Yale Youth Ministry Resources, Training & Programming

Welcome to the Yale Youth Ministries resources page! We hope this collection of resources for youth ministry will enhance your knowledge and understanding on various topics surrounding youth ministry training and programming. We have organized the information by topic as well as resource type. Feel free to browse through the information to get a sense of what is available or dive right into a topic you want to know more about. We hope our youth ministry resources will help support youth ministries throughout the world by providing access to free resources, training, and programming.

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Who Can Benefit from Our Youth Ministries Resources?

Our primary audience for these resources for youth ministry includes members of the clergy and those working in youth ministry programs. The information can also be beneficial to those looking for youth ministry training as there are various modules, courses, and videos you can access to assist with your development. If you are constructing youth ministry programming, many of these courses and modules, along with details regarding forming a vision, fostering youth leadership, and developing best practices, are available for you to reference as needed.

Even if you are not directly involved in youth ministry programming, many of Yale’s Youth Ministry resources are ideal for theological enrichment and discussion. Some of our “hot-button” topics may provide you with details that are otherwise challenging to find, or our Bible study resources could help you encourage a small group at your congregation.

Regardless of who you are and what you’re looking for, we hope you are able to find it here. If you have any questions, concerns, or wonderings, visit our contact page to get in touch with us.

How Can These Resources Be Used?

Yale’s youth ministries resources are for personal and professional use. Our resources come in a variety of mediums, from curriculum to written articles to video interviews with theologians and practitioners to sermons to complete online training resources with discussion questions and study guides.

With such a wide array of resources and topics, it’s possible to discover new facets and possibilities in youth ministry, what it entails, and how it can be enriched and expanded. So, whether you’re an individual looking for a way to grow personally within your faith, or you’re a youth leader wanting to design or enhance your current youth ministry program or training, see what’s available for youth ministries below and check back as new resources are added regularly.

Vision, Training, and Safety

Without vision, the people perish… [Proverbs 29:18a]

Every youth ministry needs a clearly stated vision.. This vision should be developed carefully and with the input of those involved in the larger mission of the church Youth ministry leaders also need thoughtful and intentional training about creating spaces of unconditional love, acceptance and support for young people.

For a youth program to thrive, it needs the support of the entire congregation, and this support is required for everything from safety training to recruitment to integration within the faith community. The vision, training, and safety resources provided here can help ensure that your youth ministry program has covered all necessary aspects of working with children while focusing on their wellbeing and care.

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Training Modules: Learn from leading theologians and pastors with “Recruiting, Training and Supervising Youth Workers and Volunteers”; prioritize maintaining boundaries, creating church safety guidelines, and instituting a system of training with “Promulgating and Implementing Church Safety Guidelines.”

Curricular and Sample Materials: Gain access to checklists, questionnaires, and disclosure forms useful for any youth ministry program; discover ways to prepare for parent-guardian meetings.

Articles and Readings: Access articles about integrating youth into a wider congregation; read open letters to youth ministers from Eric D. Barreto, Amanda Mbuvi, Matthew Croasmun, Michal Beth Dinkler, and Allen Hilton.

Best Practice Videos: Find ways to build your ministry when you’re first starting out; discover ways to minister effectively with parents and families.

Fostering Youth Leadership

Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. [1 Timothy 4:12]

Developing youth leadership skills is essential to equipping youth for future success, and for creating and maintaining a vital and impactful youth ministry program.

Today’s young leaders will shape the churches of tomorrow. Encouraging them to take ownership of their youth ministry and to become full, active members of a faith community not only recognizes their worth and value as people of the Lord, but provides a pathway to a future of flourish.

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Training Modules: Learn more about the spiritual practice of discernment with “Fostering Vocational Discernment”; explore the benefits and importance of providing leadership opportunities to students through “Cultivating Student Leadership.”

Curricular and Sample Materials: Help youth understand their purpose and the joy it brings with “Joy on Purpose”; explore a lesson entitled, “Worth the Wait,” on why God asks youth to focus on waiting.

Articles and Readings: Discover an essay by Anne Streaty Wimberly and Almeda M. Wright on memory and joy; browse articles and resources on empowering young people to take ownership of their youth programs.

Best Practice Videos: Scholars and practitioners discuss developing trusted relationships and communities and cultivating student leadership.

Teambuilding, Mission Trips, and Service

Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. [Galatians 6:2]

Youth long to be a part of something larger than themselves. Working and serving as part of a youth group helps young people to broaden their horizons, push outside of their comfort zones, and participate in ministry in new and exciting ways. Participating in team building activities, going on retreats, and serving on mission trips provide ways for youth to connect with one another, learn about the lives of others outside of their communities, and engage in the process of holy transformation.

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Training Modules: Leading theologians and youth leaders present a model for mission trips and offer practical advice with “Leading Transformative Service Days and Mission Trips”; discover ways for “Developing Trusted Relationships and Nurturing Communities.”

Curricular and Sample Materials: Find ideas and outlines for vespers for mission trips; utilize packing lists, sample itineraries, budget templates, and work plans for mission trips; discover suggestions for implementing fundraising.

