High School MA Electives

» ONLINE ELECTIVE SIGN-UPS ARE OPEN UNTIL July 20TH... READ DETAILS AND BLURBS OF EACH CLASS BELOW. THE ELECTIVE CLASS REGISTRATION FORM IS BELOW THE BLURBS.

» ONCE ONLINE ELECTIVE REGISTRATION CLOSES, THERE WILL BE LATE ELECTIVE SIGN-UPS IN PERSON ON MONDAY, July 27TH AT RYM. 

» IF, AT ANY POINT, YOU FORGET WHAT ELECTIVES YOU SIGNED UP FOR, YOU CAN LOOK BACK AT YOUR EMAILED RECEIPT & CONFIRMATION OR CHECK THE 2017 HSMA ELECTIVE CLASS REPORT ON THE HSMA INFO HUB.

1. The Bible: Old & Irrelevant, Right?

JonPaul Watson
Associate pastor to students
Christ PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
greenville, nc

JonPaul serves at Christ Presbyterian Church in Winterville, NC, as the Associate Pastor to Students. He’s married to Carrie Ann, and they have four children, Lucy, Judah, Luke, and Jane. While he tries not to be too hipster, he does have a sweet beard, knows a lot about bands from Seattle, and really likes to drink locally roasted coffee. He has fostered in his students a love of documentaries and wants to be a sports analyst when he grows up.

Do you feel like the Bible is boring? Like you’ve read every story before or heard it all Sunday School since day one? Do you feel like the Bible is hard to understand? Like you have to be a pastor to try to figure out what it all means? When you try to read it, do you ask yourself, “How does this apply to my life, to what I’m going through right now?” With so many things promising us quick entertainment and immediate pleasure, sometimes reading and studying the Bible can seem like just one more tedious chore to check off the list. Sometimes reading and understanding God’s word can be difficult, and that makes us feel like it’s just a bunch of old dull stories that don’t apply to our lives. In this elective we will talk about why the Bible might seem boring and hard to understand, how to study it, and what it means for our lives. 


2. Finding Your Way in the Wilderness

MIchael Hall
RYM Training & Church Intern Coordinator
Charlottesville, VA

Michael is a Shreveport, LA, native, graduate of Ole Miss and Covenant Seminary, who has a distinct fondness for all things pork.  He has served as a Pastor for Students in three churches (SC, MO, & VA) over the past 20+ years and currently serves as the Training and Church Internship Coordinator for RYM.  He loves Jesus, His Church, and laboring that middle and high school students would as well!  Michael lives in Charlottesville, VA with his wife Kirby.  They have three children: McKenzie (15), Carter (14) & John Thomas (12).

While there is certainly a lot to learn in the great outdoors, this class isn't primarily concerned with finding your way home if you get lost in the woods!  While some of us have known the wilderness as a real place with various challenges and difficulties, we all experience “the wilderness” in the challenging and difficult seasons of our lives.  When we are “in the wilderness” we find ourselves feeling out of control (I can’t seem to do anything to change things! I can’t fix this!), without clarity (Why is this even happening?  How did I get here?), and also feeling a lack of consequence (Where is this going?  What’s going to happen next?).  Come to this class and hear how God meets His people “in the wilderness” and fills them with Himself...offering peace under His control, comfort amidst tons of questions, and courage to press on knowing He is with you.  Life is hard y’all...God wants you to know that He get’s it and to experience Him right in the middle of all of it.  


