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Youth & Family Certificate – wonderful week of learning

Wow, what an amazing week we had in Albuquerque, New Mexico during Forma’s Youth and Family Ministry Certificate program!  After spending weeks with my fellow students and our amazing instructors in our online environment, it was awesome to be able to spend time gathered together.  Not only was the fellowship wonderful, but as you all know, actually being in each other’s presence helped foster our creativity and helped us understand the materials much better.

We had quite the reading list to complete before our arrival. I must confess I am still working on that list, but having spent the week discussing theology with Andrew Kellner, The Bible with Vicky Garvey, YM 101 with Randall Curtis, faith formation with L Sue Von Rautenkranz, and supporting youth advisors with Meredith Scott, I am excited and energized to keep reading. I can say that our certificate program faculty is stellar and that our students, while at varied stages of their vocations, represent the cream of the crop.

Even though I serve as the Forma Board President, this is my first step into formal Youth Ministry education.  I spent 15 years working in parishes as a Children’s Minister and up till now, my formation was mainly done through the wonderful colleagues of Forma.  When a last minute spot opened up for the Youth Leaders Certificate Program, I was excited to join in.

One highlight was the time spent with Vicky Garvey opening the texts in the presence of youth and others in the most inviting way. She helped us understand how the Bible reads us even as we engage in reading it. Vicky helped me imagine ways we can open this work up beyond the Youth Leaders track.  I left Albuquerque thinking that one of the many gifts Forma brings the Church are our certification programs.

At our conference in Janurary, you will get a glimpse of Andrea McKellars experience with the Certificate of Lifelong Leadership through her presentation.  I hope that you join us in Garden Grove, CA and hear how these wonderful programs are shaping the lives of so many of your colleagues.  If you are interested, there will be ample scholarships available for future years.

Jamie Martin-Currie, Forma Board President

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