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 April 2017

MAYM: Interactive training for youth ministry

Above, from bottom left: youth from First UMC participate in the Rise Against Hunger event packing 17,000 meals for a community in Honduras. Above left: every year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, FUMC youth spend Sunday school assembling the boxes for Thanksgiving dinners delivered to hundreds of families in need in Fort Worth. Right: youth being youth—with their fearless leader, Kat.

As the spring semester begins to wind down, let’s take a moment to check in with our Master of Arts in Youth Ministry (MAYM) students in this first year of our new degree program. Thanks to the partnership between the Nashville-based Center for Youth Ministry Training (CYMT) and Austin Seminary, each of our eight MAYM students receives an all-inclusive scholarship covering tuition, books, and retreat costs; they also receive housing and utilities and a $1,000 monthly stipend.

In this rather unique academic-and-practical program, MAYM students attend intensive courses three times a semester on the Austin Seminary campus while they are working in a church. They also receive one-on-one coaching with youth ministry veterans through CYMT and participate in a student cohort with other MAYM students. Because the students are simultaneously working and going to school, all MAYM students serve churches within a four-hour radius of Austin. CYMT invites churches to partner by providing financial and collegial support to MAYM students who intern with their congregation. This setup provides the opportunity for students to take what they learn and apply it directly in real time, hands-on youth ministry.

When asked about something surprising that she has encountered, student Kat Bair said, “My Intro

to Old Testament class with Suzie Park revealed the richness and depth of the Old Testament in a way I had never experienced before. She made the Old Testament come alive. I have found myself teaching from the Old Testament much more than I ever expected. I am delighted to pass along my new-found fascination for the ‘First Testament’ to the teenagers I work with!"

As we look forward to our second cohort of MAYM students in the fall, there are a couple of ways you can get involved. First, encourage folks who have an interest in youth ministry to apply. Second, if your church is interested in serving as a placement site, head over to the CYMT.org site to learn more about partnering in this new program. “The partnership between CYMT and Austin Seminary has given me the space and resources to be theologically reflective and intentional about my ministry,” says Bair, who is serving as the associate director of youth ministries at First United Methodist Church, Fort Worth. “The diverse set of voices and perspectives present at Austin Seminary consistently challenge me to evaluate and reevaluate how I think about youth ministry and the role of the church.”

—Alex Pappas (MDiv’19)

Care to win “Omniscience” for Easter?

Omniscience is the title of the artwork used on the cover of our 2017 Lenten Devotional. Tatiana Nikolova-Houston, who created the piece, is a Bulgarian-born artist whose work reflects the joy of spirituality. We are giving away one framed copy of the devotional cover artwork (a $90 value). For your chance to win, go to our student blog page. We think you’re find the blogs informative and inspiring.

And, if you send a question for the bloggers, or send them a prayer or note, you will be entered to win the artwork. Act fast though, the two bloggers will pick a winner the Monday after Easter.


“Murder, Mayhem and Betrayal: Finding Deeper Meanings in Scriptural Stories and Art”

Join Professor Whit Bodman in an interactive webinar on April 26, 1:00 - 2:00 pm. Whit will be your guide to investigating Jewish, Christian, and Muslim stories and interpretations, including artistic interpretations.

Read more and register here.

© 2017 Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
100 E. 27th Street Austin, Texas 78705
P: 512-404-4800
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