/ Youth Worker & Parish Resources / Youth Ministry Certification Course

Youth Ministry Certification Course

A letter from the OYM Director

The Consistory Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry in collaboration with St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary is pleased to announce a Youth Ministry Certification program. Delegates of the UOC-USA Youth Sobor have repeatedly offered resolutions requesting advanced education for youth workers; we developed this course to address their requests and to help support this ministry that is so vital to the health of our parishes.

It is our responsibility to provide our youth with the best personal relationships with their faith and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. St. John Chrysostom tells us,
 "This, then, is our task: to educate both ourselves and our children in godliness; otherwise what answer will we have before Christ's judgment seat?" ( Homily on Ephesians 6:1-4)

The certification program is comprised of four courses offered over a two semester period. We hope to supplement this base course with continuing education components in the coming years. Course instructors will include Fr. Gregory Jensen and Natalie Kapeluck Nixon. For further information or to register please contact Natalie Kapeluck Nixon at uocyouth@aol.com. 

In Him
Natalie Kapeluck Nixon
Consistory Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry

About the Program
The Youth Ministry Certification Course offered by St. Sophia Theological Seminary is a two-semester program presenting individuals with the opportunity to strengthen their work in youth ministry through the following four courses (two courses per semester): 

• Basic Orthodox Theology for Youth Workers (Jensen - 1st Semester)
• Youth Ministry: Fundamentals of Approach & Ideology (Kapeluck - 1st Semester)
• Youth Ministry Practicum (Kapeluck - 2nd Semester)
• Contemporary Social Issues and Teenagers (Jensen - 2nd Semester)
This is a distance learning course. Internet and the ability for web conferencing are necessary. 
Class fees may change yearly, contact 

Basic Orthodox Theology for Youth Workers

An overview of the history and dogmatic teaching of the Orthodox Church for youth ministers. The course emphasizes (1) Trinitarian theology, (2) Christology, and (3) sacramental theology.  Online essays and discussions are focused on helping youth ministers explain the Church’s theological tradition in a manner that deepens young people’s faith in Jesus Christ and His Church.

Contemporary Social Issues and Teenagers

This course introduces students to some of the major cultural and moral challenges facing young people. Online essays and discussions are meant to help youth ministers guide young people through these challenges in a manner that deepens young people’s faith in Jesus Christ and His Church.

Youth Ministry: Fundamentals of Approach & Ideology

This course lays the ground-work for why we need youth ministry.  It touches upon the theological and scriptural basis for ministry and youth work.  Participants will discuss youth formation and development through the Orthodox lens as well as how to build and maintain the crucial relationships with youth, families and parish that are essential to the ministry.

Youth Ministry Practicum

As the title for the course indicates, the participants will work on the practical needs and aspects of youth ministry. Best practices for developing  and growing your ministry will be a highlight for this section.

Our Instructors
Rev. Gregory Jensen

The pastor of Ss. Cyril & Methodius Ukrainian Orthodox Mission in Madison, WI and a chaplain at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has extensive experience helping parishes in transition and clergy wellness. He is an instructor at St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Seminary, Bound Brook, NJ.
He has a B.A. in psychology and M.A. in moral theology from the University of Dallas and a Ph.D. in spirituality and spiritual formation is from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. His dissertation was a phenomenological study of the structures and dynamics of communion in Orthodox liturgy.
The author of The Cure for Consumerism published by the Acton Institute and a forthcoming work of Orthodox Christian witness in the free market he is also an editor for Christian Psychology, the professional journal of the Society of Christian Psychology. Fr. Gregory is also on faculty with Acton University in Grand Rapids, MI

Natalie Kapeluck Nixon

The Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA since 2000. Her role as National Youth Director also encompasses supervision and planning of the camping ministry programming. She obtained her B.A. in the arts from Point Park College in Pittsburgh, PA.

Ms. Kapeluck Nixon sits on the Board of Directors for Orthodox Christian Fellowship and currently serves as the Chairman of the Orthodox Youth Directors in North America.

What Students of the Program Say about the Course


"The OYM Youth Ministry Certification Course has helped to positively change and shape the way I view our Church and our young people's role in the Church. Not only am I learning about best practices for bringing up our youth, but I'm also learning about our Church history, theory, and doctrine. I would recommend this course to anyone who is responsible for bringing up the youth in our Church; which is all of us, and the moment we can all realize this, is the moment that our Church will grow and we can all be apostles of Christ."- Catherine Bucharew

Office of Youth Ministries


The Office of Youth Ministries is the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries and Office of Camping Ministries of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.

Learn about the Mission

Learn more about the Team


Check Us Out on Facebook
Patron Saints


Learn about St. Christina of Tyre and St. Julian of Tarsus who are the Patron Saints for the youth of the UOC of USA.

Click here to learn more!

To order Icon prayer cards of the St. Christina and St. Julian Icon for your parish youth contact the Office of Youth Ministry.

Find Some Useful Pins on Our Pintrest
Mailing Address

Office of Youth Ministry

PO Box 869
Carnegie, PA 15106

Email and Telephone


412-977-2010 (Phone)