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

Youth Ministry

Youth Ministry Program

Do you have a heart for ministry and a passion for working with youth? SBU's Youth 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




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

Youth playing with bubbles machine


  • 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 degree program. Students receive superior academic training in Biblical studies through core classes such as Methods of Biblical Interpretation, History of Christianity, Christian Doctrine, Introduction to Ministry and Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview. 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:

  • SBU's own Master of Arts in Christian Ministry degree
  • Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Truett Theological Seminary


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.



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.