The Center for Youth Ministry Training’s Graduate Residency is off to a great start this fall with first academic retreat of the year taking place August 3-6. This retreat laid the foundation for our community and training for the rest of the year. We want to give you some insights into what we did on retreat.
There are three primary components to the CYMT Orientation Retreat each year:
13 new graduate residents and partner churches joined the CYMT family this fall. For the first time, we offered an orientation retreat just for the first year graduate residents in July during which they spent time getting to know each other and sharing their stories of how God brought them to CYMT. The new first year residents were oriented to the CYMT Graduate Resident Policy and Procedure Manual, including child protection policies.
One of the unique aspects of the CYMT program is our community of 38 graduate residents, seven staff, and 14 coaches all focused on youth ministry. The first night after class we welcomed the first year residents in traditional youth ministry style by playing team building games lead by the third year residents. Throughout the week, we ate, played, and worshiped together. Worship on CYMT retreats is especially powerful as it is led by residents for residents. Our group stays at the Service Over Self (S.O.S.) Center in Memphis.
Before you think we will spent all our time having fun getting to know each other, classes take up the majority of all retreats. Residents spend eight hours each day in intensive coursework and each course covers one-third of a semester’s material on each of our retreats. This fall residents will be taking:
We are looking forward to an amazing year as we prepare and train youth ministers to reach youth with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Below you can find a list of the remaining 2015-2016 academic retreats. These retreats are required for all residents.
July 13-14, 2015 Orientation Retreat
August 3-6, 2015 (Fall Retreat 1)
September 17-19, 2015 (Fall Retreat 2)
November 5-7, 2015 (Fall Retreat 3)
December 3-5, 2015 Preparing Parents for Spiritual Leadership (Elective)
January 6-9, 2016 Youth Ministry Academy in Nashville, TN
February 4-6, 2016 (Spring Retreat 1)
March 10-12, 2016 (Spring Retreat 2)
April 14-16, 2016 (Spring Retreat 3)
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.