Categories
Blog

Introducing Ali Campbell …

CYM Blog

7 June 2021

Introducing Ali Campbell ...

Ali Campbell, Youth & Children’s ministry consultant and CYM Alumni, is the latest addition to the CYM Board of Trustees. Read more about Ali here …

My name is Ali Campbell and I’ve been involved in children’s and youth ministry for 35 years (so far!). My journey with CYM began back in the early 2000s when, as the then Youth Minister at a church in West London, I became line manager of a CYM degree student! Not long after I was asked to be a field work tutor for a group of students. More recently I’ve been a tutor / trainer on the “Engage” Children’s Ministry course and also completed my Masters with CYM back in 2011!

 

Somehow, whichever way I have turned in ministry, there has been CYM – like some friendly shadow. Having watched the children’s and youth ministry landscape shift and change and then convulse over the last 18 months due to Covid, it has been reassuring to see CYM continuing to offer a great learning experience for all – whether the interest is in professional development days for time poor full timers or undergraduate courses with pathways that enable practitioners to specialise in their chosen filed.

 

I can’t tell you how much I have valued the chance to learn from and be challenged and encouraged by all those I have come in to contact with at CYM over the years – from fellow MA students who I am still in touch with, to some of the legends of the children’s and youth ministry world who have been involved in enabling CYM to still be here in 2021 – seeking to be an inspiring and prophetic voice in the world of training and professional development.

 

I was therefore delighted to be asked to be a trustee. I hope I can bring enthusiasm for the disciplines of children’s, youth and family ministry, creativity and passion for all we are doing and a willingness to get stuck in where I might be of most use as CYM look to begin another academic year.

ALI CAMPBELL

CYM Trustee & Alumni

Youth and Children’s Ministry Consultant

Above: Ali Campbell, CYM Trustee and Alumni

Shalom: Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

CYM Executive Trustee – Sarah Fegredo – is passionate about wellbeing and also serves on the Renew Wellbeing team. She gives a personal account on how her calling grew to serve children, youth and families in their wellbeing journeys.

Read More »
Categories
Events

Campus Open Day – 6 July 2021

CYM Events

Campus Open Day

6 July 2021

CYM is planning an interactive Taster Morning where you can meet the team face-to-face! 

Join us for an interactive Open Day experience at our Nottingham Campus on the morning of Tuesday 6 July, 10am-12pm.

 

Explore what it’s like to be a student and the BA/MA degree options available for starting your training in September 2021.

  • Meet our senior teaching team. 
  • Experience a live Taster Lecture
  • Hear from CYM students.
  • Explore the options and specialists pathways available at CYM.
  • A chance to ask questions and have a 1-2-1 with tutors.
  • Check out the Campus premises!

All participants are invited to join us for a tasty ‘grab bag’ lunch, on us!  From 12-1pm we will gather together for an informal lunch – it’s a great chance to get to know each other more and hang out with the CYM team. Just let us know of any dietary requirements you have and we will do the rest! 

 

Book on today – email [email protected] to register.

Join us at our Nottingham Campus, based at Trent Vineyard Church.

6 July 2021

Find out what it’s like to study with CYM

Locations

Nottingham Campus:

Trent Vineyard Church

Time

10am – 12pm

Optional lunch: 12-1pm

Register

Email [email protected]

to book your place

Nottingham Campus location:

Trent Vineyard Church, Unit 1, Easter Park, Lenton Lane, Nottingham, NG7 2PX

Categories
Blog

The role of the ‘professional’ in CYF ministry

CYM Blog

25 May 2021

The role of the 'professional' in CYF ministry

What does it mean to be a ‘professional’? Should those engaged in, or exploring a call to ministry seek such a label? Does it matter? 

 

These are all big and important questions to wrestle with. 

 

Historically, the notion of ‘profession’ was attached to three spheres of work: medicine, law, and, you’ve guessed it, ministry, or more specifically, the priesthood. Over time, as societies, work and economies have shifted, notions of ‘profession’ have (often helpfully) diversified. You can look at most job adverts nowadays and the requirements and language will indicate, or at least infer, the need to be ‘professional’. 

