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All-round training for every volunteer youth leader.

An exciting course to equip and strengthen anyone working with/ministering to young people in churches and community projects.

"Totally brilliant. It's given me confidence as a volunteer and taught me so much about young people."

"This really is for everyone. I help out on Sunday mornings with the 11-14's and it's given me so much more confidence."

"I loved that I was learning new skills I could put straight into practice at our youth group, but that it also helped me think about why we do youth ministry in the first place."

Youthscape Essentials is an innovative course for volunteers and paid youth leaders that increases your skills and understanding about working alongside young people today. Whether you're running a community project, a church youth group, or occasionally helping out on a Sunday morning, the course is designed with you in mind! It’s not about the numbers of young people attending, it’s about putting God at the centre of your youth ministry. You can sign up to an online course here or contact us to see if there’s an in-person course taking place near you. You could also find out more about registering to host and deliver the course yourself.

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Youthscape Essentials is ten sessions covering 30 topics. The topics are divided into Insights into Young People, Skills for Youth Work and Developing Character. You’ll listen to young people, learn from professionals, participate in practical exercises and take time to deepen your own faith. It makes no assumptions about your experience, age or background. It’s accessible to those starting out as volunteers, but deep enough to stretch those who have been working alongside young people for longer.


Ten interactive seminars exploring what life is like for young people today. Hear from young people as they share their experience of family, school, church and social media. Hear expert insights, the latest research and inspiring stories.

What subjects will you cover?

Why youth ministry?

How does youth work make a difference to young people?


Adolescent development

How do young people grow and change as teenagers?


Growing up digital

How are social media and other technologies changing their world?


Growing Up Gen-Z

What different beliefs and values do young people have today?


Family life

What are the experiences of young people at home?


Christian discipleship

How do young people develop and grow in faith?


Sexuality & gender

How do young people express and explore sexuality and gender?


School life

What are the experiences of young people in education?


Emotional & physical health

What impacts young people's well-being?


Mission & exploring faith

How do young people explore and understand Christian faith?


Ten key skills which are essential for every volunteer youth leader, whatever your role. Practical and applicable to every kind of youth activity. Learn new skills and develop existing ones. Grow in confidence about what you can do.

What skills will you learn?

Building rapport with young people

How do I develop positive relationships with young people?


Engaging young people with the Bible

How do I help young people explore and understand the Bible?


Safeguarding and safety

How can I act responsibly and safely with young people?


Empowering young people to participate

How can I involve young people in the life of the church?


Working with others as a team

How do I work well with others in youth work?


Facilitating a session with young people

How do I prepare and lead a youth group activity?


Accommodating young people’s different needs

How do I ensure I am open and accessible to all young people?


Managing behaviour

How do I deal with disruption and other challenges?


Telling stories that capture interest

How do I tell stories that capture interest and spark curiosity?


Knowing you’re making a difference

How do I ensure the work I’m doing is making an impact?


Ten personal reflections to strengthen your own faith as the foundation of your volunteering. Be encouraged as you discover how God will work in you and through you. Explore a Biblical understanding of character and service.

What topics will I explore?


What does it look like to really love a community of young people?



What does it look like to learn from my mistakes, young people and others around me?



How do I stay open to innovation when facing the ever-changing needs of young people?



What boundaries do I need to keep for my own sake and the sake of the young people I work with?



How can I demonstrate forgiveness and grace to young people and others?



How can I show integrity in youth ministry?



How can I keep going when I face challenges?



What does it look like to believe God is and can work through me?



How do I see the possibilities and potential in young people?



How can I overcome fear and self-doubt in youth ministry?

Take the course online run by Youthscape

You can sign up to join an online group run by Youthscape, once a week over ten consecutive weeks. We offer these three times a year in January, May and September. In addition, we run a monthly, online course as well. Places are limited. The cost is £50. If you have a question or want to know more, email us. Sign up to the course you want* below!

*Our Taster Course is an ideal opportunity for those who are considering joining a youth team or to find out more about Youthscape Essentials before you commit to all ten weeks.

We have found that having a printed Participant's Handbook can really transform the journey of the course and offers additional content you can read in your own time. We’d recommend purchasing a handbook from our Store to guide you through the course - with plenty of space for your own notes.

