Degree Requirements

The major in youth and family ministry prepares persons for faithful work as youth and family ministers in Christian congregations and other ministry settings. This major is interdisciplinary, combining a core study of theology, Bible, and ministry with supporting coursework in the social sciences. A distinctive element of the major is the combination of practical and theological training: students will have many opportunities to apply their knowledge and discernment skills in specific ministry contexts, including a supervised internship. Students must declare the YFM major and receive faculty approval before participating in off-site fieldwork. A Youth and Family Ministry minor is also offered.

Associate in Ministry (AIM)

Coursework completed with the major fulfills part of the requirements for Associate in Ministry (AIM) status within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Students interested in AIM certification should consult with their home synod and with a YFM advisor no later than their second year.

Youth and Family Ministry Major

60 credits including:

Theology core (24 credits):

  • REL 210 – Research Methods in Religion
  • REL 301 – Interpreting the Old Testament
  • REL 302 – Interpreting the New Testament
  • REL 362 – Martin Luther and the Reformation
  • REL 481 – Contemporary Theology
  • REL 495 – Religion Keystone

Youth and family ministry core (16 credits):

  • YFM 208 – Vocational Formation I [required non-credit experience]
  • YFM 209 – Vocational Formation II [required non-credit experience]
  • YFM 235 – Foundations for Ministry with Youth and Families
  • YFM 305 – Ministry Practices
  • YFM 358 – Life and Work of the Church
  • YFM 399 – Internship

Youth and family ministry electives (8 credits):

  • YFM 205 – Exploring Topics in Youth and Family Ministry (choose two topics course from a list of 2 credit courses)
  • One other 200-level, 300-level, or 400-level REL or YFM course not already used towards the major and preapproved by the student’s advisor.

And three supporting courses (12 credits):

  • SOC 231 – Family Systems: Cross Cultural Perspective
  • PSY 105 – Principles of Psychology
  • PSY 250 – Child Development
    • or PSY 252 – Adolescent and Young Adult Development

Note: A student with a youth and family ministry major or minor may not also major or minor in religion.

Graduation Skills

The Critical Thinking (CT), Speaking (S), and Writing (W) graduation skills are embedded throughout the offered courses and are met by completing the major.  The graduation skill in Quantitative Reasoning (QR) is met by the following:

QR: GST 200, MAT 145, MAT 146, or PHI 230; or by the QR requirement for a second major

Youth and Family Ministry Minor

The minor consists of the following five courses (20 credits):

  • YFM 235 – Foundations for Ministry with Youth and Families
  • One youth and family ministry course from:
    • YFM 305 – Ministry Practices
    • YFM 358 – Life and Work of the Church
  • One Bible survey course from:
    • REL 301 – Interpreting the Old Testament
    • REL 302 – Interpreting the New Testament
  • One theology course from:
    • REL 362 – Martin Luther and the Reformation
    • REL 481 – Contemporary Theology
  • One course (4 credits) from the theology core, YFM core, or YFM electives as listed in the major.

For a complete list of courses and descriptions, see the Course Description Search.