Starting this degree at Ridley has been an incredible, challenging and thoroughly enjoyable journey for me. 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, began the course and 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 comfort zones and 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 massive. 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 breath so much life into youth ministry, but about myself too.

Overall, I could not recommend this course enough – it’s already transformed so much of my life, ministry and practice and I cannot wait to continue that journey over the next two years.

Jess Beaumont
Youth Ministry Student