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Fuller Theological Seminary

Fuller Seminary Center for Youth and Family Ministry
Urban Youth Ministry Certificate



From the minute we started the first class, I knew this program was going to be incredible. I am learning so much about God’s Kingdom, ministry, and culture. Being with this group is going to help my ministry tremendously. Not only do I feel better equipped to work with kids, I feel like I can better empower leaders and other staff.
—From a 2006-2008 Cohort Student

For the upcoming 2008 Cohort, applications will be posted here beginning JULY 15, 2007.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE NEW APPLICATION DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 15, 2007!


To inquire further and receive a FREE DVD highlighting the Urban Youth Ministry program, please share more information with us so our Admissions team can be in touch with you! Note: Please be sure to select "Pasadena" under the Campus designation, and to select "Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry" under the drop-down menu designation for "Program of Interest."


Frequently Asked Questions

We are so glad you are interested in finding out more about our new Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry. We figure you have all sorts of questions about the Certificate so we compiled the following list of Frequently Asked Questions.

1. What exactly is Fuller’s Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry?
2. What are the courses like?
3. How did Fuller decide what to include in the curriculum?
4. What exactly will be studied in the courses?
5. When do I start and when will I finish?
6. How much does the program cost?
7. Can I apply the credits I earn toward a Master's Degree?
8. What if I don’t have my Bachelor’s degree completed yet?
9. How do I apply for the Certificate or the Credential?
10. Who can I contact for more information?


1. What exactly is Fuller’s Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry?

The Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry provides youth ministers in urban church and parachurch settings with theological, psychological, and intercultural training vital to effective youth ministry. This unique program offered by Fuller’s Center for Youth and Family Ministry draws from the expertise of Fuller’s Schools of Theology, Psychology and Intercultural Studies to offer academic training that can be completed with a minimum of time away from ministry commitments.

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2. What are the courses like?

The Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry requires the completion of six master’s-level courses (24 units) essential for effective youth ministry in urban contexts, including two six-month field education practica conducted in each student’s home ministry area under the supervision of a qualified mentor. In addition to the practica, courses include:

  • Theology and Philosophy of Urban Youth Ministry
  • Leadership and Management of Urban Youth Ministry
  • Transformational Urban Youth Ministry
  • The Urban Youth Ministry Leader

Two of the courses are offered as one-week intensives. Two of the courses are offered through distance or online learning and can be completed in the convenience of one’s home or office.

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3. How did Fuller decide what to include in the curriculum?

From 2003-2005, Fuller’s Center for Youth and Family Ministry conducted over 40 interviews with key urban youth leaders representing organizations like Young Life, Youth for Christ, Vision Youth, Urban Reclaim, the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative, Mission America, the Christian Community Development Association, and the Urban Youth Workers Institute. In addition, Fuller faculty have partnered with leaders and ministries nationwide to develop research-based training on topics like:

  • An understanding of the developmental assets most pivotal to urban kids and families and case studies of ministries that are doing excellent holistic ministry.
  • How to network resources in your city so that youth workers accomplish more working together than they ever could on their own.
  • The principles of indigenous leadership development that are tested and really work in urban contexts.
  • How to raise funds and financial support for your urban youth ministry.
  • Solid counseling skills to help you respond to kids who have been traumatized and are hurting.
  • How to evaluate your own ministry so you can keep improving and also show others your tangible results.
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4. What exactly will be studied in the courses?

Here’s a list of subjects covered in the six courses:

Course #1: Theology and Philosophy of Urban Youth Ministry

  • A theological method to apply to daily life
  • Understanding and experiencing the Kingdom of God
  • Embracing and communicating through narrative theology/God’s story
  • Reaching kids through incarnational evangelism
  • Embodying the missional church
  • Interacting with culture
  • Understanding multicultural issues, racial reconciliation, and ministry

Course #2: Leadership and Management of Urban Youth Ministry

  • Developing and understanding organizational structure
  • Developing and communicating vision
  • Creating strategic plans
  • Developing administrative skills
  • Fundraising and resource development
  • Developing a team
  • Raising indigenous leaders
  • Conducting program evaluation

Course #3: Transformational Urban Youth Ministry

  • Adolescent development
  • Evangelism and discipleship
  • Counseling kids who have been traumatized
  • Creating family ministry
  • Developing holistic ministry
  • Exegeting your context, the city
  • Networking with other church and parachurch ministries in your city

Course #4: The Person of the Urban Youth Worker

Personal needs:

  • Learning to walk with Christ in the midst of suffering
  • Maintaining health in your own family
  • Developing boundaries
  • Maintaining balance
  • Developing your own peer community
  • Creating accountability relationships

Ministry needs:

  • Mentoring
  • Networking
  • Understanding and using your spiritual gifts

Courses #5 and #6: Guided Practica
To be completed with a mentor.

