Reach the Next Generation with Your BS in Youth Ministry, Family, & Culture
Are you interested in making a meaningful impact on the next generation and their families? If so, a degree in Youth Ministry, Family & Culture in Columbia International University may be the perfect choice for you.
Our program equips students to connect relationally with both churched and non-churched youth and families, while also providing the tools needed to disciple others. Our faculty members have extensive experience working in youth and family ministry, and bring their real-world insights into the classroom. You’ll learn how to navigate contemporary issues affecting family life and culture, and gain the knowledge and skills needed to effectively reach the next generation for Christ. By pursuing a degree in Youth Ministry, Family & Culture, you’ll be putting yourself at the heart of God’s plan to minister to children, youth and families in any culture around the world. With a focus on practical, hands-on learning, you’ll be well-prepared for a career in youth and family ministry, or for further studies in divinity or theology. Join us at CIU and make a lasting impact on the lives of young people and families in your community and beyond.
Why Choose Columbia International University?
Small class sizes, practical and experiential assignments, and a major that feels like family makes CIU the right choice for studying youth ministry. This degree also includes a second major in Bible and most students have room to add a minor. Students are mentored, discipled and trained by seasoned youth ministry professionals who have been awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award from South Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities (SCICU).
Overall Benefits of This Degree
The Youth Ministry program at Columbia International University offers a comprehensive approach to training students in the biblical knowledge and strategic skills needed to serve effectively as leaders and mentors for young people and their families. This program provides students with a strong foundation in theology, ministry and youth development, equipping them with the tools and resources necessary to serve in a variety of church and non-church settings.
Through a combination of classroom instruction and practical experience, students in the Youth Ministry program gain a deep understanding of adolescent development, teaching and discipleship, leadership and administration, spiritual formation and ministry in diverse cultural contexts. They learn to think strategically about ministry and to develop effective programs and initiatives that engage and inspire young people.
Perhaps most importantly, students in the Youth Ministry program at Columbia International University are mentored by experienced and dedicated faculty who are actively involved in youth ministry themselves. These professors bring their real-world experience to the classroom, providing students with valuable insights and guidance on how to navigate the challenges and opportunities of youth ministry.
With a degree in Youth Ministry from Columbia International University, you are prepared to make a meaningful impact on the lives of young people and their families, both within and outside of the church. Whether pursuing a career in ministry, education or another related field, the skills and knowledge gained through this program can be applied in a variety of contexts and settings. Above all, graduates of the Youth Ministry program leave Columbia International University with a deep sense of purpose and passion for serving others and sharing the love of Christ with the next generation.
What Will I Study?
In addition to the undergraduate core, here are degree specific-courses you can expect to take:
- MIN 3100 Communicating for Life Change
You will explore various models and guides for effective communication and teaching of Scripture that connect with a variety of age groups. You will read books, write messages, and participate in discussion and lectures. You will practice speaking in class to experience the methods.3.00 credit hours
- MIN 3715 Counseling Children, Youth, and Families
This course will help you understand the needs of children, adolescents, and families. This course will give you a framework for utilizing individual and family systems model as well as other theories and practical techniques for counseling.3.00 credit hours
- MIN 4500 Introduction to Cross-Cultural Ministry
In this course, you will be exposed to a variety of ministry approaches needed for different cultures. You will explore the cross-cultural ministry principles and skills most essential to ministry. You will discover your own cultural biases and how those biases affect your ministry. You will have the opportunity to develop a culture-specific ministry vision and strategy to reach a people group God has placed on your heart.3.00 credit hours
- MIN 4536 Management Essentials for Christian Ministries
In this course, you will learn basic ministry management principles for the local church and para-church ministries. You will learn how to build and lead a ministry team; plan, organize, and market events and programs; conduct effective meetings; budget and evaluate financial issues; manage risk and legal issues; evaluate and follow up on ministry activities.3.00 credit hours
- MIN 4538 Strategic Ministry Leadership
In this course, you will examine the character qualities essential to effective Christian leadership in a variety of settings; discuss a definition of leadership which discloses its basic functions; explore relational skills and issues integral to leadership roles; and identify competencies for tasks essential for excellent leadership.3.00 credit hours
- YOU 2110 Foundations of Youth Ministry
This course is an introduction to the study and profession of youth ministry. You will study the history, development, and fundamentals of ministering to youth in the church and other para-church organizations. An overview of adolescent development and a survey of careers in youth ministry will be included.3.00 credit hours
