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Youth Ministry Formation Program

Youth Ministry Formation

Ministry Formation provides the basic theological understanding, spiritual formation, and methodology necessary for those who are appointed by their pastors to hand on the faith to young people in both catechetical and youth ministry settings. Training of youth ministry coordinators and team members (servers, core team, etc.) is necessary to ensure that the faith is handed on in its integrity and in a manner that responds to the needs, cultures, and other special characteristics of those in their care. 

Basic Leadership Training Course for Faith Formation Leaders

The Basic Leadership Training (BLT) Program program has been designed for new D/CRE or Youth Ministry Coordinators to address certain ministerial/administrative expectations that are key to their success during their first year (and beyond) in their new role. The goal is to provide the foundational tools and accompaniment in the journey as a leader during this period of growth. BLT is designed to complement First Things in Youth Ministry, and either course may be taken first, depending on when you start in ministry.

BLT Registration Opens in Spring 2024

First Things in Youth Ministry

First Things in Youth Ministry

A formative journey with new youth ministry leaders recognized nationally and developed by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM). This seven-session course goes hand-in-hand with the Basic Leadership Training (BLT). Both courses are required and designed to equip Youth Ministry Leaders in the Archdiocese of New York for success in their first years in ministry.

Program Overview

Just starting in youth ministry and not sure where to start?

First Things in Youth Ministry is a seven-session online formation program for anyone new to youth ministry or looking at wanting to make a fresh start. Whether volunteer or paid, this training provides direction for the first six months of taking on a new leadership role. Think of it as Basic Training in Comprehensive Youth Ministry.



First Things in Youth Ministry uses a cohort model to not only provide participants with the foundational information for leading a youth ministry program, but with a community of support as well. 

  • Online Cohort: 8-12 new leaders and 1 coach per group
  • 3 Months of Virtual Formation: Initial orientation and six 90-minute online sessions 
  • Participant Preparation: Approximately 3-hours of required reading, viewing content, and reflection activities prior to each session
  • Group Discussion: Share insights on material and practical application to local situations 
  • Practical Applications: Apply learnings through tangible steps and strategies that assist in building a comprehensive youth ministry model 
  • Diving Deeper: Follow-up materials for further development available for each session

National cohort groups will begin every fall, winter, and spring. Upon completion, participants will have received between 40-45 hours of practical and ministerial formation. See the session summary below for more information on training topics.


Session Summary
  • Information & Q & A Session– come learn more about what First Things in Youth Ministry is all about! Meet other new Youth Ministry Leaders, or veterans looking to refresh their ministry. We will get to learn about each other, parish settings, current struggles, and how First Things will help you in your ministry. Following the introduction you will complete the online “Welcome” which is a short self-paced online module to introduce you to the course work and the online learning management system.
  • Session 1: First Things about Comprehensive Youth Ministry –review primary YM documents, goals, and components; discuss accompaniment model, active listening, and relational ministry
  • Session 2: First Things in Understanding Young People, Culture, and Your Local Context – overview of Gen Z and how to engage them and your local community’s diverse cultures, parents, and church leaders
  • Session 3: First Things in Building a Leadership Team and Recruiting Volunteers – recruiting and forming your core team, maintaining diversity, and determining leadership and planning structures
  • Session 4: First Things on Accompanying Young People and Their Parents – assessing needs of youth and parents; developing program structures that engage and empower youth to live as disciples within and outside the parish community
  • Session 5: First Things in Program Planning and Budgeting – practical program logistics and best practices (formation, retreats, events, program evaluations); creating a budget; checklist for strategic programming
  • Session 6: First Things in Resources and Networking – most helpful resources, websites, and supportive networks; review of next steps and continued development; and a closing cohort prayer experience

To sign up for the January 8th Information Session email Christina Davis, Director of Youth Ministry

Level One

Level One –  provides catechists, youth ministry team members/servers, and all those who serve young people with opportunities for growth as a person of faith, effective teaching/facilitating skills, and a plan for your ongoing training and developing a spiritual life.  


  • PRAYER AND SPIRITUALITY: Call to be a Catechist; Faith and Discipleship; Christian Prayer
  • METHODOLOGY: Planning a Lesson; Learning Environment; Understanding the Student; Media and Values; Guidelines and Culture.
  • THE PROFESSION OF FAITH: God and Revelation; Jesus the Fullness of Revelation; Church, the Christian Community; Introduction to Scripture.
  • CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERIES: Sacraments of Christian Initiation; Liturgy and Eucharist; Sacraments at the Service of Communion; Sacraments of Healing
  • LIFE IN CHRIST:  The Human Person: in the Image of God; The Human Community; Law, Grace and the Common Good; Love the Lord Your God:  Commandments 1 -3; Love Your Neighbor: Commandments 4 – 10.
Level Two

Level Two –  is divided into two tracks:

  • Catechists – deepens the training by focusing on essential areas of theological training, such as scripture, the Creed, and morality for catechists.  
  • Youth Minister Team Member – To Be Announced

Courses In Development

Youth Ministry Team Formation

Called to Accompany invites youth ministry volunteers to learn and explore the many aspects that make a parish youth ministry successful. Through videos and reflection questions, volunteers are encouraged to respond to Pope Francis’ call to accompany youth toward a deep and fulfilling relationship with Christ and His Church.  This course is available as an online self-paced course or as an in-person training for your team.

Called to Accompany: Part One

  • Deepen your understanding of youth ministry and its vision as found in the U.S. Bishops’ document, Renewing the Vision.
  • Recognize the developmental and spiritual characteristics of today’s youth and facilitate encounters with God among young people.
  • Understand what it means to evangelize and live as a disciple, recognizing how this calls us to boldly form disciples.
  • Define relational ministry and realize how it impacts our ministry with the young church through our pastoral care.
  • Appreciate what it means to welcome and celebrate diversity by developing and promoting inclusive approaches.

Called to Accompany: Part Two

  • Understand what it means to be a Christian leader and how to recognize the gifts you have to serve.
  • Know how to call forth the giftedness of young people and the value of utilizing youth leaders.
  • Be able to articulate the need for a comprehensive approach to planning and preparation.
  • Strengthen your ability to engage young people in liturgy and prayer.
  • Be prepared to engage and empower youth to live out the social teachings of the Church and to be able to help them reflect and process these experiences.
On Going Formation

Read, Watch, and Listen

YM Formation: Looking Ahead (January 11, 2024)

YM Formation: Intercultural Competencies (coming in March)