Youth Ministry and Christian Education

The major in Christian education and youth ministry is designed to give you optimal learning in Christian ministry. You will take required courses in both Christian education and youth ministry and then elective courses that best suit your interests. The purpose of the major is to equip you for entry-level positions in a local church or para-church organization in either Christian education or youth ministry. The major also prepares you for graduate studies in one or both of these areas. At the end of the program, you will be equipped to examine different areas of ministry, articulate a basic philosophy of educational or youth ministry, and develop your abilities in Christian leadership.

To help fulfill this goal, three primary areas of study are required. First, you will be exposed to the theory and practice of Christian education and youth ministry. Second, you will be academically and spiritually grounded through a foundation of courses in biblical and theological studies. And, third, you will be exposed to broader areas that influence ministry through courses in the social sciences.

The Christian education and youth ministry major affords opportunities for immediate employment, although graduate studies are encouraged if you are seeking a career in either Christian education or youth ministry.

Biblical and theological studies department homepage

Major requirements

CEY 210 - Foundations of Practical Theology
This course examines the issues involved in Practical Theology. We begin with the biblical / philosophical/theological foundations of ministry, and move into such practical issues such as discipleship, small groups, leadership, administration, dealing with difficult issues, and planning activities. The goal is to equip students to begin formulating a vision for ministry as they prepare to enter into leadership positions in churches and other organizations. (4 credits)
CEY 215 - Spiritual Formation, Discipleship and Youth
In this course students will explore the identity of the church by engaging biblical, historical, cultural, and missional perspectives, grounding the life and ministry of the church in God?s ministry to the world in Jesus Christ. More specifically, this course will focus on the nature and role of youth ministry as an expression of this ministry as students are called to enter into the experiences of young people within contemporary Western culture. Prerequisite: REL 250. (4 credits)
CEY 401 - Integrated Field Experience I
The focus of CEY401 and CEY402 is intentional exposure to various aspects of practical ministry in either Christian education or youth ministry in a local church or para-church organization, for two consecutive semesters. The practical experience must be under supervision of an on-site supervisor and the professor of Christian Education. Weekly seminars for discussion and reflection on ministry and preparation for the writing of a major paper on the philosophy of ministry are conducted on campus. (2 credits) Prerequisites: Senior class standing and permission of instructor.
CEY 402 - Integrated Field Experience II
The focus of CEY401 and CEY402 is intentional exposure to various aspects of practical ministry in either Christian education or youth ministry in a local church or para-church organization, for two consecutive semesters. The practical experience must be under supervision of an on-site supervisor and the professor of Christian Education. Weekly seminars for discussion and reflection on ministry and preparation for the writing of a major paper on the philosophy of ministry are conducted on campus. (2 credits) Prerequisites: senior class standing and permission of instructor.
REL 472SR - Bible, Theology and Vocation: Exploring Texts and Contexts
No course description available.
Electives:
CEY 310 - Leadership Development
CEY 315 - Philosophy of Adolescent Ministry
An investigation and formulation of a philosophy of ministry to and with adolescents. Various theoretical issues will be examined which will inform and assist students in the development of a philosophy which is biblically grounded, developmentally sensitive, culturally relevant, and theologically contextualized to the world of contemporary adolescence. (4 credits; alternate years, consult department) Prerequisite: Junior or senior class standing.
CEY 320 - Teaching and Learning Strategies
CEY 330 - Special Topics in CE/YM
This course provides an opportunity to focus on different topics in a more specific and in-depth way. The topics will relate to contemporary issues in either Christian education or youth ministry and adolescent studies. (2 or 4 credits; non-yearly, consult department)
CEY 335x - Theology and Church Ministry
In this course students will explore the identity of the church by engaging biblical, historical, cultural, and missional perspectives, grounding the life and ministry of the church in God?s ministry to the world in Jesus Christ. More specifically, this course will focus on the nature and role of youth ministry as an expression of this ministry as students are called to enter into the experiences of young people within contemporary Western culture. Prerequisite: REL 250. (4 credits; alternate years, consult department)
CEY 380 - Narrative and Spiritual Formation

Cognate Requirements:

