A Bachelor of Arts in Youth Discipleship will equip you primarily with an understanding of the Christian journey of young people, while also offering education in the broader practice of discipleship, as well as opportunities for ministry, service and further educational exploration.
While learning about the basic principles of the Christian discipleship of youth, you will also study the history and philosophy of religious education and have the opportunity to study church leadership and/or, the discipleship of adults and children. Those experiences will also develop your ability to communicate clearly and effectively through speaking and writing about discipleship, and offer opportunities for leadership in the process of helping people in their walk with Christ.
A degree in Youth Discipleship offers you excellent training for careers in service and ministry, particularly in professions that interact with young people. Graduates often serve as:
- youth ministers at local churches
- counselors in school and other settings
- nonprofit agency careers that offer interactions with youth.
Among an array of other possibilities, career choices include:
- community organizer
- social worker.
The degree also prepares you for further studies at the graduate level. Religious Studies and Philosophy students have pursued graduate degrees at universities including Baylor, Duke, Harvard, Vanderbilt, and Wake Forest. Others have stayed at Gardner-Webb to pursue degrees offered at the University, including various concentrations in the Master of Arts in Religion, the Master of Divinity, and the Doctor of Ministry.
In addition to the University’s General Education and prerequisite course requirements, Youth Discipleship majors are required to take nine hours of foundational course choices in philosophy, spiritual formation, Christian history and theology. The Youth Discipleship major also includes 21 hours of concentrated coursework with a practicum course or internship, six hours of departmental electives, and a three-hour seminar. It is also recommended that students take RELI 245 as part of a Global Heritage General Education requirement. Additional information, including descriptions of specific courses and their corresponding credit hours, is available in the Academic Catalog.
A minor in Youth Discipleship includes 15 hours of coursework, providing education in adolescent psychology and the discipleship of youth, an internship or course practicum related to youth discipleship, as well as options to study crisis counseling or family communication. The University also offers an array of minor opportunities in other departments.