Observations from a Graduate of the Forma Certificate in Youth and Family Program

I have known since I was a teenager that I am called into vocational ministry. As I entered the Certificate in Family and Youth Ministry program I was in my fifth year of youth ministry, things were going well in my context, and I was looking for an opportunity for continuing education that would give me wings to fly. Participating in the program through Forma and Bexley Seabury completely transformed my approach to ministry.

This program equipped me with tools I didn’t even know I needed to have. The practical skills, such as creating a ministry plan, set me and the ministries I lead up to be sustainable and successful. During the weeklong in person portion of the program the conversations we had, ranging from practical theology to ministry in times of tragedy, enlightened new ways of thinking about my role as a youth and family minister. The depth and flexibility of the online portion of the program made learning foundational material intriguing and approachable. What I learned in this program empowered me to reenter my ministry context with more confidence. I am now able to more fully articulate my approach and orientation to ministry. I was able to take what I learned and run with it.

I am also so grateful for the relationships that I formed with the other students. Since completing the program we have stayed in touch. They serve as an informal network of support and encouragement. Not to mention the mentorship provided by the program’s teacher. Even after receiving the certificate the teachers have been an invaluable resource to me in my ministry.

I would recommend the Certificate in Family and Youth Ministry program to anyone looking to deepen their ministry skillset. Participating will certainly stock your toolkit. I would participate again in a heartbeat.

Samantha Haycock
Director of Children and Youth Ministry
Christ Episcopal Church, Alameda

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