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Below is just a small sample of courses you’ll take as a Youth Ministry major at Jessup. This list is not a guide for course selection. It was created to give you a peek at the program’s academic offerings. For official program requirements, please see the current course catalog.

Core Courses (36 Units)

An introduction to the field of study in ministry to adolescents. Students develop a biblical philosophy of ministry. Emphasis is given to the private and the professional aspects of this specific profession. Private issues include spiritual disciplines, health, family relationships, and personality type. Professional issues center on ethics, integrity, job skills, and leadership styles. An examination of contemporary career opportunities for church and parachurch ministries is included along with the tools to begin developing a philosophy of youth ministry.

Youth Ministry Skills is a practical class covering the most basic programming that makes up a successful ministry to adolescents. These skills include, but are not limited to, time management, organizing a ministry calendar, designing and running camps and retreats, publicity and promotion, involvement with missions and service projects, evangelism to youth, creating budgets, developing student leaders, understanding and using technology, and more. A retreat planned by and for the students of the class culminates the learning experience.

A study of the social and cultural forces shaping the experience of adolescence in contemporary America. Students learn to evaluate individual elements of youth culture, analyze the cultural systems that shape young people, and develop effective strategies for cultural engagement. Emphasis is given to understanding the variety of current family structures and the development of enrichment programs designed to strengthen and equip families.

This course equips students to teach lessons from the Bible, use and/or develop curriculum, understand the “scope and sequence” of teaching, and practice speaking in different ministry settings. Attention is given to enhancing the creative process, understanding the faith development of teenagers, and leading small groups effectively.

This course provides an exploration of strategies and techniques for counseling adolescents. The class examines the needs and problems of normal and troubled adolescents including self-image, sexuality, eating disorders, suicide, and depression. Attention is given to recognizing warning signs and understanding the referral process.

This is a supervised training experience in a local church, parachurch, or appropriate ministry setting. Students practice and sharpen performance skills in a ministry setting; understand leadership skills as a result of working alongside an experienced, qualified field supervisor; and integrate their WJU education with a larger picture of ministry through opportunities to participate in planning, organizing and administering a program that ministers to adolescents. One unit of mentorship equals three hours work per week in the ministry.

The initial part of this class focuses on retracing what has been learned in the youth ministry major and completing a summative “philosophy of youth ministry” paper which was started in YMIN100 Foundations of Youth Ministry. The remainder of the semester focuses on choosing an area of interest in working with teenagers and going deeper into research, ultimately creating a new approach to a discovered problem. A final presentation accompanies the research paper.

This course addresses the fundamental question: What is leadership? It then provides a strong biblical foundation and perspective for leadership, examines some of the spiritual dimensions of leadership, and explores and applies three particular models of leadership (authentic, transformational, and servant).

A comprehensive study of the Acts of the Apostles from historical, theological, missiological, and literary perspectives. The course considers the importance of Acts for our understanding of early Christianity and integrates the careers, message, and theology of the apostles with the rest of the New Testament.

NT244 | Gospel of John
Expository and theological examination of John’s Gospel with emphasis on the Johannine distinctives and spiritual insights into Jesus as The Word made flesh and Son of God.

BIBL210 | The Life and Teachings of Jesus
An in-depth, comparative study of the life, message and actions of Jesus on earth as found in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). The aim of the course is to understand and appreciate the unique nature and character of each Gospel while affirming the unity of their presentation of Jesus. Distinct consideration is given to the relationship of the Synoptic Gospels to the Fourth Gospel (John).The course will provide students with an opportunity to examine and reflect upon the main events and historical doctrines within the contexts of first century Palestine. Special attention will be given to Jesus’ birth, teachings, miracles, death and resurrection.

An examination of I and II Timothy and Titus with an emphasis on ministry in the life of the early church and the disciplines of being church in society.

Youth Ministry Concentrations

Students must choose a specialization listed below.

Christian Leadership (9 Units)

This course examines mechanisms for effective team-building, conflict management, and mentoring and developing others. It also explores the dynamics of healthy staff relationships, effective delegation, setting appropriate boundaries, and successful motivation of others.

This course specifically addresses the complex issues of organizational development and organizational behavior. It guides students to understand the dynamics behind organizational life and health and examines the critical facets of strategic planning and tactical planning within an organization.

This course explores creativity and entrepreneurship in leadership. It also analyzes how to effectively initiate and lead change, catch and cast vision, and integrate feedback from others into the leadership journey. It also considers the important connections between personal creativity and spiritual sensitivity in the leadership experience.

This course will explore the nature of leadership in various cultures and the skills needed in a global economy and society. Students will examine the leadership implications for cross-cultural and multi-national organizations. Students will engage in discussions of the “Great Commission” and reflect on historical aspects of global leadership. The future of global leadership will be examined and the potential leadership challenges considered. To the extent possible, students will be challenged to cultivate their own global leadership “map” as they interact with the emerging global scene.

