Diploma in Youth Ministry


Atlantic School of Theology offers a part-time program of study leading to a Diploma in Youth Ministry. This program is designed for leaders of youth who wish to deepen and broaden their skills for ministry with young people.

The Diploma in Youth Ministry provides timely, effective, faith-based training for leaders of youth across Canada. Participants in the Diploma are given opportunities to build skills and confidence as well as networks of learning and support.

The Diploma program combines required and elective units of study with practical experience in the leadership of youth. Learning sites include the Halifax campus of Atlantic School of Theology, as well as locations across Canada in conjunction with national youth ministry networks. All required units are available via online study. Bursary assistance is available.

Applications for Admission into the DYM program are accepted at any time through the year.


Upcoming Learning Units | Ongoing Programs as Third-Party Electives | Additional Events as Third-Party Electives | Additional Materials | Ready to Apply

Upcoming Learning Units

Introduction to Pastoral Ministry
Winter 2017
(Required - online)

Introduction to the Christian Theology
Winter 2016
(Required - online)

Good Grief: Healthy Approaches to Grief with Youth & Young Adults
October 7-8, 2016
(Elective unit - Halifax)
Visit our Good Grief course page for more information

Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures
Fall 2016
(Required - online)

Introduction to Youth Ministry
Fall 2016
(Required - online)


Ongoing Programs that Qualify as Third-Party Electives

In order for Approved Third Party Events to count as electives in the Diploma in Youth Ministry (DYM) program, students must have an event organizer complete a Confirmation of Completion of Third Party Event form on their behalf (one form per event), preferably within six months of the event. Forms received after this time will be subject to approval. DYM students must complete six elective units; these units may be offered by Atlantic School of Theology or by other programs or groups. Each Approved Third Party Event counts as one elective in the DYM program. Where it is possible to do so, students are encouraged to register their intention to participate in upcoming Third Party Events with AST’s Registrar before participating in the event.

Ongoing programs that qualify as third-party electives:

  • Compañeros Inc is a private social enterprise legally registered in Canada and Nicaragua. It is dedicated to organizing respectful volunteer service and cross-cultural learning programs resulting in the development of better communities in Canada, the United States, and Nicaragua. Compañeros effectively brings diverse people together to experience mutually beneficial educational programs and community development projects. See companeros.ca.
  • Godly Play (Canada) Training Events. The Godly Play approach uses story, play, ritual, and creativity to enhance the child's authentic experience of God so it can contribute to the spiritual life of the child and assist the child in making meaning in the world. Godly Play-Core Training and Godly Play-Advanced can be considered two separate electives. For specific training dates and locations see godlyplay.ca.
  • NEOS Youth Ministry Education Programs at Five Oaks Retreat Centre in Paris, Ontario. Neos programs equip mainline church leaders with skills, knowledge and confidence in their ability to minister with youth. Programs run one weekend, every fall and spring. Examples of NEOS programs that can be considered as separate electives are: The Nuts & Bolts of Youth Ministry and Beyond Bowling - Faith Formation. Contact www.fiveoaks.on.ca.
  • Trailblazing is an online learning program, including several different subjects and modules, to equip YOU as a youth leader with solid theological grounding for all aspects of your ministry. See trailblazing.anglican.ca. Examples of modules that can be considered as separate electives are: Intro to Theology, Youth Ministry Foundations, Worldview & the Gospel, Belief & Practice, Reverberations of Faith, Building Community, Story & Creation, Using Film & TV in Youth Ministry, Watching Between the Lines, Mission.
  • Youth ministry programs organized every year by the Maritime Conference of the United Church of Canada. See www.marconf.ca:
    - Maritime Conference Youth Forum – Spring Event
    - Maritime Conference Youth Forum – Fall Event
    - Maritime Conference Intermediates at Conference
    - Camp STUFF training for camp staff
    - Camp Director's & Senior Staff Training
  • Leading Innovative Youth Programs is a non-denominational program for youth leaders offered annually by Tatamagouche Centre. See www.tatacentre.ca.
  • Creating a Trans-friendly Environment:  A program hosted by Tatamagouche Education Centre to help organizations and groups build their capacity to support and promote spaces that are inclusive and positive for transgender and gender nonconforming adults and youth. See www.tatacentre.ca
  • Canadian Youth Workers Regional Conferences: These conferences for youth pastors are organized by national and regional sponsors.
  • Canadian Anglican Lutheran Youth (CLAY): A gathering of Anglican and Lutheran youth from across Canada. The gathering takes place every two years at different locations across Canada. See www.claygathering.ca.
  • Canada Youth is a national gathering of Presbyterian youth, young adults and youth leaders that happens every two years. See www.presbyterian.ca/cy.
  • Faith Forward is an annual event organized by a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing together children’s and youth ministry leaders for collaboration, resourcing, and inspiration toward innovative theology and practice. See Faith-Forward.net.
  • Racial Justice Workshop and Boundaries Workshop offered by United-in-Learning; mandatory for all United Church of Canada Personnel. (Both workshops combined count as one elective in the DYM).
  • APCE: Association of Presbyterian Church Educators (Annual Event). APCE is an association made up of those who are serving educational ministries, as ministers, professional or volunteer educators, or students, in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Reformed Church in America, The Presbyterian Church in Canada, the Moravian Church in America, and the Christian Reformed Church in North America.
  • Rendez-vous: A national gathering held every third year for youth, young adults, and leaders—for all people who are passionate about youth and young adult ministries in the United Church of Canada.
  • Steubenville Atlantic: An annual event for high school youth and young adults sponsored by the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth, usually held at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS.
  • The GO Project is an annual summer program of the United Church of Canada providing opportunities for youth to serve communities through leading children's programs, working at food and clothing banks, shelters and street cafés, offering support to seniors and newcomers. The GO Project – Site Staff and The GO Project – Coordinator can be considered as separate electives. See www.thegoproject.ca.


