Youthworkers include volunteers, Sunday school teachers, pastors, parents and paid youth leaders in congregations, really anyone who is involved in the faith formation of children, youth and young adults. Yep, if you are visiting this site, you qualify. The Office for Children, Youth & Family (CYFM), is really designed to be your partner in effectively equipping you and resourcing you and others in your congregation for the ministry we share in accompanying young people and their families. Maybe the most valuable resource we have in this work is one another, so the network of peers we share in Lower Susquehanna and beyond are critical because they have a wealth of experience and knowledge.

The ELCA Youth Ministry NETWORK

The ELCA Youth Ministry Network is our “professional” organization, whose mission it is to equip, educate and connect Lutheran youth workers. But whether you are a member of the ELCA YM Network or not, you are still a member of our “network,” and as such a critical partner in the ministry to children, youth and their families. This section of our site is devoted to your personal care and well-being, from links to continuing education events like Youth Ministry Certification School (YMCS), to cross-denominational events like Youth Specialties. We also offer connections to social media sites, blogs, videos, and articles on emotional, physical and spiritual self-care.

Youthworkers Picnic & Crabfest

Saturday, July 29, 2017, 11:30-2:00 PM
Camp Nawakwa’a Upper Camp & Pavilion

With thanksgiving for the ministry of our many congregational youth ministry volunteers, staff, and pastors, Bishop Jim Dunlop and Office for Children, Youth & Family Director Charlie Roberts, invite congregations to encourage their youthworkers and their families to attend this special event. Offered at NO COST, youthworkers must RSVP and include their congregational name and count. Click here for a Youthworkers Picnic Flyer and Schedule is available.

The ELCA Youth Ministry Network EXTRAVAGANZA

January 26-29, 2018, in Houston, TX
The ELCA YM Network, or the “Network,” as you will often hear it called, hosts an annual continuing education and networking event called the Extravaganza. Featuring authors, researchers, and practitioners as speakers and presenters, alongside of bands and exhibitors, all assembled to help better equip the congregational youthworker, this is an event worth attending every few years. In 2018, we will gather in Houston, TX, the same city that later next year will host the ELCA Youth Gathering. To get more details or to register for the event, visit; ELCA YM Network Events.

A Certificate in Children, Youth & Family Ministry

Annual dates on the website
Tne NEW United Lutheran Seminary at the Gettysburg campus has for years offered a certificate in Youth Ministry through the Youth Ministry Certification School and Course. This lifelong learning, continuing-ed course for pastors and lay leaders who serve congregations as youth and family ministry leaders, is offered annually. Designed with the lay leader who is working (full or part-time in the secular world) in mind, the course is broken up over a series of two-day events offered on campus, so the candidate gets a taste of seminary education, while being able to fulfill their responsibilities to provide for their own families. Details and registration materials are available at: 
This course is expected to soon be re-branded as a Certificate in Faith Formation.

Job Linkx

hireCongregations in our synod employ youthworkers as part-time and full-time staff, and also have some rostered leadership positions on occasion. Check below for paid staff positions in this area (listed alphabetically), or to see ALL postings visit:

Third Tuesday Conversations

The ELCA YM Network also offers a great opportunity to gather with peers to hear from ministry professionals about a range of topics by phone, on the third Tuesday of each month. These monthly conversations are scheduled for 2:00 PM Eastern time, and all you need is a phone, but you can with the right technology also log into the webinar site and get a fuller experience with web feeds and images posted throughout the conversation. You can register free of charge if you are an ELCA YM Network member. To learn more about the 3TC ministry.


The Practice Discipleship Initiative

Growing out of the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering, the Practice Discipleship Initiative is an effort to better equip congregational youth ministry leaders and volunteers with the most current research and information on faith formation and raising up young disciples in the church. We realized that many youthworkers would never be able to get financial assistance from their congregation to attend high-priced continuing ed events, but wanted to make available the same high quality and faithful materials as you might receive at these events. Thanks to generous grants from the ELCA, the ELCA YM Network, and for the time and energy of peer leaders at seminaries and institutions across the church, FREE webinars and workshop offering are available for ALL youthworkers to access..You can access FREE webinars on a range of topics by visiting the PD website.

Daily Devotions on Social Media

dailyBREWlogoI hope to post many daily devotional resources in weeks and months to come, but here are two I’d like to highlight. Both are Facebook pages/links that feature daily posts to your Facebook page with scripture, contextual media and thought-provoking questions to assist you in your daily conversation time with God.
The Daily BREW