The Bachelor of Arts in Youth and Family Ministry at Great Northern University equips students, both academically and practically, to impact young people and their families. This program prepares exceptional leaders who explain and model the Gospel of Jesus Christ to our rapidly changing world.

GNU offers a unique program through its two-fold focus on ministry preparation, specifically to youth, and preparation for resourcing parents and guardians for the spiritual formation of their teenagers. Students will develop a solid foundation and skill set for effective ministry in the local church, para-church ministries, or for moving on to graduate studies in a variety of theological and ministry-related fields.

Suggested Program Plan 

What Can I do with a Youth and Family Ministry Degree?

  • Youth and family ministry in the local church
  • Work for non-profit organizations (Youth for Christ, YoungLife, Help for Families)
  • Sports ministry (coaching, athletic directing)
  • Graduate Studies in Marriage and Family Therapy

Sample Core Courses

Sexuality, Marriage, and Family

This course develops a biblical sexual ethic while addressing contemporary sexual mores of current culture. A theology of marriage and family is also developed as family structures, issues and dynamics are examined. As part of this course, issues such as preparing for Christian marriage; family roles and relationships; and parenting and child training will be explored. 

Youth Evangelism and Discipleship

This course focuses on the biblical disciple-making process as especially applicable to teenagers.  Students will develop a clear explanation of the Gospel including a clear plea for response. Spiritual formation will be discussed and a strategic discipleship plan developed which will include age appropriate curriculum.

Teaching and Speaking to Youth

This course focuses on the development of solid speaking and teaching skills. It then gives further attention to adapting those skills when communicating to teenagers. This course will include teaching presentations and peer and professor feedback.

Family Ministry

This course will explore how the church can partner with and minister to whole families, especially but not limited to, partnering with parents/guardians. In this course, students will study a biblical theology of family and learn skills for resourcing parents/guardians for spiritual formation of the family. Current models of family ministry will be explored with an eye on best practices that accurately represent biblical commands.

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