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The goal of this research project was to examine youth ministry education programs as to what is considered essential to training vocational youth ministry students in undergraduate degree programs. Questions regarding a youth ministry student’s preparedness for ministry and graduate studies have arisen. The purpose of the thesis is to propose an integrated interdisciplinary youth ministry education program for undergraduate institutions.

A random survey resulted in 140 Christian Bible colleges and Liberal Arts Universities programs being examined. These institutions had 141 youth ministry education programs as one institution had two distinct programs. The youth ministry major course requirements and class descriptions were evaluated based on the institution’s catalog description of the essential coursework required for the major. These were listed under the major description.

Secondly, a literature review was conducted. This review examines Dean Hoge’s study on denominational influences on youth ministry. Andrew Jack and Barrett McRay’s and Mark Cannister’s surveys results of youth ministry professors are examined. Then content was reviewed by examining textbooks available for youth ministry education in the respective interdisciplinary fields.

Based on the surveys and additional research, the study makes an argument for an interdisciplinary approach to youth ministry education. It argues that a theology of community is an essential theological foundation. It argues that developmental studies should be integrated into the youth ministry education program, especially as it relates to understanding adolescent spirituality. Finally, a broad understanding of the systems that affect adolescents is essential, including ecology of human development, urban and social justice issues and skill sets are essential in youth ministry education.

Finally, the study concludes with a suggestion for an integrated youth ministry education program. It proposes a theological, developmental and environmentally integrated series of courses. The appendix includes a series of suggested courses as an example.

Content Reader: Dr. Chapman Clark

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Clark, Chap

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Church group work with youth; Clergy; Christian education


Missions and World Christianity


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