Students Outdoor in Group Discussion on Grass

Youth Ministry Leadership

Published: Scheduled Program Launch in September 2024


The Yale Youth Ministry Institute is pleased to offer the Yale Divinity School Certificate in Youth Ministry Leadership.

Youth ministry practitioners will gather for education and networking in a cohort-based model for learning. Together, the group will read important literature and hear from the nation’s leading scholars about three key topics:  

  1. Leadership Theory in Church Organizations 
  2. Theological and Spiritual Care for Youth (with a focus on mental health) 
  3. Empowerment, Liberation, and Justice Work with Youth 

This program is designed with youth pastors, committed volunteers, part-time workers, and laypeople in mind.  All are invited to take this certificate program, an academic and practical primer on the themes relevant to leading resilient, healthy, theologically rooted youth ministries.  If you have ever wondered, “How do I lead these incredible young people through these challenging systems and culture?” this course is for you! 

Participants will embark upon three trimesters in our online program, in which we will learn how: self-differentiated and adaptive leadership can lead to innovation; youths’ well-being takes center stage; and the passion of the current generation is harnessed for positive, justice-focused change. Join us in shaping the future of youth ministry, and experience personal and collective growth in a supportive virtual environment! 

The ideal applicant for this non-degree program would:

  • Have attained a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Be actively involved in youth work in a local faith community
  • Willingly enter into a covenant to complete the assigned work (requiring a certain level of flexibility in one’s schedule)
  • Possess a degree of digital literacy (classes will be virtual, and assignments will be submitted online)

Program Schedule
The synchronous session will be on Thursdays from 12-1 pm (Eastern Standard Time).

  • 1st Trimester: September 9 to November 15, 2024
  • 2nd Trimester: January 6 to February 28, 2025
  • 3rd Trimester: March 10 to May 2, 2025
    • NOTE: There will be a two-week break around Holy Week and Easter.

Program Takeaways

  • Think critically and theologically about youth ministry
  • Design ministry programs that support youth in their faith development
  • Obtain practical, real-world training for working with adolescents
  • Network with fellow youth leaders and engage in peer-to-peer learning
  • Develop sustainable, centered leadership skills
Applications are now closed as of May 15, 2024. Learn more and stay tuned for future application dates!


Hybrid (Asynchronous & Weekly Live Sessions)

This program is entirely online and includes both synchronous and asynchronous components. It consists of pre-recorded lectures and one live Zoom discussion per week. There will be an optional on-campus gathering at the end of the course.

A 9-month program divided into three 8-10 week trimesters from September to May.
$1,200 ($600 due prior to starting, $600 due the following January)
Non-Credit Certificate