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St. Stephen's Program of Studies for Youth Ministry Concentration

The St. Stephen's Program is a graduate-level directed-reading course of studies in Applied Orthodox Theology. Successful completion of the program leads to a Diploma (or Master Degree if the student is accepted to write a thesis) in Applied Orthodox Theology. Applicants from the Antiochian Archdiocese may be eligible for the SOYO Metropolitan Philip Youth Worker Scholarship.

Youth Ministry Concentration Overview

The Youth Ministry concentration in the St Stephen's Program comprises 15 directed-reading courses, three projects, and three weeks of residency (one week each year). Each entering Class completes the coursework, projects, and residency on the same trimester schedule (two long sessions and one residency) during the course of the Program. Each Fall session includes three directed-reading courses; each Spring session includes two reading courses and one directed- project course; and each Summer session includes one week of residency in the Antiochian House of Studies.

Directed-Reading Courses

The directed-reading courses for the Youth Ministry concentration are identical to those in the standard Applied Theology concentration of the St. Stephen's program, with the exception of four courses, which specifically focus on preparing the student for Youth Ministry. The directed-reading courses are offered in the Fall and Spring trimesters. In general, the coursework includes:

  • Reading the Required Texts for each course and additional recommended reading, which often is relevant across multiple courses.
  • Successful completion of the required Exam Papers (typically three for each course) at the end of the semester.
  • Students without sufficient background in the subject may find it necessary to undertake some amount of remedial reading in order to establish an appropriate basis and context in which to understand the required readings.

Directed-Project Courses

The St. Stephen's Program directed-project courses are offered in the Spring trimesters (Sessions II, IV, and VI). The directed-project courses for the Youth Ministry concentration are to focus on and area of Youth Ministry. They generally will address a particular need in this area. The Youth Ministry Project courses include:

  • A Project Proposal (abstract)
    Submitted at the beginning of the Spring trimester before undertaking the project to 1) the Chair of the Department of Youth Ministry for acceptance of relevancy and 2) the Project Mentor for approval upon acceptance by the Chair of the Department of Youth Ministry
  • The directed Project itself
  • A Project Paper with supporting detail


The required residency courses are offered in the Summer trimesters (the last week of August or the first week of September). All students in the St. Stephen's Program are required to attend one week of residency in the Antiochian House of Studies each year (alternating week one or week two). Students in the Youth Ministry concentration will attend the second week of the House of Studies each year and will also attend an intensive Saturday session at the beginning of the week.

Master's Degree Program

Students who successfully complete the St. Stephen's Diploma program and who satisfy the other prerequisites, may apply to enter the Master's Degree Program (writing a thesis), leading to a Master of Arts in Applied Orthodox Theology. Upon successful completion of the Youth Ministry concentration of the St Stephen's Diploma program, students may apply for acceptance into the Masters of Art Degree Program in Applied Orthodox Theology with an emphasis on Youth Ministry. This accredited degree is offered by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch through partnership with St. John of Damascus School of Theology, Balamand University.

The Master's Degree Program with the Youth Ministry concentration focuses on a practical need in Youth Ministry and, in general, includes:

  • Presentation of a Thesis Proposal (abstract)
  • Two Trimesters (Fall and Spring) of thesis research and preparation.
  • Completion and defense of the Master's Thesis.

In the Master's Degree program, the Thesis must be focused on Youth Ministry and the Thesis topic must be approved by the Chair of the Department of Youth Ministry before it is submitted to the Thesis Committee.

Examples of Youth Ministry Projects

  • Extended Teen Ministry Outreach project, including preparing teens, implementing project and debriefing teens
  • Designing, building and training a Parish Youth Ministry Team
  • Developing and implementing a Teen Weekend Retreat
  • Developing and teaching a Semester Course in Moral and Ethical Issues Confronting Orthodox Youth to teens (for at least a 4 month period)
  • Designing, implementing and evaluating a Youth Group Calendar of Events (for at least a 6 month period)
  • Teaching teens Orthodox Liturgical Music, performed and useable in an Orthodox setting (quality recording of the event required)
  • Developing a web-based Youth Ministry Program
  • Developing a CD-based Youth Ministry Teaching Tool for teens
  • Developing and implementing a Teen Bible Study Program

Course Requirements for the Youth Ministry Concentration
For course descriptions, please see the 2014 House of Studies Youth Ministry Catalog (PDF)


  • Fundamentals of Orthodoxy
  • Church History I
  • Liturgical Theology I


  • Church History II
  • Fundamentals of Youth Ministry
  • Youth Ministry Project 1


  • Relational Ministry and Spiritual Development in Youth
  • Holy Scripture II: New Testament
  • Patristics


  • Holy Scripture III
  • Doctrine I
  • Youth Ministry Project 2


  • Doctrine II
  • Moral and Ethical Issues Confronting Orthodox Youth
  • Pastoral Theology I


  • Pastoral Theology II
  • Designing and Building a Parish Youth Ministry
  • Youth Ministry Project 3

Research Component for the Master of Arts Program:


  • Guided Research


  • Research Paper Composition


House of Studies Youth Ministry Catalog 2014 (PDF)527.48 KB