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What is it like to have a CYM placement student?

CYM Blog

03 December 2021

What's it like to have a CYM student on placement?

I have a great job! I get to work with some amazing students as they explore and develop ministry alongside children, young people, families and communities. I get to see them grow as people, in faith, academically, and, in ministry. I get to hear about the impact they have as God works through them in different contexts. I also get to work alongside others who collectively and collaboratively contribute to our students’ holistic growth and development. Our network of Practice Tutors and local Line Managers are integral to this process. 


CYM students can study on a range of different pathways. At undergraduate level, they spend the first year exploring and discerning God’s call before embarking on a programme of study in Chaplaincy, Children’s and Family Ministry, Community Youth Work (with JNC) or Community Ministry. Our postgraduate students are able to study pathways in Christian Leadership in Context, Youth and Community Work, Children’s and Family Work and Chaplaincy. Within each of these pathways, our students are engaged in a rich array of practices. Within each context, students busy themselves with God’s mission in bringing life, wholeness, justice, peace, purpose and joy to people as they live and work alongside them. 


But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what some of our students’ Line Managers had to say about hosting a CYM student:


“Having a CYM student at our church enabled us to develop our youth and children’s work. We were able to plan new initiatives around them and to extend our church’s ministry.” (A)


“Our student was from our church youth group and also from a church family. The fact that she was at CYM studying for a degree to equip her in the work she would be doing really helped everyone in the church to appreciate that she had moved into a new role. It also meant that our student could grow in confidence as she had the opportunity to be challenged and taught. This is borne out by the fact that when the church leadership recommended to the congregation that they continued her relationship with the church by appointing her as the youth worker.” (T)


“I have been involved as line manager of CYM students on and off for more than 10 years with 6 students. It has always been a huge joy to see students develop and become able and inspiring members of our team. Their depth of knowledge and reflective ability has contributed significantly to our mission. Most of all, each one has become a dear friend!” (N)


“We had a CYM placement student with us for two years and feel that our ministry to young people has been positively impacted as a result of their time with us. Apart from the more obvious benefits of having an extra pair of hands to get involved in our youth groups and activities, it has been beneficial to see a new person’s perspective on the activities and groups which we offer to young people, and we have valued the student’s fresh ideas and insights. Through the student’s time on placement with us, we have seen them grow and develop in their experience and understanding of church-based young people’s ministry.” (C) 


Didn’t I tell you I have a great job!? Our churches, our communities need more amazing people like this! Hardly a week goes by without me receiving an email from, or, sharing in conversations with, churches and Christian organisations who want to explore having a CYM student.


We would love to have conversations with you if this is something that you are thinking about, in order that we can look at creative ways of enabling partnerships to attract, and discern with, the future change-makers we call CYM students. Likewise, if you’re reading this and feeling inspired to study with us, we’d love to hear from you!  

Graham Bright

CYM Senior Lecturer and Practice Co-ordinator

[email protected]

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

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Why can’t churches find youth workers? A response to Paul Friend

After a decade of working as a volunteer youth and children’s leader, I felt as if God was calling me into something more. I thought I knew how to do the work, but that I just need the certificate to prove it, so I applied to do a Youth Work degree.  I spent my first year discovering that, despite my experience, there was so much more to learn.  My work in the 15 years since then has been shaped and transformed  transformed by the knowledge, skills and practices I learned on the degree course, which has surely been to the benefit of those I have worked with.  This is why I have remained committed to, and involved in the training of those who work with children, young people and their families ever since.  It’s also why I want to respond to Paul Friend’s article and the questions he poses.

Paul Friend writes of a “massive void” in the availability of well-trained youth workers in the church nationally.  I am seeing the same things he refers to in my work with CYM and with churches within Baptists Together.  Like Paul, I hear from churches looking to recruit someone who is well-trained and equipped to do the all-important work of discipling the upcoming generations of the church, but also to reach out beyond the church to serve the younger people of the communities where God has placed them.  

Paul asks the question “What have we got wrong?”.  He is right that well-trained people require investment in time and money and churches aren’t always willing to recognise this and support it, especially when they can’t see the immediate benefit to themselves.  Is this why churches prefer to run their own intern programmes?  This is true at both professional level with employed workers and with volunteers.  It’s also true that we don’t shape roles to provide long term security.  As Paul notes, churches struggle to recruit someone to meet their job criteria especially when they are only able to offer a part-time role.  A young single worker could be willing to live in a house share with some friends for a couple of years on a low salary, but in the long run they may want to think about a home of their own and maybe a family.  These things require good full-time salaries and permanent contracts; not something that tends to happen in jobs for children’s, youth and families’ workers.  Is that part of the reason why youth workers leave and seek ‘promotion’ to adult ministry?   

