The School for Christian Youth Development is an annual project of the Board of Discipleship of the annual conferences. In several annual conferences, it is the Council on Youth Ministries that implements this program. It is a three-year school meant for the development of Methodist youth so that they would be equipped for ministry in their respective local churches, districts and annual conferences.

The SCYD usually runs for two weeks. In several conferences, it is implemented for three weeks. Still, others do it for only a week! The students for each year level goes through around 6-7 subjects in a year. After attending the school for three years, the SCYD graduates will then be recognized by their annual conference as official youth lay speakers. This school is more than just a camp. It is a formal school being run by the church with classroom instructions, field work and extra-curricular activities for young people.

A number of pastors and deaconesses from all over the Philippines have decided to become full-time church ministry as a result of their exposure and training in the SCYD. The SCYD, however, is mainly implemented by annual conferences in the Baguio and Davao Episcopal Areas. Only two of the conferences in the Manila Episcopal Area do implement this program.

The School for Christian Youth Development is a three-year program implemented by the Board of Discipleship of the Annual Conference. It is meant to equip young people for ministries in the church. It usually lasts for two weeks during the Summer (April or May).

2011 SCYD Consultation Outputs

Main Purpose of the SCYD. The group revisited the main purpose of the SCYD. While there was no definitive statement that the group agreed upon, they agreed on several purposes of the SCYD:

–          Discipling youth so that they could follow Christ and teach others, too;
–          Training youth so that they would become socially and spiritually mature;
–          Empowering youth to become ministers in the church;
–          Being a United Methodist-related program, it is meant to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

In November 2011, several SCYD Directors came together to talk about some strategies to improve the conduct of SCYD and how the Annual Conferences could share their materials and resources with each other. The following section provides the output of this consultation, including the recommendations made during the meeting.

The outputs below are presented according to year level. As such, a brief description of the students are provided, which also includes their interests. It is then followed by the perceived Knowledge, Skills, and Experiences that they should learn through their experience with SCYD.

It’s very important to remember that SCYD is a semi-formal schooling and training for young Methodists. Besides, the duration of the program is only two-three weeks. Therefore, it would be impossible to fully explore the topics being taught to the young people. SCYD is not meant to be a substitute for Bible Schooling or intensive training for candidates to the Ordained Ministry. As such, the subjects, the instruction and the training components should be tailored for young people who want to grow in their faith and use that faith for various ministries in different levels of the church.

The subjects recommended are grouped into three categories:

    1. Christian Faith and Doctrines. Through the subjects under this category, the SCYD student will understand the basic tenets of the Christian faith as seen through the Wesleyan-Methodist perspective. They will receive basic theological grounding through subjects related to the Bible, Methodist beliefs, the Church, as well as Worship and Prayer.
    2. Christian Ministries. The subjects under this category explore the practical aspect of our faith. The SCYD students will learn different kinds of ministries emanating from the faith that we believe. Whether it is through Nurture, Outreach or Witness, the SCYD students will learn the practical applications of these ministries.
    3. Christian Life Skills. Since SCYD students are young men and women, they also need training in developing the basic Christian disciplines such as personal prayer, devotional time, and even personality development and discovering spiritual gifts.

 Please note that the following subjects are recommendations. The Board of Discipleship of the Annual Conference, together with the SCYD organizers need to assess the needs of their students and Annual Conference setting for the actual subjects to be included.

Brief Description of Students

  • First year SCYD students are usually 12-16 years old. As such, they are in their adolescence and the influence of peer groups is usually strong.
  • They come from different churches within the annual conference (or district).
  • They are usually active UMYFers, and may have attended at least one Christmas Institute.
  • Most often, they have undergone their Confirmation Class

 Interests

  • Music, Internet, Social Media, Texting
  • Exploring relationships, especially with the opposite sex
  • Truth seekers and explorers
  • Idealistic, curious and seeking identity
  • Hyperactive
  • SCYD teachers need to have “maximum tolerance” at times
  • Searching for role models

Core Competencies to be Developed

After completing SCYD, the students are expected to:

  • Know the basic Christian doctrines and beliefs in the Wesleyan-Methodist tradition;
  • Discover the basis of the Methodist faith;
  • Develop a passion for ministry of their own choosing;
  • Be equipped for basic ministries in their local church;
  • Practice Christian disciplines (work of piety) in both private and corporate (church) settings;
  • Experience various Christian practices (prayer, worship, etc) and ministries.

