Pictured above are CYMT’s second-year graduate residents.
Ever wonder what happens in a youth ministry classroom? We want to give you a peek inside the course Youth Minister as Pastor and Leader, which is an introduction to the various roles played by youth leaders in ministering to the spiritual, personal, and social needs of adolescents. The course examines the role of youth minister as leader in the Christian community in light of systems theory, cultural intelligence, and theological reflection. Additionally, an exploration of the role of youth minister as pastor and caregiver is considered in light of the developmental needs and realities of contemporary youth.
CYMT graduate residents study adolescent development and gender development while learning how to minister to teenagers’ physical needs. They develop skills and knowledge in how to provide pastoral care to adolescents. They examine the relational dynamics of their congregations as well as the nature of Christian leadership.
The final project for this course is to develop a volunteer training talk that teaches youth workers how to minister to a struggling teen, how to minister in the midst of a crisis, or how to better understand youth development.
Each resident presented a 12 to 18 minute TED-style talk on his or her topic. The talks were professional, compelling well-researched, theologically informed so that they could be shared with the larger youth ministry community. Residents then developed their training talks into 45 minute workshops that they could use with their own volunteers or share with other churches. Below is second-year resident Becca Bibee’s talk entitled Ministering to a Youth Group in Crisis:
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.