The St. Stephen’s Certificate with a concentration in Youth Ministry provides a graduate-level theological education across a range of topics – Scripture, Doctrine, Fundamentals of Orthodoxy, Liturgical Theology, Pastoral Theology, Church History, and Patristics – as well as coursework focusing on Youth Ministry. An overview of the courses for the Youth Ministry Concentration is provided below. See also the more general description of the St. Stephen’s Certificate program.
The directed-reading courses in the Youth Ministry Concentration are identical to those in the standard Applied Orthodox Theology concentration, with the exception of four courses which specifically focus on preparing the student for Youth Ministry. Courses are as follows:
• Fundamentals I: An Introduction to Orthodoxy
• Church History I: The Christian Church from Its Foundation through the Seventh Century
• Liturgical Theology I: Introduction to Liturgical Theology, Baptism and Eucharist
• Church History II: The Orthodox Church from the Seventh Century to 1453
• Practical Aspects of Youth Ministry: Fundamentals of Youth Ministry*
• Holy Scripture II: The New Testament
• Patristics I: The Fathers of the Church During the First Five Hundred Years
• Practical Aspects of Youth Ministry: Relational Ministry and Spiritual Development in Youth*
• Doctrine I: The Doctrine of Knowledge In the Tradition of the Church
• Pastoral Theology I
• Doctrine II: The Orthodox Doctrine of the Holy Trinity
• Practical Aspects of Youth Ministry Designing and Building a Parish Youth Ministry*
• Practical Aspects of Youth Ministry: Moral and Ethical Issues Confronting Orthodox Youth*
• Option to pursue Master’s thesis
*courses specific to the Youth Ministry Concentration
The directed-praxis courses of the Youth Ministry Concentration are offered in the spring semester of each year (Units II, IV, and VI) and will generally address a particular need in the area of Youth Ministry. They will include a proposal submitted for approval to the Chair of the Department of Youth Ministry and the Praxis Mentor; the directed Praxis itself; and a Praxis paper with supporting detail.
Examples of Youth Ministry Praxes are:
• Extended Teen Ministry Outreach praxis, including preparing teens, implementing praxis and debriefing teens
• Designing, building and training a Parish Youth Ministry Team
• Developing and implementing a Teen Weekend Retreat
• Developing and teaching a semester course in Moral and Ethical Issues Confronting Orthodox Youth to teens
• Designing, implementing and evaluating a Youth Group Calendar of Events
• Teaching teens Orthodox Liturgical Music, performed and useable in an Orthodox setting
• Developing a web-based Youth Ministry Program
• Developing a CD-based Youth Ministry Teaching Tool for teens
• Developing and implementing a Teen Bible Study Program
An intensive week-long Residency takes place in late August or early September of the first three academic years, and is held at the Antiochian Village Conference & Retreat Center in western Pennsylvania.
Students who successfully complete the first three years of the Youth Ministry Concentration, and who hold a Bachelor’s degree, may choose to pursue a Master’s thesis during the final semester of their third year, leading to the degree of M.Th. in Applied Orthodox Theology. Students who do not wish to pursue the Master’s degree will receive the St. Stephen’s Certificate in Orthodox Theology.
For a more detailed description of the Youth Ministry Concentration, including course descriptions, please see pp. 12-15 of the AHOS Catalog.