Certificate in Kids and Student Ministries

Direct your children onto the right path,  and when they are older, they will not leave it. 

Proverbs 22:6


To equip mature Christian leaders to guide children and adolescents into a personal relationship with Jesus and to lead kids and/or student ministries at a local church.


If you have ever counseled a hurting teen, rocked a baby to sleep, or made a toddler giggle, you know that there is a rich and satisfying reward for those who invest in the next generation. Every child is a unique gift from God, and they each have the power to change the world for good if they follow God’s direction on their lives. But in such a rapidly-changing culture, it’s hard for them to find that direction - especially amidst the distractions, hardships, and insecurities they face every day. They are in dire need of the wisdom and hope and love that Jesus Christ offers. Whether you are a parent wanting to direct your children onto the right path, a children/youth pastor who wants to make a lasting impact in your community, or a daycare worker who wants to provide Jesus’ love to young children, this program is for you!

A maturing relationship with Jesus and a solid base of leadership skills are vital for success as a leader of a ministry. Because of this, the Associates program (ACLM) is required for admission into the Certificate programs.

Upon completion, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate the needs and values of a specific community’s culture and adjust their ministry to attract and engage that culture

  • Demonstrate the ability to pray biblically and confidently with individuals and before a crowd

  • Link theological and biblical knowledge with current psychological research to create an age-appropriate sermon series, devotionals, large event topics (i.e., lock-in, VBS, or summer camp), or leader meetings

  • Identify and address felt needs of children and students and their families in any community

  • Identify and train qualified and reliable individuals to serve on your ministry teams

  • Explain and practice the policies and procedures relevant to their ministry areas that are designed to ensure the safety of children, adolescents, families, and volunteers.

  • Create a safe, loving, affirming environment for children or adolescents of any age

  • Present accurate biblical content to children in an age-appropriate way without prior preparation

  • Respond calmly, safely, and correctly to crises, conflict, or other challenging situations in a way that keeps children safe

Program Components

The Certificate programs consist of 90 credits: the 60-credit Associates in Church leadership and Ministry degree, plus 30 credits: six 5-week courses, a 2-credit Team Leader Internship, an 8-credit Apprenticeship, and a 2-credit Internship Capstone. The internships for the CKSM program will be completed in a kids and/or student ministry area. Students in the Certificate programs have class one night per week for fall term (Aug – Dec) and complete internship courses via online during Spring and Winter terms. Must be started at the beginning of the academic year. 


Minimum age for CKSM is 18 years at time of application. Completed ACLM degree or equivalent is prerequisite. At least one year of experience serving, leading, or caring for or children ages 0-18. Completed online application, including character reference and pastoral reference. Completed background check. Interview with College Director and Kids and Students Pastor (as requested).


Click on the area of study to see details about each course. 

Associates in Church Leadership and Ministry (60 credits)

Leadership and Ministry Training (6 credits)

LMT 501 – Gospel and Culture

LMT 512 – Ministry Administration

Personal and Spiritual Formation (6 credits)

PSF 521 – Ministry Communications 1: Nonverbal, Public Speaking

PSF 522 – Ministry Communications 2: Small Group, Interpersonal

Ministry Skill Development (6 credits)

MSD 501 – Writing Biblical Curriculum

MSD 502 – Child & Adolescent Ministry

Internship (12 credits): INT 211, 302, 303, 313

INT 211 – Advancing Team Leader: Fall Term

INT 302 – Apprenticeship: Winter Term

INT 303 – Apprenticeship: Spring Term

INT 313 – Ministry Internship Capstone