Lifelong Formation

Summer Institute

About the Summer Institute

Featuring the certificate in youth ministry studies® (Link)

Program provided through the center for Ministry Development (Link)

The Youth Ministry Leadership Development Summer Institute is a ministry education program for adults in ministry with youth in both parish and school settings. It equips leaders with the knowledge, skills, practical tools, and techniques needed for creative and comprehensive ministry with youth. Participants in the Certificate Program must be at least 18 years of age and have graduated from high school.

This program is designed for adults involved professionally or as volunteers with younger (10-14) or older (14-19) adolescents in a parish or school setting. The potential audience for the program includes the following:

  • Coordinators of youth ministry
  • Directors of religious education
  • Youth ministry volunteer leaders
  • Junior high leaders
  • High school campus ministers
  • Teachers
  • Clergy
  • University students
  • Seminarians

Individual courses offered during the weekends are also helpful for leaders who specialize in particular ministries. Those weekends include courses such as:

  • In person - Course I
    Principles of Youth Ministry (Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
  • In person - Course II
    Practices of Youth Ministry (Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
  • Dominican Retreat Center (DRC)
    9000 West 81st Street
    Justice, IL  60458
    June 23 - 24, 2018 presented by Tom East
  • In person - Course III
    Foundations for Ministry Leadership (Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
  • In person - Course IV
    Skills for Christian Ministry (Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
  • Marytown Retreat House
    1600 West Park Avenue
    Libertyville, IL 60048
    September 29-30, 2018 presented by Susan Searle


  • Online Course I
    Visioning for Catholic Youth Ministry
    July 1-27, 2018
  • Online Course II
    Leading Catholic Youth Ministry
    August 6-31, 2018

The primary aim of the program is to promote personal, spiritual, and ministerial growth. Courses in the first year cover youth ministry principles and practice, and leadership theory, processes, and skills.

The Certificate program is utilized in a number of ways:

  • As an integrated formation program leading to a Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies
  • As an enrichment or continuing education program for veteran leaders
  • As a workshop series which can be taken on a course-by-course basis by professional or volunteer leaders

Special intent was given to 20 Volunteer Coordinators of Youth Ministry from underserved-urban parishes struggling to develop or sustain youth ministry program because of the lack of affordable professional training in youth ministry. Greater focus was given to Vicariates III, IV, and VI where the sparks of youth ministry emerge and could not grow stronger without support.

CMD Students’ Personal Testimony

When I started as a Youth Ministry Coordinator, I really had no background in any kind of field relating to ministry or youth or even faith. I was a faithful Catholic, and I felt called to evangelize to people. I, however, had no knowledge of how to do this though. What would work? What has led to success or failure elsewhere? How does one even minister to the youth? The Summer Institute for Youth Ministry from CMD provided answers to a lot of these and other questions that I had. The courses were taught be individuals who are quite well versed in how to do this - with long track records for success. The instructors helped me learn about what would be helpful in structuring a Youth Ministry program at a Parish. I think that I would probably not still doing youth ministry if I hadn't taken these courses. They were extremely helpful in providing knowledge that is extremely useful in my position.
Matt Goto
Youth Ministry/Confirmation Coordinator
Ascension Catholic Church
Oak Park, IL

I used to think that I was doing things wrong, but now I understand that my expectations weren’t wrong at all, just that I needed the direction that CMD has given me. CMD has provided me with the tools I need to see more clearly what I need to do. Certainly, my previous experience as part of a Youth Group many years ago has helped me, but the needs of the teens nowadays require some preparation which is shared in these classes. I wish I can always be part of CMD, because I understand that preparation is a life-long process.
Maria Teresa Mar Requena
Youth Minister
St. Dismas Church
Waukegan, IL

Studying through CMD was a positive experience because I learned many new things when it comes to Youth Ministry. From learning the characteristics of youth to setting up different prayer experiences it has been a joy collaborating with others who work with youth.
Kathleen Faurbo
Youth Minister
St. Gilbert
Grayslake, IL

I found studying at CMD very beneficial in helping me in my ministry. The teachers are passionate, helpful and so willing to share their knowledge and experience with you. The class environment is supportive and very friendly. Everyone one of my classmates have valuable ways and ideas in their ministry at their parish and I was excited to learn from them and with them.
Helen Megally
Youth Minister
Mary Seat of Wisdom
Park Ridge, IL