Seminary level training in children’s, youth and family ministry. A new opportunity to equip all those serving children and young people in the local church.

Overview of the GYD Academy Course

Year 1

  1. The history of children’s and youth ministry
  2. How does scripture shape our ministry methodology?
  3. What does God want us to do with the next generation?
  4. A biblical model of children’s and youth ministry
  5. Engaging with current children’s ministry models
  6. Engaging with current youth ministry models
  7. Children’s and youth ministry in the context of the church
  8. Considering curricula
  1. The doctrine of scripture
  2. Communicating in children’s and youth ministry
  3. Understanding and teaching biblical genres
  4. Understanding a bible passage
  5. Teaching to reach the heart
  6. Effective illustration and application
  7. Preparing a children’s talk
  8. Preparing a youth talk
  1. Developing an understanding of children’s spirituality
  2. Spiritual development and the family
  3. Spiritual development in age and stage – children
  4. Spiritual development in age and stage – youth
  5. Factors that affect spiritual development
  6. Spiritual development and the sacraments
  7. The discipleship of boys and girls
  8. Practical discipleship

Year 2

  1. God
  2. Trinity
  3. Jesus
  4. Imago Dei
  5. Sin
  6. The Church
  7. The role of catechesis in ministry
  8. Teaching doctrine to children and young people
  1. Christian character
  2. Leadership dynamics
  3. Leadership skills
  4. Developing and communicating a vision
  5. Building and managing a team
  6. Training a volunteer team
  7. Caring for yourself in Christian Ministry
  8. Leadership on the ground
  1. Developing a model of pastoral care
  2. Child protection in pastoral care
  3. Caring for children and young people through bereavement
  4. Caring for children and young people through separation & divorce
  5. Caring for children and young people with image disorders
  6. Caring for children and young people with addictions
  7. Young people and sexuality
  8. Young people and mental health

Year 3

  1. Understanding worldviews
  2. Building a biblical worldview
  3. An introduction to culture
  4. Engaging with social media & books
  5. Engaging with movies & T.V.
  6. Engaging with sport
  7. Engaging with gaming
  8. Training parents to engage culturally with their kids
  1. Understanding Gen Z to reach them
  2. Understanding Generation Alpha to reach them
  3. Teaching truth in a post truth world
  4. Planning evangelistic events
  5. Writing evangelistic talks
  6. Apologetics for crossing youth cultures
  7. Training children and young people to be apologists
  8. Raising world Christians
  1. Parent and toddler’s groups
  2. Working with the under 3’s
  3. All age services
  4. Holiday Bible clubs
  5. Weekends away
  6. Caring for children with special needs
  7. School’s ministry
  8. Final Big Q & A


Mel Lacy

Mel originates from Dublin but has been enjoying the hospitality of the U.K. since 2005! Mel has been in fulltime ministry for 22 years and many of those years have been dedicated to families, children’s, and youth ministry. Mel has taught and trained in many contexts and countries and is passionate about equipping the local church to raise the next generation for Jesus. Mel served as the Director of the Children’s and Youth Ministry Course at Oak Hill College for 11 years and now is on the faculty of Crosslands Seminary, heading up the children’s and youth ministry track. Mel regularly has the opportunity to teach at gospel partnership training courses, conferences and events, and a number of theological training institutions in the U.K. and Europe. When not working you’ll usually find Mel on or in water!


Peter Wright

Peter is married to Linda and they have two children, Tobias and Eden. He has been the Youth Worker in Hill Street Presbyterian Church, Lurgan for 12 years. Peter has been involved in teaching and training others in Bible Centred Youth Ministry for many years. He has taught on the Youth Ministry track at Union Theological College in Belfast and on the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Youth Ministry Course. He has also been an occasional lecturer at the Irish Baptist College and is a Tutor for Crosslands Seminary. He holds a Bachelor of Divinity degree and a Masters in Theology, both from Union Theological College in Belfast. As well as ministry to young people, Peter enjoys reading, playing golf, good coffee and watching his beloved Leeds United!


Caz Petersen

After completing her MSc in Occupational Therapy, Caz took a bit of a change of direction and worked as a ministry trainee for 2 years, whilst training on the North West Gospel Partnership Ministry Training Course. Keen for further theological training she studied Theology (for Children’s and Youth Ministry) at Oak Hill College, before working as Families Worker at Church by the Bay. Caz has been involved with training others in families, children, and youth ministry for several years both in the local church and at larger training events, including the North West Gospel Partnership Youthworks and at the GYD conference.

Caz has recently joined the GYD & Crosslands team to be a tutor on the Children’s & Youth Ministry Track. Caz is married to Ben and together they are preparing to return to Morecambe in September when Ben takes up the post of Assistant Pastor.


Academy Fees

Pay for the full 3 year academy course


Pay for year 1 of the academy course


Pay per module


2023–2024 dates

Monday nights on zoom from 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Autumn Term 2023

25 September • 2 October • 9 October • 16 October • 13 November • 20 November • 27 November • 4 December

Spring Term 2024

22 January • 29 January • 5 February • 26 February • 4 March • 11 March • 18 March • 25 March

Summer Term 2024

22 April • 29 April • 13 May • 20 May • 3 June • 10 June • 17 June • 24 June