Youth Ministry Centers, Programs, and Organizations

Institute for Youth Ministry (Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ)
An international center dedicated to strengthening the theological task of ministry with young people. Established in 1995, the Institute collaborates with seminaries, church leaders, congregations, communities, and adolescents to promote the strategic importance and practice of youth ministry; initiates and integrates research related to the church's mission with young people; offers degree and non-degree theological education, including doctoral and master's level study; and develops leaders in their ministry with youth through continuing education, curriculum resources, and networks with colleagues. 

The Center for Youth Studies (South Hamilton, MA)
CYS is a global network of youth ministry professionals committed to developing a comprehensive resource for youth work that is current, relevant, and geared for grassroots application. The Center for Youth Studies creates the Encyclopedia of Youth Studies (also known as the Youthworker’s Encyclopedia), an innovative educational and ministerial resource.  The Encyclopedia is a file cabinet of information and resources for busy people who work with kids. Youth pastors, ministers, social workers, civic youth leaders, teachers, principals, and parents may all find the Encyclopedia helpful for understanding and reaching youth.

Theological Programs for High School Youth (The Fund for Theological Education, Atlanta, GA)
A program to engage young people in substantive theological inquiry and education and to recruit talented young adults into the ministry through the coordination of youth initiatives at twenty-four accredited seminaries in the United States and Canada.

Center for Congregations and Family Ministries (Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY)
Seeks to strengthen the church's ability to support families and their capacity to nurture the life of faith, through continuing educational opportunities, workshop training, a professional journal, networking, consultation, and publicizing research findings. 

National Network of Youth Ministries
Links youth workers for encouragement, spiritual growth, and sharing resources in order to expose teenagers to the Christian gospel, establish those who respond in a local church, and disciple them to help reach others. Is a common ground for youth workers from many backgrounds and ministry styles.

Resources for Youth in Formation (Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN)
A project developing resources for Christian youth, including a forthcoming book on Christian practices for youth, titled A Way of Life in the World.

The Jewish Institute for Youth and Family
Its mission is to develop programs and materials teaching Jewish values to youth, devoted specifically to developing programs for families with children at the crucial stage of adolescence and young adulthood, when youths form their adult identities.

Youth Leadership Center for Youth and Family Ministries (Bethel and Lutheran Seminaries, St. Paul, MN)
An interdenominational youth ministry training organization that serves youth workers, parents, professionals, volunteers and churches of a wide variety of denominations. Does not run direct programs for teenagers, but instead educates men and women for the task of youth and family ministry. Is Christ-centered and evangelical with a focus on motivating and training adults to do evangelism, nurture and discipleship with young people.

Youth Theological Initiative (Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA)
A program based at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University, whose goal is to reconceive the way youth are viewed within society and within the church. The centerpiece of YTI is a four week summer academy for rising seniors in high school which explores Christian theology and public issues. The primary mission of the summer academy is to provide an innovative program in Christian theological education for seventeen-year-olds. The goal is to create a cadre of public theologians for the church and society and to ignite the vocational imagination of young people to contribute to the up?building of society for the common good. The hope is that participants will fall in love with theology as a life long pursuit.

Youth Discipleship Project (Claremont, CA)
Offers three contexts for exploring alternate approaches to youth ministry:  First, Youth discipleship Community—youth and adults live together for a month, as they practice and nurture Christian discipleship.  Second, Church Partnerships—year long partnerships established with churches and agencies in which youth leaders work together to identify and develop significant approaches for ministry with youth, exploring pedagogical experiments and resources appropriate to their particular contexts.  Third, a Research Team—scholarly reflection on the textures of contemporary  adolescent life, analyzing current directions in youth ministry, and generating creative approaches.

The Alban Institute (Bethesda, MD) 
Gathers, generates, and provides practical knowledge for church congregations across denominational lines through publications and services, some of which relate to youth ministry in congregations.

Youth and Family Institute (Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN)
Studies and conducts research about American culture, children, youth, and their families; interprets the research to Christian congregations; shares and designs conceptual models of effective ministry to and with youth and families; provides consultation to congregations; and creates resources based on research.

Association for Women in Youth Ministry (122 W. Franklin Ave., Suite 510, Minneapolis, MN 55454; E-mail [email protected])
A professional network to support women in youth ministry through networking, resource development and distribution, speaker’s bureau, bimonthly newsletter, discounts to selected conferences and events, and free advertising in its newsletter. 

Link Institute for Youth (Huntington College, Huntington, IN)
Huntington College’s institute dedicated to training Christian youth ministers.

Center for Youth Ministry Development (Naugatuck, CT)
Offers resources and short-tem or sustained training opportunities in Catholic youth ministry development, offered regionally, usually through a diocesan office. 

Center For Youth Studies (Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, MA) 
A source for youth culture resources, including the Encyclopedia of Youth Studies (available on CD-Rom). Located at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, CYS networks information about youth and culture around the world as well as in the U.S. 

YouthBuilders (formerly known as the National Institute of Youth Ministry) (San Clemente, CA)
YouthBuilders is a non-profit, non-denominational Christian organization focused on training youth workers, educating parents, and guiding youth.

Nyack College Institute of Urban Youth Ministry Studies (Nyack, NY) 
 Sponsors conferences offering specialized training in urban youth ministry. Its theological base is Christian and Missionary Alliance.

One to One (Philadelphia, PA)
Offers training and resources for developing youth mentoring programs in churches, especially in urban settings.

Perkins School of Theology Youth Ministry Institute (Dallas, TX)
Offers annual week-long, university-style training events in January, at the Perkins School of Theology. Includes in-depth training for local church youth ministers for both youth ministry beginners and veteran professionals. Other opportunities include one-day workshops, summer seminar in youth ministry, on-site youth ministry coaching, and leadership training for human sexuality education.

Rock the World YouthMission Alliance (Ambridge, PA)
Dedicated to evangelism, discipleship, and leadership development among youth. Includes direct youth ministries with students training for adults working with young people and training with college students. Its theological base is Anglican.

The Youth Ministry and Spirituality Project (San Francisco Theological Seminary) 
Based at San Francisco Theological Seminary, works with congregations to develop youth ministries that are integrated into the practices of congregational life. Conducts congregation-based research on youth ministry.

Youth Ministry Educators Forum (Deerfield, IL)
A meeting for professors of youth ministry at the evangelical North American Professors in Christian Education conference each fall. 

SonLife Ministries (Elburn, IL)
Partners with the Moody Bible Institute to train students and youth workers.

Youth Specialties, Inc. (El Cajon, CA)
Youth Specialties has been the pioneer entrepreneurial youth ministry organization in the U.S., responsible for training youth leaders in more than 70,000 organizations worldwide. Offers skills-based resources and training and media resources, available both regionally and nationally. 

Youth Unlimited (Grand Rapids, MI)
Youth Unlimited partners with local churches to support early teen and senior high youth ministries. Serving churches throughout North America for more than seven decades, it provides assistance in leadership training, resources, and spiritual growth experiences proven to help teens in their faith. A membership-based ministry whose programs and services are available to any church desiring to benefit from their resources. 

CRC  Publications (Grand Rapids, MI)
CRC Publications is the official denominational publishing house for the Christian Reformed Church, producing materials in the Presbyterian and Reformed tradition which serve more than fifty different denominations, churches, and organizations. Publishes church school curricula, worship resources, periodicals, devotional books, and materials for studying the Bible and current issues. Also offers regional consultants to help train teachers and ministry leaders.