Youth ministry is a challenging calling that requires broad preparation — from studying theology and church organization to learning about worship planning to understanding the pressures affecting youth today. To make a difference in the lives of young people through Christ-centered leadership, effective youth pastors need to know how to build relationships, motivate people, handle conflict, counsel individuals in crisis, work with small and large groups and create vision for a purposeful ministry.
As a Christian liberal arts institution, Goshen College prepares you with strong communication and critical thinking skills as well as a wide knowledge base – including cross-cultural experiences – as the foundation for your professional development. Mentoring and campus-wide Christian development and leadership opportunities will help you become the spiritually mature youth minister that congregations and church organizations seek.
Mentors for the journey
The director of youth ministry will advise and mentor you throughout the program as you develop as a Christ-centered leader — discussing your specific vocational interests, academic progress, spiritual development and interests for hands-on experiences. You will be expected to take part in the life of a local congregation and to meet with the pastor on a regular basis. These experiences will help shape your emerging pastoral identity.
Opportunities for observation
You will be expected to observe a local youth ministry program over a one- to two-year period — evaluating the program, helping plan an event and perhaps providing some leadership.
Scholarship and financial assistance
Students preparing for ministry or mission work are eligible to apply for the Swallen and Ott Scholarships. The college also offers numerous awards to students who are preparing for a future in ministry.