June 2020

The challenge of the COVID 19 pandemic means that the UK’s specialist college for training in children’s or youth ministry is once again rethinking how our churches’ youth and children’s workers can tackle the latest problems facing the nation’s under 25s.

The Institute for Children, Youth and Mission (CYM) has been the UK’s specialist college for Christian Children, family&Youth ministry for 20 years and you would have thought it has explored all corners of the subject. However, as the college moves to new facilities alongside the beautiful gardens at Leicester Cathedral, the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic means that CYM is once again rethinking how our churches and Christian youth and children’s workers cantackle the latest problems facing the nations under 25s.

Dr Sally Nash, Head of Institute of Children, Youth and Mission says, ‘The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and recession is expected be particularly hard on children and young people, disrupting learning, both formal and non-formal and missing out on the connectedness with friends and wider family with an as yet unknown impact on future prospects.  In these circumstances it is important that young people in our churches and in our wider communities can clearly hear the Christian message of hope and are supported to try and overcome these COVID-19 consequences. We will need many dedicated workers in this ministry, bringing Christ’s love to those who may well feel neglected and oppressed.

‘The work needs specialist training by experts and the team at CYM are equipped to train Christians from a wide range of different church backgrounds to bring effective ministry to those that wider society may so easily overlook. Our new base at Leicester provides the perfect environment for teaching which supplements the practical placement experience through which our students learn how to apply what they are taught in the classroom fortnightly.’

Degrees at both BA and MA level, both of which are eligible for student loan funding, will be supported by a robust research programme as the CYM team continue developing their understanding of Christian engagement with children and young people in church, community and chaplaincy. Short courses will also allow those already in this ministry to brush on new skills and the latest thinking.

If government regulations allow, the first intake to the Leicester facilities will be in September, otherwise teaching will be online until it is possible to gather for study. Those who are interested in the courses in Children, Youth and Mission that are offered can find more information at www.cym.ac.uk. Links to free access to online open day events can be followed there or obtained from Caroline Rowbottom on office.admin@cym.ac.uk.