Online Masters in Youth, Church and Culture

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Master of Arts: Youth, Church & Culture

online masters in youth, church and culture

NNU's online Masters in Youth, Church and Culture degree equips students to engage culturally, theologically, and practically with youth, their families, and contemporary social systems. Utilizing material from a broad range of perspectives, students are trained to engage in a wide variety of ministry areas. Earn an M.Div. within 50 months or an M.A. in less than two years without any residential requirements.

NNU's online Masters in Youth, Church and Culture is a twenty-first century model for ministering to young persons and their families. Through our robust study of developmental, cultural and spiritual formation within a practical theological framework, adult learners are prepared to engage the youth of today and tomorrow.

Students in NNU's MDIVYCC program complete an online orientation, 42 credits in their pastoral ministry core, and 32 credits of emphasis in Youth, Church & Culture. After completing an online orientation, MAYCC students focus their studies around the same eight Youth, Church & Culture courses in which MDIVYCC students take as their emphasis, as shown in the comparison to the right. 

MDIVYCC students can complete their degree one course at a time in as little as 50 months, with most summers free. MAYCC students are able to complete their program in as little as 21 months, with no course work in June or July. Our MDIVYCC program has been validated as meeting the educational requirements for ordination as elders in the Church of the Nazarene*. 

Contact us today for more information on how to achieve your goal of reaching today's youth and their families.

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*Nazarene Clergy Services has not validated NNU's MAYCC program as meeting all of the denomination's educational requirements for ordination. Districts may determine that some courses in this program fulfill particular competencies, however. Students who desire to study in the area of Youth, Church & Culture and seek to complete their educational requirements for ordination should enroll in NNU's Master of Divinity track in Youth, Church & Culture, which has been validated by Nazarene Clergy Services.

Course Descriptions

Online Masters in Youth, Church and Culture Courses:

BIBL7330. Youth, Families & Faith Throughout Scripture (4 credits): This course will survey and examine selected passages from the Bible [such as The Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) and Paul's treatise on the Body (I Corinthians 12)] that deal specifically with issues pertaining to young persons, families, and the formation of faith, character and community. This course will also give attention to broader issues of biblical interpretation that are concerned with reading the Bible in formative ways that gain expression in various forms of Christian practice.

CHIS7130. History & Practice of Christian Formation & Education: From Early Church to Emergent (4 credits):  This course will trace the history of how the Church has attempted to shape individuals and communities from its beginning through Emergent catechesis.  Selected cultural approaches to character formation that the Church has utilized will be examined.

PHIL7330. Postmodern Culture & Families (4 credits): This course will involve readings in modern and postmodern philosophy in an effort to understand how these important philosophical shifts have affected families.  Students will be expected to demonstrate how postmodernity has affected the traditional family, given rise to significant changes in the definition of family, and how to minister to families based on this understanding.  

PRTH6000. OnRamp Program Orientation (0 credit): This course will orient the student to the resources, procedures, electronic operations, and expectations of the program.
THEO6330. God in the Everyday: Theological Interpretation of Popular Culture (4 credits): This course will critically examine recent cultural phenomena (such as social networking) from a theological perspective. Students will be expected to form their own practical theology of these phenomena and their usefulness (or lack thereof) in the context of the Christian Church and youth group.

YMIN6130. Foundations of Youth Ministry (4 credits): This course focuses on developing one's personal vision and practice of youth ministry and gives attention to the foundational and diverse elements of youth ministry.  It will additionally serve as an introduction to the YCC program and the embedded curricula of the model of practical theology used herein, the mentoring environment and the need for professional and personal accountability to last as a youth minister. It will explore the biblical and theological foundations of ministry with young people, ranging from those in early to late adolescence. Attention will be given to the role faith plays in adolescent development and identity formation, and to the church's responsibility to young people in and beyond congregations. This course emphasizes incarnational and missional approaches to the gospel, as well as young people's own agency as participants in the total mission of the church.

YMIN6530. Leadership in Youth Ministry (4 credits): This course explores recent literature written about both secular and ecclesiastic leadership.  Students will be shepherded through a process of honing their own philosophy of leadership in the Church.  Attention will be given to case studies and the formation of a practical theology of leadership.  

YMIN6730. Outreach & Evangelism (4 credits): This course explores the biblical mandate to follow the call to "go to all nations," especially as it relates to adolescents. Students will learn how to articulate and pass on to others the biblical and theological view of evangelism and outreach. Through readings, lecture, projects, and discussion, students will learn how to design an incarnational as well as relational ministry program which takes seriously Christian care and evangelism with unbelieving young people.

YMIN7930. Developmental & Spiritual Formation of Youth & Families (4 credits): Because adolescence has been a relatively new identifiable sociological phenomenon, how adolescents grow into adults as a unique process has received far less attention than the more traditional models and theories of child development. In a changing cultural environment, where even the definition, length, and "life task" of the adolescent is hotly debated by researchers and scholars, this course seeks to help the student to: (a) understand the issues that govern adolescent development, (b) recognize the points of discussion and intersection with the familial literature with the adolescent literature, and, most importantly, (c) create a ministerial response to the developing adolescent and his/her family.

Program Outcomes

Online Masters in Youth, Church and Culture Outcomes:

  • The graduate understands both the history and contemporary characteristics of adolescence and family systems theory necessary for engaging in youth and family ministry.
  • The graduate values the role of Practical Theology in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition and philosophy to inform practices fostering young persons and families.
  • The graduate articulates and embodies a Biblical understanding of faith formation within the community of faith including the family.
  • The graduate demonstrates a dynamic integration of practice and philosophy of leadership suitable for ministry in the Church and in the world.