*Required Privacy
Next available course starts:
10 Sept 2024 (Second Tuesdays of the Month (excluding April), 7.15pm-9.15pm)
16 Sept 2024 (Mondays, 7.15pm-9.15pm)

Take a course in person in your area

Other Youthscape Essentials licence holders are running the course in person. Below are the current courses running around the country. If you’re interested in signing up to one of these, please contact the course host for details.

These courses may run slightly differently to the way Youthscape deliver them; e.g. over three days, ten months, eight condensed sessions or any number of ways. Contact the course host to find out more about how to sign up.

Current courses

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2024-04-18 - 2024-06-20
Youthwork+ & Buckingham Parish Church
Milton Keynes
2023-11-18 - 2024-06-22

Host the course

If you’re keen to host Youthscape Essentials for others in your church, organisation or denomination we will get you set up with a two-year licence and offer you a free 2 hour online workshop. The cost for our basic licence is going up at the end of January, so get in quick to secure a licence at the lower price:

- £95 for a two-year licence running the course for participants for free

- £275 for a two year licence running the course for participants who are paying to attend

We also offer price on application for an organisation/diocese/presbytery/denomination with tailored training for those who will be delivering the course. Email us (click here) to explore any of these options. Please remember to book a place on a complementary hosting workshop which will cover all you need to know to host a Youthscape Essentials course.

You can see and book onto our upcoming dates below. At this time our workshops are run online. Check back for further dates, we will be updating them regularly.

We have also found that having a printed Participant's Handbook can really transform the journey of the course for those involved and offers additional content that participants can read in their own time. We’d recommend purchasing a pack of handbooks on our Store for those attending the course (ideally one for every attendee).

*Required Privacy
*Required Privacy
Next training starts:
07 Jun 2024 (10am - Midday)
22 Jul 2024 (Midday-2pm)
19 Sept 2024 (10:30am-12:30pm)
06 Nov 2024 (Wednesday 6th November - 7pm-9pm)
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Why Youthscape Essentials?

The church has a rich history of youth groups and projects for the benefit of tens of thousands of young people across the UK. Most of these are run by volunteers who give up their time in evenings and over weekends to make youth activities possible. But so much has changed in youth culture and experience that up-to-date training is essential. That’s why we’ve developed Youthscape Essentials. Over the last three years a team of youth ministry practitioners, young people and existing youth work volunteers have created and tested a completely new approach to training. Built around the three key themes of insights, skills and faith, there are thirty key topics which cover almost every aspect of volunteering. Step-by-step you’ll grow in your capacity and confidence to work alongside young people. And as the world continues to change, new research will inform the course and it will change too – keeping you up-to-date and equipped as a volunteer.

“I have attended several training courses over the years, but I have never been to one that not only provides practical steps, but also looks at different insights as well as reflecting on our practice too. I have learnt so much.”


“The teaching is so clear, with a great level of detail”

Julia, Hamphire

“It will give you confidence in working with young people”


“Having done the course, we feel much more confident to take a lead”

Rosie & Jonathan, Volunteer Youth Workers, Woodbridge


Who is Youthscape Essentials for?

Quite simply, anyone working with young people or just considering it. We’ve designed the course for volunteers starting out in youth ministry but there is enough depth of thinking throughout to stretch even experienced volunteers.

What if I can’t make every session?

The course builds week-by-week so if you’re going to miss a few sessions it may be better to wait until you have more time but if it’s just an odd session then we can help you to catch up.

Can you run a course just for my team or organisation?

We’re happy to discuss bespoke training for your setting so do give us a call. It may be that we know others in your area who are interested in joining or we tailor how we deliver the content for you. Let’s talk.

What do I get from it?

As well as the latest thinking on issues shaping young people’s lives, practical skills training that will equip you to better serve young people and theological reflection on leading from a place of love, we’ll give you a downloadable 100-page handbook packed with information and exercises. And if that’s not enough we offer a certificate too, and a discount on our Essentials Bundle.

Can I run the course myself for my church or local area?

Yes! If you’re keen to host Youthscape Essentials for others in your area, church or denomination we will get you set up with a two-year licence and offer you a 2 hour workshop. Simply pay for a licence, and then get all those involved in hosting the course along to the next Youthscape Essentials workshop.

Where can I purchase a participant's handbook?

We recommend purchasing a participant's handbook, which transforms the experience of the course materials and gives you a reference to come back to. The handbooks are available from the store, click here to buy.

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