The Competencies for Ministry to/with Youth (PDF, 11 pages) are eight vital areas of development for volunteers, staff and professionals in youth ministry. Co-created by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries and UUA Congregational Life staff, they embody a regional and national standard for youth ministry. There is no requirement that these tools are used for any congregation’s youth ministry. However, it provides common language with which to describe resources available in the area of youth ministry.
We recognize we are all on a journey towards these standards. Youth ministry is relational; there is always more self-reflection and deepening we can do as our own lives unfold and we change and grow. Learn and grow together by using the competencies in your advisor/teacher development and watching the Youth Ministry Training webinar series for each competency. For a list of resources accompanying the webinar series please refer to the Competencies Resource List (PDF, 5 pages).
The competencies can be used by individual lay leaders, teams, religious educators and ministers who are part of their congregation’s ministry to and with youth. Lay leaders may be religious education teachers, youth advisors, youth program coordinators, Our Whole Lives teachers, Coming of Age mentors, “bridging” mentors, conference sponsors, service trip leaders or other adults in youth ministry.
It is important that all religious professionals are aware of these areas of competency as they work with youth and support volunteers and staff. Ministers and religious educators can use the competencies to work together in evaluating the goals of their youth ministry program.
Ace Youth Ministry
Each competency has three categories: entry level (critical for volunteers to have on day one), basic (forms the foundation of a healthy youth ministry), and advanced (appropriate for long-term volunteers, paid staff, and other highly committed adults). A competent adult in youth ministry strives to excel in all eight areas of their category.
Youth ministry is not solo ministry; it is a piece of the larger structure of the congregation. There are many reasons adults should not work solo including safety policies, the risk of burnout, and the power collaboration brings. Mentoring and being mentored makes us all stronger!