The Center for Youth Ministry Training joins the millions of people around the country and the world crying out for justice. We are praying for the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, for all impacted by racial injustice, and for all who are experiencing anger, fear, sorrow, and pain from these horrific incidents. We are concerned about how these killings and the deep divisions of our country are impacting all young people.
These recent killings are a part of our country’s history of systematic racism that is entrenched in the systems of our society. CYMT knows that we have benefited from and also participated in these systems. We repent of our actions that have furthered privileged systems. We cannot stand silent in the face of these injustices.
CYMT joins those who are demanding justice. We pray like Amos for a day when “justice rolls down like a river.” We pray for justice that creates space for God’s people to be in relationships that bring about peace. CYMT commits to listening, evaluating, and partnering with those who can help us grow in ministry and love.
CYMT equips youth ministers and churches to develop theologically informed and practically effective youth ministry. As theologians, we believe that all are created in the image of God as beloved children, regardless of skin color. As practitioners, we call our faith communities to action.
We call for pastors and youth ministers to educate their congregation on systematic racism, to repent, and to commit to tangible actions in their communities. We call for all Christians to live out their faith and work for justice.
CYMT is taking actionable steps including conversations that combat implicit or explicit bias in our ministry so that we might re-imagine how we fulfill our mission to communities of color.
Executive Director, Dietrich Kirk, and CYMT Staff
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.