Youth Ministry


If you're passionate about helping teens claim their Christian faith for themselves, consider the youth ministry major. This program provides scriptural, educational, and ministry training (similar to the Christian ministries major) with a specialized focus on ministering to adolescents. You will have opportunities to work with teens, impacting their spiritual formation and equipping them to grow as disciples and disciple-makers.

In this program, you will...

  • take interactive, ministry-focused classes that equip you to minister in a wide variety of contexts
  • combine solid theology, rigorous academics, study of Scripture and ministry engagement with professors who are both experienced practitioners and leading thinkers in the field
  • study biblical theology and how the overall biblical story gives essential meaning to all of human life
  • engage with the specific, difficult issues facing youth today

Youth ministry students are equipped to reach teens with solid biblical truth and disciple them in their cultural contexts.

Every youth ministry student must complete...

  • four semesters of a departmentally approved ministry
  • a summer in full-time ministry

Required courses provide students a three-dimensional understanding of youth ministry, with particular attention to the following:

  • spiritual formation
  • cross-cultural, service, and experiential learning
  • adolescent psychology and family systems
  • youth culture
  • teaching and learning strategies
  • discipleship and evangelism
  • philosophy and strategies for youth ministry

All youth ministry majors participate in a capstone trip that exposes them to dozens of ministries and over one hundred key Christian leaders, all while forming their philosophies of ministry in a particular youth ministry context.

Youth ministry majors earn a biblical literature minor and more than half choose to double major in biblical literature.

You will also have the opportunity to study Scripture and serve overseas through:

  • Footsteps of Paul (Greece and Italy)
  • Holy Land Studies at Jerusalem University College (Israel)
  • Revelation and the Seven Cities (Turkey)
  • Lighthouse and Spring Break Missions trips
  • A semester in ministry in locations such as Ireland, Ecuador, or South Africa

What can you do with a Youth Ministry Major?

The Youth Ministry major prepares students for doing ministry with adolescents in a wide variety of ministries. Our placement rate is over 95% into full-time ministry. Here is a sample of recent graduates' positions:

  • Church: pastor, youth pastor, associate pastor, Christian education director
  • Para Church leadership and involvement: Youth for Christ, Young Life, InterVarsity, Cru, Navigators, etc.
  • Missions: trainer, linguist, church planter, teacher, student mobilizer
  • Urban ministry: youth center director, recreation director, house parent
  • Christian camping: director, assistant director, retreat center director
  • Christian college: resident hall director, student development leader, student ministry director, professor
  • Writing: Sunday school curriculum, books, magazine editor, book editor
  • Christian High School: Bible teacher, director of missions, coach
  • Media Specialist: youth film, music, video, communications
  • Seminary: dozens of top seminaries have accepted our graduates

Youth Ministry Alums

Don’t just take our word for it. Here are a few testimonies from our youth ministry graduates. Have questions? Contact Dr. Mike Severe today!

Aaron Crull

Aaron Crull ‘16
“It is hard to express just how grateful I am for my 4 years at Taylor University. Upon graduating in 2016, I joined staff at Northview Church in West Lafayette, IN. Northview is one church in 8 different locations. I serve as the Student Ministry Pastor at the Greater Lafayette Campus of Northview, where I oversee 5th-12th grade students. I feel strongly that my time at Taylor prepared me well for ministry in the real world. The incredible professors and classes helped equip me with the knowledge needed to have a healthy start in full-time ministry. Furthermore, they helped prepare my heart and mind for ministry and taught me that ministry is more than just knowledge and skill. This truth profoundly impacted how I lead and serve in my pastoral role. I could not give this program a higher recommendation!”

Callie Willoughby

Callie Willoughby ‘15
“I graduated from Taylor in 2015 with a major in Christian Ministries and minors in Youth Ministry and Biblical Literature. I loved the ministry department at Taylor, and it readily equipped me for where I am serving today. After graduating, I accepted a full-time position at Shoreline Church in Oak Harbor, OH. I am the Student Ministries Director, which means I oversee junior high and high school ministries. It was at Taylor that God revealed my passion for teenagers, especially junior high students! The professors in the ministry department encouraged me to pursue this passion, equipped me with the practical and theological tools to do so, and invested in me as a person as well. I love doing life alongside teens and pointing them toward Christ along the way. My lead pastor has commented on numerous occasions that I am way more versed in youth ministry than most people my age. I always point back to God's grace and the Taylor ministry department!”

Degree options

The Bachelor of Arts in Youth Ministry requires a foreign language. (This requirement can be fulfilled with New Testament Greek or Old Testament Hebrew.)

The Bachelor of Science in Youth Ministry and Systems adds the Systems Curriculum to the Youth Ministry major requirements. (No foreign languag is required.)