Bachelor of Theology (Youth Ministry)


Youth grey

Preparing Capable Youth Pastors and Youth Workers

The Youth Ministry program prepares men and women to understand and relate to youth culture, love teens, lead them to Jesus, and equip them for ministry. Students in the Youth Ministry major are trained to lead church-based youth groups, campus clubs, city wide events, small groups, camps, retreats, local outreach projects and overseas missions trips.

A crucial element of training is a carefully integrated program of weekly ministry in the church, campus or community and a 400 hour internship. Our goal is to produce competent, confident, capable and compassionate youth pastors and youth workers for the church and other agencies in Canada and around the world.


Bachelor of Theology Youth Ministry students progress each year toward growing competence and confidence in youth ministry. In the first year in classroom and placement in youth ministries student grow their skills in relational ministry. In second year students are required to take on greater responsibility engaging youth culture leading groups and activities in churches, on campus or in social agencies. In the third year students take on a year-long 400 hour internship or a 600 hours intensive internship in full time youth ministry. During this year under direct supervision students lead every aspect of a youth ministry, drop in centre, campus ministry or youth agency. The final year adds the finishing touches for a student for full time work with youth. 


Over the course of the degree, students will study important aspects of contemporary youth ministry. Beginning in first year students will examine the importance of family ministry and the programming aspects of youth ministry. In second year, students will concentrate on addressing issues affecting teens and strategies to assist them, as well as studying the developmental stages of adolescence. The third year involves studying evangelism and apologetic strategies, and a number of practical pastoral ministry courses. Along with senior biblical and theological studies in the fourth year, youth ministry students will take Youth Ministry and Culture which will pull together all the practice and theory students have experienced.

Throughout their time at Vanguard, students enrolled in the Youth Ministry Program can expect to:

  1. Develop and communicate a vision and philosophy for youth ministry that is engrained in scripture and is applicable for reaching teens.
  2. Demonstrate the relational skills that are necessary to work with teens, their families, and the larger church body. 
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and application of adolescent development and its impact on youth ministry.
  4. Demonstrate the skills needed to organize and facilitate an effective youth ministry through practical experience.

Bachelor of Theology (Youth Ministry)


  • Fall Courses
    GS101 3 hrs

    Interpersonal Communication is designed to increase an individual’s understanding and implementation of effective interpersonal communication behaviors and skills. This course will help the student as they begin to understand communication and to assist them into becoming an effective and creative communicator. Verbal and nonverbal concepts affecting the communication process between individuals in various interpersonal contexts will be examined.

    Various models, methods, theories and practices of communication will be examined, as well participation in written and verbal activities designed to develop and improve interpersonal skills. The goal of this course is to assist the student in using what is taught and applying it to the various settings that the student will find themselves in.

    Course Outcomes
    1) Clarify the importance of communication in daily life and ministry.
    2) To help evaluate interpersonal communication skills and develop competency in interpersonal communication.
    3) Examine how an individual’s personality, culture, family background, society and mass media affect how a person communicates.
    4) Explore the complexities and intricacies of verbal and nonverbal communication.

    PS102 3 hrs

    What happens when a leader grows intentionally? Dynamic growth happens internally. What happens when a leadership team functions optimally? Dynamic things happen organizationally. This foundational course on leadership will attempt to inform and prepare students for their future lives and leadership by delving into the theology and theory of leadership as encased in the Scriptures and as practiced best by healthy organizations. Students will glean from exemplary leaders what they do and how they do it, both individually and in teams. Through self-discovery of their own God-given strengths and gift mixes, students will be inspired and equipped to become dynamic Kingdom leaders who learn to dynamically lead alone and within dynamic teams.

    BT103 3 hrs

    This course introduces to the person and work of the Holy Spirit. We will look at the Holy Spirit’s work in salvation, water baptism, and communion as well as the baptism of the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Practical and experiential attention will be given to the nine fruit and gifts of the Spirit as lived out in our personal lives and corporate life of the church. A small group component is also a major part of the course.

    BT101 3 hrs

    This entry level course is designed to demonstrate the importance and relevancy of the whole Bible for today. For many, it is a mystery how the Old Testament is related to the New Testament. Some think the former is a source of unrelated devotional stories, laws and prophecies. In truth, the two testaments are the complete story of God’s progressive plan for his people. There can be no real understanding of the New Testament without a clear view of the overall message of the Old Testament. It is the purpose of this course to concisely trace the story of Scripture, and to help students build a central foundation with which they can understand, interpret and apply God’s word to their lives today.


