Category Archives: Student Ministries

Next Generation Ministries Council hosts leadership summit for EPC ministry leaders


Collaboration, encouragement, fellowship, and worship were on the agenda for more than 30 EPC children’s ministry, student ministry, and family ministry leaders on October 6-7 in Orlando. The workers from local churches in all 14 Presbyteries met for the inaugural Next Generation Ministries Leadership Summit, hosted by the Next Generation Ministries Council (NGMC).

The focus of the two-day “think tank” was to consider best approaches for ministry to children, students, and families, as well as discuss a variety of challenges facing age-group ministry in the current cultural landscape.

Jen Burkholder

“While the good news of Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, the Church needs to think hard about how we can best reach and disciple the young generations of our communities with the gospel in an ever-shifting culture,” said Jen Burkholder, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Coalition for Christian Outreach and a member of the NGMC. “We cannot wait any longer to figure out how to equip them for leadership in our denomination and world.”

Among the topics that launched robust discussion among participants were practices, identity, diversity, and networking. Following a presentation on each issue, participants engaged in small group discussion to both foster dialogue and help build community among ministry peers.

Enid Flores, NGMC member and Ruling Elder for Iglesia Presbiteriana Westminster in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, led the discussion on diversity.

“When we work with relationships, we get to know our neighbors,” she said. “When we get to know our neighbors, we get the opportunity to have discipleship. And with that, we get a deeper friendship. And at the end, we love our neighbors as He loves us.”

As each table presented highlights of their group discussion, a theme emerged of the desire for broader diversity in the church.

“We talked about how to have the conversation in our church if they don’t want to embrace diversity—even if it’s an age diversity and not a racial one,” said Blaise Shields, Pastor for Youth & Families at St. Andrew EPC in Auburn, Ind. “It makes sense to me that someone who visits the church would feel more at home if they see someone in leadership who looks like them—whatever that may look like.”

Connected to reach the world for Christ’

As part of the discussion on networking, NGMC Chairman Greg Aydt said the Council’s goal is for a stronger level of collaboration among Next Generation Ministry leaders, both within and across Presbyteries.

Greg Aydt

“We are all connected to reach the world for Christ,” said Aydt, who serves as Pastor of Youth Ministry for Advent Presbyterian Church in Cordova, Tenn. “We have a strong belief in the wisdom of the collective—of the group. It’s Trinitiarian in a way. There’s power in that fellowship.”

He said the Council hopes to help foster creation of ministry peer networks all across the EPC.

“Our desire is that no NextGen worker is on an island. Networking has a bunch of strengths—resourcing, collaboration, mutual edification,” Aydt said. “We are thrilled to have denominational leaders who are invested in Next Generation ministry and want to see it prosper.”

Dean Weaver, EPC Stated Clerk, said the Council’s work to connect Next Generation Ministry leaders to each other and also the larger vision of the EPC was already bearing fruit for the Kingdom. Weaver spoke to the gathering on Wednesday afternoon via video conference.

“I have no doubt the God will continue to bless the vision and energy these leaders have for reaching young people in their communities,” Weaver said. “They are natives to the culture that the people they are trying to reach are in, so they are in a unique position that not all of us can be as effective in.”

Jerry Iamurri, EPC Assistant Stated Clerk, noted that the passion for evangelism and outreach among the attendees “signals that both the present and the future of EPC leadership looks promising.”

“These folks are at the tip of the spear in evangelism in their churches and other ministry contexts,” Iamurri said. “Listening to these folks describe how they are reaching their students for Christ is incredibly encouraging.”

Aydt noted that “the next generation is going to reform the Church; whether or not they are formed in the likeness of Christ is up to people like those in the room.”

Student mission conferences offer unique worldview experiences


High school and college-aged students—as well as their leaders—have multiple opportunities in the coming months to be encouraged, equipped, and challenged to dig deeper into the God’s Word and His heart for the nations. For more information about any of these conferences, contact Cassie Shultz, EPC World Outreach Church Liaison, at or 407-930-4314.

EPC Summer Mission Jam
June 24-29, 2019—Fremont, Calif.
July 8-13, 2019—Hamtramck, Mich.

