Apply Now for Grants from Young Clergy Initiative
By Vicki Brown
Applications for Young Clergy Initiative grants to develop innovative projects of all sizes that could attract young people to ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church can be submitted beginning Nov. 1 through www.explorecalling.org/yci/grant.
“There are places in our denomination where imaginative ideas are percolating and good, effective work is being done around young people’s discernment of a vocation in ordained leadership. The goal of the grant process is to support that work and hopefully find ways to spread the most fruitful efforts more widely throughout the church,” said the Rev. Trip Lowery, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s director of Young Adult Ministry Discernment and Enlistment.
The goal of the $7 million Young Clergy Initiative, approved by the 2012 General Conference, is to increase the number of young elders and deacons in the UMC.
“Anyone from the president of the Council of Bishops to someone sitting in a pew in their local United Methodist church has a voice worthy to be heard in the young clergy conversation,” Lowery said.
The goal of the grant program is to collect good ideas from all levels of the church about how to prepare young people to hear God’s call to ordained ministry, assist young people in responding to God’s call to ordained ministry, develop young people in spiritual and theological formation, and nurture young clergy for lifelong transformational ministry.
“We are looking for ideas that can be spread to create denominational change in the areas of call, vocational discernment, and young adults as ordained leaders,” Lowery said.
Applications must be completed by Feb. 1, 2014. A second round of grant applications will be accepted through June 1, 2014. GBHEM will monitor and evaluate projects until completion.
Grants will be invited that:
* prepare young people to hear God’s call to ordained ministry
* assist young people to respond to God’s call to ordained ministry
* develop young people in spiritual and theological formation
* nurture young clergy for lifelong transformational ministry.
Applicants should consider these priorities:
* engaging and empowering young people
* engendering imagination, creativity, and risk/innovation
* including diversity, especially ethnic and gender diversity
* encouraging cultural and systemic change
* facilitating experiences connecting faith commitments and the needs of the world
* including matching funds and/or creative partnerships.
Grants will be considered competitively in three categories: $5,000 to $20,000; $20,000 to $50,000; and $50,000 to $100,000.
*Brown is associate editor and writer, Office of Interpretation, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
To learn more about the Young Clergy Initiative, visit www.explorecalling.org/yci.