 

Of course, notions of ‘professionalism’ are contested. Traditionally, at least, being professional sits between regulation and autonomy – in one sense, those occupations which claim some form of professional status, tend to be regulated by bodies that are often governmentally approved or, in some instances, directed. Ostensibly, this is in order that they enjoy public trust to practice ‘autonomously’. For some of us, who are interested in working in different types of ‘people ministry, forms of control like this might feel more than a little challenging especially as this type of work has traditionally been thought of as being under the banner of ‘civil society’ – a buffer zone between people and the state.  

 

And there is another issue. If everything and everyone is called in their work to ‘be professional’, has the term become a catch-all devoid of any real meaning? For some thinkers in this field, ‘project professionalisation’ has become a means by which capitalist states, and other organisations (subtly) control their workforces through bureaucratic regulation, marketisation and possibly even pay cuts. This is especially the case in respect of the ‘people professions’ in which many people are motivated by a deep sense of vocation. In this view, ‘professionalisation’ might be seen as the very opposite – ‘deprofessionalisation’ – wherein work is devalued, and where there is control, but without real autonomy.  So, perhaps those of us engaged in ministry should reject notions of ‘profession’ and see through them for what they are – clinical, controlling and ‘of the world’.

 

Maybe, but I would suggest another option – the need to ‘name’, reject, be playful with’ but ultimately redeem the best aspects of what it means to be professional. This may help us reorientate our thinking towards new possibilities – to consider again who it is we seek to serve and what it is in terms of kingdom, society and justice that we join God in building. Colossians 3v23 comes to mind: ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters’. This, I think, calls us to ‘do all things well’ and to continually engage in honest, shared dialogue and reflection regarding what this means in developing ministerial praxis.

 

It’s this connection that brings me to something that was suggested recently during exploration of these themes with CYM students – that we might explore what it means for us to be ‘God’s professionals’ – a space where we are empowered and given autonomy by the Holy Spirit to be who God has called us to be in the context of communities and people’s lives. To be Christ to people and to do so ethically in ways that enjoy freedom and accountability. 

 

Yet we need to also recognise that the complexities of practice mean that we don’t minister in isolated bubbles – we are often called to work and minister in situations that are complicated and involve multiple stakeholders including other professionals. This reminds me of the story of one of my PhD interviewees who had been a Christian youth worker for many years before studying for a degree. ‘Steve’ said that completing his degree helped him gain credibility in representing the church in his work alongside a range of professionals including police officers, social workers and NHS and Youth Offending Team staff. For me, that’s significant in being one of ‘God’s professionals’ – in being the best we can be in serving others and God’s kingdom.  

 

Why not have a chat with us if you’re exploring that call? 

GRAHAM BRIGHT

Senior Lecturer and Practice Co-ordinator – CYM

Above: Graham Bright, Senior Lecturer at CYM, shares his thoughts on what it means to be a ‘professional’ in the realm of CYF ministry.

Shalom: Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

CYM Executive Trustee – Sarah Fegredo – is passionate about wellbeing and also serves on the Renew Wellbeing team. She gives a personal account on how her calling grew to serve children, youth and families in their wellbeing journeys.

Read More »
Categories
Latest News

New dawn for CYM as it relaunches as an independent college for children, youth and community ministry

CYM Latest News

12th May 2021

New Dawn for CYM as it relaunches as an independent college for children, youth and community ministry

The Institute for Children, Youth and Mission (CYM) is poised to equip a new generation of children and youth workers in the wake of the pandemic. 

 

The Institute for Children, Youth and Mission – CYM – is relaunching as an independent college focused on supporting ministry and mission for children, young people and families. Having previously had a multiple ‘centre’ approach to teaching, from September 2021 CYM will be operating out of one dedicated, centralised teaching function.  

 

The specialist BA and MA degrees are now accredited by Newman University. The focus of CYM’s practice-based training is two-fold: to equip people to work in churches and Christian voluntary sector organisations, and also to prepare people to work in the wider statutory and voluntary sector in related fields.

