Thank you for your investment in the Center for Youth Ministry Training. God continues to do amazing things in and through our ministry. We just returned from our first spring retreat, during which our graduate residents shared some of the ways God has been moving in their lives and through their ministries. Here are a few God moments they shared:
This semester all of our residents are taking New Testament, and they are excited about being challenged and stretched as they deepen their biblical knowledge. Our first year students are continuing their youth ministry practicum and will be focusing on vision and curriculum development. Our second year students are taking a course called the Youth Minister as Pastor and Leader. Our third years are entering their final semester.
Our partnerships with local churches make a significant difference in the lives of the churches. For some of our churches, the visioning and strategic planning help to give the ministry traction to get moving in the right direction. For others, our coaches are their to help navigate transitions and change in the lives of the congregations. Some churches speak about the “safety net” of support that the CYMT program brings to their ministry. CYMT is privileged to feel like we are making a difference in the lives of our residents and our partner churches.
Every day CYMT graduate residents seek to faithfully share the Good News of Christ and minister to and with teenagers. They sometimes do this in big ways like fall retreats, but most often they do this in small ways as they walk with youth and their families through life.
Finally, I would like to ask your prayers for a family in Huntsville, Ala. whose son took his own life. I would specifically like to ask for you to pray for Epworth United Methodist Church and Erin Hicks, our graduate resident there, as they seek to minister to that family and community.
Dietrich “Deech” Kirk
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.