SummerMissionJam2019Summer Mission Jam is a mission and outreach equipping conference for high school groups. Participants will work alongside EPC partner churches to minister to Muslim peoples in these two cities. Registration is $480 and includes lodging and meals (except dinner on Monday).

A minimum of 80 registered students is required by November 15 in order to host this event; students, leaders, or youth groups interested can complete a brief online survey to learn more and indicate interest in either the California or Michigan event.

December 27-31, 2018—St. Louis, Mo.

Urbana2018Held every third December, Urbana is a global mission conference that creates a sacred space for college students to learn more about missions and discern God’s call for their life. Among the speakers is the EPC’s own Beth Paz, Director of High School Ministry for First Presbyterian Church in Fresno, Calif.

Registration is $515 until November 15; $615 after that date; lodging is approximately $125 plus taxes. The EPC Next Generation Ministries Council provides a limited number of $150 scholarships to students interested in attending; go to for details and to apply. Learn more about this potentially life-changing conference at

Cross Conference
January 2-5, 2019—Louisville, Ky.

CrossConference2019Cross Conference is a global missions conference for college students that focuses on reaching the unreached peoples of the world. Registration is $119 until November 30, and $139 until registration closes on December 18, 2018. Lodging is approximately $116 plus taxes. The EPC Next Generation Ministries Council provides a limited number of $40 scholarships to students interested in attending; go to for details and to apply. Learn more about this exciting conference at

In the short video below, David Platt, Pastor-Teacher for McLean Bible Church in McLean, Va., and former President of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, explains why Cross is not just for those who sense a personal call to serve on the mission field.

General Assembly Networking Lunches offer more than mid-day meal


2017GAbannerRegOnlineNetworking Lunches at the EPC 37th General Assembly provide opportunity for connecting with others with similar ministry interests on June 21-23 from 12:00-1:30 p.m. at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church in Sacramento. For more information, including descriptions and meeting locations, see

Wednesday, June 21

  • Church Planting (hosted by the EPC Church Planting Team)
  • For the Church, For the Generations (hosted by Reformed Youth Ministries)
  • How to Build a Contagious Church Culture (hosted by Vanderbloemen Search Group)
  • How to Make Progress on Leadership Challenges (hosted by PastorServe)
  • Joy Together in Ministry and Mission (hosted by Serge)
  • Jump-Starting Church Revitalization (hosted by the EPC GO Center)
  • Presbyterians Pro-Life (hosted by Presbyterians Pro-Life)
  • What Is the Westminster Confession? (hosted by the Westminster Society)
  • Who Is My Neighbor? (hosted by the EPC Women’s Resource Council)
  • World Outreach Global Worker Meet-and-Greet (hosted by EPC World Outreach)
  • Young Ministers in the EPC (hosted by the EPC Young Ministers Network)

Thursday, June 22

  • Building a Culture of Generosity (hosted by the EPC Foundation)
  • Conflict Management: What Seminary Never Taught You (hosted by Pastor-In-Residence Ministries)
  • EPC Benefits “Lunch and Learn: Retirement Plan Changes” (hosted by EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.)
  • International Theological Education Network (hosted by EPC World Outreach)
  • Reaching Millennials (hosted by the EPC GO Center)
  • Reaching the Next Generation of College Students for Christ (hosted by the Coalition for Christian Outreach)
  • Understanding Gender Dysphoria and the Transgender Experience (hosted by OnebyOne)
  • Who Will Lead After You? A Guide to Effective Succession Planning (hosted by Vanderbloemen Search Group)
  • Women Teaching Elders and Candidates (hosted by the EPC Office of the General Assembly)
  • World Outreach Needs Business Professionals (hosted by EPC World Outreach)