    FE121 1 hrs

    This course is directly related to the student’s supervised ministry placement each week. The classroom component serves as preparation for and reflection upon weekly ministry. The emphasis is on personal preparation, ministry preparation, working as part of a team, and development of ministry gifts and abilities.

    BT102 3 hrs

    This course is designed to acquaint the student with the purpose and methods of responsible biblical interpretation. This course will look at both general hermeneutics, principles for interpreting Scripture as a whole, special hermeneutics, and the principles for understanding and interpreting the various genres and literary devices that are present in the Bible. A secondary, but essential, emphasis will be given to the role of the Spirit in interpreting the text of Scripture.

  • Winter Courses
    FE122 1 hrs

    This course is directly related to the student’s supervised ministry placement each week. The classroom component serves as preparation for and reflection upon weekly ministry. The emphasis is on personal preparation, ministry preparation, working as part of a team, and development of ministry gifts and abilities.

    PS121 3 hrs

    New Course for Winter 2020. Course Description TBD

    PS101 3 hrs

    This course will examine contemporary family life in and out of the church, and it’s biblical purpose. Students will study the idea of a holistic family ministry model as well as the importance of an intergenerational mindset for church ministry. This course will include current strategies for various ministries that involve the family.

    Learning Outcomes:
    1) Identify current societal issues that affect and influence families.
    2) Examine different models for family and intergenerational ministry.
    3) Understand various methods that church leadership can support parents in areas of spiritual development.
    4) To convey a biblical concept for family ministry that is adaptable to different ministry contexts.

    GS102 3 hrs

    An exploration of worldviews as intellectual, behavioural, and value systems in relation to culture. These powerful forces shape the lives of people often without clear reflection on the part of the holder. A person’s worldview has a huge influence on identity formation. Therefore, it is crucial to increase awareness and purposeful development of our worldview.

    BT105 3 hrs

    The purpose of this course is to examine the teaching of the Bible and develop a systematic theology that addresses four important themes: the Word of God, the doctrine of God, biblical anthropology, and the doctrine of sin. Efforts will be made to explain how these themes are developed through promise and fulfilment from Genesis to Revelation.

    BT104 3 hrs

    This course is an introduction to the Gospels. It will focus on the four canonical gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Issues relating to the synoptic problem will be explored, as well as the unique contribution of each gospel. The literary nature of the gospels will be examined, exploring the gospels as story, as well as their theological impact. As the title implies, this course will emphasize our response to the gospels: what it means to follow Jesus. The focal point the Gospels have within God’s progressive revelation will be emphasized, as well as the integral part they play in personal, relational, and ministerial contexts.


  • Fall Courses
    PS221 3 hrs

    This course is designed to prepare the student for the complexities of youth ministry today, by analyzing approaches to dealing with key issues and solutions to typical problems youth pastors face. Students are expected to apply their total practical, theological and Biblical education to contemporary youth ministry situations. An emphasis will be placed on problem solving techniques, and practical application of theory to real life situations. (The course will also attempt to address the concerns of the students involved.).

    PS201 3 hrs

    Class participants will have an opportunity to learn sermon-building techniques through training in manuscript preparation and delivery styles. A lab component of the study requires the student to deliver a biblically-based message to fellow class members, and evaluate all other messages shared in the course. Prerequisite: Hermeneutics

    FE221 1 hrs

    This is the second practicum course that youth ministry students take in their youth program. It is expected, in the second year that students will be involved in a church or para-church youth ministry. The classroom component of the course will focus on reaching, understanding, and responding to youth culture.

    Prerequisite: Practicum: Youth Ministry – Year 1 Winter

    GS203 3 hrs

    This course provides an introduction to the field of psychology, which includes a survey of biology, the development of personality, emotions, mental illness, and the learning process.

    GS207 3 hrs

    Course description coming soon.

