Master of Arts in Youth Ministry Leadership

Get the training you need to become a youth minister with the Master of Arts in Youth Ministry Leadership degree

The Youth Ministry Leadership program is for those who care about reaching the next generation and their families. If that’s you — seeking to evangelize and disciple youth and their families through the power of Jesus Christ and to equip others for youth ministry — you’ll be at home in the MA in Youth Ministry Leadership.

What You'll Learn 

  • Develop a biblical philosophy and effective strategies for youth and family ministry
  • Integrate appropriately current trends of youth and family culture
  • Demonstrate necessary leadership skills to plan, direct, and evaluate ministry practices for youth and their families

Program Length 

Three years, although you may finish sooner with transfer credit and/or by testing out of selected courses.

Why Study Youth Ministry Leadership at CIU?

  • Highly engaged, hands-on online classes with students from all over the world
  • Caring, scholarly, and experienced faculty who are practitioners of the subjects they teach and who can provide both expert academic support and individualized spiritual guidance
  • Intentional integration of Bible knowledge, spiritual formation, and ministry skill development
  • Mentored field experience built into the curriculum

Program Options that Fit Your Experience Level

We offer two program tracks, one for students with no previous studies in Bible or theology, and one for students who have at least 30 semester hours of Bible, theology, or Church history.

Read the program details for course requirements.

Career and Ministry Opportunities for Youth Ministry Leadership Graduates

Youth Ministry Leadership students come to CIU with a passion to reach the next generation with the gospel of Christ. The degree teaches the biblical knowledge and strategic skills you will need to work with youth and their families, as well as preparing you to equip others for ministry to youth and their families.

  • Church and Campus Ministry: Serving as a church youth pastor or as a member of campus ministry team
  • Camp and Retreat Ministry: Working with youth and their families in camp and retreat ministry contexts
  • Wilderness and Adventure Education Ministry: Disciplining others through experiential learning in outdoor settings

Master of Arts in Youth Ministry Leadership Admission Requirements

  • Completed application
  • $25 application fee
  • Official transcripts for highest earned degree and any master’s degree work
  • Church leader reference
  • Application Essay (800 words total, typed)
  • Minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA

Degree Program Faculty

Photo of Karen Grant, CIU Professor of Youth Ministry, Family & Culture

Karen Grant

Professor of Youth Ministry, Family and Culture

B.A., California State University, Chico; M.A., California State University, Stanislaus; M.A., Moody Bible Institute; Bible Certificate, D.Min., Columbia International University



A photo of David Olshine, professor of Youth Ministry, Family, and Culture at CIU.

David Olshine

Professor of Youth Ministry, Family, and Culture

B.G.S., Ohio University; M.Div., Asbury Theological Seminary; D.Min., The Eastern Baptist Seminary  


Sam Rubinson, CIU professor

Sam Rubinson

Professor of Youth Ministry, Family, and Culture

B.S., Valley Forge Christian College; M.A., Columbia International University; D.Min., Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary


On Campus
Credit Hours
Approx. Program Length
24 months