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Major in Youth Ministry
Article by Rachelle Wiggins
Matthew 28:18-20 “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”
Just before his ascension into heaven, Jesus gave this mandate to every Christian, regardless of time or culture. While this command can be carried out in any vocation, some feel a special calling into full-time Christian ministry in order to dedicate time and effort to the task of making disciples. When it comes to making disciples, there is no better time to shape a heart than in the early years of a person’s life. Research shows that 85% of decisions for Christ are made before the age of eighteen and countless life-altering decisions are made during the middle school and high school years. If your desire is to communicate the love of Jesus to today’s youth and guide their hearts towards knowing and loving God then consider a youth ministry major.
A large number of students who set out on a youth ministry path can already articulate a clear sense of “calling” on their lives. They often carry a sense of urgency for bringing the Gospel of Jesus to hurting teenagers, and greatly desire to make a difference in the lives of this generation. This sense of call is important as a ministry career is challenging and constantly changing. Yet it can be indescribably rewarding for those committed to giving themselves in service to the Lord. In addition to a sense of calling, some personal traits and skills that may further reinforce your choice of major include:
In a degree where who you are is every bit as important as what you know, youth ministry demands a high level of integrity and a vibrant, active faith. Many programs emphasize hands-on volunteer work in a ministry setting and often require a ministry internship. Depending on your college, it’s possible you will attend special seminars, take developmental psychology and courses that prepare you for spiritual counseling and youth and family crisis intervention. Other classes you can expect to take include:
Most often a degree in youth ministry leads to a career in traditional church ministry. Youth pastor, family pastor and youth ministry director are the most common choices. But some graduates find their way into other ministry roles like Christian school teacher, community youth director, para-church ministry, camp ministry or youthwork overseas or in an inner-city setting. If you desire a career that focuses on bringing the Gospel to adolescents in a culturally relevant way and on making an eternal impact on the next generation, then welcome to a major in youth ministry!