If you are interested in working with young people in developing their faith and spirituality; leading discussions of issues important to youth; and/or working in a church context, consider adding a Youth Ministry Certificate to your major.
This program is open to you regardless of major. The curriculum integrates courses from Bible and religion, conflict resolution and social work and includes a youth ministry placement (10–12 hours a week for one semester) in a local congregation.
Our students have found the placement experience personally rewarding—as added benefits, it’s an attractive addition to a resume and it provides training for future employment.
Through the practicum, you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learned in your other courses and reflect on your own spiritual growth and understanding of ministry. This experience will also give you an opportunity to consider ways of discipling and mentoring youth in the church.
Ministry Inquiry Program
Bethel can also help you take advantage of ministry opportunities separate from – though related to – the Youth Ministry Certificate program. Students have enjoyed and benefited from participating with local churches in various ministries, or from taking advantage of the Ministry Inquiry Program (MIP).
Participation in MIP provides students with leadership opportunities in a host congregation where members and pastors have agreed to involve the student in a variety of pastoral ministry experiences, such as preaching, leading worship, planning youth activities and visiting members. These internships in a church provide students with a viable opportunity to test their pastoral gifts and interests in a welcoming congregational context.
MIP is open to students of any denomination, who will be placed in a Mennonite Church USA congregation. For more information, or to make arrangements for MIP participation, contact Peter Goerzen, campus pastor.
Bethel required me to take into account other faiths and other cultures in a way that aided in my personal/spiritual formation and self-identity.
—Tory Doerksen ’04, youth ministry
Post-graduate careers include:
- Working as a youth pastor in a congregation
- Working in a social or community program focused on youth
Graduates have served as youth pastors, gone on to take seminary classes and served as a group leader for Mennonite Mission Network’s Service Adventure program.
- Tory Doerksen – ’04
Tory’s strong interests in both music and ministry made him the perfect candidate for Bethel’s Youth Ministry Certificate program. As a Bethel student, Tory experienced a tangible effect of a liberal arts education. “The greatest gift of the Youth Ministry Certificate [was] the mentoring from different areas of expertise – ministerial as well as the social work and psychology departments,” Tory says.
He also recalls the challenging environment – academically and spiritually – that Bethel is known for. “Bethel required me to take into account other faiths and other cultures in a way that aided in my personal/spiritual formation and self-identity,” he says.
After graduating from Bethel, Tory worked for a year as youth minister at Shalom Mennonite Church in Newton and studied at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary-Great Plains extension in North Newton, before becoming a group leader for Mennonite Mission Network’s Service Adventure program in Lebanon, Ore. Tory finished his M.Div. degree at George Fox Evangelical Seminary in Portland, Ore., and in June 2010 joined the pastoral staff of First Mennonite Church, Denver, as pastor for child and youth faith formation.
- Alan Stucky – ’03
After graduating from Bethel, Alan began M.Div. studies at the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary-Great Plains extension in North Newton while also serving as youth pastor at Buhler (Kan.) Mennonite Church. During that time, he worked to create a joint youth group for youth from several churches in the Buhler area.
Alan then moved Elkhart, Ind., to finish his degree at the AMBS main campus. He is now pastor of Pleasant Valley Mennonite Church in Harper, Kan.