Articles and Readings: View a variety of essays and readings on the benefits of outreach, service, and trip experiences for youth.

Best Practice Videos: Learn more about retreats, service days, and mission trips.

Youth Worship, Bible Study, and Formation

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. [1 Chronicles 16:34]

When we worship with youth, not only do we show them how to worship, but they show us new ways to celebrate God. Using worship and Bible study as regular practices in your youth ministry provides youth with ways to hear, understand, and interact with the Scriptures. Young people find a sense of belonging and acceptance by praising God in dynamic and interactive ways as part of a greater community.

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Training Modules: Take a course on the value of worship for youth; learn the best approaches, tools, and frameworks to use for Bible study in “Studying the Bible with Youth.”

Curricular and Sample Materials: Assist parents-guardians with “Practicing Faith at Home” from Rev. Traci Smith, author of “Faithful Families”; learn about the best practices for confirmation; find Bible studies for youth and curriculum for worship and spiritual practices.

Articles and Readings: View various sermons by YMI founder, the Rev. Harold E. Masback, III; read an essay by Miriam Yvette Acevedo and Mark R. Gornik entitled, “Sing for Joy! The Power of Sacred Narrative among Urban Youth.”

Best Practice Videos: Discover videos on worship, bible study, and prayer and meditation.

Hot-Button Topics

It can be challenging for adults to connect with young people when confronting difficult or sensitive topics. Sometimes youth want to discuss hot-button issues very honestly and openly, and other times they struggle to f put their thoughts and feelings into words. As youth ministry leaders, it’s crucial to feel prepared and educated on such topics to show support and understanding during a young person’s time of need.

To that end, these resources aim to provide factual and valuable information about “hot-button” topics for young people, including the ongoing pandemic, mental health, confronting racism, and challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community.

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Training Modules: Learn about “Tending to the Mental Health of Adolescents”; find training on “Racism and the Inner Self”, “Dismantling Racism with Youth” and “Accompanying LGBTQ+ Youth”; review “Church Safety Best Practices During COVID-19.”

Curricular and Sample Materials: Encounter the eight bowl of life ceremony as part of confronting racism; accompany LGBTQ+ with “Cultivating Resilience, Well-Being, and Authentic Happiness in Youth.”

Articles and Readings: Increases youth awareness of injustice in the world with “The Forgotten Billion”; learn more about offering effective pastoral care to youth in need from a collection of articles and readings.

Best Practice Videos: Discover ways to create supportive and welcome space for all youth; learn more about race, racism, and anti-racism work with youth.

Video Library

Our video library holds over 1,000 videos of interviews, discussions, and presentations with world-renowned scholars. You can browse the videos by subject area or search for a specific topic you have in mind. While many of these videos are geared toward youth ministry programs, they are also beneficial to parents, educators, and other adults hoping to find ways to connect with today’s youth.

Many of the videos can also be utilized with young people to encourage open discussions, address issues, and consider different ways of thinking. Seeing a wide range of scholars, church leaders, and ministry participants share their knowledge and understanding is an excellent way to offer youth new paths for learning in the Lord.

Subject Areas:

●     Agency, Peacemaking, and Reconciliation
●     Bible Study, Worship, and Spiritual Practices
●     Building a Youth Group
●     Community and Relationships
●     Hot-Button Topics
●     Mission and Outreach
●     Pastoral Care, Behavior, and Mental Health
●     Student Leadership

Training Modules

Yale Youth Ministry Institute’s various training modules are designed to inform and assist new and returning youth ministry leaders in many topics that will provide insight and understanding. Each module is organized in sections spanning from three weeks to eight weeks and offers the flexibility to utilize them as you see fit. All modules are provided free of charge and include scripture readings, videos, reflection questions, and additional resources.

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Spiritual Practices in Youth Ministry: This seven-week course examines the effects of habitual practices on our lives. It discusses the importance of prayer and spiritual practices as habits that orient us towards God. Various spiritual practices are explained, taught, and offered as potential ways to engage adolescents in experiential prayer.

Cultivating Worshipful Youth: This eight-week course explores different facets of worship, why we do these things in prayer, and how to implement them in youth worship services.

Yale Bible Study

Studying the Bible is an integral part of practicing Christianity, and it should be no different for youth ministry. However, the way to approach Bible studies and the youth who participate may look drastically different from traditional methods.

To assist with this aspect of serving the youth in your congregation, the Yale Youth Ministry Institute has adapted many of the Yale Bible Study offerings for more accessible use with youth. For your own study or for the adults in your community, consider the Yale Bible Study program for free and accessible materials to engage Bible study groups from all walks of life.

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Courses: Organized into Old Testament, New Testament, and Themed Study, see if the “Women in the Bible” course could speak to some of your young people, or the “Gospel of John” could assist you with when it comes time to go through this Book with your group of young adults.

Resources: View artwork and charts, listen in on sermons and podcasts, and find additional readings on a variety of Bible study topics.

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