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St John's College, Nottingham - Discipleship, Mission and Leadership in a World of Change

Youth & Children's Ministry

Midlands CYM has been based at St John's since 1998 and is part of the non-denominational Institute for Children Youth & Mission (CYM), a consortium of training agencies and youth work projects offering creative and challenging programmes combining the best of academic theological education and practical experience.

MCYM was established as a partnership between St John’s College and Youth for Christ.  MCYM is the only place in England offering CYM’s highly regarded Youth and Community Work and Practical Theology degree with the JNC nationally recognised professional endorsement.  With a team of 5 tutors who are both practitioners and lecturers, MCYM offers a supportive yet challenging environment to study in.

From September 2018 CYM undergraduate courses will be validated by  Staffordshire University.


What can CYM offer?


MCYM offers accessible and practical courses which seek to encourage you to grow and develop holistically not just academically.


This piece by Ria Taylor, a CYM graduate from 2017, explains brilliantly about youth work and training with CYM



This short film for Easter, 9 Characters in Search of a Saviour, was made by students from MCYM and some young people linked with youth work done by centre students and staff. It was produced as part of the leadership and ministry module looking at different ways of communicating the gospel.


We offer two undergraduate degrees, one in Youth and Community Work and Practical Theology, the other in Contextual Ministry and Practical Theology.  Both are eligible for student loans.  Our degrees integrate training and practice and you can specialise in a wide range of contexts depending on what your placement is.  Our current students work with children and families, young people, communities, and in schools, chaplaincy, church mission and ministry.  You live in the area of your practice agency and attend St John’s two days a fortnight (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) in term time.  Students are based throughout the Midlands and North of England. You can apply with or without a practice agency in mind and most of our agencies offer some sort of package of support.  Each year group has a dedicated tutor and each student an individual practice tutor who supports you as you complete your practice modules.  The community of students and staff is a strong and supportive context to learn within.

‘MCYM isn't just a training institution, it's a community of students, their churches and tutors - all learning together.  The partnership between MCYM and the local church has been fundamental in enabling our students to become, through a supportive network, fully fledged professionals, serving God, Young People and Families. We're lucky in Derby Diocese, to have MCYM on our doorstep.’

Our undergraduate programmes combine innovative and creative approaches to training with academic learning, practical skills development and personal and spiritual formation. Our approaches to learning are interactive and engaging, whilst ensuring a strong foundation of biblical engagement, practical theology and ministry and mission practice. Many of our graduates describe the experience of studying with MCYM as life-changing.

At MCYM there is an emphasis on lifelong learning and formation and we have developed, in consultation with graduates, a philosophy of formation based on the seven strands of academic, spiritual, personal, professional, ministerial, theological, community.

The relationship with MCYM doesn’t finish when you graduate, we offer continuing professional development days and courses and some students come back and support the courses through being a line manager, practice tutor or occasional lecturer or even studying for a Masters degree. 


I honestly believe that I would not have made half of the progress here without being on the course - the ability to connect practice with theory has been the catalyst for much re-thinking and experimentation. My theology and principles have been challenged and developed through the teaching and diversity of the student body. I feel that the work I have been doing is at the cutting edge of the church because CYM pushes you to look at your context differently and have confidence in the steps you are taking.



I’m enjoying the diversity the hospital placement has brought me and feel inspired daily by the chaplaincy team and teaching staff at MCYM.  I always look forward to attending lectures feeling empowered to learn more, and I feel I will forever be in debt to the staff at CYM for their support, expertise and humour. 

Jodie Cotterrell, MCYM Student