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Opening Retreat for Youth Ministry Certification Program Is October 6-8


Decatur, GA.— Columbia Theological Seminary will host an opening retreat/discernment weekend for the Youth Ministry Leadership Initiative (YMLI) on October 6-8. The opening retreat is the starting point for the eight-course YMLI certification program, developed by the seminary in partnership with the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. Leaders for the weekend are Rodger Nishioka, associate professor of Christian Education, and Neema Cyrus-Franklin, director of youth ministries for the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. Registration for the opening retreat closed Monday, Oct. 2. Now in its second year, the YMLI certification program is designed for lay leaders and pastors who are committed to developing strong programs for youth within the church. The full YMLI program leading to certification in youth ministry includes the opening weekend retreat, six weekend courses, and a capstone retreat offered over a two-year period. The curriculum covers topics such as youth ministry programming, spirituality, theology, biblical studies, church polity, and youth development. Participants who complete all eight sessions receive a certificate in youth ministry, but enrollment is open to those interested in taking selected courses. For information about the YMLI certification program or individual courses, please visit or You may download information, including registration forms at each site. Sarah F. Erickson, associate director for Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary (404-687-4526), may also be contacted for additional information. The program fee for each of the eight sessions is $150 and includes two meals. Columbia Theological Seminary, located in Decatur, Georgia, was established in 1828 and is one of 10 theological institutions of the Presbyterian Church (USA). 

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