I am convinced that seminaries, Christian colleges and the like should offer cooperatives (co-ops) if they are going to offer a youth ministry degree. I think it would save the hassle of churches cycling through different ministers who could not handle the pressures, the kids or the parents and in the long run it might save the students from getting a degree they are never (NEVER) going to use. Say your youth ministry career fails and you tell a potential hiring agent your qualifications for a marketing job: “Uhhhhh…I can come up with a cool design for a t-shirt?” Sheesh.
Maybe seminaries do this and I am unaware but I think it would be awesome for the institution, for the church, for the youth groups and for the would-be, world-changing, idealistic men and women who wish to change the next generation of teenagers through their awe-inspiring work in youth ministry. Sure it would take longer for them to graduate but man would that look good on a resume. If I were to hire someone I would prefer someone who worked under a seasoned ministry veteran rather than someone who knew nothing.
“But what about summer internships? Our degree offers those and that’s like a co-op.”
Short answer: no it’s not. A summer internship allows you to see the ministry at its best. The seasoned vet has already planned the summer out and all you do is have to be relational and show-up and don’t mess things up. You run, you play, you laugh and then you leave. It’s that quick. A full year of cooperative would allow the would-be minister to see the ebb and flow of what a year in youth ministry looks like. You can hide what a ministry looks like in the summer but for a full year you will see the good, the bad and the ugly. And believe me… this is what you need to see. Better yet, the churches will be able to partner with institutions in a greater more functional capacity. Instead of “send us your money and we will send you ministers” it can be “we can use both your money and your leadership training.”
What do you think?