    GS201 3 hrs

    This course is a basic introduction to the Biblical languages Greek and Hebrew and to the tools with which the student can study the Scriptures more effectively. Beginning with an appreciation for the nature and challenges of working with the original languages of our Scriptures, the student will be equipped with the skills necessary for the proper use of language and interpretative tools such as concordances, lexicons, word-studies, critical commentaries, and computer software. The course is divided into three parts. First, a comprehensive walk through of the Logos Library System is undertaken. The second and third components consist of learning the Hebrew and Greek alphabets and a basic introduction to vocabulary and grammar of each. An essential part of the course is the integration of language tools with the preparation of Bible studies and sermons.

  • Winter Courses
    FE222 1 hrs

    This is the second practicum course that youth ministry students take in their youth program. It is expected, in the second year that students will be involved in a church or para-church youth ministry. The classroom component of the course will focus on reaching, understanding, and responding to youth culture.

    Prerequisite: Practicum: Youth Ministry – Year 1 Winter

    GS204 3 hrs

    This is a survey course to introduce the student to the history of the Christian church primarily focusing on renewal and revival movements. This course examines the history of the church as it developed from the apostles to the present era. The course objective is to thoroughly acquaint the student with the historical and theological development of key figures, movements, and doctrines.

    BT201 3 hrs

    The book of Romans is crucial in understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ. In this course, students explore the rich truths of justification, salvation, and sanctification and other significant topics both exegetical and theological studies of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. It is the intent of the instructor to look at the various details and application of the Gospel as taught by the Apostle Paul in this great epistle. This course is designed to teach the student how to interpret and apply the book of Romans in their ministry context and to be challenged, inspired, and equipped in his or her own spiritual walk.

    BT205 3 hrs

    From the foundations of the world, the salvation of a people has been God’s intent, and His Son, Jesus Christ, came to earth to complete such a redemption. The purpose of this course is to give the student a thorough perspective on two of the greatest pillars of the Christian faith: A Biblical Christology and Soteriology. The study of the nature, life, and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ along with a truly Biblical understanding of the nature of our salvation is an essential part of forming a Biblical basis for the student’s faith in our Lord and a foundation for effective ministry in the future. This course emphasizes the central place that Jesus has in God’s continuing plan of salvation and that by believing in Him, we find our place within the story. Prerequisite: Theology 1: God and the Human Condition

    BT202 3 hrs

    The Pentateuch has always been regarded as a significant part of Scripture. It gives us an explanation of the world and its inhabitants. It explains the origins of sin and traces its consequences. It introduces the idea of a chosen people through whom the world will be redeemed. In the law it sent out a pattern for society and in the Ten Commandments expresses principles of behavior that have commanded almost universal respect. For modern readers, these key books are often viewed as the most problematic, historically, ethically and theologically. However, it is in this tension that there is such continuing interest in these books. The student will be introduced to the content and significance of this portion of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Attention to be given to the matters of contemporary critical issues as well as the foundational basis of Christian history through creation and beyond. The place of the Pentateuch will also be examined in relation to God’s continuing story in the rest of Scripture. In addition, the personal, practical and applicable use of these scriptures for Christian ministry and witness will be addressed.

    GS206 3 hrs

    The intent of this course is to introduce you to the scientific study of child and adolescent development and apply this knowledge toward effective youth ministry. Although the volume of material in print on these two areas is vast, we will focus on the most important topics as they relate to youth and youth work. This course is introductory in nature so it will provide a basic understanding of adolescent development and foundational youth ministry principles that will serve as a basis for further study.

    Prerequisite: Introduction to Pyschology


  • Fall Courses
    PS321 3 hrs

    This course will assist students in acquiring a structure for Christian apologetics as well be introduced to a logical defense of the Christian faith. Students will explore and analyze various models and methodologies for both apologetics and evangelism in a postmodern society. This course will put emphasis on understanding and teaching apologetics and evangelism in a youth ministry context.

    PS302 3 hrs

    This course is an introduction to the preparation, philosophy, theology, and skills of the pastoral
    counsellor. It addresses issues and situations commonly faced in the pastor’s office. Practical
    application of the principles and skills learned during lectures will be applied through various
    experiences and integrative assignments.

    Prerequisite: Introduction to Psychology (GS203)

    FE321 1 hrs

    The classroom component of this upper level practicum course examines the philosophy, ethics, and practical application of youth ministry concepts at an advanced level. The course content will be presented by discussion, and interaction with the practicum teacher. Students are required to minister in a church or para-church context during each semester 6-10 hours each week.


