Youth Ministry Certification Program


The Office for Evangelization offers the Youth Ministry Certification program to provide formation for youth workers in the Diocese of Richmond. This in-depth program will offer presentations that are practical, academic, theological, and spiritual. All youth ministers who serve on parish staff are encouraged to participate in the program. All youth workers who serve as catechists are also invited to participate. This formation program will be held during one academic year. Upon completion, students will receive a Certificate in Youth Ministry that is validated through the Catholic Diocese of Richmond and Franciscan University of Steubenville.

The Diocese of Richmond and Franciscan University are committed to assisting in the preparation of men and women who have responded to the call of catechesis within youth ministry. Christ commissioned his disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) after preparing them for this mission through his life and ministry. The Church needs well-formed, knowledgeable adults to continue this mission to young people. The Youth Ministry Certification program will offer formation to these adults so that they may be effective witnesses of Christ to young people.

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The Youth Ministry Certification program will include five key components. The requirements to obtain the Certificate in Youth Ministry include:

  1. Attending four diocesan sessions.
  2. Completing a required amount of online video classes.
  3. Participation in mentorship meetings.
  4. Completing required readings.
  5. Completing a ministry assignment.

12-month enrollment registration

Diocesan Sessions

Participants in the Youth Ministry Certification program will be required to attend three in-person seminars and one retreat. The seminars will be held at the Pastoral Center in Richmond and live-streamed to Saint Andrew in Roanoke and Jubilee Retreat House in Abingdon. The sessions will begin at 9:30 am and end at 4:00 pm. Lunch will be provided.

September 23, 2017

Instruction: Dr. Bob Rice

  • Introduction to Youth Ministry Certification program
  • Vision of Effective Youth Ministry
  • Engaging Youth Culture
  • Partnering with Families

December 2, 2017

Instruction: Jim Beckman

  • Personal Spirituality
  • Forming Disciples
  • Incarnational Ministry
  • Methods and Practical Skills

April 13-14, 2018

Instruction: Youth Workers’ Retreat

  • Speaker and location, TBD

May 5, 2018

Instruction: Kristen Witte, Dr. James Pauley

  • Adolescent Development
  • Pastoral Care
  • Effective Catechesis for Youth Ministry
  • Sacramental Nature of the Church

Online Video Courses

The Catechetical Institute from Franciscan University of Steubenville has teamed up with Life Teen to create video formation resources for youth ministers. All students in the Youth Ministry Certification program will need to complete a total of 13 online videos throughout the course of the year including eight pre-selected courses and five electives. These videos average about 15 minutes each and can be viewed at any point during the year.

In addition to these videos, the Office for Evangelization will host up to five webinar sessions that will be required for all youth ministers who serve on parish staff. The webinars will remain optional for all volunteer youth workers.

Mentorship Meetings

All students enrolled in the Youth Ministry Certification program will be assigned a mentor. The Catechetical Institute from Franciscan University recognizes that online videos and seminars often lack human connections and a true dialogical exchange of ideas. A collaborative learning model is needed to address these challenges and provide local support to the youth workers as they strive to integrate catechesis with evangelization in their parishes.

Students are asked to meet with their mentor at least four times throughout the year (twice in the fall, twice in the spring). These meetings may be held in person, through phone, or through video conferencing. The mentor will be the one to review and assess all assignment materials and keep track of all online course work. The mentor will be available throughout the year to answer questions and discuss content, as needed.

Required Reading

A list of required reading will be provided to all enrolled students. Students will be asked to write a brief reflection on each document. These readings and the corresponding reflections will be discussed during mentor meetings.

Ministry Assignment

At the conclusion of the program, all students will be asked to put what they have learned into action by creating a ministry resource. The goal of this assignment is that it would be a practical tool that could be used in ministry and shared with other youth workers.


All interested youth workers are asked register online for the Youth Ministry Certification program. The cost to participate is $600 and includes all aspects of the program. All registered students will gain access to more than 100 online video resources that may be used by any parish leader throughout the year.

Registration is also available for any youth worker or catechist who is interested in attending the in-person seminars without pursuing the full certificate. Cost to attend an individual session is $40.

For more information on the Youth Ministry Certification program, please contact the Office for Evangelization at or 804-622-5159.