The Young Clergy Initiative was established by the General Conference in 2012 to be a three-quadrennium focus on increasing the number of young clergy in The United Methodist Church. It was created from the World Service Fund, which is an apportioned fund. Since its inception, the fund has distributed $10 million in support of young clergy programs.
The YCI invites grant requests that encourage denominational innovation in recruiting and retaining talented young clergy while assisting young people to listen for, discern and respond well to God’s call to ordained ministry. Programs might achieve this in a variety of ways, including structured conversations, call events, new resource development, unique training opportunities, research and more.
Grant applications are evaluated based on the projects’ potential to prepare participants to hear God’s call and assist them in responding to that call through licensed or ordained ministry.
If you are interested in applying for a grant, some common qualities among successful YCI programs are:
Relationships-Focused: Strong programs connect participants with similarly interested peers and help build relationships that keep participants feeling affirmed and supported as they discern their call.
Forward-Thinking: Young people are often drawn to ministries that engage their communities in non-traditional ways. They are being called in unique ways to lead an innovative church into a variety of new contexts.
Strong Vocational Discernment Connections: Regular communication among vocational discernment coordinators and program leaders helps to share successful strategies, build collective support for tackling challenges and uncover connection-wide trends.
Discover more about the YCI, its insights and how you can be a part of it.