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 in the Atlantic region and beyond. 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 several distance locations. Some 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. Registration packages for the 2014-2015 school year will be sent in July. (This a mail-in registration with a registration/due date of August 15).


Upcoming Learning Units

Introduction to the Christian Scriptures
Fall 2015
(Required - online)

Introduction to Youth Ministry
Fall 2015
(Required - online)
(Class minimum: 5)

Spiritual Radicals: Sacred Activism & Youth Ministry, with Adam Bucko
Elective unit, Fall 2015 - Halifax
More info

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

Ongoing programs that would qualify for third-party electives:

  • Canada Youth is a gathering of Presbyterian youth, young adults and youth leaders that happens every two years.
  • 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. For specific training dates and locations see godlyplay.ca.
  • Leading Innovative Youth Programs is a non-denominational program for youth leaders offered annually by Tatamagouche Centre.
  • Youth ministry programs organized every year by the Maritime Conference of the United Church of Canada:
    - Maritime Conference Youth Forum
    - Maritime Conference Intermediates at Conference
    - Camp STUFF training for camp staff
    - Camp Director's & Senior Staff Training
  • 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. 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.

The following third-party events can be counted as electives toward the Diploma:

  • Fear Not! APCE Annual Event February 4-7, 2015, Baltimore. Association for Presbyterian Church Educators event has workshops, keynote speakers, seminars, tours, a marketplace of vendors, and of course--worship! This is THE event for church educators, lay leaders, pastors and anyone that is interested and involved in Christian education.
  • Rendez-vous August 13-16, 2014, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB. A national gathering for youth, young adults, and leaders - for all people who are passionate about youth and young adult ministries in the United Church of Canada. Rendez-vous 2014
  • Steubenville Atlantic July 4-6, 2014. High School Youth Conference, God Is, to be held at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS.
  • Camp Directors & Senior Staff Training May 28-30, 2014 & Camp STUFF (camp staff training) May 31-June 2, 2014, Camp Abegweit, PEI.
  • 2014 Faith Forward May 19-22, 2014. Four days of creativity, innovation, and collaboration toward new approaches for nurturing faith in children and  youth. Speakers include Phyllis Tickle, Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, Melvin Bray, Brian McLaren, Andrew Root, and many others. www.faith-forward.net
  • 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. The BEHOLD Youth Program flyer can be found on the UCC BEHOLD Youth page.
  • 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. August 23-26, 2013. www.greenbelt.org.uk. Openly encouraging youth and youth adult participants from all denominations, from all corners of the earth!
  • Camp STUFF 2013, June 1 to June 3 (for camp staff) at Camp Kidston.
  • 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)
  • Camp Directors & Senior Staff Training, May 28-31, 2013. For more information: Janice Campbell at Maritime Conference office: jmaclean@marconf.ca. Camp Director's training is expanded this year to include senior staff. It includes Camp STUFF and is held this year in Debert, NS.
  • Youth Forum, May 23-27, 2013, on behalf of Maritime Conference at Mt. Allison University (including facilitator's training April 26-28)
  • Ask & Imagine May 5-11, 2013, in London, ON. www.askandimagine.org.
  • (Extended) Godly Play, March 15-16, 2013, at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Fredericton, NB. More info: www.godlyplay.ca and training events
  • Let Us Play! February 6-9, 2013, in Orlando, Florida. More info: apce2013.com.
  • Going Deeper: Youth Ministry Networking with Doris Kizinna, October 12-14, 2012, at Tatamagouche Centre. More info available at www.tatacentre.ca.
  • On Fire - Canada Youth 2012, July 3 - 8, 2012 - St. Catherine's, ON, presented by the Presbyterian Church in Canada. In the 'Youth Ministry Training' track "Youth leaders will get re-charged with great plenary sessions, interactive workshops, dynamic panel discussions, and the opportunity to swap youth ministry ideas with colleagues from across the country. This is a rare chance to replenish the spirit, rejuvenate energy, and refine youth ministry programs."
  • Camp STUFF 2012, for camp staff, is Friday, June 8 to Sunday, June 10, at Camp Ta Wa Si.
  • Camp Director's & Senior Staff Training, June 5 - 10, 2012 - For more information: Janice Campbell at Maritime Conference office: jmaclean@marconf.ca. Camp Director's Training is expanded this year to include Senior Staff. It takes place from Tuesday, June 5, to Sunday, June 10, and includes camp STUFF. It takes place at Mt. Allison University in Sackville, NB, and at Camp ta Wa Si at Johnston's Point, Port Elgin, NB.

If you participate in one of these programs, you must have the conference organizer(s) complete the Confirmation of Completion of Third Party Event‌ form on your behalf. These confirmation forms should be sent to the Diploma Director's office within six months of the event.

Additional Materials:

Brochure‌ (pdf)

Poster (pdf)

Frequently Asked Questions (pdf)


Confirmation of Completion of Third Party Event

Your Program Status Checklist

Practicum Units:

The Process

The Guidelines (updated 2-Feb-12)

The Agreement (updated 2-Feb-12




Coming Soon:


I am ready to apply:

Application package (pdf)

Bursary request (pdf)

Request for Exemption or Transfer (pdf)

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

    For more information, please contact the Diploma Director
    Email: youthministry@astheology.ns.ca
    Telephone: 902-423-1314