BTS 310 - Christian Spirituality
A study of the meaning, purpose and practices of Christian spirituality as this has been understood in the Christian tradition. The course emphasizes the practice of spiritual disciplines and the relevance of spirituality in our contemporary world. Prerequisite: BTS250. (2 credits)
BTS 328WI - Biblical Interpretation and Theology
An examination of the past and present methods and proposals for Biblical Interpretation and Biblical Theology. The course will analyze and critique various models for hermeneutics and theological interpretation and also assist students in constructing exegetical methods that are biblically based, theologically informed and culturally relevant. In this Writing Intensive course for Religion and CE/YM majors, students will develop research and writing skills that will benefit them in a variety of vocational paths within the field of religion. Prerequisite: BTS150. (4 credits) (Writing intensive)
BTS 350 - Theology and Popular Culture
This course explores the relationship between Christian faith and culture. It will begin by establishing a biblical and theological approach to cultural engagement, as well as a brief historical survey of how the Christian community has engaged issue of faith and culture in different historical and cultural moments. An important part of this course will be interdisciplinary exploration of the fields of "cultural theory" and "popular culture", specifically focusing upon what they have to contribute to different forms of Christian ministry. Finally, this course will prove the opportunity for students to begin to articulate what it means to live faithfully with a diversity of cultural contexts. Prerequisite: BTS250. (4 credits; alternate years, consult department)
Choose one course:
PSY 221SS - Developmental Psychology: Childhood
(4 credits)(IGE option under Self and Society) This course explores the development of the child from the prenatal period into adolescence. Children's physical, cognitive, emotional, personality, social, moral and faith development is examined. Psychological research methods for studying children are covered.
PSY 224 - Developmental Psychology: Adolescence
Adolescents experience many changes in a few short years as they transition from childhood to adulthood. This course explores the major psychological issues and theories in adolescent development with emphasis on cognitive development, self-concept, peer relationships and sexuality, among others.(4 credits)
PSY 225 - Developmental Psychology: Adulthood
This course explores psychological issues and theories in normal adult development, with emphasis on cognitive, social and personality functioning from young adulthood to old age.(4 credits)
Electives:
BTS 260 - Christian Ethics
A biblically based, theologically and historically informed study of both personal and social moral issues from a Christian perspective. (2 credits, offered at the discretion of the department, consult department)
BTS 290 - Christian Witness and Community Development
This course is an examination of Christian witness as verbal proclamation (evangelism), reasoned defense (apologetics), as a distinctive lifestyle and as social action (justice). Students will explore the meaning of the gospel, in the context of a biblical theology of God's holistic plan of redemption, and various models of evangelism, apologetics and justice, especially the model of Christian community development. (4 credits) Prerequisite: BTS250 or permission of instructor.
BTS 294 - Introduction to Christian Missions
A general overview of the biblical foundations and historical evolution of Christian mission, with special emphasis upon the modern development of mission theory and practice. (2 credits) Prerequisite: BTS250.
BTS 317 - Topics in Old Testament Studies
A study of a single book or larger section of the Old Testament or a current area of critical inquiry concerning the Old Testament. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the Pentateuch, the Historical Writings, the Prophets, and the Poetic and Wisdom books. Note: May be taken more than once provided a different topic is studied. Prerequisites: BTS150 and sophomore class standing. (2 credits)
BTS 322 - Topics in New Testament Studies
A study of a single book or larger section of the New Testament or a current area of critical inquiry concerning the New Testament. Possible topics include the Synoptic Gospels, the Book of Acts, the Johannine Literature, the Epistolary Literature, and the Apocalypse. (2 credits) Note: May be taken more than once provided a different topic is studied. Prerequisite: BTS150 and sophomore class standing.
BTS 370 - Calvin and Calvinism
A study of John Calvin's INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION, as well as a survey of other varieties of Reformed theology, including later Calvinism. Prerequisite: BTS250. (4 credits; alternate years, consult department)
BTS 375 - Topics in Theology
A study of one or more standard areas of theology, (such as the doctrines of Revelation, God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, Humanity, Salvation, the Church, and Last Things) from a classical as well as a contemporary perspective. Note: The course may be repeated for credit provided a different topic is studied. Prerequisites: BTS150 and BTS250. (4 credits; alternate years, consult department)
BTS 382 - Religion in America
Focusing on the Christian tradition, this course will examine the individual, institutions, movements and faith traditions which have shaped and contributed to the American religious experience. To understand both the variety of and unity within the pluralist religious landscape, the course will seek to evaluate the interrelationship between religion and the broader social, cultural and political aspects of the American experience. (4 credits)
BTS 385 - Topics in Religion
A study of an interdisciplinary area of religion, not sufficiently covered by other courses, in response to student or faculty interests. Note: This course may be repeated for credit provided a different topic is studied. Prerequisite: BTS250 or permission of instructor. (2-4 credits; alternate years, consult department)
BTS 390CC - World Religions
The major religions of the world are examined in the light of the Christian faith. This course emphasizes the interaction of religion and culture with a view to cross-cultural understanding. In-depth research into a specific topic related to world religions is required. (4 credits) (NWCore option under Cross-Cultural Engagement)

Total credits required: 48-52

Recommended courses:

Students with Youth Ministry interest should take:
CEY 315 - Philosophy of Adolescent Ministry
An investigation and formulation of a philosophy of ministry to and with adolescents. Various theoretical issues will be examined which will inform and assist students in the development of a philosophy which is biblically grounded, developmentally sensitive, culturally relevant, and theologically contextualized to the world of contemporary adolescence. (4 credits; alternate years, consult department) Prerequisite: Junior or senior class standing.
PSY 224 - Developmental Psychology: Adolescence
Adolescents experience many changes in a few short years as they transition from childhood to adulthood. This course explores the major psychological issues and theories in adolescent development with emphasis on cognitive development, self-concept, peer relationships and sexuality, among others.(4 credits)
Students with Christian Education interest should take:
CEY 320 - Teaching and Learning Strategies
CEY 380 - Narrative and Spiritual Formation
Recommended cognates:
KIN 345 - Outdoor Recreation
Knowledge and skill in outdoor recreation activities including backpacking, camping, climbing, hiking and orienteering. Safety rules, survival and compass/ map reading are emphasized. Prerequisite: sophomore class standing. (2 credits; non-yearly, consult department)
MUS 115AE - Music of the Church
(3 credits) (IGE option under Aesthetic Experience) This course provides an introduction to the fascinating and frustrating history of how Christians have used, created, manipulated, or avoided music in their worship of God. Although each of us comes from our own denominational, geographical, and cultural backgrounds, we will seek to understand the whole historical sweep of Christian church music, as well as our own place in that history.
THE 305 - Story and Worship
Christian worship, at its core, is remembering the story of God. This includes biblical stories, personal narratives, the Liturgical Year, church history (global and local), and the story journey of each worship service. This course asks why the church must tell its stories and provides specific tools for including stories within worship. This course is not primarily focused on storytelling as drama, but the role of the dramatic arts will not be overlooked. Students will be invited to seriously consider that the ancient Hebrew people had a dramatic anthology, and the class will examine together practical tools for restaging those biblical works for contemporary culture. (4 credits, alternate years, consult department)
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