Youth & Family Studies
Careers in Youth & Family Ministry and Work
Though no one can guarantee a job, the market for trained youth and family workers is very strong and appears to be so in the immediate future. Churches have realized that the only thing worse than not having a youth, children’s, or family pastor is to have one that doesn't know what he or she is doing. Our program has an excellent reputation and many new inquiries regarding our graduating students EVERY YEAR.
At the end of this page, please use LINKS to see current jobs available (locally and across the world) in Youth, Children’s, and Family Ministry/Work Careers. There are many!
Youth & Family Studies students seek and find employment in a broad variety of youth or family ministry settings:
- Church Youth Ministry
High School Youth Ministry
Middle School Youth Ministry
- Church Young Adult Ministry
- Para-church Youth Ministry (Young Life-YL, Youth for Christ-YFC, Young Lives, Fellowship of Christian Athletes-FCA, Child Evangelism Fellowship-CEF, Teen Mops, etc.)
- Urban Youth Ministry (Center for Student Missions, Rescue Missions, etc.)
- Para-church Young Adult Ministry (Campus Crusade for Christ, Intervarsity, Navigators, Disciple Makers, Athletes in Action, etc.)
- Family Ministry or Services (in the church and in organizations like Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, and many varying Family Services fields, etc.)
- Youth Missions (overseas youth ministry- YWAM, AIM, many others)
- Youth Work Overseas (in the U.K. there are many varying types of government youth work positions needed; Peace Corps, etc.)
- Military Chaplaincy and various other chaplaincy options
- Agency Counselors or Directors (Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, etc.)
- Youth Work in the U.S. (YMCA, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Club, etc.)
- At Risk Youth (Group Homes, Juvenile Detention Programs, Wilderness Adventure, etc.)
- Camping & Recreation (Camps and Many Recreation Programs)
- Graduate School (Divinity, Child & Family, Marriage & Family, Counseling)
Job and Salary Realities- Graduate earnings within the Field
Dr. Len Kageler's research provides a sense of what graduating youth and family ministry students can expect to make financially. Of course, cost of living expenses vary widely around the country. In the New York City metro area (CT, NY, NJ) the cost of living is very high, so salaries are higher as well. A survey of Nyack YFS graduates in the Fall of 2009 indicated that most graduates' starting salaries were between $32,000 and $39,000 -about the same as starting teachers. Most Youth Pastors also receive other benefits (i.e. one could add about $14,000 each for the value of church-paid health insurance plans, etc). In that same survey, graduates in the NJ, CT, and NY city metro area, from the class of 2007, reported salaries as follows: 43,000, 45,000, 65,000, 65,000, 65,000, 70,000, and 100,000. Nationally, the average salary (2008) for a youth pastor was $42,200 (plus benefits) with an undergrad degree, and $49,300 with a Master’s degree. It is obvious that churches are seeing youth ministry as a legitimate, long-term career calling and option. [Research from 2011-2012]
The wealthiest people in America (top 1%) were recently surveyed to see what undergraduate college majors most of them chose for study. Seven majors were most frequently identified. Right beside “Economics” and “Finance” was the 5th most common major- “religious” studies. “In studying specific faiths…students gain knowledge about the nature of religion in general and its role in the life of individuals and societies.” [Greg Scott Neuman, (2012), 7 Majors that can put you in the top 1% of Earners; U.S. News University Directory, referring to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey of 2010.]
We do not want students to study within the College of Bible and Christian Ministry, in Youth & Family Studies, just to get wealthy! And we do not guarantee they will. But, the type of education provided in the YFS program helps our students to truly mature individually and socially, no matter what career choices they make.
We update our YFS job bulletin board every semester with new available positions. Most positions posted come from those who contact us! Once again (2014), we have more positions available through personal contacts than we have graduating seniors. We need more students interested in serving families, youth, and children in ministry/work.
Visit the site through the link; you can search by job title, by denomination, by region of the country, by specific position desired, and other criteria.
When on this site, you can search simply by clicking on the tabs of interest (Para-church ministries, Discipleship, College, Small Group, Young Adult, Christian Education, Children’s Ministry, Youth Pastor, Family Pastor, Media/Technology, Associate Pastor, etc.) or by key words, locations, and categories. Stays up to Date! (Example, on 3/10/2014 there were 80 new postings for needed Youth Leaders- posted after 1/28/2014.)
LINK: www.churchstaffsearch.com OR
When you visit these sites, you can search by category, location, denomination, and even worship style. You can also search by job type. Most recent postings listed first.
When visiting this site, type “family” into the “WHAT” Box. Varying opportunities in family services pop up. You’ll have to scroll through carefully, eliminating the positions which require graduate degrees- There are many job possibilities which do not.
“A Pastor advised me not to pursue a job in ministry through websites- as all jobs are secured through personal networking. My YFS faculty advised me differently. So I went onto one of the job-search sites listed on the YFS website and sent out some resumes. With-in one month, I had advanced to late-round interviews with three different churches; I accepted one offer, and withdrew from consideration in the others. Today, I’m gratefully serving as a Youth Pastor in Ohio- and am very glad I used the websites."
Matt Ryhnehart (’12)
“I’m happy with my salary ($70,000-ish), and of course, I hope that it continues to increase as my experience increases. My package also includes a house to live in, health coverage, retirement, and personal ministry expense reimbursement of $2,000. As for my youth ministry, I have a $9,500 Budget, another $3,000 for ministry transportation rental needs, and $3,500 for a summer intern. Got a good one?”
Alum in N.Y. metro area (’00)
"I am working as a full-time service coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club in Paterson, NJ. It's an exciting opportunity. On my weekends and off hours, I am the worship and outreach leader for New Life Ministries in North Haledon, NJ. As always, though, I'm continuing to do some activism and communicating with people on a few of the Native Reservations out west, and within the next two years may be finally moving out that way. Something is brewing in Colorado, as well as in New Mexico, so I continue to wait on the Lord and pray for direction until the time is right."
Kyle Vandenberg, (’12)