CYMT Innovation Lab

Partnering with communities of faith to develop responsive, theologically informed, and transformative ministry in their contexts.

Details below for our free upcoming event, “Thoughtful Conversations: Ministry Amidst a Pandemic”  – October 27th!




CYMT’s Innovation Laboratory for Youth Ministry

The Center for Youth Ministry Training’s Innovation Laboratory helps shape the future of Christian ministry by partnering with communities of faith to develop responsive, theologically informed, and transformative ministry in their contexts.

Nearly all of the models for modern ministry reduce youth ministry to a peer-based youth group. Despite the fact that the Mainline Church faces declining numbers, it continues to primarily turn to these traditional models. So how do we break out of the mold? We believe that by bringing design thinking into conversation with practical theology, we can test new models and approaches that organically fit into your unique context and meet the needs of the teens in your community. Since 2018, we’ve worked with nearly 200 adults and teenagers across the country to engage with young people in innovative ways.


Please note that this page is currently under construction, so continue checking back for new and exciting updates! In the meantime, please visit the current Innovation Laboratory website where you can read about the Theological Innovation Process and more!


Our main goals are simple:



Foster the creation of new models of youth ministry beyond the traditional youth group model that lead to transformation in young people’s lives.


Discover and name characteristics of a faith community that either promote or hinder innovative ability, and help the community move toward greater innovative potential.


Refine and broaden our approach to successfully leading faith communities through our Theological Innovation Process.


‘Understanding Your COVID-19 Context: Community Interviews’

Use this guide to hear about the needs of those in your community.




Let’s Connect

There are many exciting ways for you to get involved in the Innovation Laboratory that we can’t wait to share with you! For exclusive access to these updates and resources, please sign up for our newsletter here. If you have specific questions, email Innovation Lab Director Meghan Hatcher.


Join us for a free, virtual conversation with other youth workers and ministry leaders: “Thoughtful Conversations: Ministry Amidst a Pandemic” 


The challenges of the ongoing pandemic can leave our ministries simply in survival mode, but the Center for Youth Ministry Training’s Innovation Lab believes now is actually an essential time to innovate. Since 2018, our Innovation Lab has implemented our Theological Innovation Process with faith communities around the country. The structure and direction lent by the Theological Innovation Process can serve as a compass to guide your community to develop ministry that is responsive to the urgent needs and pains of people in your unique context, theologically informed and transformative for people’s real lives. Join us for a “Thoughtful Conversation: Ministry Amidst a Pandemic” where we’ll walk you through the Theological Innovation Process with a specific focus on understanding your COVID-19 context and the needs of those in your community (hint: they may not be what you think!). Any ministry leader (staff or volunteer) is invited to attend this interactive, online event to learn, reflect and engage in thoughtful conversation as we do this work together. Registration is required.