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Gap Year Opportunities

Here is a list of opportunities to explore:

Online Foundation Degree in Youth Ministry run by CYMFed and St. Mary's College, Twickenham, London, combines academic study with vocational experience over a 2 year period and is aimed at volunteers and paid employees. Students will acquire a range of transferable skills and develop these together with reflective practice on their work. It includes significant elements of online learning, allowing much greater flexibility for our students. 

Engage! Certificate in Christian Youth work is offered at the Centre for Youth Ministry (CYM) and is a partnership of 6 organisations - Frontier Youth Trust, Youth for Christ, Oxford Youth Works and 3 theological colleges. 

Christian Youth Work Training lists various courses and training for volunteers and qualified youth workers. 

Moorlands College - 'Accelerate' is a year course involving a one day study time per wk with supervised practical work in placement. 'Equipped' is an evening course that runs for 20 weeks on Monday evenings designed for lay leaders and offering training in theology and leadership skills.

BA Youth Work (JNC Endorsed) qualification at Chester College, delivered at Warrington campus - three years full time course.

If you have any questions or courses to recommend please send us an email.

Mission Teams

Already mentioned once or twice, these are teams of young people, often living in a community setting, sometimes part of a diocesan structure and sometimes part of a 'movement', who will come to your parish or school for a week (or weekend) and conduct a more-or-less intensive programme of work with your own youth workers and young people. The idea is to motivate and equip the people who will remain in the parish, and to excite / inspire by showing what can be achieved, e.g. by putting on a youth service or Mass.

The nearest ones are from the Sion Community at Brentwood (01277 215011) the Jesuits at Southwell House in N London (Fr M J Smith, SJ - 020 7435 8534). There is also the Pilgrims Community (01623 742349) now based in Mansfield. 

Inviting a Mission Team requires a lot of planning and preparation on the part of the parish, and can involve a fair commitment of finance, as these teams often depend on fees from parishes and schools for their living expenses, and have to charge realistically. It may well be found difficult to book such teams from outside the Diocese as they are very popular and busy. 

Youth 2000 have supporters in Northampton (01604 519078) and may be able to come into your parish and share their Eucharistic and Marian devotion, plus their great enthusiasm , and help with the establishment of a youth prayer group. 

The national Youth SVP organisation will support you well in the establishment of local branches.

International Training

NEW! Volunteering in Taize, France for young people aged 18-28. This opportunity provides time for reflecting on the next step in life through reflection, regular community prayer and sharing with others whilst sharing the various practical tasks in running the youth meetings for the Taize community. This is a great gap year opportunity - for more information you can also click here.

CAFOD - Step into the Gap provides a year out opportunity for 18-30 year olds an to volunteer overseas and in the UK, experiencing new cultures and meeting inspiring people along the way.

Kerygma Teams are a dynamic training group within the international lay missionary organization, Youth With A Mission (YWAM). Centered around empowering young (and not so young!) Christians to effectively communicate the Gospel in a Catholic setting, their Discipleship Training Schools normally last between 6 and 9 months, and take place in a variety of locations worldwide. An exceedingly comprehensive course, the DTS doesn't come cheap, but does involve practical short-term missionary experience and all associated training (personal faith development, communication skills, a range of performing arts, and Catholic-based theology). Upcoming schools in Australia, Belgium and India - all come with a strong personal recommendation!