 

By offering specialist degrees and short course training, CYM is able to support churches, charities, and chaplaincies to train children, youth and family workers, and volunteers to serve across diverse settings.

 

Sarah Fegredo, Executive Trustee of CYM comments: “CYM’s aim is to support the church in the pivotal moment we are in both through coronavirus but also through the need to inspire new communities and generations.  There is no doubt that the pandemic has taken a huge toll on families across the nation and as the church looks to meet the needs of people in their community, connecting with children, young people and their carers is a growing priority.

 

“We are already seeing many communities and churches rethinking their mission to ‘the lost generation’ (0-30 age group) and investing in learning and development in this area. Equipping a new generation of workers in this field will undoubtedly have a positive impact and CYM is ready to offer this support with our specialist training programmes.”

 

Like many academic institutions who have had to adapt their models since the pandemic hit, CYM has seen new opportunities for offering a wider training portfolio alongside their specialist degrees.

 

Sarah continues: “Our degree courses have been around for 20 years and are well known for offering the mixed teaching and practical approach that many workers in the field look for. We are hitting the refresh button on these courses now and have established a new teaching centre in Nottingham. This central location in the Midlands, creates an accessible location for when face-to-face teaching resumes; in the meantime our students are effectively accessing learning and pastoral support remotely.  Alongside that we are now offering a portfolio of new CPD short courses that are ideal for anyone exploring new ministry areas, wanting to boost their confidence or refresh their knowledge.”

 

Applications are now open for CYM’s BA and MA degree courses starting September 2021. If you want to be part of a movement to equip more children and youth workers ready to serve in diverse settings across society, find out about more about CYM training at cym.ac.uk.  

Categories
Blog

Shalom: Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

CYM Blog

11 May 2021

Shalom: Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Twenty-five years ago, I took my first steps into working with children and young people.  I did it because I wanted to help young people find wholeness, or to use the Hebrew word, Shalom.  I didn’t know that was what I was doing at the time, but after a while I realised that if I wanted to do better for these young people, I would need some training, so I did CYM’s youth work degree. 

 

The course opened my mind and heart to what God wanted for these young people, indeed for all people, and that’s when I learned about Shalom.  It’s the word we often translate as peace, but it means much more than that. Another word to describe it might be wellbeing.  This is the word we use at Renew Wellbeing, where I work when I’m not working with CYM.  My role at Renew is to help people working with children and young people in their churches and communities to set up Renew spaces: Safe places where it’s OK not to be OK.  

 

You could argue that what CYM does is a similar thing – equipping youth workers, children and family workers, community workers to create spaces that are welcoming, inclusive and safe. Places where people can connect with one another, learn different ways to take care of their wellbeing, to take action about challenges in their lives, to pay attention to what is happening in their souls and to share their lives with one another. 

 

This week is Mental Health Awareness week and after this ‘unprecedented’ year we know that more than ever we all need to find those safe places and people who will help us through.  It takes people with skill and passion to create those kinds of spaces in our communities and if you are one of those people, CYM’s short courses, BAs and MAs can play a part in equipping you with those skills, shaping and fuelling your passion and calling, to help people find Shalom.

 

If you want to know more about CYM’s courses you can browse through the rest of the site –  www.cym.ac.uk – or contact us to arrange an informal discussion about our offering. 

 

If you want to know more about Renew Wellbeing go to www.renewwellbeing.org.uk

 

 

SARAH FEGREDO

Executive Trustee – CYM

Area Coordinator – Renew Wellbeing

Above: Sarah Fegredo brings her experience in children, youth & family ministry to CYM and her passion for wellbeing by also serving on the Renew Wellbeing team.

Shalom: Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

CYM Executive Trustee – Sarah Fegredo – is passionate about wellbeing and also serves on the Renew Wellbeing team. She gives a personal account on how her calling grew to serve children, youth and families in their wellbeing journeys.

Read More »
Categories
Blog

What a year!

CYM Blog

4 May 2021

What a year!

This past year has been a crazy, hasn’t it? I only joined CYM in September 2020 and so have spent most of the time learning online. Last week was only the second time I’d met these people I’ve been calling friends, face to face!

