Children, Youth & Family Studies Course Offerings


CYFS 210 Foundations for Children, Youth & Family Studies [4]
Explores biblical and theological foundations for ministry and service with children, youth, and families. Introduces current research related to children and adolescents and surveys cultural, sociological, and global dynamics impacting work among children, youth, and families today.

CYFS 211 Models for Programming [4]
Analyzes programming models for children, youth, and families in churches, agencies, and parachurch organizations and how models benefit program planning. Reviews historical trends in ministry and service with children and youth. Introduces frameworks for program development and lesson planning. Prerequisite: CYFS 210.

CYFS 230 Service Projects and Mission Trips [2]
Provides a framework for designing youth-oriented service and mission experiences using a comprehensive service learning model. Includes review of experiential education theory, biblical views of service, and evaluation of programming resources.

CYFS 300 Family Systems [2]
Introduces theoretical models of family and organizational dynamics. Explores the role of family or system functions as well as intervention strategies used to facilitate change. Special topics include alcoholism and drug abuse in the family, single parent family structures, and socioeconomic, cultural and educational influences on the family.

CYFS 305 Youth Retreat Planning [2]
Equips participants to plan and lead effective retreats for youth, families, and adults. Addresses theme development, program planning, event leadership, publicity, budgeting, logistics, and program evaluation. Learning is put into practice as the class plans and executes a high school retreat program.

CYFS 320 Lifespan Development [4]
Surveys the primary historical and emerging theories of human lifespan development. Explores specific aspects of biological, cognitive, psychosocial, and spiritual development from conception through adulthood.

CYFS 330 Counseling Skills [4]
Presents the primary dynamics of the non-professional counseling relationship, current theories, and basic practices and techniques useful in counseling settings. Explores relevant counseling issues in the lives of children, youth, and families, such as depression, child abuse, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, death and dying, substance abuse, and mental health disorders. Prerequisite: CYFS 320.

CYFS 335 Congregational Children’s Ministry [2]
Explores goals, planning and curricula for effective for children ages infant through 12. Includes day camping, Vacation Bible School, programs for children with special needs, and the needs of children around the world. Prerequisite: CYFS 210; CYFS 320 or concurrent.

CYFS 336 Congregational Youth Ministry [2]
Explores major programmatic areas of church-based youth ministry, including discipleship, service projects, retreats, and leadership training. Introduces program planning skills and evaluation of programmatic resources for theological integrity and practical use. Prerequisites: CYFS 210; CYFS 320 or concurrent.

CYFS 337 Confirmation [2]
Explores the historical, cultural, and theological development of Confirmation instruction and develops skills for creating and evaluating current practices in congregational Christian education.

CYFS 338 Young Adult Ministry [2]
Explores the theological, developmental, and cultural dimensions of emerging adulthood to understand the church’s mission in engaging young adults through effective ministry practices. Includes on-site observations of programs designed for young adults.

CYFS 339 Family Ministry [2]
Explores programming models and resources for creating effective family and intergenerational ministries. Emphasis is placed on biblical and theological principles for the congregation’s role in supporting faith development in the family context.

CYFS 345 Community Agency Programming [2]
Introduces the process of designing, implementing, and evaluating effective programs in organizations that serve children, youth, and families. Topics include needs assessment, asset-based community development, and partnerships. Prerequisite: CYFS 211.

CYFS 346 Community Agency Administration [2]
Explores basic administrative principles for community-based organizations. Topics include finances, fund raising, management, personnel, governance, strategic planning and evaluation, legal issues, and communication. Prerequisite: CYFS 211.

CYFS 355 Outdoor Ministry Administration [2]
Provides an overview of administrative leadership within an outdoor ministry program. Topics include working with boards and committees, marketing, human resources, risk management, finance, fundraising, food service, and facilities management. Credit is given for participation in the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Administrative Leadership Training Event, as well as completion of a learning portfolio. Additional course fee and travel costs.

CYFS 356 Outdoor Ministry Programming [2]
Provides an overview of programmatic leadership within an outdoor ministry program. Topics include program planning, leading Bible studies and worship, program staffing, creation stewardship, self-care and wholeness, valuing diversity, and hospitality. Credit is given for participation in the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Programmatic Leadership Training Event, as well as completion of a learning portfolio. Additional course fee and travel costs.

CYFS 360 Let Justice Roll [2]
Let Justice Roll, an annual peace and justice youth event, encourages high school youth to engage in issues of social, environmental, and economic justice to learn about God’s call to “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God” (Micah 6:8). Participants are encouraged and challenged to become agents of positive change with a biblical and Christ-centered approach.

CYFS 380 Practicum [4]
Provides an opportunity to practice skills in program leadership through serving 4-6 hours per week within a church, agency, or other nonprofit organization relevant to the student’s interests. Class sessions address program administration, communication, conflict management, financial management, working with volunteers, and other organizational issues. Prerequisite: CYFS 211.

CYFS 480 Field Experience [14]
Provides 560-hour internship within an organization or church that serves children, youth or families. Applies previous coursework to al aspects of program development and leadership under direct supervision of an on-site mentor. Sites are chosen based on individual learning objectives and must meet departmental requirements. Prerequisite: Senior status and departmental approval.

CYFS 485 Philosophy and Practice of Ministry [4]
Integrates prior learning and practical experiences to create a personal philosophy and practice for working with children, youth and families. Explores approaches to long-range planning, culminating in a one-year strategic program plan for a church or organization. Prepares students to gain employment in a professional position and consider future personal and professional development. Prerequisite: CYFS 480.