On the Journey to Youth Ministry
Jess Beaumont, studying at CYM Ridley Hall for the Degree in Theology, Ministry and Mission, specialising in youth ministry, writes about her decision to return to study:
I have been passionate about youth ministry and working with young people since I was barely a teenager myself. However I could not say the same for education. I had no desire to study any further after struggling at college, and believed it just wasn’t for me.
After four years out of education, whilst leading the youth ministry at my church, I began to crave a greater depth of understanding, knowledge and grounding in youth work that would enable me to go further in the future, and started to look into different study options. I came across CYM Ridley Hall, and already know that it was the best possible decision I could have made.
I already know that it was the best possible decision I could have made.
The block teaching weeks mean that I’m able to completely immerse myself in the modules, with constant support and encouragement from the lecturers, staff and other students. This support, coupled with lectures that are engaging and inclusive, has meant that learning has started to instil confidence in me, as opposed to robbing me of it. The course also encompasses so many aspects of life and ministry, rather than being a means of just gaining knowledge. The theological input means that I’m regularly challenged in my own faith in a way that stretches me, pushing me out of my comfort zones, expanding my thinking and often opening my eyes to so much more of God.
The impact that the course has had on my practice has also been huge. Learning to reflect has been one of the most valuable things I have learnt so far — taking the time to unpack real-life, difficult situations that I encounter with young people has made me far more intentional in relationships and ministry, teaching me not only about theological concepts that can breathe so much life into youth ministry, but about myself too.
I could not recommend this course enough — it has already transformed so much of my life, ministry and practice and I cannot wait to continue that journey over the next three years.