Master’s in Youth and Family Ministry Degree

Master of Arts in Youth and Family Ministry

Offered By: College of Theology

What Is a Youth and Family Ministry Degree?

Youths and families have unique spiritual needs. Learn how to engage young people and provide pastoral guidance to them with a Master of Arts in Youth and Family Ministry. Offered by Grand Canyon Theological Seminary, this online youth ministry degree is well-suited to future youth pastors who have a passion for changing lives through transformative ministry.

Address the challenges of modern life with the wisdom of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The MA in Youth and Family Ministry degree examines the major stages of human development — from childhood to adulthood. Family ministry degree students learn to apply theological and biblical principles as they minister to specific groups and family members. You’ll be trained to provide biblical care during the oft-tumultuous years of adolescent growth and development.

What You Will Learn in GCU’s Youth Ministry Degree Program

GCU’s youth ministry degree program seeks graduate students who are eager to serve their local communities and church organizations with compassion, competence and godly wisdom. Prepare to lead and inspire members of your Christian community and guide young people in staying on track to lead ethical, spiritual lives. The master’s in youth and family ministry degree meets GCU’s core domains and competencies.

  • Biblical foundations: Demonstrate knowledge of the Bible, ability to interpret Scripture and an understanding of the role of Scripture in youth and family ministry
  • Theological and historical foundations: Demonstrate the ability to apply biblical, theological and historical understandings within the context of ministry
  • Spiritual and professional formation: Demonstrate personal, spiritual and professional development skills appropriate for future Christian leaders
  • Youth and family: Demonstrate an understanding of the integration of faith formation and human development into effective youth ministry practices
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What to Expect from an MA in Youth and Family Ministry Program

The Grand Canyon Theological Seminary provides students with a solid framework for handling the complexities of youth and family ministry. Begin with a comprehensive survey of the biblical and theological foundations of Christian ethics. Gain confidence in biblical interpretation as you explore the basic principles of biblical language tools, exegesis and application. Analyze the practical dimensions of systematic theology, and draw connections between biblical teaching and ministry.

As you work through the youth ministry degree program, you’ll gain a solid foundation of Old and New Testament knowledge, as well as cardinal Christian doctrines. Learn about the stages of human development and how they affect faith formation. Explore best practices in ministering to people during times of crisis, and consider strategies for connecting with youths and families.

Future youth pastors are required to complete supervised ministry hours. This gives students a chance to reinforce concepts learned during coursework within real-world contexts.

Careers With a Youth Ministry Degree

As the world continues to present evolving challenges to families and young people, youth pastors remain a steadfast source of spiritual comfort and guidance. A master’s in youth ministry can position graduates to pursue opportunities in churches, parachurches, Christian organizations, nonprofit organizations, social service entities and educational institutions. Some specific roles that may be related to this theology degree include the following:

  • Religious activities and education director
  • Religion teacher (postsecondary)
  • Philosophy teacher (postsecondary)

Some graduates may choose to pursue work as a member of a campus ministry team or as part of a wilderness or adventure education ministry.

MA in Youth and Family Ministry Degree FAQs

Youth ministry encourages students with different paths and journeys unique to them. Your road to becoming a youth minister not only depends on your education, but also your calling, unique opportunities, passion and your ability to learn as you go. The skills and knowledge students gain by earning a degree in theology provides graduates with an invaluable sense of joy when offering sound guidance that addresses Christian life and the challenges of today’s society.

Grand Canyon Theological Seminary (GCTS) is the graduate school of GCU’s College of Theology. It offers a youth ministry degree teaching advanced theological training grounded in biblical truth within the context of a rich graduate culture. GCTS strives to develop leaders, ministers and scholars who handle God’s Word, and equip the people of God for missional service within a rapidly changing world.

Your faithfulness to follow Jesus is what makes great youth pastors and a masters in youth ministry can help lead the way. A Master of Arts in Youth and Family Ministry at GCU’s seminary takes approximately two years to complete, a total of 38 credits and supervised ministry hours to apply concepts learned into real-world contexts.

If you have a passion for changing lives through transformative ministry, GCU offers several opportunities to fulfill your goals. If you choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Christian ministry, the program requires 120 credits, which takes approximately four years to complete and provides a leadership foundation that prepares you to work in fields such as pastoral ministry, administrative ministry, and more. To develop your skills deeper with a master’s in youth ministry degree, it takes approximately two additional years and 38 credits to complete.

TOTAL CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Credits: 38
Online: 8 weeks
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TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
TUITION RATE:
Online: $565 per credit [More Info]

Course List

Major:
38 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
38 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare students for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University. Students have opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in ministry and theology. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the tools for graduate success.

Course Description

This course examines the biblical and theological foundations of Christian ethics along with an analysis of the roles and responsibilities of gospel ministry. Significant attention is given to self-care, personal morality, and character formation as well as ethical concerns unique to ministers as they lead, equip, shepherd, and intercede for God’s people.

Course Description

This course is a study of the basic principles of evangelical biblical interpretation, exegesis, and application, especially in the context of ministry, including an introduction to the use of biblical language tools.

Course Description

This course analyzes the practical dimensions of systematic theology and assists students in making critical connections between biblical teaching and ministry within specific contexts. Emphasis is placed on faithful biblically rooted ministry, including a focus on prayer, evangelism, discipleship, and church leadership. This course requires supervised ministry hours. Practicum/field experience hours: 45.

Course Description

This course surveys the text and historical background of the Old Testament with an introduction to hermeneutics and the proper interpretation of the books of the Old Testament.

Course Description

This course surveys the text and historical background of the New Testament with an introduction to hermeneutics and the proper interpretation of the books of the New Testament.

Course Description

This course surveys cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith, including revelation, God, humanity, Christ, and salvation. Emphasis is placed on the development of sound theology grounded in biblical understandings and practical wisdom for ministry. Some attention is given to the historical development of doctrine.

Course Description

This course provides a foundation for ministry to youth and families. Students consider biblical foundations for ministry to youth and families and how to apply and contextualize those foundations for today’s changing world. This course requires supervised ministry hours. Practicum/field experience hours: 45.

Course Description

This course helps students examine stages of human development and their impact on faith formation. Special attention is given to developmentally appropriate communication of biblical and theological content. Students develop strategies for discipling individuals and families. This course requires supervised ministry hours. Practicum/field experience hours: 45.

Course Description

This course equips students with basic skills for pastoral care and conflict resolution, with special emphasis given to caring for the soul of the leader as he or she ministers to people during times of crisis. This course requires supervised ministry hours. Practicum/field experience hours: 45.

Program Locations

GCU Online Student


Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student


Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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