal is to help you learn to care for yourself and be mentally, spiritually, and physically healthy so that you can minister to others.

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, Disciples of Christ (DOC), Lutheran (ELCA), Presbyterian (USA), Baptist, Episcopal, and United Methodist.


Where does CYMT work?

The CYMT family, including graduate residents, alumni, and partner ministries is always growing. Our reach currently spans across the country covering over 24 states. Courses are offered both at Austin Seminary’s main campus and Nashville MAYM extension.


Graduate Residents Graduate Resident Alumni Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary & Nashville Extension Site
Current Residents
Partner Ministries