In June of this year Matt Vaughan, the YMI Midwest Regional Director, and I met to overhaul our curriculum. Matt had completed his first two-year cycle of curriculum with his first group of students at YMI Midwest. Thus, he was aware of what went well and what was missing. It was a great day-long session, improving our offering to youth ministers. I am excited about the new workshops like Teaching 101, Missions, Youth with Learning Disabilities and Special Needs, and Ministry to Parents and Families, just to name a few. However, that wasn’t the most exciting item on our agenda.
On day two we scheduled to meet with two administrators from Kansas Wesleyan University. We prepped in hopes of developing a more secure partnership with the school. We knew what we wanted but thought it may be premature to reach too far since this was our first meeting. What transpired was a very excited dialogue about how we could help provide a youth ministry minor to their students. We also talked about arranging the practicums/internships by partnering with small membership churches in the area who don’t have the finances to hire a youth minister. Couple those ideas with a distance learning component and we could possibly be teaching YMI courses at multiple sites simultaneously. This was exactly what we were hoping to accomplish!!!
Matt has since conducted another meeting with the religion department professors at KWU. They are equally excited and set the fall of 2017 as a target date to get course work into the catalogue.
Then an added twist occurred. Unexpectedly in late July, I was hired at Florida Southern College to be the youth ministry adjunct professor. I wasn’t seeking this opportunity, but felt as if it corresponded well with our goal of partnering with undergraduate colleges. If these relationships continue to grow, this might possibly change the direction of YMI.