The future of Christian Youth work

Had a really interesting chat recently about the future of Christian Youth work training t’other day. (man, that is an incredibly boring opening sentence!! I’ll try again)
The whole canvas on which Youth work training is currently painted has been radically changed! What then should the palette now look like? (nah, too pretentious)
Is the JNC dead as the underpinning framework for Christian Youth work? (oh, I like that)
Interesting question!
Up until now the likes of Oasis and CYM have run JNC validated courses affiliated to a university body and enjoyed the fact that the Government has contributed financially a whole heap to the education of Christian Youth Workers.
However we are now in a very different world though where students will need to pay large fees to access a degree programme. Given that there is no career or structure for faith sector youth work, how attractive an option is that going to be?
Allied to that is the fact that the statutory sector has cut so much of the youth work that is fuelled by the JNC values, and instead moved to a model of targetted work more akin to Social Work than youth work. Does the ‘JNC’ as a currency still have any clout or is the JNC a bit up in the air at the moment (cue, corny visual to reinforce point:)
jnccopter.jpg
Don’t hear me wrongly here though, I’m still absolutely passionate about the values of JNC youth work (informal ed, voluntary partcipation etc) and consider them to be in fact principles that we see in the life, ministry and approach of Jesus.
However, given the changed ‘canvas’ and that the faith sector is the driver and doer of so much youth work maybe it’s time to strike out on our own with a modular course that enshrines the JNC (and thus the historic christian principles) and can be accessed at different levels right up to a professional qualification. A ‘qualification’ that is validated by effectiveness and reputation rather than because it is aligned to a statutory bench mark. A qualification that freed from the tie up with the university system could be delivered in a more cost effective way.
But, what do you think?
“The end” (nicked that ending off Taylor Swift’s ‘Story of Us’ although I suspect she borrowed it too)

4 Replies to “The future of Christian Youth work”

  1. similar to the work that hass been going on over this last year and beyond for a schools work qualification, at diferent levels, delivered at different points, lead by schoolswork, lcet, and others?

  2. on top of this, and i think you are right in your evaluation youthblog, i think there needs to be a recognition of what god is doing in the sphere of chrstian youh work also. a move away from the traditional programme, tought, leader lead model, to a more risk taking, releasing young people, enabling young people kind of youth work. if fusion statistics about young christians losing their faith when they go to uni, are even close to being right, then there needs to be a huge shift within christian youth work as well.

  3. create a JNC competitor, I am doing it now having supervised on it for years, and worked as a manager for 15 years and its lamer than I realised and thin on real ethics, and Im a liberal christian making that judgment. So christian colleges out there – GAP in the market appearing – seize your day !!! I would no way pay £9k a year for a JNC with £25k jobs at the end….Im just taking the lead in a church youth project again and JNC was not needed and wont be for future staff….
    so how do we make sure we are safe and professional and not wasting study cash to the tune of a house deposit ? If a number of colleges got together they could form a new board and a new standard for training youth workers.

  4. Andy,
    Thanks for your thoughts.
    It’s an exciting time because university fees are forcing a change. It’s a case of discerning what are the right changes/opportunities.
    It’d also be a chance to have something with a better name/acronym *laughing* than, “Hey, I hold a joint negotiating committee qualification!”

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