Underlying all three points is a concern for me that the church as a whole has not valued children and young people enough to give them the best it can.  Our post-COVID world is much more complex and challenging than anything we have experienced before and if churches are to face up to the task, we need those who work with young people and children to be well-trained, equipped to work with young people whose lives have been shaped in ways that no adult can fully understand.  In the past volunteers could draw on their own experience of growing up to inform their work, so the need for training wasn’t so acute.  I would argue that no adult can share the experience of this COVID generation, those who have come to adulthood in a global pandemic, with schooling disrupted, mental health challenged in ways we cannot imagine and support structures disappearing overnight!   How much more so now do young people and children need workers that really know what they are doing. 

I want to disagree somewhat with Paul’s last point, that “We see adult ministry as promotion and we back that up with words and actions”.  Church cultures are very slow to change, and change needs strong voices advocating for it.  If those who started as youth workers find themselves “promoted” to whole church leadership, I hope that they use their expertise and training to challenge prevailing attitudes about the role of youth and children’s work, and more importantly the place of the child and young person in the church.  If that happens, I hope that churches will then begin to place more value on training, not just for paid professional workers but for volunteers, no matter what their experience.  I hope that job roles will begin to offer long term security so that young people will know that their youth leader will be around for the long haul and workers will be able to work whole-heartedly knowing they are being supported and looked after.  And most of all, I hope that this will mean that youth and children’s ministry will be recognised and valued by the whole church for the important task it is.

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Reflective practice can be transformative

CYM Blog

24 June 2021

Reflective practice can be transformative

Reflective practice can be transformative.

 

Why? Because,

 

we see the world not as it is, but as we are.”

Anon

 

Each of us has a perspective, a point of view, an opinion or a story to tell about what has happened in our lives, what is happening now, and what we believe will happen.

 

Our story – as we see it, is the story we tell ourselves – with all of our subjective worries, fears and exaggerations, the things we have missed in our retelling so dont realise where our gaps are. The story that we live is often incomplete, filled with inconsistency and unresolved challenges and issues.

 

Exploring our story – considering our attitudes, feelings, circumstances, what was (and is) beyond our control and what was (and is) within our power to influence. What we chose to do and chose not to do – and how we feel about those choices – can be both joyous and painful. It is so important for our growth as humans. Ultimately, submitting our story to the great author – God himself. What has he already written about us that we are yet to perceive?

 

We have in scripture a blindingly (if you excuse the pun) obvious picture of what transformative reflection might look like. So let’s consider the following through the lens of Pauls journey . . .

Reflect on your story so far. Reflecting on your story is simply taking time to think about it. Perhaps very simply to consider the What”. What has happened?

 

When Paul was blinded by Jesus on the road to Damascus he was plunged in to darkness, became reliant on others to lead him and while in this state had time to reflect on the story he had been living.

 

so they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

Acts 9:8-9

 

Think about that for a moment. Here was this pharisee of the pharisees” leading the charge against this new upstart cult called Christianity, determined to stamp it out, filled with zealous indignation – convinced of the purity and rightness of his cause. Only to be literally blinded by the reality of getting it so wrong. This man who commanded others, took charge and steered the course – suddenly, totally dependent. Incapable of doing anything for himself.

 

Being led by the hand.

 

Sometimes we might struggle to face the reality of needing help from others, we can manage”; weve got this sorted”. What happens to us when our world is shaken and we realise we cannot make a way on our own?

 

A key component of reflective practice is humility. I have so much to learn”, please, you know more about this than I do – can I journey with you for a while and see what I might discover?”

For three days he was blind.

 

Ive a ministry friend who is blind. He engages with the world in a different way to me. He has never seen my face, does not know what I look like – yet he knows me, knows what I am passionate about in ministry – asks good questions and reflects and thinks about the world from a perspective I cannot grasp. For the short time, Paul had to engage with everything in a different way – not just the mind blowing thought that Jesus was alive and was who he claimed to be – but everything.

 

did not eat or drink anything.

 

We arent told if this was Pauls choice or whether he couldnt. My hunch is that he was so blown away that he took that time to fast. In the Old Testament, a fast often accompanied or came after an intense spiritual experience. Another reason for fasting was to repent. The sort of thing you might do if you were waiting for the deliverance of a Messiah – only to realise the Kingdom of God is breaking in, the age to come is NOW and Jesus is that long awaited Messiah.

