Certificate in Youth and Theology

Welcome to the Certificate in Youth and Theology – designed by the Institute for Youth Ministry for people actively ministering to youth in churches and ministry organizations who want to dig deeper into theology and explore its intersections with ministry to young people. The program includes:

•  A cohort of peer-to-peer learning and friendship.

•  Participation in two Forums on Youth Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary.*

•  An on-campus Certificate Retreat* immediately following the first Forum.

•  Personalized, yearlong coaching from Ministry Architects.

•  Book discussions, case studies, and a contextual final project.

•  Youth ministry courses on our online platform.

*On-campus program requirement– 10 days over two visits.

What does the Certificate in Youth and Theology include?


The IYM’s Forum on Youth Ministry, held in late April annually on the campus of Princeton Theological Seminary, is what anchors the Certificate in Youth and Theology, as one cohort meets and launches and another cohort reunites and ends. This four-day conference is organized around a different theme each year, engaging leading scholars and practitioners in youth ministry and the theological academy. Cohort members attend the conference twice in its entirety, with additional exclusive course offerings tailored to their program. The second Forum provides an opportunity to showcase contextualized projects to a wider audience in conjunction with a Capstone Seminar.


Immediately following the first Forum on Youth Ministry, the new cohort extends its on-campus experience with a weekend retreat at Princeton Theological Seminary’s Erdman Center. During this rejuvenating time of fellowship and formation, each cohort is invited to reflect on their calling and theological understanding of youth ministry. This retreat lays the groundwork for deep vocational friendship that strengthens throughout the program and beyond.


The Certificate in Youth and Theology progresses through a robust online curriculum of specialized classes, book studies, case studies, and a contextualized project. Continuing to develop a rich cohort community, participants engage in online group discussions while learning from world-renowned scholars at Princeton Theological Seminary, including Kermit Moss, Shane Berg, and Kenda Creasy Dean. With a blend of self-paced coursework and associated assignments, participants are able to balance the demands of their ministries with the workload of the program.


Throughout the 12-month program, participants are connected with a professional coach from Ministry Architects. Coaches may be pastors, professors, denominational leaders, or ministry consultants and are selected in light of the participant’s needs, interests, gifts, and tradition. Coaches support the participant’s imagination, design, and implementation of a project that is concurrently applied to the participant’s ministry context.


The cost of the 12-month Certificate in Youth and Theology program is $2,000, which includes online coursework, books, and registration for two Forums on Youth Ministry and the Certificate Retreat. Two payment options are available.

Payment Option 1:

  • Pay-in-full and receive 10% discount
  • Total $1,800 due with initial registration

Payment Option 2:

  • Four payments distributed over 12 months:
    • $550 due with initial registration
    • $550 due June 15, 2019
    • $550 due October 15, 2019
    • $350 due February 1, 2020

Note: Program fees do not include the cost of travel or lodging for on-campus events. Most meals are included, and free shuttle service is provided to/from campus and recommended hotels throughout the Forum. Participants are required to stay in the Erdman Center on Princeton Theological Seminary’s campus for the Certificate Retreat.  



Is the Certificate in Youth and Theology right for you? This 12-month program is designed for people actively ministering to youth in church and ministry organizations who want to dig deeper into theology and explore its intersection with ministry to young people. If you are looking for a rich theological education, professional development in youth ministry, and a cohort of peer learning and friendship — the Certificate in Youth and Theology is right for you.


The Certificate in Youth and Theology requires a complete online application, a ministry supervisor reference, an additional professional reference, and a 30-minute phone interview. Complete your application today, and your phone interview will be scheduled within 3-4 weeks.


Letters of admission are emailed within 3 weeks of your phone interview. Once you’ve received your letter of admission, you must submit your payment (either in full or the first $550) in order to confirm your enrollment and hold your place in your Certificate in Youth and Theology cohort. Detailed instructions are provided in your letter of admission.