World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Youth ministry

Youth ministry, also commonly referred to as youth group, is an age-specific young people who attend their places of worship, or who live in their community. Christian youth ministry usually encompasses one or more of the following:

  • encouraging young people (whether they have professed a faith or not) to learn more about a given faith and to become more involved in spiritual life
  • providing open youth clubs or other activities for the common good of the young people, sometimes without an overtly religious agenda

As well as organizing events and activities, youth ministry will usually include some form of religious instruction and pastoral oversight of young people.


  • Christianity 1
    • Protestantism 1.1
    • Catholicism 1.2
      • Catholic young people 1.2.1
  • Unitarian Universalism 2
  • Education and career path 3
  • See also 4
  • External links 5



In Protestant churches, the term "ministry" often implies the service of an ordained minister or pastor. In youth ministry, however, this is not always the case — a youth ministry leader may be an ordained member of the clergy, an employed lay person, or a volunteer. Titles applied to youth ministry leaders vary widely as well, even within denominations, using terms such as "Youth Minister", "Youth Pastor", or simply "Youth Worker".


Catholic youth work covers a world wide range of activities carried out with young people, usually in the name of the Catholic Church and with the intention of imparting the Catholic faith to them and inviting them to practice and live out the faith in their lives. Activities in the field range from small scale youth groups attached to parishes or Catholic schools, to large international gatherings, such as World Youth Day. It is a field which has evolved much over recent decades, especially in comparison to more formal methods of education or catechesis within the church. Nearly all dioceses and a great deal of parishes have some form of youth provision running, although a great deal of areas particularly in the developed world are finding youth work both more difficult and rare as the numbers of young people regularly practicing the Catholic faith continue to decline. In contrast, though, the new and exciting developments of recent decades and particularly the influence of the new movements within the church are ensuring that youth work continues to be an active and fruitful field.

Catholic young people

Unlike the case in some Protestant churches, a youth minister in the Roman Catholic Church is not a member of the clergy. Ministry, including youth ministry, is considered one of the functions within the Church because most believe that people should start learning about God at a young age so they have more time to grow spiritually through adulthood. Therefore, it is more likely for a Catholic youth minister or youth ministry leader to be a lay person, rather than an ordained priest.

Unitarian Universalism

There are organizations within the Unitarian Universalist congregations in the United States), as well as within the Canadian Unitarian Council (the national body for Unitarian Universalist congregations in Canada), which minister to and with youth, of which Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) is the largest and most apparent. YRUU strongly emphasizes youth empowerment, along with youth-adult partnership. There are also specific youth-oriented programs, such as Coming of Age, and Our Whole Lives, a lifespan sexuality education program with a youth age group.

Education and career path

Youth ministers may be trained in an education specifically to work with youth. Many Bible and Christian universities and colleges now offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in youth ministry. While youth ministry used to be considered a stepping stone on the way to becoming priests, nuns and other important vocations, the trend is currently moving toward treating it as its own vocation.

See also

External links A collection of information, resources, and training for those involved in youth ministry. Youth ministry resources, coaching, and training events.

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.