Certificate Program in Youth Ministry Studies™

Equipping leaders with the knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques needed for creative and comprehensive youth ministry. The Certificate Program in Youth Ministry Studies™ helps to create a common vision for effective youth ministry in your diocese or region, forging a connected network of leaders and promoting collaboration among parishes, schools, and diocesan staff.

Now enrolling students for Course 5 - Forming Missionary Disciples on June 18, 2024.

Register Now!

Now enrolling for online cohorts!

We are now enrolling students in fully-online cohorts for EQSaints' Certificate Program in Youth Ministry Studies! This new format makes it more convenient than ever for individual youth ministers to equip themselves for ministry, while benefitting from the same proven course content as students in our in-person, diocese-sponsored sessions.

Cohorts are limited to 20 students per course.

  • Cohort 2 (which began in October 2023) continues their progress with Course 5 - Forming Missionary Disciples on June 18, 2024.
Registration is open now. More course details - including important course dates - are available on the registration page.

Course Registration Information:

  • Cost is $225 per person per course; books purchased by the student (additional cost); Payment pathways and information can be found on the registration page.
  • Download the projected course calendars for Online Cohort 2, with course descriptions
  • Upon registering you will receive a confirmation email with more information regarding next steps.

Register Now!



Participants gain greater confidence in their capabilities by successfully applying current theory and integrating innovative approaches into their ongoing work with young people.


A comprehensive sequence of courses provides a solid foundation of theory, theology, and practical approaches, which can be applied in any parish or school youth ministry setting.


This nationally-recognized curriculum has been offered in 25 sites and sponsored by over 50 dioceses, whose graduates are in parish, school, and diocesan leadership positions all over the U.S., Canada, Ireland, and Scotland.

Certificate Courses

Context of Youth Ministry

Beginning with the ministry of Jesus and understanding that the Church is a sacrament of Christ, youth ministers will move from the Biblical roots to the contemporary context through the following topics:

  • The mission of the Church
  • The Biblical roots of ministry
  • Ministry in the early Church
  • The eight components of Renewing the Vision
  • Discover the Discipleship Metric
  • Current teen culture

The Person of the Youth Minister

Recognizing that the youth minister is a disciple, care is given to the personal formation of the person. They will deepen their interior life with the Lord and understand themselves as a public minister through the following topics:

  • Being a disciple who disciples others
  • Authentic witnesses to the faith
  • The path of self-understanding
  • Praying as the Lord created me to pray
  • My path to holiness

Youth Ministry Management

Leadership in youth ministry requires management skills. The course seeks to raise the level of competency of youth ministers through:

  • How to empower others for leadership (youth and adults)
  • Leadership structures for youth ministry
  • Volunteer management (how to recruit, train, and support volunteers)
  • How to make and defend a budget for youth ministry

Parish Infrastructure for Youth Ministry

Youth ministry should not operate as a silo. Youth Ministry is and should be integrated into the parish infrastructure in order to grow and disciple young people. The entire parish should be fully invested in the spiritual growth of its young people, and young people should feel a sense of belonging not just in their youth group, but in their parish -- and the universal Catholic Church! In this course, you will learn the essential elements needed for a parish youth ministry to thrive and strategies for building up those elements through the following topics:

  • To see the parish as a school of raising up young saints
  • To have a strategy for developing youth leadership
  • To understand the need for parental engagement and develop a strategy for their engagement
  • To develop a strategy for involving the entire parish in the work of youth ministry
  • To identify the destination, the goal, and desired outcomes of your programmatic efforts

Forming Missionary Disciples

A disciple is not fully formed until they become "missionary" disciples. In this course, Forming Missionary Disciples, our goals will be to learn the Church’s vision for missionary discipleship and to develop strategies for forming young people to take up the fullness of the Church’s mission through the following topics:

  • To understand the nature of the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ
  • To develop a vision for the evangelization of the parish’s youth
  • To develop strategies for evangelistic efforts
  • To develop strategies for fostering missionary identity within the parish’s youth
  • To understand the Church’s seven themes of her social teaching
  • To generate a plan for social outreach

Prayer and Worship

Everything we do in youth ministry should be geared towards helping teens to pray daily and develop a relationship with God that will help them to grow as lifelong disciples. All ministry must flow from worship and all ministry must flow towards worship - to and from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Mass gives us our universal identity as Catholics. It is where we receive the living God face to face and it is where we are united to one another - in Christ. The moment after we have all received communion at Mass is the most profound moment in which we experience a foreshadowing of the life to come - where Jesus has united us to Himself and to one another. To further explore these elements in this course, participants will learn:

  • How the sacraments relate to our human identity
  • How the sacraments are God's revelation and relationship to us through both physical and spiritual means
  • To define corporate worship and its necessity in our personal lives, ministry, and lives of disciples
  • How to bring teens to the eucharist
  • What is the interior life and why it is crucial to ministry
  • How to help teens develop a personal prayer life
  • How to plan transformative prayer services
  • Effective retreat preparation

Forming Catholic Identity

The Catholic Identity Course of the Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies Program invites students to develop their understanding of Catholic Identity and how they can assist adolescents in growing an understanding and practice of the Catholic faith. Through the following topics, participants will learn:

  • To develop a theological understanding of Catholic identity
  • What does Catholic identity mean in the context of who I am and am becoming?
  • How to program for success
  • How Catholic youth grow in Catholic identity
  • How to perform a SWOT analysis of their ministry
  • How to implement experience driven theology

Pastoral Care

Today’s youth ministers face different realities. There is a growing need to address the state of mental health among adolescents and also a desire among other adolescents to move more deeply in their walk with the Lord. Through the following topics, participants will learn:

  • Foundational principals of pastoral care
  • Best practices in pastoral care
  • The difference between pastoral care and counseling adolescent/teen development
  • Pastoral care of the family
  • Crisis intervention and when to refer to professional help

Opportunities to Join

  •   Sponsor a Program

    Provide a program with much-needed financial support and equip youth ministers in your diocese or region with the skills they need to effectively minister to young people. Contact us to learn more.
  •   Enroll in a Program

    Grow your own knowledge and experience base to make your youth ministry the best it can be. Register now for an online cohort. Cohort 2 continues their progress with Course 5 - Forming Missionary Disciples on June 18, 2024.
  •   Learn About Programs in Canada, Ireland, and Scotland

    If you're interested in joining one of our international programs, contact us for more information.

Learn More

We are currently accepting sponsorships and enrollments for 2024. Are you a diocese interested in sponsoring a program or a student looking to attain your certificate? Please contact us for more information.

Register for our fully-online Certificate Program in Youth Ministry Studies

Online Cohort 2 continues their progress with Course 5 - Forming Missionary Disciples on June 18, 2024. Cohorts are limited to 25 students per class.