Youth Ministry

Youth Ministry’s Many Contexts

North Park University offers a unique, engaging degree program in youth ministry. Our urban setting and connections to local churches and organizations offer opportunities to gain valuable experience working with youth in a variety of settings. Your professors will give you a theological foundation to build on through your field training, allowing you to put theory into practice as you prepare for a career in ministry with young people and their families.

Youth Ministries
Why Study Youth Ministry?

Get ready to shape the future of our youth and culture. A degree in youth ministry will give you a solid foundation in the realities of youth culture, the theory and practice of youth ministry, and relevant biblical and theological topics. You’ll gain experience connecting with and mentoring teens, as well as with the skills you’ll need to work with their families and communities. You’ll be ready to engage in fun—and challenging—ministry opportunities with youth everywhere from churches to camps to nonprofit organizations to international missions.

Why Choose North Park

Why North Park?

Our youth ministry major is a joint program sponsored and taught by the undergraduate and Seminary faculties. Through a combination of coursework and field training, our youth ministry program will prepare you to minister effectively to young people and their families, churches, and communities in urban, suburban, or rural locales. The program will help you develop biblical and theological depth, spiritual maturity, management and leadership skills, and working knowledge with real-life applications.

Careers In Youth Ministry

A degree in youth ministry will prepare you to follow your call to ministry as a youth pastor, campus or camp pastor, or missionary. If a formal ministry setting isn’t for you, you could choose to pursue youth work in alternative settings, including in parachurch organizations and nonprofit ministries, social services, after-school programs, youth arts centers, college residence life, teaching, and coaching.

Interesting Classes

In Introduction to Urban Youth Ministry, you’ll explore the basic foundations and issues that impact youth ministry in an urban context, including an emphasis on gaining practical skills and knowledge needed to be a youth leader in a variety of city ministry settings.

Learn more about the courses and requirements for the youth ministry major.

Alumni Profiles

Whether starting a nonprofit to serve youth, like Lindsay (Claar) Smith C’04, or becoming a youth pastor working in a church, like Evan Kolding C’06, North Park’s youth ministry alumni are prepared to go wherever ministry takes them.

Read more about Lindsay and Evan.

Lindsey Smith, Youth Ministry alumnus

Evan Kolding, Youth Ministry alumnus

Meet the Faculty

Dr. Daniel White Hodge's expertise is in the socio-theological aspects of hip hop culture, and in his classes he teaches project-based learning from a biblical perspective.

Learn more about Dr. White Hodge.

Dan White Hodge


Youth ministry majors complete two supervised field experiences with youth from a variety of cultures and backgrounds. North Park’s unique blend of location and relationships with local organizations creates a wide range of opportunities. You can serve with a ministry in our own diverse urban neighborhood, or could find placement at an organizations around the county. You can also gain experience through outreach options with University Ministries, including after-school tutoring programs, inner-city churches, homeless advocacy groups, or suburban youth organizations.

Center for Youth Ministry Studies

North Park’s Center for Youth Ministry Studies provides opportunities for students, current youth workers, and seasoned veterans in the field for continuing education, developing resources, building partnerships, and participating in networks that advocate for youth within the organizations and systems that impact them. Students gain firsthand experience through practicum and internship opportunities throughout Chicago, in addition to conferences, webinars, lectures, ministry internships, and job fairs. Check out CYMS.