Survey looks for Catholic volunteer youth ministers

By 
  • March 31, 2009
{mosimage}A national online study of the roles and needs of youth ministers completed last year has been revived in the hopes of reaching a greater percentage of volunteer youth ministers.

The survey, available online at www.ustpaul.ca/YMsurvey or in French at www.ustpaul.ca/sondagePJ , was launched again to get a better idea of the needs of volunteers since nearly 90 per cent of respondents to the original survey were paid youth ministers. Volunteer youth ministers may not necessarily have the same training or access to training resources, said Fr. Daniel Renaud, a professor at Saint Paul University in Ottawa who teaches a theology course in youth ministry.

“We want to help improve the perception of effectiveness and co-operation in ministry,” he said. “We want to improve how people see themselves.”

Renaud developed the survey along with Dr. Christian Bellehumeur, also a professor at Saint Paul, and Dr. Martine Lagacé, a professor at the University of Ottawa.

They originally ran it on the Canadian Catholic Youth Ministry Network’s web site to create a “common language” for youth ministers to understand their own behaviour and interactions within ministry and to find out if youth ministers are getting the support they need.

Renaud originally told The Catholic Register that the portrait of youth ministry in Canada is not easily made but they were hoping to gain tangible data for the first time.

They have included the results of the last survey in an English report to be released this year.

Youth ministers who have already taken the survey do not need to complete it again. It will be available online for the next three to six months.

After sufficient data is collected, Renaud said they may put together a youth ministry workbook which would help parishes train future youth ministers and which would provide existing youth ministers with a means for ongoing formation.

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