Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies Program

Available Courses

Year One

Principles of Youth Ministry

Principles of Youth Ministry presents the foundational understandings and principles for developing an effective, comprehensive ministry with young and older adolescents. It examines the dynamics of promoting healthy adolescent development and faith growth. It presents the vision and principles for comprehensive youth ministry and a model for developing comprehensive youth ministry which incorporates developmentally appropriate youth programming, strengthens family life, involves young people as integral members of the faith community, and collaborates with civic organizations in a common effort to promote positive youth development.

Practices of Youth Ministry

Practices of Youth Ministry explores the development of comprehensive youth ministry through the collaborative sharing of the resources in the community. Rooted in a theological and pastoral vision of community life, this course develops foundational understandings that will assist leaders in setting and implementing a vision for dynamic ministry with youth. This will include skills for advocacy, planning and organizing youth ministry efforts. Methods for collaborative leadership among ministries and within ministry teams will also be developed.

Foundations of Ministry Leadership

Foundations of Ministry Leadership explores the theology, principles, and practices of effective leadership in Christian ministry. Participants explore current leadership concepts and approaches, as well as Christian perspectives on leadership. Participants also learn how to empower individuals and teams of leaders for ministry with youth. The course combines theory presentation with experiential learning as participants explore (a) leadership theory and an assessment of styles for effective leadership; (b) theological and pastoral foundations for understanding leadership and empowerment; and (c) processes and tools for inviting, preparing and nurturing adult and youth leaders in ministry.

Skills for Christian Leadership

Skills for Christian Leadership addresses the theories and skills needed for principle-centered leadership in ministry. Participants will develop a practical, working understanding of leadership process and skills and the experiential ability to use the skills. The course stresses the application of leadership skills to various ministry settings, problems, and issues.

Principles of Lifelong Faith Formation

Principles of Lifelong Faith Formation presents the foundations and principles for developing effective lifelong catechesis with people of all ages in the parish community. It offers a vision for catechesis which is rooted in Church documents and Tradition. The current context for faith formation in the 21st century will also be explored, along with models for effective parish catechesis. Particular attention will be paid to the development of catechesis with families, children, youth, young adults and adults—in other words, with all ages and stages.

Note:  This is an alternative course to Principles of Youth Ministry.  Students are not required to take both courses.  

Practices of Lifelong Faith Formation

Practices of Lifelong Faith Formation explores the development of comprehensive ministry through the collaborative sharing of the resources in the community. Rooted in a theological and pastoral vision of community life, this course develops foundational understandings that will assist leaders in setting and implementing a vision for dynamic ministry and faith formation. This includes skills for advocacy, planning, and organizing ministry efforts. Methods for collaborative leadership among ministries and within ministry teams will also be developed.

Visioning for Catholic Youth Ministry - Online Course 1

Visioning for Catholic Youth Ministry presents an overview of the history and the essential Church documents for Catholic youth ministry. It will present research that proposes a pastoral response to adolescent development and family life. This course will also explore the leadership implications for ministry in a culturally diverse church including practical skills for working together as a ministry team to promote parish-wide collaboration on behalf of youth and their families.

Leading Catholic Youth Ministry - Online Course 2

Leading Catholic Youth Ministry will explore current leadership concepts and approaches, as well as Christian perspectives on leadership. It will include development of a personal mission statement as well as practical skills for preparing leaders for ministry, building community with youth, and planning a season of ministry initiatives.

Year Two

Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care explores the principles and methods of caring for young people from various cultures and for their families. The course develops an understanding of the breadth and depth of pastoral care, of family systems and adolescent development, and of the role that cultural identity plays in the development of adolescents. The goal is two-fold: (a) to promote healthy adolescent development from a pastoral care perspective, and (b) to develop preventative interventions for families with adolescents.

Evangelization and Catechesis

Evangelization and Catechesis develops the foundations and practices for nurturing faith growth and Catholic identity in young and older adolescents through evangelization and catechesis. Participants will explore a variety of ways to learn about and from Jesus and how to promote a living relationship with Jesus in the lives of adolescents. They will examine a contemporary approach to developing Catholic identity and Catholic practices in the lives of adolescents today. Participants will experience and analyze the "postmodern" culture and develop strategies for faith formation with adolescents in a postmodern world. They will learn creative approaches for evangelization and catechesis and develop skills and methods for evangelizing and catechizing adolescents.

Prayer and Worship

Prayer and Worship investigates the foundational role that prayer and worship have in fostering the spiritual growth of youth. Participants develop understandings and practical skills necessary for: (a) preparing liturgy and worship experiences, (b) fostering the prayer life of youth and preparing prayer services, and (c) understanding the role of youth retreat experiences. Participants will apply these understandings by developing a realistic and integrated approach to worship within a comprehensive ministry to youth.

Justice and Service

Justice and Service explores the foundations for fostering a justice and service consciousness and spirituality in youth drawn from Scripture, Catholic social teaching, adolescent development, and contemporary catechetical principles. It develops skills for creating integrated, action-learning models for the justice and service component of a comprehensive youth ministry.

Planning and Implementing Lifelong Catechesis

Planning and Implementing Lifelong Catechesis develops the skills needed for development of dynamic catechesis with people of all ages in a parish setting. The course will engage participants in looking at the content of catechesis, fashioning a lifelong faith formation curriculum, teaching for discipleship, and placing catechesis within the context of evangelization. Participants will also be prepared to attend to the pastoral care dimension of catechesis with children, youth, adults and families.

Nurturing Adolescent Spirituality - Online Course 3

Nurturing Adolescent Spirituality will explore dynamic methods for helping youth to grow spiritually. This will include examining the context of post-modern culture, promoting retreats, encouraging spiritual practices, and understanding the scriptural foundations and Catholic social teachings that form youth for justice and service.

Fostering Positive Adolescent Development and Faith Growth - Online Course 4

Fostering Positive Adolescent Development and Faith Growth explores pastoral ministry strategies that encourage youth to grow in faith, develop Catholic identity, and participate in Liturgy. This will include an examination of family systems as well as the development of the characteristics of a healthy minister.