    Prerequisite: Practicum: Youth Ministry – Year 2 Winter

    GS301 3 hrs

    An introductory investigation into several main areas of philosophy, including: Metaphysics (what is the nature of ultimate reality?), Epistemology (questions about the nature of knowledge), Axiology (the study of value), Logic (dealing with critical thinking, and forms of argument), and Philosophy of religion. It is designed to help students think critically about and clearly explain to others why they believe what they believe. Attention will be given to how they study of philosophy can aid Christians in the task of apologetics, polemics, and systematic theology.

    BT305 3 hrs

    This course is a study of the church and last things from a Biblical theological perspective. The church is seen as a divinely established entity through which God’s people have their beginning, and develop identity and fellowship with God. Last things are studied with a focus on the eschatological hope of God’s people from the time of the Patriarchs to the time of Christ and the New Testament Church. Prerequisite: Theology 1: God and the Human Condition

    BT301 3 hrs

    The first of a trilogy in pastoral studies, this course uses the books of I and II Timothy and Titus to build a Biblical template for healthy lifestyles, and for the carrying out of contemporary pastoral responsibilities.

  • Winter Courses
    FE322 1 hrs

    The classroom component of this upper level practicum course examines the philosophy, ethics, and practical application of youth ministry concepts at an advanced level. The course content will be presented by discussion, and interaction with the practicum teacher. Students are required to minister in a church or para-church context during each semester 6-10 hours each week.


    Prerequisite: Practicum: Youth Ministry – Year 2 Winter.

    BT304 3 hrs

    A study of the Old Testament historical narratives from Joshua to Esther and the history of Israel’s Conquest, Settlement, Exile and Restoration. The course will examine the key themes, critical issues, overall message and the character of God as revealed in these books and how these can be exegeted, interpreted, communicated and applied. Attention will also be given to the place of the historical books within God’s progressive revelation, and their relevance for Christians today.

    BT302 3 hrs

    This course has two major components: First, a study of Hebrew poetry will give an overview of the genre, as well as the forms, messages, themes and original cultural settings of the books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. Secondly, three quarters of the course will focus on the book of Psalms. The place of the Psalms within God’s progressive revelation will be emphasized, and attention will be given to its place within the God’s continuing plan and how they may be applied to the on-going life of the Christian disciple and the corporate faith community today. The instructor will consider the various aspects of interpreting and expositing the books of Psalms. Some practical examples will be given as to how they may be used in contemporary preaching. Some themes of pertinent importance such as evil, pain, suffering, prayer, and worship will be discussed. Messianic, ecclesiological, and eschatological developments will also be explored.


    BT306 3 hrs

    This course is a biblical exposition of the pneumatology in Lukan literature. It evaluates the relevant Lukan data narratively, grammatically, contextually, and canonically, paying particular attention to the way Luke portrays Jesus in the continuing story of God’s salvation plan. It will look at the different perspectives and ways of approaching Luke-Acts, paying close attention to the significant themes of salvation, empowerment for mission, and judgment. Modern interpreters of Lukan pneumatology will be critically evaluated. The OT background will also be appreciated at each step. A major concern of the course will be the relevancy of Luke’s message for us today.


    PS303 3 hrs

    Building on the biblical template found in the Pastoral Letters, this course centers on the personal issues of vocational call, character transformation (spiritual formation), and compassion/care assessment. Class members will be introduced to spiritual training exercises, experiences and relationships that will assist them to become a daily “apprentice of Jesus, the Pastor” in a practical fashion. A number of practicing pastors will share their experiences and training practices in living and leading a healthy life of spiritual leadership. The outcome or PRODUCT of this course would be lives that are marked by spiritual vitality and ongoing transformation. Time will be spent on understanding the PROCESSES that one must commit themselves to, if they are to walk in this kind of health for the long haul. Prerequisite: Pastoral Letters

    PS301 3 hrs

    This course will examine the elements of effective management within multiple dimensions of holistic Christian ministry settings. Attention will be given to establishing a foundation for the understanding of the essential functions of management, individual and collective performance, organizational systems, governance, change issues and the stewardship of resources, human as well as financial. Students will also be challenged to apply their leadership learning in internship experiences, as well as in practicing and learning how to lead people through transformative life experiences like sacraments/ordinances, water baptism, child dedication, weddings and funerals.


