The Academy

A one-year vocational course

The Academy has been designed to develop trainees’ skills and character, having completed Be Transformed.  This course will encourage you to “Step Up” and “Step Out”, building on the discipleship journey in year 1 and go deeper into specific topics.

During the course you will sharpen your skills and experience to develop your youth work practice through group work, leadership and managing youth programmes.

Our aim is that, this year, your passion for reaching children and young people with the Gospel will be increased and that your skills as a children’s and families or youth minister will continue to grow.

The Academy is ideal for those not looking to do a degree, or who may want a stepping stone to the degree after completing Be Transformed. Many trainees completing the Academy have launched straight into full-time ministry positions. There are four core modules on the Academy which are:



This is a theological unit which engages practically with Biblical material that will give you greater confidence in engaging with others and their questions.  


This unit is designed to develop you as an effective missional leader. It explores practical areas such as preaching and contemporary issues facing leaders.


This unit enables you to consider the importance of developing a servant heart, exploring how you can serve churches, schools and multi-faith communities.


This unit will encourage your continuing development of individual discipleship and how that is shared with others in wider areas of ministry.


The course also gives trainees the opportunity to receive a BTEC Level 3 Certificate in Youth Work Practice from the Institute for Children, Youth and Mission. Areas covered include:

  1. Young people’s development
  2. Reflective practice
  3. Work-based practice
  4. Working with challenging behaviour
  5. Group work
  6. Mentoring

Course Dates
The course runs yearly and starts in September.

Course Fees for 2018/19

Other Details
Having paid the student fee you will receive from your placement:

Pocket money of between £25-40 given each week. In total £1300-£2000 given back to you over the course of the year.

Food and Accommodation will be provided for you in full. This can vary but tends to be either a host family, shared house or flat/annex.

Travel expenses for work, cluster and conferences.

For more information
Please contact SWYM or fill in an application form. 

Having spent the last three months as an Academy student, I have only been really happy with the course so far. Every topic has been relevant and applicable to my own workplace. The size of the group allows for discussions which enable each of us to think about how to apply what we’re learning to our own youth work. The lecturers are all passionate and engaging and the mixture of SWYM staff and outside people delivering the training has offered diverse and helpful insight into a range of subjects. Also, I particularly appreciate that even on a more vocational course, the theology lectures have been captivating and accessible for all of us.

As far as I’ve experienced, the Academy is a great course and really helpful in training me for the different aspects of my work. 

– Mike W.