Director, Student Ministry

Shepherd of the Valley
Afton, Minnesota, United States

Date Posted: 04/11/2018
Categories: Youth Pastor
Denominations: Lutheran
Church Size: 1001 to 1500
Job Type: Full-Time

Job Description:

Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church ( in Afton, Minnesota, is seeking a director of student ministry. This is an exceptional opportunity for an up-and-coming ministry leader to join a large and healthy student ministry program in the St. Croix Valley.


Ministry Overview

The Circuit student ministry at Shepherd is a thriving program that attracts around 300 students each week to its Wednesday night worship service and small groups. A team of ministry staff leads more than 100 volunteers in executing a vision of being the “friendliest place in town.” Students in grades 7–12 connect with small group leaders for discussion and a personal connection. Large group worship features a full worship band leading songs relevant to students and a sermon tailored to their lives.

Outside of the regular Wednesday night program, the ministry uses guest-focused events to build relationships within the ministry and connect with new students. Student-led small groups and leadership teams meet regularly helping each other grow in faith and drive the ministry.

Each summer more than 200 students join weeklong mission trips to locations across the United States. These trips are capstone activities with demand always exceeding capacity. More than just a weeklong trip, the mission trips include months of work, preparing students for an explosive faith experience. Significant faith development is a direct result of these annual trips.


Church Overview

Shepherd of the Valley currently welcomes about 1,000 attendees for weekend worship services with more than 270 children attending Sunday School and 600 adults in small groups. During the summer, all ages are invited to a Wednesday night service that averages 280 attendees and is great for those who travel to lake cabins on weekends.

As a regional church, Shepherd draws attenders from a variety of communities in the east metro area of Minneapolis/St. Paul and from western Wisconsin. The beautiful 60,000 square foot facility was built in 2002, with an addition in 2007. It includes a 550-seat sanctuary, gym/community center, prayer chapel, and excellent educational and flexible spaces for all ministries.

With a continued commitment to its Lutheran heritage, Shepherd is a member of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ ( and the Willow Creek Association ( The church is blessed with a strong, talented staff team that love what they do and lead with energy and passion. “Excellence with humility” accurately describes the attitude of Shepherd leadership.

Even though the church is large, Shepherd feels like family to those who have experienced its relational warmth and care. At its core, the church is committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ as reflected in its mission to connect all people to a growing relationship with Jesus Christ through worship, small groups and serving. The intentional focus on excellence in children’s and youth ministries have made Shepherd a destination for many individuals and families.


The Opportunity

The Circuit student ministry is an exceptional opportunity for a student ministry leader to join a well-established and high performing ministry and staff team. A strong vision is guiding the ministry supported by a base of engaged adult and student leaders. Wednesday night programming is a cornerstone of the ministry with feature nights and supporting activities serving as a draw for unconnected students.

Working with the Student Ministry Pastor, the director of student ministry will spend time learning the ministry while taking on increasing leadership in its operations and direction. Over time, the director will assume responsibility for managing volunteers and student ministry staff. As a large ministry, this position serves as a “leader of leaders,” building greater capacity and effectiveness in the staff and volunteer teams.

The position is well supported as church leadership at the highest levels is committed to growing the student ministry. The ministry is resourced with a facility equipped for student ministry, healthy operating budget, and dedicated ministry staff.

Regionally, the ministry has established itself as a prominent activity for students but relationships with and ministry at local schools remain an opportunity to explore. Building greater bonds with schools has the potential of unlocking a new wave of growth for the ministry while providing a greater service to the community.


The Candidate

The ideal candidate will be excited to join a thriving student ministry, ready to jump in and contribute to the team. The candidate will be willing to invest time in learning the strategies and successes of this ministry and building relationships with staff, volunteers, and students. Then, drawing on experience in a previous student ministry and by being a continual learner, the candidate will bring fresh ideas and new thinking in order to help the ministry reach even more students. This ministry team enjoys trying new things!

The ministry needs a leader who is capable of preaching to a middle and high school audiences. The candidate would be able to take key ideas of faith and the gospel and make them relevant and personal to this younger generation. This person will have a genuine understanding for and appreciation of the challenges students face.

The candidate will see himself or herself as a leader of leaders. This person will be capable of working with a staff team and volunteers to implement the vision of the ministry and guide its continued growth. A capacity for building enthusiasm, excitement, and commitment among adult leaders will prove valuable.

Finally, the candidate would enjoy connecting directly with students. He or she would be enthusiastic about visiting local schools, attending school concerts and events, and being where the students are. As a church of small groups, this personal relationship with the student congregation is core to the ministry’s success.


Preferred Qualifications

  • A college degree with an emphasis in Biblical, theological, or ministry studies
  • Experience in a moderate-sized student ministry program
  • Capacity for preaching and teaching to a middle and high school age audience
  • Clear alignment with the Shepherd of the Valley statement of faith found at
  • A genuine passion for students and their relationship with Jesus Christ

Inquiry Process

Application materials are accepted on an ongoing basis. Interviews and an offer are targeted for May 2018.

To apply, send a resume and responses to the questions below to Michael Faust, Business Administrator, at Materials will be treated confidentially.

Application Questions

  • Tell the story of your Christian faith, including involvement in your local church. Describe how your relationship with Christ has shaped your calling, career, and decision to apply for this position.
  • In this stage of your life and career, what compels you to explore this opportunity in student ministry at Shepherd of the Valley?
  • What are the top five strengths and abilities you would bring to this position?
  • Describe your experience in student ministry. Share your personal experiences as a participant and leader, including models or resources used.
  • Provide contact information for four references: a former supervisor, a ministry peer, a staff member under your supervision, and your pastor or minister. These references will not be contacted until later in the process and you will be alerted prior to contact.

If you have specific questions regarding the position, contact Michael Faust, Business Administrator, at or 651.436.8248. This contact will be treated confidentially.

Apply Now

To apply for this job opening, please first post your resume.