The Center for Youth Ministry Training’s Graduate Residency jumped into full swing August 6-9, 2012, with our orientation and first academic retreat of the year. This retreat laid the foundation for our community and training for the rest of the year. We want to give our partner churches some insight into what we did during the week and orient you to the CYMT program as well.
What did we do?
There are three primary components to the CYMT Orientation Retreat each year:

  1. First Year Graduate Residency Orientation
  2. Community Building
  3. Classes

The Lilly Foundation’s research on sustainable pastors shows that pastors or youth pastors who make it for the long haul have two things in common: a mentor and a peer group. CYMT’s coaches and staff serve as mentors to our graduate residents. First year orientation is where peer relationships of support and encouragement that we hope last for a lifetime of ministry begin. The new cohort spent time getting to know the other graduate residents with whom they will intimately journey over the next three years. Additionally, the new first year residents were oriented to the CYMT Graduate Resident Policy and Procedure Manual, including child protection policies. We highly encourage each pastor and onsite supervisor to review our policies and procedures manual so that we are all on the same page. First year graduate residents were also oriented to the Memphis Theological Seminary faculty, staff, and campus. You can see all the new graduate residents and partner churches here.
One of the unique aspects of the CYMT program is a community of 32 graduate residents and 10 staff all focused on youth ministry. During orientation our community focused on welcoming the first year graduate residents to the family. We ate, played, and worshiped together. Our group stayed at the Olford Retreat Center in East Memphis, which provided a wonderful environment for these activities.
Before you think we spent all our time having fun getting to know each other, classes take up the majority of all retreats. Residents spend eight hours each day in intensive coursework. Each course covers one-third of a semester’s material on each of our retreats. You can learn more about this Fall’s courses here; if you would like to see all the courses residents will take over their three years, click here to see the MA in YM overview.

Academic Calendar

Below you can find a list of our 2012-13 academic retreats. These retreats are required for all residents.

Fall 2012

August 6-9, 2012 Orientation and Retreat 1
September 20-22, 2012 Retreat 2
November 8-10, 2012 Retreat 3
November 29 – December 1, 2012 – Elective Youth Ministry Summit – Nashville, TN

Spring 2013

January 30 – February 2, 2013 Spring Retreat 1
March 14-16, 2013 Spring Retreat 2
April 18-20, 2013 Spring Retreat 3
May 9-11, 2013 Elective Youth Ministry Summit

People You Should Know:

First year churches, we hope you are getting to know your coach.  You can find a list of all our coaches here. As a reminder to everyone, below is a list of our staff members.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need something.  General questions can be directed to Julia Wilburn ( who will make sure you get what you need, or call us at 615.823.7595.
[table id=8 /]