Young people who attend SCYD are usually from 12 – 24 years old. A lot of them usually enter first year, but not everyone will complete the full three years. in most cases, less than 50% of the first year students will go through the second year, and only a handful about 2-20) students will complete the third year. The following breakdown will provide a description of the students of SCYD, as well as the subjects that they need to learn throughout the SCYD.

First year students

The average age of first year students are 12-16 years old.
They are in High School, and they come from different churches within each annual conference.
They are fairly active in the Youth Fellowship in their church and in the district.
They have usually attended the Christmas Institute, and other youth events.
They may have completed the confirmation class.
Since they are in their adolescence and early teenage years, they tend to be swayed easily by peer influence.

first year SCYDAs you think and plan about the subjects that you will be teaching these first year SCYD students, ask yourselves the following questions:

  • What subjects should be taught to them?
  • What experiences should they have?
  • What qualities should they develop?
  • What behavior should they exhibit?
  • How will they develop their skills, talents and abilities and use them for God and for the church?

Subject matters

Here are a list of possible subjects that could be taught to first year SCYD students. Keep in mind though, that the SCYD runs for only 2-3 weeks. In some Annual Conference, it is even for one week only. Most of the topics covered for first year students are basic, introductory courses.

Basics of the Faith. What are the basic tenets of the Christian faith? Topics might include basic theology, understanding the Trinity and other related matters.

  • Basics of Christian Faith.
  • Basic United Methodist faith and doctrines
  • Basic/Introduction to the Bible
  • Foundations of Christian Education
  • Worship and Liturgy

Personality Development. Since most first year students are barely in their teens, SCYD can help these young ones to discover and understand themselves better.

  • Self-discovery, Personality discovery, Spiritual gifts discovery.
  • Filipino Christian values

Christian Disciplines. The Christian faith is not just about knowledge and ritual, it is also about having disciplines that would help foster spiritual growth.

  • Christian disciplines and practices (quiet time,
  • Habit of reading God’s word, meditation and prayer

Ministry skills. SCYD students are also expected to become lay ministers in their churches. Therefore, they need to learn several ministry skills, depending on their interests and their

  • Teaching and leading children’s ministry
  • Singing hymns and praise and worship
  • Becoming Church Stewards (Serving as Ushers, Liturgist, etc.)

Experiences. As the students go through the SCYD, they need to have several experiences that would help them integrate and apply the concepts, knowledge and skills they are learning.

  • Church ministry exposure
  • Set prayer times
  • Being in a care/cell group
  • Evangelism and Gospel sharing
  • Games that increase their knowledge of the Bible and the faith

The overall thrust of SCYD is tied up with the thrust of the United Methodist Church: “To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

Towards that end, it would also be important for first year SCYD students to:

  • Develop discipline and become independent.
  • Learn the value of commitment.

It might be tempting at times to treat these first year students as Bible School students intent on becoming a Pastor. But that is not the case. A lot of them may have a desire to go on to become a Pastor, but the SCYD remains a lay program, meant to empower young laity to become knowledgeable in the Christian faith, and equipped to do ministry.

A lot of young people start their first year with the SCYD but more than 50% of them will not complete it until the third year. Perhaps, we need to do something about that, too.