Western Canadian Association of Catholic Youth Ministers (WCACYM) has been annually sponsoring the Summer Seminars for youth ministers and volunteers in Western Canada since 1991. To date, more than 450 students have studied and benefited from the on-going youth ministry training held each summer.
Our training seminars have evolved. We have introduced a system of learning that will provide the following:
1) Certificate Courses which will lead to the Canadian Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies (CCYMS)
2) Enrichment Courses, which will equip youth ministry leaders with practical ideas and challenge them as well to growth in the Catholic faith. These will be non-certificate courses.
There are 8 courses that lead towards the Canadian Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies. We offer it during a period of 3 summers in a rotating cycle. Certificate holders get to be trained in Comprehensive Youth Ministry – a framework of youth ministry that helps to bring holistic faith-formation to our youth. Students learn to collaborate effectively with others, with an emphasis on drawing the gifts and talents of the lay faithful in the parishes and/or schools they are serving.
The facilitators are trained Catholic professionals working within the Canadian Catholic Church. It is in this context that they present the certificate courses so as to fit into the Canadian Catholic milieu. Our Association (WCACYM) is collaborating with creators and owners of the certificate, the Center for Ministry Development (CMD) from Naugatuck, Connecticut. The Center for Ministry Development is an affiliated member of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM), which helps provide the resources, training and direction for Catholic Youth Ministry across North America.
For the last few years we encountered a problem. Alumni of Summer Seminar and graduates of the Canadian Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies wanted to come back. They wanted more, but what could we give them? After some grassroots listening and brainstorming, we've decided to launch a second stream at Summer Seminar for continued professional development using the wealth of wisdom and gifts of leaders in Canada.