International Certificate in Youth, Theology, and Innovation

Welcome to the International Certificate in Youth, Theology, & Innovation – a program offered by the Institute for Youth Ministry in partnership with Youthscape, a youth ministry innovation hub in the United Kingdom.

This 6-month program has been designed for people actively ministering to youth in church, school, and ministry organizations who are committed to learning from colleagues in diverse cultural contexts. For our pilot year (2018-2019), we partnered with our friends at Youthscape to develop a theologically-trained and innovation-minded network of youth workers across national borders, and we are now accepting applications for our second year.

This program features:

•  An international cohort emphasizing peer-to-peer learning and friendship.

•  An Opening Retreat at Bute Mills, Youthscape’s award-winning facility in Luton, UK — November 13-15, 2019.

•  Participation in Youthscape’s National Youth Ministry Weekend in Birmingham, UK — November 15-17, 2019.

•  Four online courses with video group discussion.

•  Participation in the IYM’s Forum on Youth Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary — April 28–May 2, 2020.

What does the International Certificate include?


The Certificate in Youth, Theology, and Innovation kicks off with an Opening Retreat at Youthscape’s Bute Mills headquarters in Luton, just north of London. This newly renovated flour mill is host to local youth work, national training, and conversations about the future of youth ministry. During this time of fellowship and formation, we’ll get to know each other and take some time to reflect on our calling, context, and theological understanding of youth ministry. This retreat lays the groundwork for international vocational friendship that strengthens throughout the program and beyond.


Immediately following the Opening Retreat, participants travel from Luton to Birmingham for Youthscape’s National Youth Ministry Weekend. This three-day conference gathers people involved in church youth work from the UK, Europe, and beyond. With inspiring worship, workshops, speakers, and fellowship, the NYMW is a wellspring of refreshment and connection for youth workers navigating the waters of Christian faith in a post-Christendom context.


The Certificate in Youth, Theology, and Innovation progresses through an online curriculum of four specialized classes, covering theology, innovation, spirituality, and a contextualized workshop in innovative youth ministry. Continuing to develop a rich cohort community, participants engage in online group discussions while learning from world-renowned scholars at Princeton Theological Seminary and leading innovation experts at Youthscape. With a blend of self-paced coursework and associated assignments, participants can balance the demands of their ministries with the workload of the program. You should set aside approximately 10 hours per month to progress through the four online modules.


The IYM’s Forum on Youth Ministry, held in late April annually on the campus of Princeton Theological Seminary, is the culminating event for this certificate program. Participants from both the UK and the US gather at PTS for a pre-Forum reunion to synthesize their learning and share their contextual ministry ideas. Participants then take part in the Forum’s four-day conference, learning from leading scholars and practitioners in youth ministry and the theological academy. As the Forum concludes, participants receive their certificates and celebrate with a final reception.

For full program outline, click here.

Program Cost

The cost of the 6-month International Certificate in Youth, Theology, and Innovation program depends on the location of participant’s ministry (UK or US), as detailed below. Program fees include: online coursework and materials; registration for the Opening Retreat, the National Youth Ministry Weekend, and the Forum on Youth Ministry; roundtrip international flight between Newark Liberty and London Heathrow Airports; ground transportation to international event sites; lodging in Luton, Birmingham, and Princeton; and most meals.

US-Based Participants:

  • Total cost: $2,800 (Course fees — $1,000 | Travel, accommodation, and food — $1,800)
  • Total does not include travel to/from Newark Liberty Airport for trip to UK (November) or to/from Princeton Theological Seminary for Forum on Youth Ministry (April).
  • Payment and travel arrangements will be made through the Institute for Youth Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary.

UK-Based Participants:

  • Total cost: £2,050 (Course fees — £825 | Travel, accommodation, and food — £1,225)
  • Payment will be made to Youthscape in three installments (September 2019, November 2019, and January 2020).

Application Process

The International Certificate in Youth, Theology, and Innovation requires a completed online application, a ministry reference, and a 30-minute video interview with program administrators.

Deadline for Applications

US Applicants — August 16, 2019 (by midnight PST)

UK Applicants — 23 August 2019 (by midnight GMT)

If you are selected for an interview, we will contact you within 1-2 weeks of receiving your application.

Letters of admission are emailed within 2-3 weeks of your phone interview. Once you’ve received your letter of admission, you must submit a deposit ($500 for US participants, £375 for UK participants) within 14 days in order to confirm your enrollment in the cohort. Detailed instructions will be provided in your letter of admission and in follow-up correspondence.