 

At times your practice of reflection might lead to life shaping discoveries!

 

Reframe your story of now. Reframing happens when you consider your story might not be a true picture of what has taken place – whether that is the events at youth group last week or something that happened a decade ago. Reframing asks some what if questions : What if Im being too hard on myself? What if Ive imagined the way others perceived me in that situation? What if Im being too generous to myself? What if? What IF?

 

The apostle Paul reframes his story (or has his story reframed for him!). This righteous pharisee realises something about himself, as he now sees himself before God.

 

He writes about this in his letter to Timothy with such humility and perception,

 

And the grace of the Lord overflowed to me, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. This is a trustworthy saying worthy of full acceptance : Christ came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But for this very reason I was shown mercy, so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His perfect patience as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life.”

1 Timothy 1:14-16

 

Reflective practice needs to be filled with grace. If we believe that God is present, by His Spirit – and that He is active in our lives, then reflection need not hold fear for us – we can move from a place of fear to the freedom Paul found in discovering who He was in the light of who Jesus is.

Have you reframed your story in the light of Gods goodness and grace to you? Have you received His forgiveness for the past? Are you living with the weight of things you have said or done still holding you – or have you been released to live in a new day, with a new now” with Jesus at the centre?

 

Reform your story of what is yet to come. This is about hope. Beyond the here and now, beyond what has gone before – looking to a future that while yet to happen, we can enter – moment by moment – with confidence. Paul calls us to join Him on this quest. These three passages help me consider this in my own story,

 

Though I am free of obligation to anyone, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. to the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), to win those under the law. To those without the law (thought I am not outside the law of God but am under the law of Christ), to win those without the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men, so that by all possible means I might save some.”

1 Corinthians 9:19-21

 

This passage is often used in the context of relational evangelism – we meet people where they are at. Yet, this passage also shows us the journey Paul has been on. Look at what has happened to him.

 

From Pharisee – from badge of honour among his peers, from that recognition and value in the community he grew up in – to, well – whatever works for spreading the gospel. Paul is clothed in Christ” (Galatians 3:27) – no other attire is needed now. The freedom and security this brings!

Can we jettison what will others think?” as we make changes? Can we find ourselves by finding ourselves” in Christ – and that being enough for us? What are the trappings of our ministry or life or habits or public profiles on social media that need to re-examined in the light of the character that Christ is forming in us?

 

follow me as I follow Christ.”

1 Corinthians 11:1

 

What Paul is talking about with who he becomes” is no more than what Jesus did. In fact Jesus became fully human, taking on our form – God incarnate – “giving up” all that he had every right to in Heaven. Paul writes about that too in Philippians Chapter 2 . . . and in his life and ministry Paul seeks to follow – literally – to copy Christ”. The word used is the root word for the word mimic

 

As we reflect on who we are becoming – who is it we look to, follow, aspire to be like, are mentored by – how do they reflect Christ? Paul here isnt just talking about what He is doing – but what we should do. Have you ever reflected on who is following you?

 

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I set aside childish ways. Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part : then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

1 Corinthians 13:11-12

 

There remains an unclear picture – despite his transformative encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus – Paul recognises the limits of what can be known in this life. He knows that one day” all will become clear.

 

Reflective practice acknowledges that tension – we discover new things, we find out our story – our lives need re-framing” with this new understanding – yet we know this journey repeats. We do not arrive – yet continue to grow, discover, become more fully the people that God has called us to be through Jesus.

The story of my future is reformed with hope. I dont know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future – is a cliche, but is also true.

 

Why not ::

Reflect on your past. What has happened, where have you come from to get to this place?

Reframe your now. What have you discovered that might lead to change? What can you change? What do you need to accept? Where can you see the finger-print of God in your life? Can you embrace his forgiveness, grace and love?

Reform your future. The future isnt set – you can step in to what God has for you. If your now can be reframed as you let go of the past, how does that change your future? How different does your tomorrow look if what has been does not have to be what will be? Yes, we see through a glass dimly – but also, most wonderfully, this :

 

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. and we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 3:17-18

ALI CAMPBELL

CYM Trustee & Alumni (Masters in Reflective Practice and Applied Theology)

Youth and Children’s Ministry Consultant

Above: Ali Campbell, CYM Trustee and Alumni

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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