LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–The International Center for Youth Ministry at Boyce College has formed an informal alliance with four international schools that is aimed at training career youth ministers through a combination of academics and hands-on experience.
Through the arrangement, Boyce College — the undergraduate school of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary — has established Centers for Youth Ministry at Kiev Theological Seminary, Kenya Baptist Theological College, Mexico Baptist Theological College and Malaysia Baptist Theological Seminary.
The foreign CYMs will function the same way as the center at Boyce College; students will receive academic training in youth ministry and will also serve at least 400 hours in local Southern Baptist churches. Churches have been approved as sites for the hands-on mentoring of budding youth ministers.
Leaders from Boyce College and its parent school, Southern Seminary, met with four foreign CYM directors in Louisville in August. CYMs in the Kiev and Kenya schools are already working with students, while Mexico will begin in two weeks and Malaysia next July.
“It is absolutely exhilarating to know that so many people from around the world share our concern for youth ministry, and our working with us on this model to equip a generation of young people for Christian leadership,” Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. said
“Nothing is more important to this generation than evangelizing and training young Christians for leadership in the world of the future. I was greatly encouraged by the conviction and vision of these international friends. I can only hope to see this kind of vision spread throughout the entire globe.”
David Adams, who serves as executive director for the National Center for Youth Ministry, said the four centers — while they will remain autonomous and not a branch of Boyce — will function through a model that is unique to Boyce College.
The “Boyce model” weds biblical studies in the classroom with practical experience in the local church. Youth ministry majors at Boyce College work with a number of Southern Baptist churches in the Louisville area. This way, seasoned youth ministers serve as mentors for budding career youth ministers, Adams said.
“This approach combines academic training with extensive hands-on training through the local church,” Adams said. “The first component contains 30 hours or more of curriculum. The second component is experiential learning [with] no less than 400 clock hours during their training under supervised instruction.” Working alongside the four foreign schools will also further help the CYM at Boyce to carry out its objectives in recruiting, training, placing and networking youth leaders globally, Adams said. From time to time, professors and instructors from Boyce and Southern Seminary will teach in the four foreign centers, he said.
Troy Temple, associate director of the CYM at Boyce, said the August meeting with leaders from the four foreign schools represents the culmination of several years of planning.
“It was amazing to see the fruition of several years of work, to know that God is working through these four schools in strategic regions around the globe to carry out the Great Commission,” Temple said.