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Who I amReside in St. Louis Missouri currently, Lived in California & Colorado.Husband.Father.Pastor.Football Enthusiast.Teacher.Learner.Dreamer.Reader.Friend. [thoughts & comments blogged here are my reflections living life trusting Jesus as God]

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Youth Ministry Degree

Well, JOSH inspired me to post my own thoughts on youth ministry degrees.

I value my higher education and what it helped do in clarifying God's call on my life. I value Christian Universities/Colleges that provide wisdom, experience, encouragement and education for youth workers.

My own experience was not that great in terms of my youth ministry degree. I hold 3 degrees. A Bachelors in Youth Ministry, AA in Biblical & Theological Studies (which is almost a Bachelors), Bachelors in Psychology with a focus in Human Sexuality. Out of those 3, my Biblical & Theological Studies as well as my Psychology degrees have helped me the most in ministry. Here is why...

Bottom line is I care about people. To care for them, holistically, I need to know what is going on with them-holistically. Emotionally, Physically, Spiritually, socially all these aspects affect our everyday life. For me to understand why people do what they do, the bents some people have to act certain ways based on their lifestyle, growth patters, cognitive developments, etc. Especially with teens in the bombardment years they are going through with so many changes happening all at once. My Psychology background has helped me numerous times to be able to relate, encourage & really evaluate situations before I speak into them. It has also helped me have better relationships with parents cause I don't try and fix anything, but know how to get them help in the proper directions.

I also know that a roll of mine is to disciple students. Expose them to Christ's love through God's grace and encourage them to grow in their relationship with Him. Understanding the Bible, continually growing in my knowledge of the scriptures and educating myself has helped me encourage and challenge students to rethink their life based on God's direction. A great quote is to use 1st century eyes with 21st century questions in regard to our relationship with Christ (N.T. Wright). We have to understand the Bible, as it was written with the context, setting, cultural cues & implications then for us to be able to allow it to permeate our lives now. Truth doesn't change. God's message is still the same-we are sinners, loved & adored by our creator, redeemed through grace to live a kingdom life now & forever. But how we live out this relationship is different today than in the 1st Century (and before that really).

I am planning on continuing my education. Probably with a Masters in Biblical Studies or Psychology {or both if I win the lottery}. Through it all what has really educated me the most for youth ministry-experience life right along side students & families. To wrestle with my faith, while others wrestle with theirs in a community that encourages and challenges authenticity.

If you are a Youth Worker, pursue education. But it doesn't have to be a Youth Ministry based degree to be a great youth worker. My vote-go to school and while at school intern/serve your butt off. All of my youth ministry books hit a dumpster a long time ago-I crack open a Psych book often, but mostly for advanced personal education & challenges. I read non-stop books to challenge my faith and biblical understand/worldview. But the best education is the countless hours I spend in the lives of families and teenagers.


Skip Crust said...


Loving the blog, found Kim's too. I'm an avid blogger and Twit too! Good to catch up w/you. Heard from Bezek that you'd moved to the OC. Blessings on you my friend!

Skip Crust said...

BTW...I've got morethandodgeball in my Google Reader too. I met, worked with, and hung out w/Josh in Feb at Group's Youth Worker's Conference in Cincinnati. He's an AWESOME guy.

Long story, I'll have to tell you some time.