The vast majority of youth ministers do not have a graduate degree from a seminary. The Center for Youth Ministry Training recognizes that the retreat-based educational model is attractive to veterans who would like to earn their MA in Youth Ministry, but who do not want to leave their church.
CYMT offers a discounted program rate of $9,000 per year to youth ministers who have served in full-time youth ministry more than five years.
Veteran youth ministers participating in the CYMT graduate residency will receive all the same benefits of the training church program except that they will not receive a youth ministry coach. The CYMT staff will be available to veteran residents for consultation and coaching, but they will not receive the weekly coaching that is a part of the traditional graduate residency.
The $9,000 program costs cover:
- All tuition and fees associated with the MAYM degree through Memphis Theological Seminary
- All expenses during MAYM retreats including food, lodging, and transportation to and from retreats
- All expenses associated with national youth ministry events that are a part of the CYMT experience, including registration, travel, lodging, and food.
Some FAQs from veteran youth ministers:
- Will the practicum be too elementary? Veteran participants have enjoyed the practicum experience as a reminder of practical aspects of the ministry that they should be doing, as a way to improve their ministry skills, and as an opportunity to share their wisdom with others.
- Can I do this and do full-time ministry at my church? Yes, we have had veteran residents participate in every class. All of them had full-time jobs and families. Of course, adding graduate level course work to a full-time job and family is difficult, but the retreat-based model makes it doable.
- Will I be the oldest? The average age of a CYMT graduate resident is 26. Many of the residents are 22-24, but in most cohorts we have two folks in their 30s or 40s. In any given year, there are approximately six residents over the age of 30.
- How will I pay for it? We recommend talking with your church and potentially create a service agreement that would provide added incentive for your church to fund or help fund your education.