The Certification in Youth Ministry is for youth workers, whether paid staff or volunteer, who want to grow their skills and expand their tool box for working with young people in a local church or community setting. Through four 6-week courses and one 12-week practicum, students gain solid biblical and theological understanding and learn practical ways to share this with today’s youth.
Develop tools to make a big impact in your ministry and gain a network of others in Christian youth ministry from around the country!
The IFD Certification in Youth Ministry requires just four 6-week courses of $125 each and one 12-week practicum of $325 — a total of $825.
- Certification courses must be completed in order. Courses will be taught on a yearly rotation.
- Once you begin, you can complete all the courses you need for certification in just one year!
- First courses in the certification cycles are offered in either January or August, with some certifications relaunching at both times.
- This program is taught online via Blackboard Learn. Courses are mostly asynchronous, meaning you can complete the work at the time most convenient for your schedule. Daily engagement on the Discussion Board with peers, required reading, and assignments ensure a quality learning experience. Some courses offer a required or optional live video-based session – see individual course descriptions for more details.
2024 Course Dates:
January 15 – February 23, 2024
March 11 – April 26, 2024
(No class during Holy Week, 3/25 – 3/31)
August 19 – September 27, 2024
October 14 – November 22, 2024
Practicum (IFDYC150) Course Dates:
January 15 – April 26, 2024 (No class during Holy Week)
August 19 – November 22, 2024
Certification Course List
Enroll in the first course!
If the first course is full, or is not currently enrolling, you will be able to sign up for course opening notifications.
Meet the Instructors
Lori Richey is the Director of Faith Formation for the Institute for Discipleship and the Program Director for IFD Certifications. She is an experienced Lead Instructor for the IFD Certification in Youth Ministry and directs the Summit Youth Academy, which is a summer retreat for high school juniors and seniors to hear and follow God’s call.
Lori received a Certification in Youth Ministry from Perkins School of Theology in 2015 and served as youth director for 11 years at Calvary United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kan.
Heidi K Greenwood-Doell
Heidi received her Certification in Youth Ministry from the Institute for Discipleship in 2019. She has served in youth ministry, both as a volunteer and as a professional, for more than two decades with a focus in the local United Methodist Church, youth and young adult mission trips, and the Summit Youth Academy at Southwestern College. Heidi is an MDiv Candidate at Candler School of Theology (Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia) where she serves on the worship planning team. She is passionate about connecting with and cultivating young people with energy and creativity.
Bill Podschun has been in youth ministry over 40 years and at Winfield First United Methodist for 32 years. He has eight children who are spread all over the United States, all of which survived his youth ministry. One of his greatest loves is working with college students as interns to develop their love for youth and ministry. He has a love for spending time developing relationships with youth and working in a spiritual learning environment.
Matt Vaughan is the founding director of Ministry Leadership Initiative, a non-profit organization focusing on equipping church leaders to help, care for, and enrich the lives of young people with Christian witness. Matt’s vocational experience includes serving four churches as a youth minister over the span of 20 years; 18 of Matt’s former students responded to a call to ministry by going to seminary. He earned an MA in youth ministry from Southwestern College, an architectural degree from the University of Kansas, and a teaching certificate from the University of Missouri – Saint Louis.
Learners in this certification have said…
“I learned a lot from other learners and how they interacted with their youth groups, especially about how to allow the kids to ask more uncomfortable questions.”
“I really liked the interaction with the other learners. It made me feel not so alone in the journey, knowing that so many of them where very close to being in same situation as I was.”