Youth Ministry

The youth ministry department at Multnomah will prepare you to provide strategic leadership within the field of youth ministry. Taking some of the best concepts from education, psychology and leadership, this program will transform your thinking and change your life. 

If you choose youth ministry, you will probably not become rich, and you may not be well-respected, but you will have a tremendously meaningful life. The youth worker has one of the most significant jobs in the church, because young people have the potential to change the world. Youth are also in a place of great potential danger with the decisions they make and the friends they hang out with.

Our desire is to send gifted and skilled graduates into churches, campuses, therapy offices, detention centers, and into countries and cultures where youth have yet to be reached.

Job outlook

Vocational youth leaders are consistently in demand. Youth ministry graduates are qualified for positions in churches (especially as youth and educational ministers), schools, campuses, therapy offices, detention centers, nonprofits and parachurch organizations. Our graduates also find a smooth transition to master’s level programs, such as the Master of Arts in Counseling and the Master of Divinity.

Points of distinction

  • Extremely practical program that is inter-disciplinary in nature. 
  • Classes cover a variety of issues, including spiritual formation, discipleship, programming strategies, youth culture, sociology, psychology, education, leadership training and communication to youth. 
  • The major is set up in a way that allows students to tailor the program around their specific gifting and interests. We offer a number of pastoral, educational ministry, psychology, intercultural and worship courses as part of the major.
  • Elective classes deal with educational strategies, global youth ministry, worldview and ministry in the city.
  • The youth ministry department is characterized with good-hearted people who love God and enjoy life. 


Youth Ministry majors benefit from a broad educational experience and graduate with knowledge in:

  • Leadership
  • Discipleship
  • Communication
  • Psychology
  • Education
  • Sociology 

Besides preparing you for a rewarding career in service to Jesus, youth ministry courses will make you a better parent, a better grandparent, a better neighbor and a better Christian worker in any discipline. You will be able to use these skills whether you work with young people for life or go on to other ministries.

Student Story

Mason Lepisto is embracing the unpredictability of this program.

Common career paths

  • Youth pastor
  • Ministry leader
  • Church planter
  • Missionary
  • Social Worker
  • Criminal Justice Worker
  • Camp Counselor/Director

Positions MU youth ministry graduates have held

  • Youth Pastor
  • Camp Director
  • Camp Program Director
  • Military Youth Chaplains Program Worker
  • Juvenile Homes Worker
  • At-risk Youth Worker
  • Senior Pastor
  • Family Pastor
  • Missionary
  • School Guidance Counselor
  • Children’s pastor
  • Jr. High Pastor
  • Executive Pastor
  • Church Planter

Real-world learning opportunities

The Youth Ministry Department offers a yearly mission trip to Europe or Asia, where a team of youth ministry majors leads camps and retreats for junior high and high school students. Youth ministry majors will also participate in leading Spring Thaw, a large-scale youth retreat hosted on the Multnomah campus.

Vocational youth leaders are consistently in demand in Portland. Almost all of our youth ministry students serve in a local ministry, and they often find paid internships and volunteer positions of leadership. Working with youth while earning your degree is the best way to practice what you’re learning immediately. This is evident in the course content and class discussions. Real-life examples often shape the outcomes of each particular class. 

Meet Your Professors