CYF Program Information

The Children, Youth and Family Ministry Program at Luther Seminary has gone through some exciting changes. Now with the addition of Children's Ministries, students can be prepared to serve those in their first third of life. The ability to custom make one's degree offers students the flexibility to choose electives that will best prepare them for their current and future ministries.

Residential Concentration

The residential concentration in Children, Youth and Family ministry is designed for individuals who are interested in a ministry to young people and their families in either a church or para-church ministry context. This degree program provides theology, theory and practice in a holistic educational environment.


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


In addition to seminary wide community-building activities, the CYF ministry program continually seeks ways to add to your growth in and through community. The CYF program offers 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.


All CYF Ministry students will have the opportunity to extend their learning process beyond the classroom. Residential students work in salaried positions, typically 15 to 20 hours a week within area congregations. Distributed learning students continue working part- or full-time in their ministry site while fulfilling their academic coursework. You will benefit from supervision and leadership coaching in your field experience.

As CYF Ministry seeks to help shape public Christian leaders with particular enduring understandings and competencies, being connected to a ministry context is vital. Therefore, all CYF students - M.A. 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. MA students are working/volunteering in a context throughout their course of study. M.Div. students focusing in CYF Ministry also participate in a CYF contextual site alongside their first twenty courses.