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Youth and Young Adult Ministries

The Master of Arts degree in Pastoral Ministries with an emphasis in Youth and Young Adult Ministries from Santa Clara University prepares ministers to engage the youth and young adult community with initiatives that accompany and empower them in the areas of vocation, human growth and development, personal, interpersonal, and communal involvement. This would include educational and developmental practices in discernment, creating welcoming environments, building safe spaces, building relationships of equality and respect, as well as group dynamic participation skills. Our program enhances the gifts and skills that students bring to the table through academic, theological, and spiritual education to focus their ministerial practices on creating right relationships. Some concrete disciplines where this work is being employed are education, youth detention ministry, parish ministry, campus ministry, trauma programs, mental health programs, re-entry programs, interfaith services, and parish family ministry. The Covid-19 pandemic crisis has certainly highlighted the need for people with compassion, pastoral accompaniment, and reflective listening skills to engage with those who are suffering on the front lines, on the margins of society, and while sheltering at home. 

Students in this emphasis will:

  • Gain a broad theological foundation in youth and young adult ministries that is foundational to pastoral ministries;
  • Develop pastoral skills, enhance ministerial praxis, and explore intercultural and interreligious dialogue for youth and young adult ministries;
  • Recover the incarnational roots of kinship to restore balance to the beloved community in diverse global settings;
  • Identify a critically informed approach to faith that promotes social justice for the benefit of those most in need, especially youth and young adults.


Youth and Young Adults in conversation

The Youth and Young Adult Ministries emphasis in the MA degree in Pastoral Ministries will be offered beginning in the Fall quarter in 2021. 

Degree Requirements:

  • The seven required foundational courses;
    • Theological Foundations for Ministry, Christology, Ecclesiology, Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Theological Ethics, Sacraments and Liturgy
  • The five core courses for the emphasis;
    • Evangelization and Discipleship, Reimagining Youth Ministry, Reimagining Young Adult Ministry, Community, Ritual, and Mission: Nourishing the Christian Life, Family, Relationships, and Ministry
  • Three additional elective courses

The degree emphasis will be offered both in face-to-face and the “blended learning” approach where the classes are taught with both face-to-face and online collaborative methods. The blended learning classes are taught within a ten-week quarter; three of these face-to-face classes are held on Saturdays throughout the quarter from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with a lunch break. During the other seven weeks of the quarter, the classes are taught online as a web conference where students and professors meet together for two hours on a designated weeknight. 

Application to the program is ongoing for start in Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer quarters.