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!

Dan Aikins

Dan Aikins ’10
“Upon graduating, I moved to Colorado Springs to serve as a 15-month apprentice in the high school ministry at Vanguard Church. In January 2011, the high school pastor at Vanguard moved to another position within the church, and I was invited to serve as a co-interim high school pastor along with the other high school apprentice. During that time, I was interviewing for a position I was in during my practicum in 2009 at the Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church. I was offered that job, and I moved to Houston to serve as the middle school discipleship director. I am also studying for a Masters of Divinity at Fuller Seminary in Texas. I am amazed by God's sovereignty and how He has worked out my story so far since graduating. God is good!”

Katie BarnesKatie Barnes ’10
“After graduating from Taylor, I came on staff with South Pointe Youth For Christ as a Campus Life Director in Valparaiso, Indiana. I absolutely love my job! I lead a group of volunteers and together we invest time and energy into the lives of students as we teach them about Christ, help them navigate adolescence, and get them plugged into a local church.”


Mike FarnsleyMike Farnsley ’08 

“During my time at Taylor University, I lived on Foundation in Sammy Morris Hall, majored in Christian Educational Ministries, and minored in Biblical Literature and Youth Ministry. Since graduating in May 2008, I have been serving full-time in youth ministry. I currently serve as Director of Student Ministries at Kodak United Methodist Church in Kodak, Tennessee, where I oversee ministry to middle school, high school and college students. I am currently pursuing a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. During my junior year at Taylor, I met Sarah (Wilson) Farnsley '09 and we married in August 2009. We welcomed our first child, a boy named Miles Andrew, into the world in September 2011. My younger brother Brian Farnsley graduated from Taylor in 2011 with a degree in psychology. I am thankful God has given me the privilege of being a husband, a father, a pastor and most importantly, His son.”

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.)