SCYD SUBJECTS FOR FIRST YEAR STUDENTS

Christian Faith and Doctrines

Basics of Christian Faith. This subject introduces the student to basic Christian doctrines and beliefs to help them understand what they believe.

Basic Methodist Beliefs. This may be taught as a standalone subject or in conjunction with the Basics of Christian Faith subject. It explains the distinctive beliefs and doctrines of the United Methodist Church, what we believe and how we differ from other Christian groups.  

The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ. This subject would be a great introduction to who Jesus Christ is, what he did when he was on Earth and what he taught. This would also be a good way to help SCYD students get to know the Lord Jesus Christ more deeply.

Introduction to the Bible.  The Bible is the Word of God. Too often, however, young people feel intimidated by the Scriptures, how to read it and how to apply it to their lives. This subject could help the students understand basic information about the Bible through a survey, or at least a starting point for their Bible reading habit. One of the main purposes of this subject is to help the students become curious and appreciate the Bible as the inspired word of God.

Introduction to Worship and Liturgy. While most of the SCYD students are church-goers, a lot of them also do not understand the meaning of symbols in worship, and why we have a liturgy or sometimes we also have contemporary worship. This subject helps the SCYD students be more aware of the significance of symbols in worship and what kind of worship is pleasing to God.

Christian Ministries

Basic Evangelism. For young people, the prospect of sharing their faith might give them feelings of anxiety and nervousness. This subject aims to equip them with the basic knowledge and skills to share their faith with their friends and/or family members.

Foundations of Christian Education. Christian Education is a broad topic. But by covering the basics, the students will understand the value and importance of Christian Education ministries such as Sunday School among others.

Teaching/Leading Children’s Ministry. One of the local church ministries that young people excel at is Children’s Ministry. Whether through the Vacation Church School, or in teaching Sunday School, young people are very much active in children’s ministries. This subject will further equip them to become more effective in teaching and leading ministries with children.

Ministry Exposure and Practicum:

Church assignments. The students will serve as worship stewards or they will serve in actual ministries of the Church such as teaching children’s Sunday School, Youth Bible Study or even Preaching. Through this practicum, the students get a first-hand experience of how to serve in church ministries. Hopefully, when they get back to their own local churches, they can serve in various ministries.

Christian Life Skills

Self-discovery and Personality Development. This subject could be a special interest subject, especially designed for teen SCYD students. It will help them get to know themselves more deeply. They will also learn how to interact with others more effectively.

Prayer. This is not exactly a subject to be taught but should be directly experienced. The SCYD, therefore, should have set times for both personal and group prayers. This way, the students will learn how to connect with God more deeply and in a more disciplined manner.

 

LIST OF SUBJECTS FOR SECOND YEAR STUDENTS

Brief Description of students

  • More formal and behave since they have already adjusted with SCYD and staff;
  • More familiar, which may also lead to more “pasaway” behavior
  • Open with other peers who are in the same level
  • More involved with the leaders and staff;
  • They may already have more church involvements

Christian Faith and Doctrines

Bible: The Old Testament. This subject introduces the student to the books of the Old Testament. It is basically a survey and looks at various groupings of Old Testament books.

Interpreting the Bible. Reading the Bible is quite easy. Interpreting it is an entirely different matter. Through this subject, the students will be equipped with the basic skills of interpreting the Bible. This will serve as an introductory course, however, since the SCYD lasts for only 2-3 weeks.

Worship: Hymnody/Hymnology. Most young people can sing the songs of Hillsongs and other contemporary Christian artists. Through this subject, the SCYD students will nurture an appreciation of classical hymns and the story behind the writing of these hymns.

Methodist Heritage. This subject can include the life of John Wesley and how Methodism grew as a movement. Methodist history from England to the United States and to the Philippines could be discussed here. Understandably, the subject will focus only on important events because of time constraints.

Methodist Polity and Structure. To broaden the understanding of SCYD students of the church and how it works, they also need to understand about the structure of the United Methodist church, how it makes decisions and why this matters in ministry.

Christian Ministries

Preaching/Homiletics. The intent of this subject is to teach SCYD students the rudiments of preparing a sermon outline. Depending on the schedule of the SCYD, they may or may not deliver the actual sermon. To become effective lay speakers, even young people need to learn how to preach and deliver a message for Christian growth.

Youth & Campus Ministry. A lot of SCYD students are also leaders in the UMYFP. This subject will help them gain a better understanding of what youth ministry is and how it can become more effective in equipping and empowering young people.

