Youth Ministry 202

Course Description

Whether you’ve been associated with youth ministry for a couple of years or a couple of decades, this course will help you deepen your understanding of ministry to youth and your role in this most important mission of the Church. The course is designed for those dedicated to mentoring youth into adult faith in the Roman Catholic Church – whether you are a dedicated youth minister, coordinator of youth ministry or diocesan staff person. It builds on the principles articulated in the U.S. Bishops’ document "Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry" (discussed in the STEP course YM 101). While YM 101 is not a prerequisite for this course, a thorough understanding of Renewing the Vision is assumed in this course. This course uses Dr. Robert McCarty’s The Vision of Catholic Youth Ministry: Fundamentals, Theory and Practice as our primary guide. Participants are required to have a copy of this book to participate in the course.

Course Content

Unit 1

  1. The theological underpinnings of Catholic Youth Ministry
  2. Christian Discipleship in Youth Ministry

Unit 2

  1. The state of Catholic adolescents today: myths and trends

Unit 3

  1. The places and dimensions of youth ministry - Family, Catholic Schools and Cultural Dimensions

Unit 4

  1. Organization and Leadership considerations for youth ministry.

Course Format

  • Five weeks in duration, with one week for orientation.
  • Typically 15-20 students in each course.
  • Supplemental readings are provided to encourage further exploration of topic, internet links provided for all readings.
  • Written assignments (150-200 words) required.
  • Facilitator moderated chat sessions with students in course.

Required Texts

  • All participants will be required to have their own copy of The Vision of Catholic Youth Ministry: Fundamentals, Theory, and Practice (edited by Robert J. McCarty; St. Mary’s Press 2005).
  • A copy of “The National Study of Youth and Religion: Analysis of the Population of Catholic Teenagers and Their Parents” will be sent to each participant when the course begins.
  • All other course content will be available online in the course.

Participation Requirements

  • Read assigned texts; keep notes, questions, and comments for class discussion.
  • Participate in the class discussion using the Forums area: post at least 2 comments, questions, or responses per unit.
  • Write 150-200 words in response to the assignment in each unit.
  • Participate in at least 3 scheduled chat sessions throughout the course.
  • Complete the course evaluation.

Time Expectations

3 to 5 hours per week, depending on your learning style and schedule.

Course Certificate

A certificate of completion awarding 20 contact hours will be sent upon completion of all course requirements.

Meet the Developer

Mr. Christopher Culver, M.Div.

Mr. Christopher Culver, M.Div.

Chris Culver completed his Masters of Divinity in 2000 from the University of Notre Dame. He has over ten years experience as a catechist, and five years experience as associate director in the Fort Wayne/South Bend Diocesan Office of Youth Ministry. He has completed a national certificate in youth ministry. He currently teaches at St Joseph's Catholic High School in South Bend. He loves the work and challenges that come with youth ministry. He is married and has three children, Ben, Sophie and Joshua. Chris is also an officer in the United States Navy Reserve.