3. Making Sense of the Struggle

JOEY STEWART
RYM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, TN

Joey graduated from the University of Mississippi with a BA in Psychology where he also became heavily involved in the ministry of Reformed University Fellowship. After college he attended Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS and graduated with a Master of Divinity in 1992.
After spending several summers ministering to youth at camps such as Alpine Camp for Boys in Mentone, AL and Twin Lakes Camp in Florence, MS, he became the director of youth and educational ministries at First Presbyterian Church in Yazoo City, MS where he ministered for nearly 5 years.
In 1993 he accepted a call to become the assistant pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Crossville, TN with the responsibility of planting a PCA church in Cookeville, TN. Grace Presbyterian Mission was immediately formed and he remained in Cookeville as the organizing pastor and later senior pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church, PCA for 14 years. He then accepted a call in February of 2007 to become the Executive Director of Reformed Youth Movement (RYM).
Joey has served on the TN Area Joint Presbytery Committee on Campus Ministry (RUF) since 1994 and as chairman of that committee since 1998. He has also served on several General Assembly RUF committees. Additionally, he has been a member of the board of directors for Reformed Youth Movement since 1990 and possesses a resolute zeal and passion to serve the church and extend the kingdom through the expanding mission of RYM.
Joey is married to the beautiful Connie Cawthorn and together they have four children: Ashley Grace (Wilkinson), Joseph Wesley, Hannah Faith and Jennifer Cawthorn as well as a Hungarian Sheepdog, Maggie.

Do you feel like you never measure up spiritually? Do you feel like your day is shot if you neglected to have your devotional that morning? Do you constantly live under a load of guilt and shame? Do you feel like you don’t belong in the presence of God? Do you see God more as a harsh Drill Sergeant rather than your loving, compassionate Father? If so, then this class is for you. We’ll take a look at who God is, and what he has actually accomplished for every one of His children in the act of His free grace called: Justification. Then we’ll see how that changes our lives forever especially in regard to our struggle with sin. This is a class for strugglers…like me. Has He called you into a life of guilt and bondage, or to a life of freedom? Come and join us as we seek together to make sense of the struggle.


4. The Invitations of Jesus

Bryan Villarreal
Assistant Pastor
Lakemont Presbyterian Church
Augusta, GA

Bryan is an Assistant Pastor at Lakemont Presbyterian Church in Augusta, Ga. He has years of experience doing college ministry and youth ministry. He grew up in Waco, Texas and no, he doesn’t know Chip and Joanna Gains, though he has “met” Matthew McConaughey! Bryan has been married to Erica for 11 years and they have 3 children, Molly (8), Clare (6), and Cal (3). Bryan enjoys hiking, stoking fires, and dreaming about one day being the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys.

Have you ever opened up a text message or a social media request to attend an event, go to someone’s house, or accept someone as a friend? What do you think about before you accept that request or politely say no to the invitation? How do you decide whether it will be fun, cool, lame, boring, or worth the time? 
Jesus has invited us to follow him, to bear our cross, and to love others, so how have you responded to these invitations? Are you following Jesus or the enticements of the world? Are you bearing your cross or looking for something easier? Are you loving others or really only yourself?  Come to the Invitations of Jesus and let’s discuss what exactly Jesus is inviting us to and why it’s better than anything the world offers us.


5. Your Generation Matters

Danny Mitchell & Stephen Estock

Danny Mitchell is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America, Coordinator of Youth Ministry for the Committee on Discipleship Ministry (an agency of the PCA), a member NEXT team of Mission to the World and an adjunct professor of youth ministry at Covenant College and Covenant Seminary.  He and Mary Pat along with their two teenage children, Claire and Ben, live in Chattanooga, TN.  If given the choice he will always chose Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups over Twix and vanilla over chocolate.  After many hours of taste testing, he has recently come to the conclusion that a hot dog is indeed a sandwich. 

What if we told you that regardless of any negativity about your generation and in spite of the hand wringing by some of the older generations about what your generation does and does not do that a growing number of “experts” believe that your generation is culturally, socially, relationally, emotionally and spiritually poised to embrace the Great Commission like no generation before.  Crazy talk?  Maybe—time will ultimately tell.  However, it appears that God is doing a new thing (Is. 43:19) among your generation that could quite possibly strengthen and grow the local and global church.  Is that vague enough to peak your interest?  We hope so…  This seminar will each day explore the bible and important cultural indicators as we work to appreciate what the Lord is doing in and through your generation for the church and kingdom.  We plan to observe, critique, discuss and question culturally and generationally relevant issues in light of God’s Word in order to help each of us better understand our role in the Lord’s redemptive plan for the nations.


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