Worship and Liturgy: Developing an outline for liturgy. Through the SCYD, young people are learning how to actively participate in worship. With this subject, they will also learn the basics of preparing a liturgy.

 Ministry Exposure and Practicum:

 Church assignments. The students will serve as worship stewards or they will serve in actual ministries of the Church such as teaching children’s Sunday School, Youth Bible Study or even Preaching. Through this practicum, the students get a first-hand experience of how to serve in church ministries. Hopefully, when they get back to their own local churches, they can serve in various ministries.

Christian Life Skills

 Leadership Skills (With Parliamentary Procedures). This subject could be a special interest subject, especially designed for teen SCYD students. It will help them get to know themselves more deeply. They will also learn how to interact with others more effectively.

Prayer (Leading Others). Second year students may be given the opportunity to serve as “kuya” and “ate” during the prayer times of the SCYD. This is a great way to inculcate among young people the importance of praying individually and collectively.

Stewardship. The traditional approach in teaching stewardship is to tackle the concept of tithing and giving. It actually goes more than that. The stewardship subject helps SCYD students understand that everything belongs to the Lord and that we, humans, are stewards. There are personal and church implications of this subject, which will lead to other related topics such as giving to God, caring for the environment, and managing one’s possessions.

 

LIST OF SUBJECTS FOR THIRD YEAR STUDENTS

Brief Description of students

  • Only a handful of third year students enroll to complete the full three years.
  • Open with other peers who are in the same level;
  • More involved with the leaders and staff;
  • They may already have more church involvements than the average SCYD student.

Christian Faith and Doctrines

Bible: The New Testament. This subject helps students understand the New Testament better. They will learn about the different groups of writing in the New Testament, and they will develop an appreciation and better understanding of the New Testament.

Social Principles. The Social Principles is an important document that highlights what we believe as United Methodists in relation to politics, economy, and society—in fact, it relates to almost all aspect of human life and society.

Worship and Liturgy: Development of Worship and Liturgy. Through this subject, the SCYD students will learn how to actually prepare and launch liturgy and worship. This will equip them with the skills needed to lead worship in a local church setting.

Filipino Christian Values. Although the Philippines is largely Catholic, there are different values that correspond to the Christian faith. This subject identifies these values and how it is unique in the Philippine setting. This subject also contextualizes faith according to how Filipinos experience it.

Comparative Religion/Apologetics. Learning about other religions and faith traditions will help inform the SCYD students’ worldview. He or she will also learn how to appreciate other faith traditions while learning to defend his or her own faith.

Christian Ministries

Preaching/Homiletics. This subject builds on the Preaching/Homiletics class for 2nd year students. This time, though, the third year students are expected to be able to deliver a good message for Sunday service.

Peer Counseling. As Christian young people, the SCYD students are also in a position to listen and counsel their peers and friends who may be going through some struggles and personal or family issues. This subject aims to help them become better peer counselors.

Facilitating Group Dynamics/Group Processes. As young leaders, third year SCYD students also need to effectively learn how to manage group dynamics and processes. This will help them become better leaders in their school, church and youth ministry organization.

Cell Group Ministry. This is practically a subject about discipleship and how to help others know Christ and make Him known. They get to learn about and experience how cell group ministry in the Wesleyan tradition works.

Ministry Exposure and Practicum:

Church assignments. The students will serve as worship stewards or they will serve in actual ministries of the Church such as teaching children’s Sunday School, Youth Bible Study or even Preaching. Through this practicum, the students get a first-hand experience of how to serve in church ministries. Hopefully, when they get back to their own local churches, they can serve in various ministries.

Christian Life Skills

Advanced Leadership Skills. This subject may include related topics such as organizing events, financial reporting, fund-raising and others.

Spiritual Retreats (Leading and Facilitating). Third year students may also be given leadership roles in spiritual retreats.

Other Topics that Might Be of Interest to ALL SCYD Students

The following topics might be taught to all SCYD students regardless of year level. These may be treated as electives that the students may take.

  • Responsible of Multimedia (TV, radio, music, Internet, and Online Gaming)
  • Climate Change
  • Home and Family topics (the OFW phenomenon, dealing with broken families, etc)
  • Human sexuality
  • Responsible viewing of pop culture (music, soap operas, etc)

Interest Groups

  • Musical instruments: guitar, piano, flute, drums, etc
  • Dance (Interpretative or tambourine)
  • Drama
  • Creative Arts (crafts, mime, etc)
  • Choir
  • Cooking
  • Tutorial of special skills (i.e. Photoshop, Photography, video editing, etc)