 

Although this year has been tough, my experience of studying has been amazing. CYM adapted to meeting online incredibly, we are even undertaking some of the modules with the Irish students as well, who we likely would not have met otherwise.

 

I think one of the things I love most about studying with CYM is the focus on self. Being given the opportunity to reflect and grow in our own practice and theologies in a safe environment, be that online or in person, has been an extremely valuable lesson, one which has definitely impacted my practice as a Youth Pastor.

 

I particularly loved the diversity module we studied this year. This is because it challenged my theology and thinking towards people that are different to me. It gave me an opportunity to truly learn about and love my neighbour through the lens of Jesus. As part of that module, I was able to interview a local Imam via zoom. I learnt so much about him and Islam, all whilst been rooted in my own faith. We may not always have the same opinion on the course, but that is ok, because we are all learning together and working towards to the same goal, to help children, youth or adults, encounter the love of Jesus Christ.

 

What a year it has been.

ADAM WHITING

CYM BA degree Student

Above: Adam Whiting.

Shalom: Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

CYM Executive Trustee – Sarah Fegredo – is passionate about wellbeing and also serves on the Renew Wellbeing team. She gives a personal account on how her calling grew to serve children, youth and families in their wellbeing journeys.

Read More »
Categories
Blog

We’ll meet again …

CYM Blog

23 April 2021

We’ll meet again…

This week we had some students at college.

 

That should not sound interesting, but it’s only been the 8th day this unique academic year and the first time since October that we have seen students face to face. While we’ve thanked God regularly for Zoom and other digital technologies it was a joy to see that students still had legs and hear more than one voice at a time. As students moved round the CYM teaching centre (socially distanced of course) and even removed masks to sit down and eat together outside in the campus coffee shop I found that I was moved to see our little community come to life again.

 

They shared amazing stories of creative children’s ministry activities, engaging families at their doorsteps and experimenting in detached youth work the first time but at the same time were so excited that they were starting to see groups of young people again in parks and church grounds. They also shared their fears about meeting together again, the nervousness of relationships lost and their experiences of lateral flow tests and jabs.

 

When we redesigned our BA and MA courses last year we explored whether distance or online learning might be the way forward – it would help students at a distance engage with us for the first time and to learn how to learn in new ways for both staff and students. However the beauty of a community eating together, the informal walking along side people and creativity of shared activities reminded me that this is all part of our identity as individuals and as a community. We copy our created identity by meeting together face to face.

 

The power of sharing space with each other echoes God looking for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, meeting Elijah with his face covering in the cave and a trembling Isaiah in the envisioned throne room. It’s Jesus sharing food in the upper room, and later returning to face to face meetings in the locked room after the resurrection. It’s the church as body, vine, family and gathered multitude anticipated in Revelation. We are designed to be together.

 

CYM has always been a strong community – our students tell us that each year. It’s been beautiful seeing the community meet together again.

Robin Smith

Principal Lecturer and Academic Studies Manager – CYM

Above: Robin Smith.

Shalom: Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

CYM Executive Trustee – Sarah Fegredo – is passionate about wellbeing and also serves on the Renew Wellbeing team. She gives a personal account on how her calling grew to serve children, youth and families in their wellbeing journeys.

Read More »
Categories
Blog

Why Chaplaincy?

CYM Blog

12 April 2021

Why Chaplaincy?

In the chaplaincy modules at CYM, we spend time thinking about theologies of chaplaincy. It is a really important part of developing your ministry, helping to clarify your calling and why we do what we do as dedicated chaplains. 
 
For me personally, the story of Jesus, Jairus and his daughter has been foundational to my ministry. In this video, I explain how Jesus does not abandon his people in their time of crisis and likewise, chaplains stay and walk through things until the person comes out of the other side. I believe that chaplains can become hope bringers and a committed presence of love, life and joy. 
 
