Category Archives: youth ministry

How to Hire a Youth Minister

What a parish needs and is looking for in a youth minister

1.   A youth minister need to be both whole and holy

A youth minister is one who:

  • Is fully integrated, mature both personally and spiritually
  • Can be one with the youth, but not one of the youth.
  • Has fun with the youth, but at the same time does not need the approval and friendship of the youth to foster one’s own self esteem.
  • Has balance and priorities in order
  1. God
  • Participates in the sacramental life of the Church
  • Has a spiritual life outside of youth ministry
  • Continually growing in relationship and love of God
  • Has a spiritual director/mentor
  • Takes time for personal prayer and spiritual reflection (e.g. retreat)
  1. Family
  • Has the maturity and balance to put first the needs of a spouse and child(ren) and/or family
  • A sign of a well balanced youth minister is someone that has friends, hobbies, and interests outside of youth ministry
  1. Profession/Ministry
  • Clear professional boundaries with youth
  • A leader is speech and action, a model Christian.

2.   A youth minister has training and/or experience

  • A youth minister should have degree in theology or a related field (see job description for more specific details)
  • The youth minister should have some training in youth ministry recognized by the Diocese of Camden in youth ministry, as well as some sort of practical experience with adolescents.

N.B. Currently the office of Lay Ministry formation offers training in youth ministry though the Center for Ministry Development,

  • The youth minister has an openness to learn and avails him/herself to ongoing formation and continual update in youth ministry.

3.   A youth minister needs to be a team player

A youth minister is one who:

  • Is accountable to the Pastor and other supervisors
  • Is willing to work with the staff and other ministries in the parish
  • Is not solely responsible for ministry to all the youth of the parish but is one who is an advocate for youth and coordinate youth activities in the parish in collaboration with other ministries and parish wide activity teams
  • Has a special relationship with the Parish Catechetical Leader in working with younger adolescents (middle school age)
  • Does not work alone and is able to form a team of adults who will develop youth ministry that is: to, with, by and for youth.

Partner with parents and families to strengthen the domestic church of the home

Youth Ministry Director

Youth Ministry Leader

Additional Youth Ministry Information

Who are the Millenials?

Who are the Millennials?

 The largest generation born between 1982-2002

  • High risk behavior is down from past generations
  • They are optimistic

Technology Generation

  • Very tech savvy
  • Have to deal with a new phenomenon of cyber bullying

Parents and other relationships

  • Parents are older than past generations
  • Have helicopter parents
  • They are the most watched and supervised generation
  • Family and friends are very important
  • They have a group mentality
  • They value diversity
  • most ethnically diverse generation

High Achievers

  • They have more things to do than there is time in a day
  • One of their major concerns is getting into a good college
  • They are highly scheduled having grown up being shuttled between practices, games and church activities like Religious education
  • They are somewhat immune from the idea of Catholic guilt
  • Change is constant in their lives
  • They have always been awarded for effort, not only for excellence.


  • non-linear thinkers
  • embrace traditional spirituality
  • embrace spiritual experiences
  • postmodern and relativistic
  • searching for truth

What we can offer as a Church

  • We can offer a place to belong
  • Church can be a place where they can feel free just to be who they are and feel safe
  • The Church needs to be a place where there is not only good youth ministry but the youth desire to belong to a strong parish.
  • Offer a sense of meaning to their lives (who am I? Why am I here?)
  • Help them to become responsible, successful adults who are active in their faith.

Works Cited 

The Millennial Generation, Postmodernism & the Changing Face of Catholic Youth Ministry

by Frank Mercadante  

Ministry to Millennials: Understanding & Reaching the Next Generation (born 1982-2002)

by Kent Julian, National Director of Alliance Youth.

This is a link to a few articles from Cultivation Ministries that have been tagged “Millennials.”  All the articles are insightful and worth reading. 

We also have some additional hard copy resources here at the diocese:  

Creasy Dean, K. (2010).  Almost Christian: What the faith of our children is telling the American church
New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Clark, C. (2004). Hurt: Inside the world of today’s teenagers (Youth, family, and culture).
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic

Eaton, T. (Producer), & Eaton, M. (Director). (2010). Soul searching [Documentary].
United States: Revelation Studios.

Rice, B. (2010) Engaging youth culture [Audio-CD]. Steubenville, OH: Franciscan University Press

Smith, C., & M. Lundquist Denton. (2009) Soul searching. New York, NY: Oxford University Press

Finally if you would like more information and insight into the current youth ministry population I will be more than happy to come to your parish to speak to whomever about youth ministry. 

Gregory Coogan

Office of Lifelong Faith Formation

Director of Youth Ministries

Phone: 856 583-6122