Counseling Concentration (9 units)

An overview of physical, cognitive, psychosocial, and moral development of humankind from prenatal life through old age. This class should be taken early in the student’s training as it is prerequisite to many other courses.

A psychologically and theologically integrated study of marriage and family relationships, this course prepares students to develop a personal philosophy of family. It will include a personal evaluation of familial experiences and a challenging look at cultural norms and biblical principles. This course prepares students to develop a personal conceptualization for family development in addition to aiding others to do the same.

An exploration of man’s relational nature as it reflects God’s relational nature. Health in a variety of relational contexts will be explored. Self-awareness as well as implications for ministry to others will be emphasized.

An examination of the biopsychosocial science of human sexuality. This course provides students with an opportunity to explore complex sexual issues. Designed to help participants become more comfortable with discussing sexuality, the course emphasizes increased self-awareness and provides direction for working with sexual issues in others.

An in-depth look at the development of children and adolescents. Guidance and practical parenting skills as well as therapeutic interventions will be emphasized. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their own development and the experiences in childhood and adolescence that have shaped their lives.

A study of psychopathology or abnormal behavior. Emphasis is placed on description and identification of individual disorders. A consideration of cultural differences in the expression of abnormal symptomatology is included.

This course is designed to explore the psychological, physiological, and societal effects of addiction. Students will be introduced to a variety of addictions and drug classifications; gender, ethnic and cultural differences regarding addiction; psychological and physiological effects of a variety of drugs; and the part that family and society play in addiction, treatment, and rehabilitation.

Family and Children's Ministry Concentration (9 units)

Students will be challenged to gain insights into the nature and needs of children from birth to age twelve and to consider ways to help them grow as disciples of Christ. They will explore issues and possibilities in church-based ministries with children, including basic philosophies of ministry and their practical implications. A portion of class sessions in the second half of the semester will feature children’s ministers working in the Sacramento area, sharing their philosophy of ministry and addressing specific topics.

Students will be challenged to develop a theology of family, exploring issues and possibilities in church-based ministries with families, including basic philosophies of ministry and their practical implications.

This course explores the nature of spirituality and the development of a person’s faith in Jesus Christ in its relationship with other facets of the human personality. The purpose of this study is to equip effective leaders who are able to guide others in Christian formation. Learning activities include personal reflection, group projects, conversations about faith and spirituality, lecture, discussions, and written presentations.

This capstone course is designed to help the student synthesize Christian education theory and practice in a major contribution to the field of Christian education or an application of sound educational philosophy to an educational aspect of the Church. A further goal of this course is to enlighten the student with respect to the historical development of education in the church and in America, in order that students articulate a biblically based rationale for Christian education which integrates a Christian worldview of education with implementation in a church or school environment.

An overview of physical, cognitive, psychosocial, and moral development of humankind from prenatal life through old age. This class should be taken early in the student’s training as it is prerequisite to many other courses.

Interdisciplinary Concentration (9 units)

Requires lead faculty approval.

Intercultural Studies Concentration (9 units)

This course addresses the foundation for the mission Dei (mission of God) from biblical, historical, cultural, and strategic perspectives. Course content emphasizes the centrality of God’s desire to reconcile people to Himself and others, providing an overview of contemporary missional approaches.

An introduction to the science of the study of man in his cultural setting. The end in view is the gaining of a better understanding of different customs and cultures to enable more effective cross-cultural communication.

An introduction to how culture affects the process of intercultural communication with practical experience as a high contrast cultural partnership. Understanding is the priority as students look at the vast varieties of worldviews, customs, attitudes, values, belief systems, and behaviors which culture includes. Enhanced communication of the Christian gospel is cross-culturally is one expected outcome.

This course is an objective study of world religions including Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and traditional religions. Discussions include the exclusivity of Christianity in a pluralistic society and strategic opportunities for apologetic and evangelistic engagement with adherents of other religions. Efforts are made to discover bridges of approach for sharing the uniqueness of Christ.

Pastoral Ministry Concentration (9 units)

This is a course of study about the exegesis and exposition of the epistles of the New Testament. A method of both researching epistolary texts and communicating them expositionally in contemporary venues will be explored and implemented. Attention will also be paid to the place of prayer and the practice of the principles of spiritual authority in the character development of the expositor.

This course examines all relevant communication modes used in leading and working in church/para-church organizations. Topics include composition of letters, memos, persuasive/motivational presentations and survey of sermon forms including evangelistic, life situation and apologetic. Projects will focus on enhancing the student’s ability to communicate effectively and efficiently in a variety of settings.

This course examines the unique leadership skill set needed for leading, developing, and establishing ministry through the local church. Emphasis is given to both personal leadership development and organizational skills useful for church maintenance and growth.

Introduction to the history, theology, and contemporary methods for church growth.

Deals with counseling issues most common to the local master: premarital and family counseling, death, loss, and other crises. The emphasis is on informal, short-term methods. Preparation for a role in counseling, weddings, funerals, baptisms, and other pastoral situations of Christian ministry.

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