Children, Youth & Family Studies Course Offerings


CYFS 210 Foundations for Children, Youth & Family Studies [4]
Explores biblical and theological foundations for ministry and service with children, youth, and families. Introduces current research related to children and adolescents and surveys cultural, sociological, and global dynamics impacting work among children, youth, and families today.

CYFS 211 Models for Programming [4]
Analyzes programming models for children, youth, and families in churches, agencies, and parachurch organizations and how models benefit program planning. Reviews historical trends in ministry and service with children and youth. Introduces frameworks for program development and lesson planning.

CYFS 230 Service Projects and Mission Trips [2]
Provides a framework for designing youth-oriented service and mission experiences using a comprehensive service learning model. Includes review of experiential education theory, biblical views of service, and evaluation of programming resources.

CYFS 300 Family Systems [2]
Introduction to theoretical models of family and organizational dynamics. Understand the role of family or system functions as well what intervention strategies are used to facilitate change. Special topics include alcoholism and drug abuse in the family, single parent family structures, and socio-economic, cultural and educational influences on the family.

CYFS 305 Youth Retreat Planning [2]
Equips participants to plan and lead effective retreats for youth, families, and adults. Addresses theme development, program planning, event leadership, publicity, budgeting, logistics, and program evaluation. Learning is put into practice as the class plans and executes a high school retreat program.

CYFS 320 Lifespan Development [4]
Introduction to the primary historical and emerging theories of human lifespan development (including psychoanalytical, behavioral, cognitive, sociocultural, and epigenetic). Explores specific aspects of biosocial, cognitive, psychosocial, and spiritual development. May also be taken as PSYC 320.

CYFS 330 Counseling Skills [4]
Presents the primary dynamics of the non-professional counseling relationship, current theories, and basic practices and techniques useful in counseling settings. Explores relevant counseling issues in the lives of children, youth, and families, such as depression, child abuse, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, death and dying, substance abuse, and mental health disorders.

CYFS 335 Congregational Children’s Ministry [2]
Explores goals, planning, programs, and curricula that are effective for children ages infant through 12, day camping, Vacation Bible School, programs for children with special needs, and the needs of children around the world.

CYFS 336 Congregational Youth Ministry [2]
Explores major programmatic areas of church-based youth ministry, including discipleship, service projects, retreats, and leadership training. Introduces program planning skills and evaluation of programmatic resources for theological integrity and practical use.

CYFS 337 Confirmation [2]
Explores the historical, cultural, and theological development of Confirmation instruction and develops skills for creating and evaluating current practices in congregational Christian education.

CYFS 338 Young Adult Ministry [2]
Explores the theological, developmental, and cultural dimensions of emerging adulthood to understand the church’s mission in engaging young adults through effective ministry practices. Includes on-site observations and participation in worship services designed for young adults.

CYFS 339 Family Ministry [2]
Explores programming models and resources for creating effective family and intergenerational ministries. Emphasis is placed on biblical and theological principles for the congregation’s role in supporting faith development in the family context.

CYFS 355 Outdoor Ministry Administration [2]
Provides an overview of administrative leadership within an outdoor ministry program. Topics include working with boards and committees, marketing, human resources, risk management, finance, fundraising, food service, and facilities management. Credit is given for participation in the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Administrative Leadership Training Event, as well as completion of a learning portfolio. Additional course fee and travel costs.

CYFS 356 Outdoor Ministry Programming [2]
Provides an overview of programmatic leadership within an outdoor ministry program. Topics include program planning, leading Bible studies and worship, program staffing, creation stewardship, self-care and wholeness, valuing diversity, and hospitality. Credit is given for participation in the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Programmatic Leadership Training Event, as well as completion of a learning portfolio. Additional course fee and travel costs.

CYFS 380 Practicum [4]
Provides an opportunity to practice skills in program leadership through serving 4-6 hours per week within a church, agency, or other nonprofit organization relevant to the student’s interests. Class sessions address program administration, communication, conflict management, financial management, working with volunteers, and other organizational issues.

CYFS 398 Special Topic Seminar [1-4]
Explores special topics of faculty or student interest to broaden or deepen the curriculum. May involve a guest instructor, workshop, or seminar format.

CYFS 399 Directed Study [1-4]
Offers opportunity to study, research, analyze, and integrate a subject of personal interest. Readings and projects selected and facilitated by the instructor. Must submit a directed study proposal for approval by the instructor and the academic dean before registering.

CYFS 480 Field Experience [14]
Placement in an organization or church under the direct supervision of an on-site supervisor. Applies previous coursework by participating in all aspects of program development and leadership within an organization that serves children, youth, or families. Sites are chosen specific to academic interests and are tailored to meet individual learning objectives. Sites and on-site supervisors must meet departmental requirements and be approved by the instructor. Prerequisite: senior status and department approval.

CYFS 485 Philosophy & Practice of Ministry [4]
Integrates learning in biblical and theological studies, social science, study within the major, and skills attained through field experiences to articulate a philosophy and practice with children, youth, and families. Explores approaches to long-range planning, culminating in the creation of a one-year strategic program plan for a church or organization. Prepares students to gain employment in a professional position and consider ongoing personal and professional development. Prerequisite: CYFS 480.

CYFS 499 Independent Study [1-4]
Offers opportunity to study, research, analyze, and integrate a subject of personal interest. Readings and projects are determined in collaboration with the professor. Submit an independent study proposal for approval by the professor and the academic dean before registering.

ECED 303 Children and Nature [2]
Explores the importance of natural settings for the physical, cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and spiritual well being of early learners today. Theories of Lev Vygotsky, Erik Erikson, and Richard Louv will be highlighted.

ECED 305 Children’s Literature, Language and Literacy [4]
Explores historical and contemporary works of literature for children ages toddler – 12. Explores the history of children’s literature, its impact on child development, and the cultural and social diversity in books. Reviews the process of emergent language and the impact of caregivers on children’s literacy. A literacy practicum includes lesson planning and delivery in an early learning program.

ECED 310 Diversity in Learning and Behavior [2]
Explores appropriate practices for the diversity of needs found in any classroom, including observation and experiences with multi-cultural, urban, and special needs populations, the understanding of groups, and the needs of exceptional learners. Explores classroom management and child guidance methods and techniques.

RELI 355 Christian Spirituality: Practicing Our Faith [3]
Aids spiritual growth by (1) laying a biblical and theological foundation for approaching spirituality, (2) investigating the major traditions of spirituality in the Christian church and some of the classics of devotion, and (3) enabling and guiding the construction of a personal Christian spirituality for today. This module explores the history of Christian spirituality.

BUSA 320 Resource Development for Nonprofit Organizations/Grantwriting [4]
Address the resources important for a nonprofit organization to function. Issues of philanthropy and availability of other resources, donor relations, fund development, fund raising, grant writing, and social enterprise development. The composition and function of nonprofit organizations, including the development and functions of boards, volunteers, and governance. A key project will be writing a grant proposal.

BUSA 420 Managing the Non-Profit Organization [2]
Focus on the unique challenges of managing a non-profit organization. Topics include achieving and maintaining non-profit status, defining the mission and goals of the non-profit organization, measuring success for the non-profit institution, managing a volunteer workforce, building and maintaining successful donor relations, fund accounting, selecting and attracting board members, and the role of the global Non-Government Organization (NGO).