Master of Arts in Youth Ministry

The NYTS Master of Arts in Youth Ministry (MAYM) is a 48-credit graduate degree designed to prepare individuals to serve in the area of youth ministry within congregations and other faith-based organizations. The program explores youth and young adult development, socialization, discipleship and spiritual formation primarily within an urban cultural context. Drawing from a wide range of interdisciplinary research within the field of religious education,leadership studies, youth development and socialization, courses attend to the theological, educational, psychological and socio-cultural foundations of youth and young adult ministry. Graduates of this program are prepared to serve as practitioners of youth ministry within varied institutional settings and are equipped to design and administer programs that foster the holistic transformation of youth and young adult faith development.

Students in the MAYM are required to attend two overnight retreats each year along with others in the various master’s degree programs (attendance at the retreats is incorporated into the requirements for Introduction to Theological Education). They are also invited and encouraged to take part in other various activities organized and led by the Student Association throughout the course of the year. MAYM students must complete a year-long practicum in which they will be placed in a supervised field setting under a qualified supervisor that is appropriate for their degree program. Students are normally not given a stipend from the site where their placement is located.

Classes in the MAYM are held mostly in the evenings at The Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive in New York and online. Students have access to the library system of Columbia University, which includes the Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary. All students will be trained in online learning in order to make use of Moodle, the NYTS online learning system.


Learning Outcomes

The MAYM seeks to prepare men and women for ministry who are able to:

  • articulate a practical theology of youth ministry that is biblically informed and grounded in the historical development of Christian thought and tradition
  • demonstrate competencies in designing educative programs and leadership strategies that are germane to youth ministry in an urban context
  • decipher and use educational methodologies, theories and models in ways that contribute to effective learning and social transformation
  • articulate and analyze the connections between faith formation and human development.
  • identify socialization issues facing urban youth and demonstrate the use of appropriate theoretical and practical methodologies leading to social transformation
  • master the communication and ministry skills needed for creating effective models for urban youth ministry
  • explore and analyze multiculturalism in youth ministry and its impact on discipleship


Admissions Requirements

The MAYM is open to women and men who:

  • possess a BA, BS, or equivalent undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college (applicants holding degrees or diplomas from another country may be required to provide a translated copy and to provide further information to help the admissions committee determine equivalency)
  • demonstrate evidence of an ability to do graduate level study, primarily assessed through the written answers to the application essay questions and through recommendations
  • are able to articulate in a manner that is appropriate to their own experience and faith tradition an understanding of their call to serve in the specialized area of youth ministry
  • currently belong to a community of faith that recognizes or expects the applicant to exercise his or her calling to religious education; or be willing to work within such a community of faith, exercising her or his calling to youth ministry


Application, Acceptance, and Enrollment

NYTS has a rolling application process. Applications are received at any time during the year and reviewed as soon as possible thereafter, usually within one month. In order to be considered, the application must be complete, including a photo, the application fee, required essays, transcripts, data sheet, and recommendations. Following the receipt of a completed application, an interview is scheduled with the Director of Youth Ministry Programs or another member of the faculty.

Upon acceptance, a student may enroll for classes beginning with the next scheduled semester or intensive period. Normally students who are accepted into the MAYM enroll in the first-year sequence of courses that begins in the fall semester with Introduction to Theological Education. Students who begin the MAYM program in the winter, spring or summer enter as unclassified and can take elective courses until the fall semester when they matriculate and become part of the first year class.

For further information, contact:
Director of Master of Arts in Youth Ministry
New York Theological Seminary
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 500
New York, NY 10115
(212) 870-1211


The Curriculum

The MAYM is a 48-credit degree designed to be completed in a minimum of two years; 28 are for required courses and 20 are for electives.

The 28 required credits include 20 credits in general theological studies (Introduction to Theological Education, Biblical Studies, Theology, and Church History) and 8 credits that are for coursework specifically in the area of youth ministry (Foundations of Youth Ministry, Practicum with Capstone). Of the remaining 20 credits that are considered electives, 12 credits must be for courses that specifically apply to youth ministry, as approved by the student’s faculty advisor, and 8 are free electives. Elective courses are offered in each of the summer months, and in January. Students seeking to complete the MAYM in two years should plan on taking courses in the summer of the first year, and in both January periods.

Among the electives that are planned in 2014-2017 are:

•   Psychology of Adolescence
•   Theology and Urban Youth Ministry
•   Pastoral Care with Urban Youth
•   Youth Chaplaincy Certification
•   Human Sexuality and Faith Communities
•   Youth and Family Ministries
•   Youth Culture and Pedagogy
•   Youth Culture and Crisis
Note: All courses are not guaranteed to be offered in the period proscribed.


NYTS Master of Arts in Youth Ministry
Curriculum Design

All Year Fall Winterim Spring Summer

Year A ☆ Introduction to
Theological Education (2)
☆ First Testament (4) ☆ Exegesis Practicum (2) ☆ Second
Testament (4)
June (2/3)
July (3)
August (3)

☆ Foundations of
Youth Ministry (4)

Youth Ministry
Elective (4)

Year B ☆ Practicum& Capstone
Fall & Spring
(2 & 2)
☆ Introduction to
Theology (4)
☆ Modern Church
History (4)

Youth Ministry Elective (4)

Youth Ministry

indicates required course for M.A. degree for NYTS

Suggested schedule of classes for completing the degree in 2 years
48 credits needed to graduate

For MAYM degree:

20 Required Credits – General Theological Studies
Introduction to Theological Education                                                2 credits
First Testament                                                                                   4 credits
Exegesis                                                                                             2 credits
Second Testament                                                                              4 credits
Introduction to Theology                                                                    4 credits
Modern Church History                                                                      4 credits

8 Required Credits – Youth Ministry
Foundations of Youth and Young Adult Ministry                               4 credits
Practicum with Capstone (year-long)                                                4 credits

12 additional elective credits in Youth Ministry
(Must be approved by advisor)                                                         12 credits

8 free elective credits                                                                    8 credits

Total for MAYM degree                                                           48 credits


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