Children, Youth and Family Ministry

  • Are you seeking more substance in your ministry with children, youth and family?
  • Do you want to advance your theological training so you can enhance the work you're already doing?
  • Would you like to take advantage of the latest research and innovations while gaining useful skills?

Luther Seminary's Children, Youth and Family (CYF) Ministry degree programs integrate theology, theory and practical leadership. Graduates leave powerfully equipped to nurture and strengthen the faith of young people and their families with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Luther Seminary's mission is to educate leaders for Christian communities. Today, the demand has never been greater. The CYF Ministry concentration provides students with academic courses, community discipleship and support, and ministry experience that prepares you for leadership in various ministry settings: congregation, campus, outdoor, as well as teaching and research.


Our CYF Ministry degree programs are academically, theologically and biblically rigorous. Incorporating some of the latest research in what makes children, youth and family ministry exemplary, the academic design is shaped by:

  • 6 core theological foundations: God, Jesus, the church and its mission, the Christian life and leadership; the world.
  • 7 theoretical understandings: relational ministry, youth culture, generations, systems, learning theory, crisis and organizations;
  • 8 practical leadership skills: media, team building, communication, program planning, nurturing faith, outreach, personal growth and research.

Luther Seminary offers two degree programs with concentrations in CYF. In the M.A. Program, nine of the eighteen courses are core requirements in biblical studies, church history and theology. The other nine fall within the CYF Ministry concentration, three required core classes and six electives. You will have tremendous flexibility in designing a concentration to focus on one of the following areas:

  • Children and Family Ministry
  • Youth and Family Ministry
  • Young Adult Ministry
  • Outdoor Ministry

In the M.Div. Program, students seeking ordination with a concentration in CYF Ministry fulfill the M.Div. requirements and focus their four-and-one half electives in the CYF Ministry area.


More than just attending classes, students in the CYF concentration are shaped by the CYF learning community. We at Luther place a high value on the relationships built between students, faculty and the CYF staff. Hence, the CYF Ministry Program seeks to embody incarnational ministry and is intentional about attending to our communal life together by offering retreats, weekly gatherings, learning events, bi- weekly cohort groups, and lots of opportunity for one-on-one interaction. The time students, faculty and staff spend together are a key part of the educational process and in developing as public Christian leaders.


As CYF Ministry seeks to shape public Christian leaders with particular enduring understandings and competencies, being connected to a ministry context is vital. Therefore, all CYF students -- MA or M Div, residential or DL -- are engaged in leadership in contextual ministry site. This site is the place where students discover what it means to engage theology and mission in a particular locale, refine their own vocational call and grow their leadership abilities. Residential CYF students typically work part-time in a ministry position in the greater St. Paul area. Distributed CYF students work part or full-time in a ministry position in their area.

Learn more!

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