Your investment in the Center for Youth Ministry Training continues to pay huge dividends and we are grateful for your support. This month ordination boards are meeting with individuals who have felt called by God to serve the church. The board’s job is to affirm a visible call and preparedness for ministry. Approximately one-third of CYMT graduate residents anticipate pursuing formal ordination.
I call it “formal” ordination because I believe that all CYMT students are set apart by God for the work of youth ministry. “Formal” ordination is a process of the church that officially ordains someone to be an Elder or Deacon. But one of CYMT’s jobs is during the application process is to measure and discern whether applicants are called and have been set apart for the work of youth ministry. We have been doing just that over the past month as we have interviewed this year’s applicants.
We are all are uniquely created and gifted by God for work in God’s Kingdom. Some are set apart for ordained ministry as pastors in the church, some as youth ministers, some as youth volunteers, etc. How has God uniquely set you apart for ministry?
I want to celebrate Steph Dodge, a May 2012 graduate of CYMT, who was approved this month by the Board of Ordained Ministry of the United Methodist Church and will be commissioned a Deacon at the Tennessee Annual Conference in June. Several other CYMT graduate residents were approved as candidates for ministry in their various denominations this year. We celebrate with Jill Carr, Abby Prevost, and Taylor Young in their candidacies in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and Lauren Gam, Phil Rogers and David Thompson in their candidacies in the United Methodist Church.
Our Foundation Campaign launched at the beginning of this month with a goal of raising $5 million by September 1 to endow a youth ministry professorship, rural and urban partner church grants, and to create spiritual venture capital to expand our ministry. We will be sending you information about the campaign in the mail in May or you can find more information at www.cymt.org/donate.
Finally, I would ask that you keep the staff, residents, and partner churches of the CYMT program in your prayers!
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.