Additional Specific Events that Qualify as Third-Party Electives

Additional specific events that qualify as third-party electives:

  • Tides of Change 2014, October 7-10, 2014. 18th National Child & Youth Care Conference in Moncton, NB.
  • Children's Ministry in the Way of Jesus on October 28, 2013, at Tatamagouche Centre with David Csinos. www.tatacentre.ca.
  • BEHOLD Youth Program, October 25-26, 2013,will take place within the national BEHOLD Intercultural Conference at Pier 21 in Halifax. BEHOLD is co-sponsored by AST and the United Church of Canada. BEHOLD celebrates the many diverse cultures in which the community of faith is immersed. 
  • John Philip Newell: Celtic Treasure and Rebirthing Christianity on October 20-22, 2013, at Tatamagouche Centre with John Philip Newell and Wilf Bean. www.tatacentre.ca.
  • Boldly GO! October 2-4, 2013, at Tatamagouche Centre. Extend the reach of effective youth ministry within congregations and communities. www.tatacentre.ca
  • Stronger Together, September 22-25, 2013, is an annual gathering for individuals, in the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), who are responsible for coordinating youth ministry at a diocesan or synod level, or are part of a national committee. ACC Stronger Together page.
  • Greenbelt Festival 2013: Where Arts, Faith and Justice Collide. www.greenbelt.org.uk. Openly encouraging youth and youth adult participants from all denominations, from all corners of the earth!
  • Ignite, May 31-June 1, 2013, Assembly of the People of God, Spreading the light of Christ. World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax. (Contact: John Stevens, Office of Pastoral Life & New Evangelization, Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth).
  • Ask & Imagine May 5-11, 2013, at Huron University College in London, ON. More information at: www.askandimagine.org.
  • Let Us Play! February 6-9, 2013, in Orlando, Florida.
  • Going Deeper: Youth Ministry Networking with Doris Kizinna, October 12-14, 2012, at Tatamagouche Centre. More info available at www.tatacentre.ca.
  • Foundations in Religious Education, July 3-13, 2012, 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Presented by the Summer Institute in Religious Education (SIRE) 2012, established by the Faculty of Theology at Saint Paul University, Ottawa, ON.
  • Philosophy of Catholic Education and Faith Formation, July 3-13, 2012, 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Presented by the Summer Institute in Religious Education (SIRE) 2012, established by the Faculty of Theology at Saint Paul University, Ottawa, ON.
  • The Christian Initiation of Children, July 3-13, 2012, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Presented by the Summer Institute in Religious Education (SIRE) 2012, established by the Faculty of Theology at Saint Paul University, Ottawa, ON.
  • Children, Youth and a New Kind of Christianity, May 7-10, 2012. Although registration is now closed for this conference, which takes place in Washington, DC, anyone who attends can use the event as an elective in the DYM program.


Additional Materials

Your Program Status Checklist (PDF format)

Practicum Units:


I Am Ready to Apply

To sign up for Learning Units and to register, please see our Application & Course Registration page


For more information, please contact our Academic Office
Email: academic@astheology.ns.ca
Telephone: 902-423-5592