We are collaboratively shaping the future of youth ministry
Earn your MA or complete a BA with us in a two-year integrated vocational education program.
Learn and grow through experiential learning, spiritual formation, academic excellence and intentional community, all while you stay in your ministry context.
Join a cohort today!
The Coalition is a holistic, multifaceted vocational ministry equipping strategy.
We believe that the most effective way to equip practitioners is to provide them with a real-life context in which to learn and practice ministry effectiveness. Your most significant learning will take place in the day-to-day messiness of real-life ministry For ministry rookies, a skills and leadership coach will accompany you every step of the way as you practice and master the competencies necessary for effective ministry. For ministry veterans, you will be assigned to a small cohort of equally experienced youth workers and be mentored by a seasoned faculty member who will guide your group to new levels of effectiveness. At the heart of The Coalition’s training program is a thoughtfully structured, two-year mentored apprenticeship. Because pastoral ministry is a vocation that requires specific competencies, we believe that the most effective way to equip practitioners is to provide them with a real-life context in which to learn and practice ministry effectiveness. Apprentices will serve in full-time ministry roles under experienced leaders who will guide them through a series of leadership development experiences and skill sharpening opportunities. The environments will vary depending on the specialty being pursued by the apprentice. Many will serve in the local church, but some will receive their training in the context of a community youth ministry organization (e.g. Young Life or Youth for Christ) while others could be trained on the staff of a camp or even in a Christian School environment, if that is where they feel called to serve. The apprenticeship path will be marked by carefully defined milestones, but the details of the apprenticeship will be left to the mentor and the apprentice to design and carry out. Apprenticeships will not be approved unless a suitable mentor is available to provide the necessary guidance. The experiential component of this program is not a “tacked on” bonus but in fact represents the essence of what makes The Coalition different.
It takes a disciple to make a disciple! A spiritual companion/director will help prepare your heart for life in vocational ministry with a challenging two-year shared journey of spiritual practices and disciplines. We deeply believe that spiritual health and vitality is key to long term ministry effectiveness, so this component of the program is far more than an obligatory nod to a regular quiet time. One’s walk with God must be the highest priority when preparing for spiritual leadership and vocational ministry. Successful youth workers understand that because of the intensely relational nature of their work, their own lives will be their most significant instrument of ministry to a generation that “listens with its eyes.” It takes a disciple to make a disciple! The assumption that spiritual formation automatically occurs as a by-product of formal biblical or theological education cannot necessarily be made. What we are talking about here is a matter of the heart, so curricular strategies alone will not suffice. Spiritual disciplines that seem manageable in the relatively predictable rhythms of campus life often prove to be much more difficult to manage in the mess and stress of daily ministry. We simply cannot assume that a Christian campus is “spiritual formation utopia.” Plenty of college and seminary students report that their classroom years are some of their most dismal when it comes to their intimacy with Christ. Developing sustainable spiritual formation practices in a community as part of a ministry team is more likely to lead to long-term consistency. Over the course of two years a carefully designed program of spiritual disciplines, Bible reading and study, intentional conversations and grace filled accountability will be used to help each apprentice develop spiritual rhythms that are compatible with the stresses of full-time ministry. This part of the curriculum will be guided by a “spiritual companion” who will accompany the apprentice on the journey of spiritual growth and development.
We believe the most effective holistic learning takes place in an environment of “iron sharpening iron” community. Throughout your two-year learning journey you will be part of a faith community that is mission only committed to developing leaders. Not only are they the community where you will learn to serve, but they will be the cheerleaders that want you to succeed. Regional cohorts of fellow students will round out your experience of community. We were created for community. When the scripture describes healthy human interaction it uses metaphors like that of the body (I Corinthians 12) or of “living stones” together comprising a temple (I Peter 2:5) in which the Spirit of God may dwell. The picture of “family” suggests a deep relationship and a healthy interdependence. We believe the most effective holistic learning takes place in an environment of “iron sharpening iron” community. Because vocational ministry usually occurs in community it is important that the shaping of those preparing for such ministry be done in community as well. There are two specific expressions of community that are essential to the success of apprentices in The Coalition’s program. The first crucial community is that of the church, parachurch ministry, camp, or Christian School where the apprentice is being shaped and sharpened. These bodies or families will be the real-life, messy, imperfect, flawed, but grace-filled environment each student is aspiring to serve. This represents the best place to practice emotional intelligence, relational interaction, healthy communication, conflict resolution, political savvy, and personal maturity – all necessary skills for a young leader to embrace. The second crucial community is that of the cohort. Apprentices will share this journey with other aspiring young leaders, each of whom will be in their own learning environment. A combination of face-to-face and digitally facilitated gathering times will ensure that students can speak into each other’s lives in meaningful ways. The coalition will organize regional sub- cohorts so students will have access to their peers on a regular basis, in addition to the eight classes that the cohort will share over the course of their two-year journey. It is hoped that these cohorts will spawn lifelong friendships between participants. These classes will be framed, not simply as a one-week content-driven intensive, but as a three-month focus on the topic being offered. In the month prior to the classroom component, students will be expected to do pre-course reading, online collaboration, case study preparation, real world research, etc. After the week in class the subsequent two months will be used to apply the material in the trenches of ministry where class assignments will be completed. They should be seamlessly integrated into the daily ministry of the apprentice.
Quarterly classes will be offered in Kelowna, BC and will be facilitated by some of the most respected leaders/thinkers/teachers in the discipline of next generation ministry. Four times each year, the entire learning will gather in Kelowna to learn directly from the most significant ministry thinkers, writers and shapers in the field of Next Generation ministry. These one week intensive courses are a key component of the program, and can be accredited toward undergraduate (bachelor’s) for graduate (Masters) degrees through our academic partners. While experiential integration and spiritual formation are recognized as key elements in the development of a vocational leader, the task of shepherding the next generation has become complex and specialized. The Coalition will provide eight rigorous College/Seminary level courses covering the most important content for youth and young adult ministry specialists. Quarterly classes will be offered in Kelowna, BC and will be facilitated by some of the most respected leaders/thinkers/teachers in the discipline of next generation ministry. These classes will begin with a Sunday night welcome reception and will then meet from Monday morning to Friday afternoon. This schedule will allow most apprentices to participate in their local Sunday services before leaving for the week and most will be home Friday night. Accommodation in Kelowna will be the responsibility of each student, however an attempt will be made to provide affordable bed and breakfast billeting for those who need it, or camp style housing at Green Bay Bible Camp with shuttle services to the class location. These classes will be framed, not simply as a one-week content-driven intensive, but as a three-month focus on the topic being offered. In the month prior to the classroom component, students will be expected to do pre-course reading, online collaboration, case study preparation, real world research, etc. After the week in class the subsequent two months will be used to apply the material in the trenches of ministry where class assignments will be completed. They should be seamlessly integrated into the daily ministry of the apprentice.