International Certificate in Youth, Theology, and Innovation

Welcome to the Certificate in Youth, Theology, & Innovation – an international certificate 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.

This program featured:

•  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 14-16, 2018.

•  Participation in Youthscape’s National Youth Ministry Weekend in Birmingham, UK — November 16-18, 2018.

•  Four online courses with video group discussion.

•  Participation in the IYM’s Forum on Youth Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary — April 23-26, 2019.

What does the International Certificate include?


The Certificate in Youth, Theology, and Innovation kicked 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 got to know each other and took some time to reflect on our calling, context, and theological understanding of youth ministry. This retreat lay the groundwork for international vocational friendship that strengthens throughout the program and beyond.


Immediately following the Opening Retreat, participants traveled 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 progressed 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 engaged 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 were able to balance the demands of their ministries with the workload of the program.


The IYM’s Forum on Youth Ministry, held in 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 gathered 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 received their certificates and celebrated 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: $2,500 (Course fees — $1,000 | Travel, accommodation, and food — $1,500)
  • 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.

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. Applications are due by Friday, July 20, 2018 (by midnight PST). If you are selected for an interview, we will contact you within 1-2 weeks of receiving your application.

Please note: This is a pilot program that will consist of a small cohort of no more than ten total participants. If you are not selected for this cohort, you will be notified of future opportunities to apply. 

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.