Collaborative Catholic Formation Ministries (CCFM) was founded in August 2011 with the dual purpose of forming outstanding youth ministers for the Church, and providing excellent youth ministry to parishes of all sizes. Our staff works as a community to support each other and learn from one another in order to become the dedicated ministers that God has called us to be.

You can use this website to learn about the mission that God has set before us and how we are being led by the Spirit to answer this call. You can also read through our blogs for inspiration and guidance. The blogs are written with youth ministers in mind, however, since we believe that all those who interact with youth impact them in some way, our blogs really offer something for everyone.


Upcoming Events

Discipleship Workshop with Guest Presenter Marcel LeJeune - September 16th, 7-9pm at Zurek Hall at St. Thomas Aquinas

Have you ever struggled in sharing your faith? Do you sometimes think you don't have the words to say? Most of us have a heart to share Jesus with other people, but don't know what to say or how to begin. Join us at our next Discipleship Workshop on Evangelization in September. Marcel's presentation will focus on what the Gospel is, how to share it with others, and why we should evangelize. This is a free workshop, open to all area catechists, parents, volunteers, and youth leaders.

ENLISTED with Guest Presenter Chris Bartlett - October 22nd

Enlisted is an annual event that focuses on topics of apologetics and evangelization. This year, Chris Bartlett will be speaking to youth in middle school and high school about sharing their faith with others. Empowering and equipping them with what they need to spread the truth of the Gospel, you don't want to miss out on this night! A parent session will also be led by Matt Rice so the entire family can take part in this event.


Beyond The Pew - Episode 1 - Setting the foundation in Christ




Welcome to Beyond the Pew, my name is Matt Rice, President and Founder of Collaborative Catholic Formation Ministries, a youth ministry collaborative focused on igniting hearts, inspiring discipleship, and empowering families.

Posted By Matt Rice read more

The Crazy Disciple


How many of you have seen that F.R.O.G. acronym? The one that stands for “Fully Rely On God”. It’s pretty cheesy, for sure, but how many of us are actually fully putting our dependence in God? When I signed up to be a missionary with CCFM, I understood that I would be depending on the Lord for everything in my life, including my finances. As a missionary, I fundraise my salary and I rely on the generosity of donors to provide for my day-to-day needs. As you can imagine, this makes money incredibly tight.

Posted By Jennifer Masters read more


White flag


I’ve learned a lot in my first few months as a youth minister. In particular, I’ve learned a lot about myself, like that I am terrible at asking for help. At the retreat we put on this past weekend as I was running around taking care of meals, someone asked me if I needed help, and then followed that with the question, “Will you accept help?”

The way that question was phrased struck me.

Posted By Kelsey Ricketson read more

What Happens When You Leave?


After a short 6 month stint in the Peace Corps, I’d estimate I heard the word sustainability over a thousand times. Sustainability is the buzzword in the international development community, and for good reason.  The focus of aid has shifted from “giving” to “teaching”. For example, we underwent three months of training, covering cultural sensitivity, language training, and how to teach. We spent as much time learning how to teach teachers as we did learning to manage classrooms. The reasoning behind this is simple-we had two years to make a difference in our communities.

Posted By Chris Johnson read more

Forget What You Preach


Do you find that you sometimes forget what you preach as a leader in ministry?  I don’t like to admit it, especially not in public, but it has happened to me.  One of these experiences happened to me just last week, when I attended the St.

Posted By Jeremy Stavinoha read more

Mother Teresa Meets Youth Ministry


"Vocation is belonging to Christ.
 The work is only a means for us to put our love of Christ into action."

           – Blessed Mother Teresa

Holy Toledo Batman. Read that again...

What a rockstar.

Posted By Alyssa Trutter read more

Bringing In New Life


Happy Ordinary Time! Now the big question, how has this Easter changed you?

Wait what?

Posted By Sarah Masters read more

Out of the Boat


If I’ve learned anything in my twenty years of life, it would certainly be that the future is unforeseeable, changeable, and in no way congruent with any of my expectations. But as crazy as it is, the future is also beautiful beyond belief. When I came to college a few years ago, my future plans involved graduating college in three years and then pursuing a career in the field of medicine with the strong possibility of going to medical school. Long story short, here I am less than two years later, writing my first blog as a youth minister working for a collaborative non-profit company.

Posted By Kelsey Ricketson read more

Just Give Up


Should we just give up?  It would be a lot easier if we did sometimes.  Right?  There are so many times in ministry when we might feel this way.  Whether it is stepping away from a ministry or getting rid of part of a ministry.  In ministry, we are after all on the front lines for the battle for souls so it only makes sense that we would feel this way from time to time.  Does that mean we should just give up or will we have to push through even if we don’t know what the outcome will be?

Posted By Jeremy Stavinoha read more

Meet the Need


In the spring, I teach a sacramental preparation class, which basically means that I get to prepare a handful of my youth to receive God’s graces more fully within His Church. Best job ever!... But seriously, I love every minute of it. For these classes, I go in with an outline of topics and information that needs to be covered based off of the curriculum we use. The first night is groundwork: basic vocabulary. We define words that the Church throws out all the time, but that don’t come up in the average American home, so terms like: grace, sin, sacrament and Trinity.

Posted By Alyssa Trutter read more


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