So this is a really important area we focus on in the chaplaincy BA degree we offer. As we come out of lockdown in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, exploring chaplaincy across different community settings is going to become an ever growing ministry area as we seek to bring life and light back into in-person spaces. 
Nigel Roberts

Tutor – CYM

Shalom: Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

CYM Executive Trustee – Sarah Fegredo – is passionate about wellbeing and also serves on the Renew Wellbeing team. She gives a personal account on how her calling grew to serve children, youth and families in their wellbeing journeys.

Read More »
Categories
Blog

Never a Dull Moment at CYM!

CYM Blog

7 April 2021

Never a Dull Moment at CYM!

A personal reflection from Linda on life as a CYM BA degree student:

Travelling up the motorway, bags packed with books, notepads, stationary (I love my stationary) laptop and my head swapping from nursery rhymes and action songs to thoughts of management theories and theology.


Looking forward to seeing friends and catching up. How’s everyone doing? Any progress on essays, placements, portfolio?


Arriving early to avoid heavy traffic there’s time for a quiet coffee and a browse in the library. The rest of the students arrive in fits and starts, laughter and tears are shared.

I hear the usual questions: “When do we start? What room are we in? Has the tuckshop been restocked?” all essential questions of course!


I love the lectures and the opportunity to learn and by the end of the day my brain is buzzing.


I stay with my host family who provide a peaceful haven for the evening which sets me up well for day 2.


More learning, worship together in chapel, food together and chatter and laughter. Home on the motorway gives me time for quiet and reflection.


Toddler group, schools work, Sunday school, study, planning, family, reading, research. Applying what I’ve learnt, meet with line manager – sleep.


The two weeks have passed by and it’s time to pack my bag and head back to Nottingham.

Never a dull moment.

Linda harwood

BA Contextual Ministry (Children and Family) – CYM student

Above: Linda, a third student on the CYM BA degree programme.

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN TO JOIN OUR BA PROGRAMME

Find out about how to apply here.

Shalom: Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

CYM Executive Trustee – Sarah Fegredo – is passionate about wellbeing and also serves on the Renew Wellbeing team. She gives a personal account on how her calling grew to serve children, youth and families in their wellbeing journeys.

Read More »
Categories
Blog

Faith & Spirituality at CYM

CYM Blog

29 March 2021

Faith & Spirituality at CYM

At CYM we are more than a just a specialist college, we are a community of faith. We believe each person is uniquely made, loved, valued and gifted by God. We are committed to working with others to share with you – and to encourage you – as you grow and develop holistically. This means we are interested not only in your professional development as a practitioner, but also in your theological formation and spiritual development as a person.

“spiritual maturity is neither instant nor automatic; it is a gradual progressive development that will take the rest of your life.” 
– Rick warren

There is real truth in this quote. Growing in God is a lifelong adventure. But it is an adventure that requires intentionality. During your time with CYM, we will encourage you to become more intentional in developing your faith and exploring your calling, whatever that might be.

 

Encouraging your Spiritual Growth

 

During your time at CYM you will have access to a number of different discipleship opportunities. Here are the variety of ways that CYM offers to help you grow in your faith:

  • Engagement with theological thought and reflection.
  • Providing space to reflect on and develop your ministry.
  • Promoting a sense of community where everyone is accepted and valued – a place where we can learn to grow in God, with and through others.
  • Regular tutorials with staff.
  • Access to College chaplains for spiritual and pastoral support and guidance.
  • Weekly chapel meetings where the community gathers for worship, reflection and prayer. This includes opportunities to lead chapel individually or in groups.
  • Belonging to a supportive network of students who pray and care deeply for each other.

Even during lockdown, we have found that engaging in spiritual disciplines and online opportunities to be together has been a real encouragement for students and teaching staff alike. May we continue to support one another and enjoy the journey together through the many seasons of life!

Graham bright
Senior Lecturer and Practice Co-ordinator – CYM 

 

 

Graham Bright iCYM

Above: Graham Bright, Senior Lecturer & Practice Co-ordinator, CYM

Shalom: Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

CYM Executive Trustee – Sarah Fegredo – is passionate about wellbeing and also serves on the Renew Wellbeing team. She gives a personal account on how her calling grew to serve children, youth and families in their wellbeing journeys.

Read More »