The Institute for Children, Youth and Mission (iCYM) is commencing a new phase of development to reimagine its training and qualifications in mission, ministry and chaplaincy among children and young people; their families and communities.
Following twenty years as a consortium, and a period of change for our member organisations, iCYM is developing a centralised model of delivery that will provide a national offer through a blended learning model. iCYM has also been affected by the closure of the facilities at St John’s College which had been hosting CYM’s activities. Unfortunately, unexpected difficulties arose associated with the closure of St John’s and, in particular, the separation of iCYM activities from the wider St John’s administrative arrangements. Taken together with the uncertainties brought about by Covid-19, these issues have led the Board of Trustees of iCYM to reluctantly decide not to recruit new students for BA or MA courses in the academic year 2020/21.
This decision does not, however, affect our commitment to providing high quality teaching to enable current students to complete their courses. iCYM are working with the validating universities to ensure that the ongoing arrangements being made for teaching will achieve this to the high standards expected. Not being able to offer new degrees this year is clearly a disappointment for iCYM, but the Trustees are intending to offer courses for the academic year 2021/22 when hopefully the difficulties with Covid-19 and the separation from St John’s will be in the past.
Sadly, such enforced changes have organisational consequences and with effect from 31st August 2020 Rev’d Dr Sally Nash will no longer be Director of CYM. Sally was one of the founders of CYM and a driving force behind its development for the past twenty-two years. Through her work at iCYM and more widely Sally has made a permanent contribution to raising the quality of youth and children’s ministry provision in UK churches and beyond and iCYM wishes to fully recognise her enormous contribution to its work. We wish Sally well in whatever is next for her. Revd Paul Nash will also no longer have a permanent post with the college, but it is hoped that iCYM will be able to continue to work with him, particularly in the area of Chaplaincy training. We are also sad to say goodbye to Lucie Hutson who is moving on to a new role elsewhere – we are grateful for all that she has given to iCYM over many years and wish her well in all that she does.
iCYM Chair, Dr Alastair Jones, comments:
“The past decade has seen an unprecedented change in the educational and training landscape in the UK which, when combined with the shock of Covid-19 for traditional teaching of degree subjects, requires decisive action in the governance of educational institutions. The Trustees have concluded that a pause in degree recruitment for 2020/21 and a reimagining of opportunities for training, qualifications and continuing professional development will give us the opportunity to position iCYM to help equip the church for the challenges of the coming years.
iCYM is proud of its history in enabling hundreds of students to achieve higher education and professional qualifications in work and ministry through its former arrangements but recognises that a changing landscape requires a new approach for a new decade. This provides an exciting opportunity for iCYM to centralise its provision and to ‘reimagine’ its offer for those pursuing a vocation in mission, ministry and chaplaincy among children and young people; their families and communities.”