Certificate in Youth and Theology

The Certificate in Youth and Theology is an eight-month, fully digital, cohort-based program where you gain expertise from Princeton Theological Seminary faculty and leaders, in addition to our extensive network of scholars and practitioners. Our curriculum includes readings, case studies, and interdisciplinary instruction to help you think theologically about youth ministry through four online courses designed by the IYM in partnership with faculty members of Princeton Seminary.

Course One: Biblical Foundations for Youth Ministry.
This course will introduce students to the art of biblical interpretation and will help nurture their relationship to and confidence in wrestling with scripture.

Course Two: Theological Questions in Youth Ministry.
This course will introduce students to the sources and methods practical theology and will invite students to inhabit their own theological questions alongside those of their young people.

Course Three: Worship and the Christian Life.
This course will help students ground their theological commitments in the practices of Christian worship and discipleship as they engage young people in these same practices.

Course Four: Youth Pastor as Person.
This course will invite students to explore their experience of the self, the formation of their pastoral identity, and the cultivation of their spiritual lives.

Important Details
This certificate program is only offered by application made through the Institute for Youth Ministry. To learn more, visit iym.ptsem.edu.

Registration and payment must be completed by October 3, 2021 for 2021-2022 cohort.

Cover Photo by Hudson Hintze on Unsplash.

How it Works

When: Starts September 29

Duration: 8 Months

Difficulty: Intermediate

Credit: 10 C.E.U.s

Price: 1,200

Program Schedule

  • Sept. 29, 2021 — Opening Summit
  • Oct. 4-29, 2021 — Course One: Biblical Foundations for Youth Ministry
  • Nov. 1-26, 2021 — Course Two: Theological Questions in Youth Ministry
  • Dec. 2021 — Cohort Online Fellowship Gathering (Optional)
  • Jan. 3-28, 2022 — Course Three: Worship & The Christian Life
  • Jan. 31 - Feb. 25, 2022 — Course Four: Youth Pastor as Person
  • Apr. 2022 — Closing Summit

Who Should Apply

This program is open to anyone who is actively serving in youth ministry, whether in a congregation or another organizational capacity. We accept candidates who have at least a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience and are able to commit approximately 5 hours per week to this program.

Institute for Youth Ministry Staff

Megan DeWald

Megan DeWald

Associate Director

Megan (she/her) is the associate director of the Institute for Youth Ministry, where she facilitates training and designs resources for people engaged in youth ministry. She is also the creator and host of the IYM’s podcast, Disrupting Ministry, which shares stories of faith communities that are disrupting the status quo in the church by developing innovative forms of ministry with young people. With two decades of experience in youth and young adult ministry, Megan is passionate about nurturing authentic connection and friendship among people from different social locations and equipping leaders to understand and navigate systems, structures, and relationships. She writes and speaks for national and international audiences and serves as a Theologian-in-Residence for the Missing Voices Project, a grant initiative out of Flagler College’s Youth Ministry Program. Megan is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas and Princeton Theological Seminary.

Abigail Visco Rusert

Abigail Visco Rusert


Abigail (she/her) is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and has been in ministry for over 20 years, working with youth and adults as an associate pastor, youth director, chaplain, and camp counselor. She teaches a practicum course in youth ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary, and she is the co-author of the book Delighted: What Teenagers Are Teaching the Church About Joy. Abigail is passionate about researching and designing programs that serve congregational leaders and young people. She speaks internationally at ministry training events, churches, and conferences. She is a graduate of Princeton Seminary and is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Zurich. Abigail and her husband, Thomas, have three kids — Dorothy, Solveig, and Frank — and she serves as a small group leader at her church, St. Paul’s Lutheran, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

Price: $1,200.00

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Senior Pastor, Asbury United Methodist Church, Atlantic City, NJ

Latasha Milton, Class of 2018

“My passion is doing what I can to empower and liberate people who are hurting. PTS has made me a better person and pastor because it’s given me the tools to better serve the oppressed and marginalized.”