Students interested in pursuing a degree in youth ministry can choose a bachelor's degree or a master's degree program. These programs are designed to help students develop counseling skills, understand youth culture and build strong communication and leadership skills. Students will not only learn how to develop new youth ministry programs but also to evaluate existing ones.
Bachelor's Degree in Youth Ministry
A bachelor's degree is often the entry-level degree required for those seeking to enter the field of youth ministry. Students pursuing a bachelor's degree in youth ministry learn the skills needed to teach and counsel young people in the spirit of biblical values. Degree candidates study Christian principles while mastering the leadership and communication skills required to minister to youths. This degree is available as a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Youth Ministry. The Bachelor of Arts degree includes a foreign language requirement.
To gain admission to most youth ministry bachelor's degree programs students are required to submit high school transcripts, letters of recommendation and an admission's essay. Some institutions also require standardized test scores.
In addition to a core theology curriculum that focuses on today's youth, students pursuing a bachelor degree in youth ministry also enroll in liberal arts and humanities courses. These include public speaking or the history of world religions. Other courses study:
- Pastoral counseling
- Youth ministry communication skills
- Intercultural learning
- Global youth culture
- Principles of children's ministry
Master's Degree in Youth Ministry
Master's degree programs in youth ministry are designed to teach students the creation, implementation and evaluation of youth ministry programs. Emphasis is placed on the biblical and theological structure of youth ministry programs, allowing successful degree candidates to assume leadership and managerial roles in the youth ministry field.
Continuing Education Information
Students who have successfully completed bachelor's degree programs in youth ministry are eligible to seek youth ministry employment. Many institutions offer seminars and classes designed to allow youth ministry professionals to stay current with the ever changing youth culture and the problems faced by today's youth.
Salary Information and Career Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment opportunities for clergy will increase by 6% over the decade spanning 2014-2024, and employment for directors of religious education and activities is expected to grow by 4% during the same period. Jobs for youth ministers and other clergy should be more abundant in heavily populated urban areas. The median salary for directors of religious education and activities was $38,780 as of May 2015.
Embarking on a career in youth ministry begins with a bachelor's degree program in the field, where students gain the education they'll need in counseling, communication and biblical principles. Expertise and administration skills can then be furthered at the master's level.