School of Theology & Christian Ministry
The youth ministries major at Anderson University prepares students for ministry to youth, including church-based youth and children’s ministries, youth camps, urban ministries, or other settings.
We recognize that church families need passionate leaders who can appreciate the developmental changes in the lives of their children and teens, and who care about the variety of contexts in which they live. This stand-alone major is strongly rooted in Bible and ministry courses, which prepares students not only for immediate ministry work, but also further graduate theological education.
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How can I get involved in the youth ministries program?
- Graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Youth Ministries in three years.
- Graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Youth Ministries in four years.
What classes will I take?
Among the classes in the 28-hour major are:
- Church Ministry
- Christian Ethics
- Methods in Biblical Exegesis
- Ministry Seminar
- Theology in a Ministry Context
What kind of jobs can I anticipate after graduation?
Our graduates serve in church ministry, social agencies, the missionary field, teaching at the collegiate level, or para-church organizations (such as Youth For Christ and Young Life).
Many of our students transition into graduate programs at the Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry, but others have attended Claremont School of Theology, Duke Divinity School, Union Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University, Fuller Theological Seminary, and Asbury Theological Seminary.
Across the United States, more than 50% of majors in Christian ministry studies are from disciplines associated with the liberal arts and humanities.
Christian ministry majors, especially when combined with another major, find careers in social work, the legal profession (lawyers, law enforcement, judges), government work (e.g., international diplomacy), international business, and peace and conflict resolution.
What experiences will I have?
Along with classroom-based instruction, students in the youth ministries major will complete a practicum, gaining ministry experience in a setting appropriate to their future work. Practicums are customized according to each student’s interests and ministry goals. These are typically done in local churches, but practicums have also included work in summer youth camps, national parks, inner-city ministries, national church agencies, and other settings.
Participation in service
- 80% of AU Christian ministry students specialize in Christian ministry.
- 30 students a year complete internships in churches and related agencies.
- Experiential learning is stressed through urban studies courses in Chicago, New York City, and Washington, D.C.
- The AU Department of Christian Ministry stresses the Bible as the basis of ministry training.
Ministry preparation within Anderson University’s School of Theology and Christian Ministry is rooted in some important values. First of all, we value Scripture. Faculty take the Bible seriously and encourage students to read it, take seriously its claims, become familiar with its stories, and work with critical questions about how it came to be and how it is used.
We value good theology. Theology is as much a practice as a system of belief, and good ministry involves sound thinking about important issues. It doesn’t mean doing so alone, however, nor does it mean carrying around a set of stale answers. Good theology is a living, breathing activity done with others in light of particular challenges.
We value people and the many places where they can be found. We don’t assume that reviewing someone’s status updates, knowing if they are a “Boomer” or “Gen X,” or classifying them as “red” or “blue” is the same as knowing that person. There is more to every human being created in God’s image than the labels that person might be given, and we encourage students to become familiar not only with categories, but with people in particular ministry contexts.
We value the Church. We affirm that ministry is a characteristic of authentic Christian community. We see ministry as being open so that God’s good news works through each person’s giftedness to affect individuals for good at the point of their real needs. It is no one’s private property. We affirm the ministry of congregations and encourage students to have a meaningful connection with a particular setting for ministry—to observe, to offer their contribution, to learn, to critique when necessary, and to grow.
We value ministry. We recognize that callings differ. At the same time, we do not encourage the kind of specialization that would keep us apart or make us competitors. There should be a connection and a coherence about Christian ministry, which is why we don’t have a separate major for every one of its forms. In the same way, we work on building character more than crafting charisma, and we value the cultivation of wisdom more than the collection of techniques.
We value education. We help students draw on deep wells that will sustain their work rather than encourage the strategy of scrambling for resources to “plug in” to their program. We embrace and explore critical questions, and we encourage students to question certainties that are reached prematurely.
We value you. At graduation, we would much rather shake the hands of people who have been changed by important questions from various fields of knowledge, than wave goodbye to tourists who had a nice time and are leaving with a few items they picked up along the way. We consider students' whole academic career—and their other educational experiences—to be part of their preparation for ministry. We encourage them to view life itself as a learning opportunity.
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