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Online Youth Ministry Course

Making Parents Your Allies in Youth Ministry

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To help support your training goals during this unprecedented time, enroll in any course for just $79 ($198 value) or in a certification for just $499 ($998 value).

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Develop faith-shaping strategies that invite and equip parents and other adults to organically and effectively shape the spiritual maturity of teenagers.

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Course Overview

Both research and experience confirm an undeniable truth: the parents of teenagers have a huge impact on teenagers’ spiritual growth and commitment to Jesus. Search Institute has found that the two primary predictors of a mature faith are “talking about faith with your mother” and “talking about faith with your father.”

Simply put, when the parents of your teenagers grow spiritually, so do the students you serve. It’s smart to invest in those parents—but how? What’s the best way to include and support parents? In this youth ministry training course you’ll gain a fresh perspective and valuable skills for promoting the parents of your teenagers from cooks, bottle washers, and taxi drivers to effective equippers of the faith.

Course Outline

Getting Started

Discover how to navigate your online course, get connected to our ministry network, and download a copy of the Course Notes.


Meet Mark DeVries, the founder of Ministry Architects and co-founder of Ministry Incubators and the Center for Youth Ministry Training. Mark’s 30+ years in youth ministry, gentle spirit, and down-home humor will inspire you to discover how to effectively partner with parents and other adults to impact the spiritual growth and commitment to Jesus with the teenagers you serve.

Module 1. The Myth of the Powerless Parent

In the last five years the percentage of teenagers attending church every week has plummeted by 25 percent. Our greatest opportunity to leverage the nuclear power of parents is now. We’ll discuss how to build a wider adult “family” to surround kids to deepen their connection to Jesus.

Module 2. The Consequences of Pervasive Isolation

Today’s disconnection from the adult world impacts teenagers greatly. We’ll explore the “engines” of isolation, and how intergenerational connections to adults can lead to sustained growth and maturity.

Module 3. The Power of Parents

Research shows that the family is the most powerful force promoting faith in young people. In this module we’ll explore how to leverage that connection for maximum impact on teenagers.

Module 4. Planting a Family-Based Approach to Ministry

Treating parents as allies in youth ministry simply means we create excuses for kids to connect with them and with other adult followers of Jesus. We’ll show you how to tap into the God-ordained structures for faith formation to produce the fruit of mature Christian adulthood.

Module 5. A Potpourri of Parent-Connect Ideas

Discover four broad models for partnering with parents in youth ministry. We’ll show you how to tweak a standard youth ministry practice to make it more parent-connecting.

Module 6. Parents as Allies

We’ll reinforce the power and molding presence of parents and other adults to become the “cloud of witnesses” in kids lives. You’re now prepared to equip parents to use their innate influence to help launch their kids into “orbit” around Jesus.

Course Outcomes

U Discover

Develop faith-shaping strategies that invite and equip parents and other adults to organically and effectively shape the spiritual maturity of teenagers.

In this youth leader training course, learn how to move past complaints and tension over parents’ involvement in your ministry to an “ally” mentality.

Why making parents your allies is the “meat and potatoes” of your ministry to teenagers, not the “gravy.”

Innovative and experiential ways to engage parents in discipling their own kids.

U Will

Develop faith-shaping strategies that invite and equip parents and other adults to organically and effectively shape the spiritual maturity of teenagers.

About the Instructor

Mark DeVries

Mark DeVries founded Ministry Architects back in 2002, a firm that works with youth and children’s ministries in transition. He served in youth ministry for nearly 30 years and has provided top-notch training throughout the United States, Canada, Russia, South Africa, Northern Ireland, and enough other places to pretty much max out his passport. Mark is an author, speaker, listener, advice-giver, and perpetually forward-thinking guy. He’s currently the Associate Pastor for New Projects at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s also co-authored The Indispensable Youth Pastor and Youth Leader Training on the Go.

Group U Ministry Certification

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