The responsibility of youth ministers includes providing ministerial and educational services, and even spiritual counseling to child and adolescent parishioners. There are some schools that offer programs in this field such as an Associate of Arts in Youth Ministry.
A.A. Programs in Youth Ministry
Students enrolled in inter-disciplinary Associate’s degree programs in youth ministry are expected to complete coursework, which combines classes in faith and theology with instruction about adolescent behavior and childhood development. Students are trained in speaking to adolescents and expected to undergo hands-on training in counseling. Graduates are expected to be able to apply what they have learned about faith to the modern-day struggles of young people, in addition to assisting adolescents and children in shaping their spiritual lives.
Admission criteria related to an associate’s degree program in youth ministry typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma; they are also expected to passionate about gaining more knowledge about Christianity. They are expected to show devotion to theological study. Students enrolled in many associate’s degree programs in the field are also expected to complete general education classes in the humanities, sociology, psychology, mathematics, public speaking and composition.
Coursework in an associate’s degree program in youth ministry usually comprise individual research, classroom discussion, and group activities. Participation in supervised activities within a youth ministry environment is often expected of students. Coursework may include topic areas such as:
•Introduction to education
•Youth ministry internship
•Principles of leadership
•Youth crisis and intervention
•Principles of youth ministry
•Youth ministry management
•Old Testament and New Testament
•Adolescent and child development
Job and Wage Outlook
In 2012, there were about 18,000 directors of youth education and religious activities employed in the country(source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Most of them were hired by religious organizations while others were employed by family services and schools. In May 2012, according to the BLS, youth ministers earned an average annual wage of $37,280.
Continuing Education Choices
Students, who have enrolled in many associate’s degree programs in youth ministry, are allowed to use credits earned to seek admission to a 4-year institute that offer Bachelor’s degree programs. Those seeking continuing education could pursue a Bachelor of Science in Pastoral Studies, a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry or a Bachelor of Arts in Youth Ministry.