Program Requirements

Students who complete a bachelor of arts (BA) degree in youth ministry will develop biblical and theological depth, personal spiritual maturity, management and leadership skills, and the working knowledge most needed to effectively minister to adolescents and their families. The youth ministry major is sponsored and taught by the Center for Youth Ministry Studies.

Major Requirements (BA)

Course descriptions for all YM courses are available at the bottom of this page.

Prerequisite and support courses:
  • One Old Testament biblical and theological studies (BTS) course
  • One New Testament BTS course
  • One Theology BTS course
36 semester hours (sh):
  • Required core youth ministry courses (33 sh) — YM 1510, 2010, 2410, 2710, 3010, 3020, 3910 (minimum of 2 sh), 4970, 4980, 4990
  • Elective courses (3 sh) — suggested courses are YM 3910, 4970


  • Initial application to enroll in the youth ministry major is made when students complete YM 1510 and YM 2710. Acceptance and advancement in the major are contingent upon academic performance and personal aptitude. Students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 or higher and a minimum grade of C in all prerequisite courses in order to enter as a youth ministry major.
  • All youth ministry majors will complete two supervised youth ministry field experiences. The internship (YM 4970) must be either full-time summer placement or part-time, nine-month placement during the school year in a church, parachurch, or community-service setting.

Minor Requirements

16 semester hours (sh)
  • Required courses — YM 1510, 2410, 3010, 4980

Course Descriptions

Click on the links below for course descriptions of all youth ministry courses. For a complete list of all North Park's programs and course offerings, review the academic catalog.

YM 1510 – Introduction to Youth Ministry
A survey of theoretical and developmental issues related to youth and youth ministry. Units will include biblical-theological basis for ministry, an overview of the theories of adolescent development and implications for youth ministry; and a survey of contemporary youth culture and suggested Christian responses. This course will also survey various developmental models for relational youth ministry. Students who intend to major in youth ministry should be concurrently enrolled in YM 2710.

YM 2010 – Urban and Multi Ethnic Youth Ministry
This course is an engagement with multi-ethnic & urban settings and connecting the youth worker/ pastor to the field of urban & multi-ethnic youth ministry. It explores the issues and systems that affect youth and youth ministry in urban contexts in North America, with a special focus on Chicago. There is an emphasis on the practical skills and knowledge needed by a leader in an urban multi-ethnic church, para-church, or community based setting. Students who have experience in urban settings are invited to use the course to further build on their experience and knowledge base and to inform their current and/or future ministry. This course seeks to examine, engage, and develop a theology for the urban and multi-ethnic city through discussion, historical contexts, sociocultural analysis, theory, literature, film, Black Popular culture, Hip Hop, and the Word of God.

YM 2020 – Introduction to Camping Ministry
An introduction to the field of Christian camping. This course will familiarize students with key issues present in Christian camping such as the history and philosophy of Christian camping, programming, administration and maintenance, risk management, staff recruitment, marketing development of campers and staff, evaluation, and legal concerns.

YM 2410 – Adolescent Development and Issues
This course provides an exploration of development theories as they relate to stages of change: physical, cognitive, social, moral, and faith. These theories help us understand various issues faced in adolescence such as peer associations, family and personal identity, and specific adolescent disorders. This course will also deal with basic assessment, intervention, and referral strategies.

YM 2710 – Youth Ministry Practicum
This experience includes the integration of theory, practice, and reflection in a supervised youth ministry situation. Students will volunteer five to eight hours a week in local churches or para-church organizations, in addition to regular class meetings. Co-requisite: YM 1510.

YM 3010 – Curriculum Development
This course addresses specific methods of designing, implementing, and evaluating youth ministry curriculum and group processes. The learning experience will include a critical analysis of current curriculum as well as designing specialized curriculum for particular contexts. The student will be able to adapt and create effective youth ministry programs. Having taken an Old or New Testament course is an asset.

YM 3020 – Discipleship Theory and Practice
This course aims to provide a comprehensive and practical experience in being a disciple, making disciples, and training disciples. It is intended to equip students to do person-context and church-context training. This course is taught in conjunction with North Park Seminary.

YM 3910 – Topics in Youth Ministry
A selection of intensive courses taught by leaders in their respective fields. These courses are offered to North Park students for credit and are available as non-credit workshops for youth workers in service. When taken for credit each course includes preparatory reading and a summary paper and/or project. One course will be offered each semester in conjunction with North Park Theological Seminary. Options may include: Post-modernism and Youth Ministry; Ministering to Teenagers in Crisis; Urban Youth Ministry Issues; Spiritual Formation and the Youth Worker; Developing Student Leadership Teams; Involving and Developing Students for Mission and Service; College Student Ministries; Camping and Retreats; Worship and Youth Ministry.

YM 4910 – Independent Study in Youth Ministry
This course allows students to work independently on projects in a field of study not offered in the curriculum. Consent of instructor required.

YM 4930 – Directed Research
Students will work under the direction of a faculty mentor on a novel research project. Permission of the faculty mentor is required prior to enrollment in this course. This course may be repeated, though the department may limit the number of credit hours this course satisfies towards the major. Please see the departmental degree requirements for details.

YM 4970 – Internship in Youth Ministry
Youth ministry majors are required to serve in a key leadership role in a church, parachurch, camp, or community-service setting. The goal is practical, supervised experience combined with reflection and evaluation. It must be either a full-time summer placement or part-time, nine-month placement during the school. Consent of instructor required. Please refer to the section in the catalog pertaining to internship requirements and guidelines. Student must be of third or fourth year standing.

YM 4980 – Leadership and Management of Youth Ministry
This course delves into leadership and management issues in the field of youth ministry. Issues addressed include managing finances, managing risk, building a team ministry, and organizing time, office, events, and meetings. Student must be of third or fourth year standing.

YM 4990 – Fourth Year Seminar
Capstone course for youth ministry majors to integrate their experience and knowledge by focusing on a major research paper or project. Findings are presented through both seminar and written formats. Student must be of fourth year standing.

Program requirements