A Youth Ministries class.

Youth, Children, & Family Ministries

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Youth, Children, and Family Ministries at a glance

North Central’s Youth, Children, and Family Ministries major will prepare you to be a mentor, leader, and servant for people ages Birth-High School as you guide them in their walk with Christ. Through courses taught by experienced, passionate professors, you’ll learn to plan and implement youth programs, develop vibrant, Christ-centered youth, children and family ministries in a variety of settings.

Want to learn more?

Download the one sheet!

Simply fill in your info on the form to download the informational one sheet that covers:

  • An overview of the program
  • Classes you’ll take
  • Exciting jobs you can get after graduation

Interested in earning your degree in Youth, Children, and Family Ministries at NCU?

Click here to apply today!

What sets us apart

The skyline of downtown Minneapolis.
Internship opportunities

You’ll have opportunities to intern with local churches and service groups.

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Get real-world experience and hands-on training

The internship experience is an important part of all programs in the College of Ministry at North Central. You’ll have opportunities to intern with NCU’s partner churches and organizations. Your internship will present you with new challenges and learning experiences as you prepare for your career after graduation and get one step closer to living out your calling.

One of the keys to a successful internship is the mentoring relationship you’ll form with your internship supervisor and your advising professor. We work with our partner churches and organizations to make sure your internship is a valuable, fulfilling experience. Plus, you’ll be supported, mentored, and coached by your advising professor throughout your internship and afterwards as you reflect on the experience. This will give you insights into your passions and God-given talents, and help you pursue a fulfilling career path. Plus, when you finish your internship you’ll have hands on experience in the field and a network of people who work in youth ministries and can recommend you to future employers—or hire you!

Students study abroad in the Holy Lands.
Study abroad in the Holy Lands

As part of your program, you’ll take a 3-4 week tour of the Holy Lands.

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Experience the Holy Lands

Led by Dr. Marc Turnage of the AG Center for Holy Lands Studies, this tour includes lectures from some of the leading archeologists and scholars in Israel and visits to ancient sites in Israel and Jordan. Numerous once-in-a-lifetime experiences work together to bring the land of the Bible to life in a way that will enrich your biblical knowledge and reading for the rest of your life.

You’ll also have opportunities to participate in activities such as snorkeling in the Red Sea, a Camel trek through Wadi Rum, swimming in the springs of Sakne, hiking down the Arbel Cliffs, Jeep treks through the desert in Jordan, an evening boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, floating in the Dead Sea, participating in the Temple Mount sifting project, and an archeological dig in Beth Gurvin.

Some scholarships are available, so interested students should apply early.

Details, application materials, and year-specific trip information are available on the Center for Holy Land Studies website.

For more information, contact:

Jodi Petersen
Study Abroad Coordinator
612.343.4100                                                                                                                                 Miller Hall 248

  • Skills you’ll gain

    When you graduate from the Youth, Children, and Family Ministries program, you’ll be prepared to:

    • Plan and implement effective youth and children’s programs
    • Understand the developmental stages of different age groups
    • Relate to youth and children as you help with their spiritual, emotional, social, family, and personal needs
    • Develop, lead, train, and mentor youth & children’s leaders
    • Preach effective, authentic, accurate messages to young people
    • Disciple new Christians
    • Build relationships with schools and other youth organizations
    • Practice personal spiritual formation
    • Actualize your God-given gifts
    • Serve as a model of Christian character and lifestyle
  • Potential careers

    Our graduates succeed in a variety of jobs and careers. Here are some possibilities:

    • Youth pastor
    • Junior and senior high ministry
    • College ministry
    • Program director for at-risk youth
    • Social service specialist
    • Urban youth ministry
    • International student ministry
    • Youth camp director
  • Minors & supporting programs

    We want you to be well-rounded and well-prepared when you graduate, so you’ll have the opportunity to choose a minor or supporting program so you can explore another area of interest. Here are some possibilities:

    • Alcohol & Drug Counseling
    • Campus Missions
    • Children & Family Ministries
    • Intercultural Studies
    • International Development
    • Leadership Development
    • Preaching
    • Urban Studies

    See the full list of minors and supporting programs.

Youth Ministries alumni
Pastor of Young Adults, Cedar Valley Church

Josiah Kennealy '13
Bloomington, MN

"I am responding to the call God has placed on my life to reach young adults for Christ. As a North Central student, you benefit from opportunities to serve at a local church and a local community around you."

North Central alum Eric Samuel Timm.
Orator, Author, Artist

Eric Samuel Timm ’01
Minneapolis, MN

"NCU gave me a compass, not a map. For what I do now there is no plan, no mold, no box. For dreams like this you need to have a heading, even if you don’t know the steps to get there. NCU put me in a place to have the courage to follow my compass."


All students must complete the General Education Core and Christian Studies Core. General electives may be added or an optional minor may be selected. You need 124 total credit hours to complete the Youth Ministries degree.

Meet one of your professors

Faculty Member Doug Graham.


College Life Center (CLC)

Douglas M. Graham

Vice President of Spiritual Life

It is an incredible privilege to serve here at NCU! As a graduate (’86), I am proud that all four of my children are NCU Alums, and my wife will soon graduate with her degree! North Central University is indeed a Graham family legacy.

What are your areas of expertise?

My area of interest in teaching here at NCU is in church leadership and spiritual life development.

What do you love about teaching at North Central?

I love the hunger for life-long learning that is evident in the students at NCU. Students come to NCU because they intend for their life to make a difference in the world. I believe that the world and church of tomorrow rests in the students of today. For this reason, I am honored to be a part of an academic and spiritual preparation process that is committed to launching students around the world to be godly and strategic leaders for the 21st Century.

What are your favorite classes to teach?

  • Personal Formation of the Spiritual Leader (freshman)
  • Pastoral Theology (juniors)
  • Personal Leadership Development (Graduate Studies – MA Strategic Leadership)