  • Fall Courses
    FE425 6 hrs

    Internship combines classroom instruction and field experience. The focus of classroom component is music, recreation and drama for youth ministries This practical course emphasizes youth ministry programming for the purpose of building community. Course assignments are expected to be completed in the context of youth ministry. Students will complete a minimum of 400 hours of service in local church, community, or campus ministries.

    Prerequisite: Practicum: Youth Ministry – Year 3 Winter

    GS402 3 hrs

    This course charts the development of the Pentecostal movement from its origins in the Holiness movement of the 19th century to the present. It is intended to provide students with an understanding of the Pentecostal faith and of the Pentecostal movement today. Attention will be paid to the Pentecostal movement as a whole including a number of different denominations, but specifically to the largest Pentecostal body, the Assemblies of God, and its Canadian affiliate, the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. Doctrinal disputes within the movement will be a particular focus, as will contemporary challenges to the movement’s future viability and growth. Prerequisite: Church History

    GS401 3 hrs

    Ethics is the study of right and wrong. This course examines six major approaches to ethics, three Christian, and three non-Christian, with emphasis placed on the former. It then reviews several hotly debated ethical issues in our society, including abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, homosexuality, pacifism/war, and divorce and remarriage. Extensive classroom discussion and debates are used to supplement lecture material. Students are encouraged to think critically and search the Scriptures to decide for themselves what is or is not ethical. Prerequisite: Philisophy

    BT401 3 hrs

    This course involves a detailed analysis of the book of I Corinthians as it was received by the original audience and as it applies to the 21st century audience. Using a contextual /wholistic approach to the text, the class will have opportunity to understand and apply eternal scriptural principles to such ongoing life issues as human sexuality, interpersonal relationships, usage of spiritual giftings, marriage and divorce issues, matters of personal liberty, and several other continuing church life matters.

  • Winter Courses
    PS421 3 hrs

    New Course starting Fall 2019. Course Description TBD

    Pre-Requisite: Internship: Youth Ministry

    BT405 3 hrs

    Mission is a central focus in the Bible, answering the question, “What are people on earth for?” Students will be immersed in the biblical-theological roots of God’s mission in both the Old and New Testaments and the transforming vision of God’s purpose and plan for His people. Particular emphasis will be placed on the relevancy of God’s mission for the church, its leaders, and individual Christian believers. The mission of God will be related to the complex contemporary issues facing the church today.

    Prerequisite: Theology 3: Ecclesiology/Eschatology

    BT402 3 hrs

    This course has two main components: First a study on the prophets of Israel will overview the prophetic history, and then especially the background, purpose, and literary genre of the writing prophets of Isaiah through Malachi; secondly, a study of the book of Isaiah will consume three quarters of the course. Isaiah’s historical background, structure, and major themes will be explored. Particular attention will be placed on the Servant of the Lord. Isaiah’s place within the metanarrative will be emphasized, as well as its significance and application for Christians in the world today.

    BT406 3 hrs

    Among the most beloved of all Scriptural books, John’s writings continue to inspire intimacy between God and His people, calling everyone to make Jesus the centre of their lives. This senior level course covers primarily the Gospel of John and the Johannine epistles, 1, 2, 3 John, with only secondary consideration to Revelation. The purpose of each of John’s writings is examined, specifically regarding common themes, vocabulary, and style. An exegetical study of the Gospel will include exploring the structure, discourses, signs, key statements of Jesus, the passion account, and fulfilment of the Old Testament. The epistles will also be explored, focusing on their background, as well as the historical issues. Application and relevancy for the Christian today will be demonstrated.

    BT408 3 hrs

    This course instructs students how to design and deliver expository messages. As opposed to topical preaching, anecdotal preaching, biographical preaching of textual preaching, students will be taught the expository preaching method, which takes the point of the Scriptural text and makes it the point of the sermon. Students will prepare expository messages to be preached in class, in turn, enjoy the benefits of peer evaluation.

    Prerequisite: Homiletics



Students graduating with the 4 year degree will be:

Capable mature professionals prepared to lead a church ministry, train volunteers, organize an outreach programs, retreats, and mission trips with students and their families.

Competent leaders; knowledgeable in Bible and theology, adolescent development, counselling, youth culture, and youth issues.

Confident in their skills to teach, lead, mentor, and administrate a disciple-making ministry to students and their families as team member at a church or other agency.

Compassionate; having a heart for God as well as empathy for parents and students, helping them to find wholeness in Christ.