Nonprofit Ministry Leader Cohort


Nonprofit leaders serving youth ministry organizations find themselves in critical and unique leadership positions, dealing with complexities and issues that are foreign to most church-based youth workers. These leaders often struggle to find meaningful growth opportunities that acknowledge the uniqueness of their roles, as most youth ministry training and growth opportunities are focused on youth workers employed by churches.

Critical thinking and theological reflection are extremely important for nonprofit leaders who don’t merely want to perpetuate the way things have been done in the past. However, thinking and reflection are merely one portion (though a significant one) of what will help leaders stay true to their calling and also grow in maturity and effectiveness. Emotional, relational, and spiritual health are essential to long-term growth and impact. YMCP is designed to provide an opportunity for critical reflection and discussion of youth ministry and leadership issues, but also to provide a safe place to experience holistic growth. And the Nonprofit Ministry Leader Cohort will provide a space where learning and growth occurs with a group of other leaders who face similar contexts and issues.

In most ways, this program will surpass the training that can be offered by seminars and conventions. It will even surpass the experience of formal education. This is specifically due to the structure of the program (a small cohort with accountability, safety and shared shaping of the content), as well as the content of the program (thoughtful youth ministry and leadership dialogue, real life application, customized personal development, emotional honesty, and spiritual direction).

Since YMCP launched in 2010, we’ve seen over 400 youth workers from a dozen denominations graduate from the program, and the results of have been astounding. Regardless of their age (from 21-60 years old) or experience in youth ministry (from one year to three decades), the ramifications of YMCP have resulted in profound personal and Kingdom impact.

Expected Outcomes 

After completing Youth Ministry Coaching Program, participants will have had the following experiences and opportunities:

  • Participants will grow in understanding their strengths and weaknesses, how these impact their leadership, ministry, and personal life, and how to lead in their strengths and manage their weaknesses in healthy ways.
  • They will experience new spiritual growth and insight as they safely process their own journey and the integration of their personal lives with their professional lives.
  • Cohort members will receive training on a wide variety of youth ministry and leadership issues, with an opportunity for dialogue and contextual application.
  • Cohorts are customizable based on participants’ input and unique needs.
  • Participants will develop life-long peer relationships of trust and accountability.
  • They will read books in preparation for every gathering, discuss them, and determine action steps for their lives and ministries.
  • Each member will have opportunities to share ministry questions and needs to the group in areas of their own choosing, with feedback and recommendations from the group.
  • They will work through a series of self-selected homework assignments, with input from the group, and report back on their progress.
  • Participants will have one personal coaching session per month with a trained and certified 1on1 coach (some in person and some via phone).
  • Some cohorts include provide spiritual direction sessions at every cohort gathering with a trained spiritual director.

Each participant will receive a Certificate of Completion upon finishing the program. YMCP graduates will join the growing community of intentionally developed youth workers and will have access to ongoing relationship, training, and opportunities.

Structure and Details of this Cohort

  • Keeping in mind the busy schedules of nonprofit ministry leaders, this cohort will follow our “hybrid” approach: three in-person meetings of two full days, and three online meetings of three hours.
  • We’re tentatively thinking that our face-to-face meetings will take place in Nashville, chosen for its central location; but we are open to shifting the location if a predominance of participants is weighted to a particular geography.
  • Accepted participants will have an opportunity to speak into the actual meeting dates, but once set, the dates will not be flexible.
  • Each face-to-face meeting will be two days. DAY 1: begins at 8am and continues through dinner. DAY 2: begins at 8am and ends by 3:30pm.
  • In addition to the group meetings, participants will be provided a private social networking site for updates, prayer, questions, and dialogue. This will also be a place for active participation in helping each other with practical issues in youth ministry, and your coach will be involved regularly in giving input and feedback.
  • Each participant will be scheduled for a 30-minute coaching session with their coach at each of the group meetings, and will schedule a phone coaching session in between the group meetings.
  • Mark Oestreicher, partner in The Youth Cartel, and the creator of the Youth Ministry Coaching Program, will function as the lead coach for this cohort.
  • We hope to launch this cohort in August or September of 2018; but actual launch date is dependent on filling the cohort with 10 participants.

Application Process and Costs

  • The full program cost for this cohort is $2500. Costs not included are: travel, meals, accommodations, and a handful of books. The Youth Cartel is very flexible with payment plans. To complete your application and lock in your spot with a $100 deposit, go to

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