Youth Ministry Major or Minor

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree or minor in Youth Ministry has been approved by the Course of Study Advisory Committee to meet educational requirements for ordination as an elder/deacon in the Church of the Nazarene.



School of Theology & Christian Ministry

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The youth ministry major is designed for students called to full-time vocational ministry in either the church or parachurch setting to middle and high school youth. Students will be equipped with a strong biblical and theological foundation alongside practical tools to prepare and teach curriculum, navigate culture, and offer leadership. Some students will move immediately into ministry following graduation while others will continue their education with graduate studies. Some students pursue ordination alongside their youth ministry studies. This major is designed to meet the educational requirements for ordination.

This exciting degree opportunity is ideal for those who wish to influence the next generations for Jesus Christ. With nearly 65 percent of the population in many countries under the age of 25, the need for youth ministry continues to grow. Millions of teens in the U.S. are living without foundation or focus. They are looking for role models, heroes and mentors. They need followers of Christ to tell them about Jesus.

Youth Ministry Students Are:

  • Creative thinkers who are able to operate within the boundaries of rules and requirements.
  • Communicators who easily use a variety of media and messaging.
  • Mature believers with an eagerness to relate to young people — and their families — where they are.
  • Leaders who stay in touch with the current culture of our youth.
  • Leaders who can equip laypersons to engage in youth ministry.

    Community Experience

    Rather than a semester or year-long intensive experience in ministry, students begin serving in a local church as sophomores, taking an increased role of leadership as juniors and seniors, working under the guidance of a youth pastor. This hands-on practical experience takes place alongside classroom learning to put flesh on concepts that could otherwise remain as theory.

Laura Widstrom

Laura Widstrom, Professor

Dr. Widstrom grew up deeply impacted by her own experience in youth ministry and loves the opportunity of making the love of Jesus tangible to teens who are wrestling through that transitional stage of life. Dr. Widstrom enjoys tailoring curriculum to meet the specific needs of a group and utilizing camp and retreat settings as context for teaching. Interspersed with classroom theory, students will have opportunity to practice youth ministry in a local church setting and to be mentored both by academic advisor and supervising pastor.

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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