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two young girls smile as they are welcomed into church camp by enthusiastic youth leaders

Youth Ministry Degree

Complete a degree in Christian ministry with an emphasis in youth ministry

Do you have a heart for ministry and a passion for working with youth? SBU's Youth Ministry within the Christian Ministry degree will teach you how to reach youth at a critical time in their lives through training in discipleship, evangelism and adolescent development.

Coursework in multiple academic disciplines — including theology, ministry, psychology and education — will equip you to effectively lead and maintain a youth ministry in a church or other organization. As you learn how to become a youth minister, put your learning into action through apprenticeships, volunteering at local churches and participating in student service activities such as the Center for Global Connections projects.

The Youth Ministry program is offered through SBU's College of Arts and Sciences


Major Map (PDF)


(Exit surveys reveal that students are employed or accepted to graduate school by the time of their graduation.)

Youth playing with bubbles machine

The SBU Advantage

  • Completing an apprenticeship in youth ministry will give you valuable, real-world experience prior to graduation.
  • Learn from highly qualified faculty including Dr. Duke Jones who has more than 30 years of youth ministry experience.
  • Many local churches provide volunteer and internship opportunities for you to get experience working with youth group ministries while pursuing your degree.
  • Each year, more churches seek to hire our graduates than the number of students in our program, creating great job placement opportunities.

Faith Integration

The integration of Christian faith and academic discipline is inherent in the Youth Ministry program. Students receive superior academic training in Biblical studies through core classes such as Methods of Biblical Interpretation, Christian Heritage, Christian Doctrine, and Disciple-Making and Evangelism. The courses required by each concentration provide excellent career and ministry preparation with the goal of nurturing your personal faith while also equipping you to nurture the faith of others.


Our graduates are equipped to immediately enter youth ministry careers including:

  • Youth Minister at various churches around the country
  • Camp/Retreat Leaders
  • Missions and Ministry Leaders

Graduate Schools

Some graduates pursue further study at graduate schools or seminaries. Recent youth ministry alumni have continued their studies at:


While earning your youth ministry degree, you will be eligible for the Church Related Vocation (CRV) scholarship, which is currently valued at $2,000 per year. To maintain this scholarship, you must be enrolled in a ministry-related degree program, submit the necessary application and references, participate in SBU's in-service training program and complete any other requirements.

Several privately funded scholarships are also available by application to students preparing for service in missions and evangelism.

Baptist Association of Christian Educators (BACE)

Join SBU's chapter of the Baptist Association of Christian Educators. By joining BACE, you will receive valuable professional development opportunities and be part of a greater network of others who are in or are pursuing leadership roles in Christian education in local churches.

Christian Ministry: Youth Ministry (B.A.) Four-Year Plan


Fall Semester

BIB 1013 Old Testament History 3
CIS 1103 Computer and Information Management 3
ENG 1113 English Composition I 3
MAT 1243 Algebraic Reasoning and Modeling 3
POL 1113 American Government and Politics 3
UNI 1111 University Seminar 1
Total hours 16

Spring Semester

BIB 1023 New Testament History 3
COM 1103 Fundamentals of Speech Communication 3
ENG 2213 English Composition II 3
HIS 2213/2223 U.S. History I or II 3
PSY 1013 General Psychology (or SOC 1003) 3
UNI 1121 Introduction to Critical Thinking 1
Total hours 16


Fall Semester

BIB 2093 Methods of Biblical Interpretation 3
CED 2003 Introduction to Christian Education 3
GRE 2014 Elementary Greek I or  
HEB 2014 Elementary Hebrew I 4
KIN 1162 Foundations of Physical Fitness/Wellness 2
SPF 2032 Spiritual Formation for Ministry 2
THE 3023 Christian Heritage 3
Total hours 17

Spring Semester

CED 2033 Principles of Teaching in the Church 3
FAR 10_3 Intro. to Art, Fine Arts, Music or Theatre 3
GRE 2024 Elementary Greek II or  
HEB 2024 Elementary Hebrew II 4
THE 3113 Christian Doctrine 3
THE 3023 Baptist Denomination (if a Church Related
Vocation Scholarship recipient)
CHR 3073 Disciple-making/Evangelism 3
Total hours 16


Fall Semester

BIB ___3 Upper Level Bible course 3
BIO 1004 Principles of Biology 4
CED 3023 Church Administration 3
CED 2033 Principles of Teaching in the Church 3
  Elective 3
Total hours 16

Spring Semester

CHR 3003 Introduction to Disciple-making 3
CED 3013 Youth Ministry in the Church 3
ECO 2003 LIFE Economics 3
ICS 2901/2911 Culture Service Project 1
PHS ___4 Introduction to Physical Science 4
  Elective 3
Total hours 17


Fall Semester

ICS 2901/2911 Culture Service Project 1
PSY ___3 Counseling Elective 3
PSY 4033 Adolescent Development 3
  Elective 3
  Elective 3
  Elective 2
Total hours 15

Spring Semester

CED 4983 Christian Ministry Apprenticeship 3
CED 4053 Youth Discipleship and Evangelism 3
  Elective 3
  Elective 3
  Elective 3
Total hours 15

This is a proposed guideline. Please check the catalog and see your advisor for your final degree requirements.
Southwest Baptist University reserves the right to make changes to degree plans without advanced notice or obligation.
The student is responsible for understanding and completing all general education, degree, departmental and graduation requirements.

Download in PDF format:
Youth Ministry (B.A.) plan (PDF)