There will be 4 2-unit practica, each of which will connect and help reinforce and apply the content of the above 4 courses.

To download a pdf document outlining the SIX COURSE CURRICULUM, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

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5. When do I start and when will I finish?

In order to create as relational a curriculum as possible, students in the Certificate of Urban Youth Ministry experience the courses as a cohort. For the 2008 cohort, the first course, “Theology and Philosophy of Urban Youth Ministry,” will start in May 2008 in Los Angeles, California. The entire course, as well as portions of “Leadership and Management of Urban Youth Ministry,” will be offered in conjunction with the Urban Youth Workers Institute conference.

The remainder of the “Leadership and Management of Urban Youth Ministry” course will be offered via various distance learning venues (i.e., listening to downloadable lectures or CDs, responding by e.mail) from before and after the one-week intensive (March - June).

The 2 practica related to both the “Theology and Philosophy of Urban Youth Ministry” course as well as the “Leadership and Management of Urban Youth Ministry” course will consist of a supervised internship (likely in their current ministry setting) with a mentor of the student’s choice during fall quarter 2008 and winter quarter 2009.

The “The Person of the Urban Youth Leader” course and portions of the “Transformational Urban Youth Ministry” course will be offered in May 2009, in conjunction with the Urban Youth Workers Institute in Los Angeles, California . The 2 practica related to these 2 courses will consist of a supervised internship (likely in students’ current ministry settings) with a mentor of the student’s choice during fall quarter 2009 and winter quarter 2010. All coursework would be completed by the end of winter quarter 2010.

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6. How much does the program cost?

The cost of the Urban Youth Ministry Certificate is approximately $7,100.00. Thanks to extensive fundraising, we have been able to offer scholarships to eligible students. Our hope is to raise scholarship support such that students in each cohort pay approximately $1,500 for the entire Certificate (payments will be dispersed over the course of the two years). Students are also responsible for their own costs for transportation, lodging (at a discounted rate at a hotel arranged by Fuller), and food for the 2 face to face gatherings as well as books for all courses. Federal financial aid is not available for this program. If however, the total cost is still prohibitive for you, please let us know and we will continue to work toward alternative funding possibilities.

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7. Can I apply the credits I earn toward a Master’s degree?

Although the certificate is not awarded to students already admitted to degree programs, all courses earned toward a certificate can be credited toward a degree program upon later admission to that program (if appropriate to the curriculum, and subject to certain degree requirements, such as residency or distance learning limits).

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8. What if I don’t have my Bachelor’s degree completed yet?

If you don’t have your Bachelor’s degree yet, you can apply for a parallel program called the Urban Youth Ministry Credential program. As such, you will not technically be a student at Fuller Seminary but rather a student affiliated with the Center for Youth and Family Ministry. But you will complete the same work assignments and interact in much of the same lecture and discussion formats as the Certificate students.

We are in dialogue with Eastern University to develop an arrangement so that Eastern University will grant undergraduate credit for at least some of the work completed in the Credential. All Young Life and Youth for Christ staff who are interested in the possibility of receiving credit through Eastern University should contact Jerry Mann at JerryRMann@aol.com or by phone at 415.272.2034.

At this time, the discussions with Eastern University are only relevant to Young Life and Youth for Christ staff. All other Credential students are encouraged to submit the syllabi from the 6 Credential courses to appropriate undergraduate universities (probably Christian universities or colleges) in the hopes that they, too, will grant credit for work completed. This is a common practice for undergraduate universities and colleges.

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9. How do I apply for the Certificate or the Credential?

Beginning July 15, 2007, you can apply by selecting the appropriate link below for credential or certificate. Further instructions and the application can be downloaded from there. THE APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR 2008 is NOVEMBER 15, 2007. This will be the deadline for ALL applications. Further, ALL supporting materials are due by November 30 to complete your file, including transcripts and reference forms. Please plan accordingly.

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10. Who can I contact for more information?

If you have questions not addressed already in this list, you may contact the CYFM office for further information (cyfm-admin@fuller.edu) or call us at 626.396.6021.

To inquire further and receive a FREE DVD highlighting the Urban Youth Ministry program, please share more information with us so our Admissions team can be in touch with you! Note: Please be sure to select "Pasadena" under the Campus designation, and to select "Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry" under the drop-down menu designation for "Program of Interest."

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Certificate Applicants (already hold a bachelors degree) Click Here beginning July 15, 2007.
After creating an online application account, please click on the "Online Application for the Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry Program ONLY" link from the Application Menu. NOTE: Be careful not to confuse the Urban program with the similar Certificate in Youth Ministry.

Credential Applicants (have not completed a bachelors degree) Click Here beginning July 15, 2007.