Written by Dr. Graham Bright
on 3rd December 2021
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!
Disappointment is not something we often talk about in youthwork. A recent request to write a grove book on the subject forced me to think about it for the first time in a realistic and honest way. I realised that in my own life I had experienced profound disappointment with myself, with others on my team, with the church, with young people and sadly with myself and God. Thinking about my experiences made me realise how close to losing everything I had come.
Nigel Roberts - Lecturer
21st February 2023
We are meant to be curious, inquisitive. It is how God made us – wanting to understand, to know - God, His works, His world, His purposes, His creation, His presence, His love, His eternal dance, His Church, His people, His kingdom more fully. We are all researchers.
Dr. Graham Bright - Senior Lecturer
25th January 2023
What does a student get from doing a degree with CYM?
When I was a lad growing up in Glasgow, I was mentored in to youth ministry leadership through summer camps and volunteers in my local church. Faithful amateurs took me hill walking and canoeing, sat with my painful attempts to play in the church band and gave me mini-experiences of speaking up front, visiting the sick and planning bigger events.
Robin Smith - Course Director
21st December 2022