- YOU 3410 Evangelizing & Discipling Youth
This course equips you in the principles and practice of discipling a young person to know God and make Him known. It provides a specific look at adolescent Christian life as it pertains to the facilitation of maturing leaders in youth organizations. You will review various models, strategies, and programs that target teens and collegians in a ministry of disciple-making.3.00 credit hours
- YOU 4310 Strategies for Effective Youth & Family Ministry
You will explore a variety of models and strategies, past/present, for leading effective ministry to youth and their families. You will examine the challenges and opportunities of doing ministry in a post-Christian world. (3)3.00 credit hours
- YOU 4930 Youth Ministry Internship
This internship provides you with a supervised, preliminary training experience in a local church or parachurch setting. You will receive hands-on experience as a way of discovering or honing your ministry skills and encountering the reality of vocational work away from a university setting. This requirement is normally met during the summer, but can be completed during the fall or spring semester if you are not registered as a full-time student.3.00 credit hours
Career Path Opportunities
Graduates with a degree in Youth Ministry, Family & Culture are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a variety of careers in youth ministry and family services, including:
- Youth/Student Ministry Pastor or Director
- Children’s Pastor/Director (AWANA)
- College Pastor/Director
- Family Pastor
- Director of Christian Discipleship
- International Youth Worker/Missionary (e.g., Samaritan’s Purse, Compassion International, YWAM, Josiah Venture, JAARS)
- Para-Church Youth Worker (Young Life, Youth for Christ, FCA)
- Camp/Retreat Director or Program Director
- Staff at Residential Programs for At-Risk Youth
- Community Outreach Center Director/Staff
- Military Base Youth Worker/Minister
- Youth Ministry Curriculum Developer
- Director of a Youth-Focused Nonprofit Organization
- Inner City or Urban Youth Worker
- Itinerant Youth Speaker
- Preparation for graduate school
With a deep understanding of contemporary issues affecting family life and culture, theological concepts of ministry and practical skills in youth and family services, graduates of this program are well-prepared to serve as leaders and influencers in the world of youth ministry and family services. Whether working in a church or secular setting, graduates of this program are equipped to make a meaningful impact on the lives of young people and families, and to share the message of Christ’s love in tangible ways.
- Describe the courses in the Youth Ministry program.
The Youth Ministry program at Columbia International University offers a wide range of stimulating and practical courses that are designed to prepare students for real-world ministry experiences. Courses cover topics such as adolescent development, teaching and discipleship, leadership and administration, spiritual formation, and ministry in diverse cultural contexts. In addition to classroom instruction, students are required to complete an internship in order to gain hands-on experience in youth ministry settings. This practical component of the program provides students with the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-life situations, and to build relationships with young people and their families.
- What is the average class size for this major?
The Youth Ministry program at Columbia International University maintains small class sizes, typically ranging from 10-20 students. This allows for a more personalized and interactive learning environment, where students can receive individual attention and engage in meaningful discussions with their peers and professors.
- What types of jobs/positions are available for Youth Ministry majors?
Graduates of the Youth Ministry program at Columbia International University are well-equipped to pursue a variety of positions in churches, camps, youth and missions organizations, and parachurch organizations such as Young Life. Specific job titles may include youth pastor, children’s ministry director, family pastor, or college pastor, among others. The program’s emphasis on practical skills and hands-on experience prepares graduates for leadership positions in ministry, where they can make a meaningful impact on the lives of young people and their families.
- What is the job outlook for Youth Ministry majors?
The job outlook for Youth Ministry majors is very positive. The faculty at Columbia International University regularly receives requests for open positions from churches and organizations seeking qualified candidates for ministry roles. In fact, the demand for Youth Ministry graduates is often greater than the number of graduates available to fill those positions, highlighting the importance and value of this program.
- Can I make a living in the field of youth ministry?
Yes, graduates of the Youth Ministry program at Columbia International University can expect to earn a living in the field of youth ministry. While salaries may vary depending on the size of the church or organization, most graduates can expect to earn a salary similar to that of a schoolteacher. As they gain experience and move into leadership positions, salaries can increase accordingly.
- Can I get a job in youth ministry with only a bachelor’s degree, or will I need additional education?
Many churches and organizations offer positions to students right after graduation, and some students are even offered positions by their internship site before they graduate. While additional education, such as a master’s degree, may be helpful for career advancement, it is not always necessary for entry-level positions in youth ministry. The practical experience and theological foundation provided by the Youth Ministry program at Columbia International University prepare graduates for success in a variety of ministry roles.