Youth Development Studies


124 Credit Hours
Center for Youth & Leadership
Brian Pingel, Director

Students who complete the Youth Development Studies major will earn a Bachelor of Science degree providing a broad range of specific studies in the crucial areas of Youth and Adolescent education and ministry. This program is designed for students who desire ministry to adolescents in a wide range of vocations such as counseling, athletics, recreation, social work, missions, mass communications, music, etc. Effective student ministry is done through the development of real relationships between believers and non-churched students by addressing both their felt and real needs. Youth ministry is broad and consists of elements that consider a student’s cognitive, emotional, affective, moral, spiritual and social development. Some students feel called to youth ministry but desire to reach youth in more non-pastoral areas. Graduates who complete the Youth Development Studies degree should be able to develop, implement and lead a total youth education program in the chosen area of emphasis with understanding in the following areas:

  • Theology;
  • Practical Ministry;
  • Adolescent development; and
  • Curriculum options for various ministry contexts.

Graduates of this program will be trained to develop, implement and lead a total youth education program through:

  • An understanding of various educational methods and programs;
  • An understanding of and ability to work with the various levels of adolescent development;
  • Gaining leadership skills;
  • Utilizing leadership skills and gift assessment principles to work effectively with staff and volunteers;
  • Being able to select and train effective staff and volunteers;
  • Being able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a program;
  • Using effective motivational techniques;
  • Developing a philosophy of ministry;
  • Developing an appropriate purpose statement and professional vision;
  • Planning and implementing an education and /or helping program for adolescents;
  • Creating new and exciting program formats that are tailored to the needs and interests of adolescents;
  • Being a mentor to adolescents;
  • Using effective evangelism and discipleship;
  • Assisting adolescents with their emotional, social, family and other personal needs;
  • Developing personal and professional accountability;
  • Maintaining a healthy personal and family life;
  • Serving as a model of consistent Christian character and lifestyle;
  • Being a steward of God-given resources through practicing good management skills.;
  • Having excellent public speaking skills.

Graduates of the Youth Development Studies program will understand adolescent educational and developmental issues for the various programs in a specific area by:

  • Knowing the various types of literature and curriculum available;
  • Understanding the historical and sociological contexts and addressing issues and concerns with a Christian perspective;
  • Being aware of and able to use the technological resources available;
  • Being able to evaluate curriculum options and relate to the needs of adolescents;
  • Being able to select curricula appropriate to the various levels of adolescent development;
  • Understanding the developmental and spiritual stages of personal growth, individual learning styles, educational methodologies and group dynamics;
  • Having a sincere desire and the ability to help and care for adolescents from all socioeconomic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds;
  • Effectively communicating Bible and theology, along with Assemblies of God doctrine;
  • Be able to demonstrate and teach Pentecostal distinctives.

Through classes common to all majors in the department, students should be able to:

  • Proclaim God’s Word accurately and effectively;
  • Actualize their God-given gifts;
  • Prepare for practical ministry within the local church, in para-church organizations and through community institutions;
  • Broaden their perspective of missions at home and abroad;
  • Teach and implement a program concerned with adolescent developmental issues.

All students must complete the General Education Core and Biblical Studies Core. In addition, all Youth Development Studies majors are required to complete the Youth Development Studies Core program and finish courses in a program of specialized emphasis. General electives and additional supporting program may be added or an optional minor may be selected. Total credit hours to complete the Youth Development Studies major must equal at least 124 credit hours.

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