Friday, June 23

  • Clerks of Session (hosted by the EPC Presbytery of the Pacific)
  • Coaching Church Revitalization (hosted by the EPC GO Center)
  • Come to The Well: Women’s Ministries Resources (hosted by the EPC Women’s Resource Council)
  • Engaging Muslim Communities for Christ Through Literacy (hosted by Literacy and Evangelism International)
  • EPC Benefits “Lunch and Learn: Retirement Plan Changes” (hosted by EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.)
  • Growing Your Church Through Small Groups (hosted by Hope Church, Richmond, Va.)
  • How to Lead Your Team to Fulfill Your Church’s Vision (hosted by Vanderbloemen Search Group)
  • Leaders of Small Churches (hosted by the EPC Z–4:10 Network)
  • Sending Our EPC Sons and Daughters (hosted by EPC World Outreach)

CCO Jubilee Conference available at no cost for EPC leaders


One of the EPC’s strategies for reaching and building Next Generation leaders is through its strategic partnership with Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO). Through that partnership, any EPC leader may attend CCO’s 2017 Jubilee Conference at no cost for registration. Jubilee will be held February 17-19 at the Westin Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh, Pa. The annual event attracts more than 3,000 attendees each year.

For more than 40 years, the Jubilee Conference has helped college students talk, learn, think, and dream about the public implications of their personal transformation. And it’s not just for those pursuing a career in ministry—Jubilee is designed for all students to help them understand how to be involved faithfully in whatever discipline they choose—both in college and the years to come.

The three-day conference normally costs approximately $300 per person. In addition to the waived registration fee, EPC leaders are offered a discounted rate at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Two meals also will be provided free of charge—Saturday lunch and Saturday dinner.

Free registration is available to any EPC pastor, elder, church or presbytery staff member, or other leader as a ministry of the EPC Student and College Ministries (SCM) Committee. One of the committee’s primary goals is to further develop EPC’s partnership with CCO to help growing numbers of EPC churches develop or improve their ministry to college students and millennials.

To register, go to the Jubilee Partners page at For more information, see the CCO website at or contact Elliott Simko, CCO Partnership Coordinator, at

EPC ministry committees discuss potential of Next Generation Council



The EPC Student and College Ministries Committee and the Christian Education and Communications Committee are holding joint meetings October 28-29 in Orlando to begin discussions about a future Next Generation Ministry Council. The 2016 General Assembly approved a proposal from the National Leadership Team that the two permanent committees combine to form the new council to take effect July 1, 2017.

Discussion centered on developing appropriate Next Generation Ministry vision, mission, strategy, and structures aligned with the strategic initiatives of the General Assembly. The strategic initiatives are global movement, church planting, church revitalization, and effective biblical leadership.

EPC-CCO: partnering for Kingdom growth


Several EPC leaders joined more than 4,000 college students and young adults at the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO)’s 2016 Jubilee Conference in Pittsburgh.

Jubilee3-CCOThe EPC is moving closer to a full strategic relationship with the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO), a college campus ministry that has been successfully reaching the next generation for Jesus Christ for more than 40 years. Several EPC leaders attended CCO’s annual Jubilee Conference in Pittsburgh, February 19-21. More than 4,000 college students and young adults gathered at Jubilee for worship, inspiration, fellowship, and equipping “to serve Jesus Christ with their entire lives.”

Attending were Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah, Associate Executive Bill Enns, Student and College Ministries Coordinator Susan Holland, Committee on Administration member Dean Weaver, and Student and College Ministries Committee (SCM) members Elliott Simko and David DeBruler, who serves as SCM chair. In addition, Rufus Smith, Pastor of the EPC’s Hope Presbyterian Church in Cordova, Tenn., was the plenary speaker for the Saturday evening worship service.

The EPC General Assembly approved a partnership with CCO in 2007, but Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah notes that it was largely “on paper only.”

“We did not have many churches then,” he said. “Plus CCO was very focused in one geographic area—the Northeast U.S.—in which we had few churches. Where we are with CCO in 2016 is a testament to Susan Holland’s outstanding leadership as Coordinator of the EPC’s Student and College Ministries.”

At present, CCO is active on 116 college campuses extending from New Jersey to Indiana, with a high concentration in the greater Pittsburgh area. About 25 EPC churches in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio have ministry connections with CCO.

Vince Burens, CCO President, said CCO is ready to expand its geographic reach, but will only work in a college community in partnership with a local church. “We are a parachurch organization that does campus ministry with the local church,” he stressed. With more than 580 churches, the EPC has churches scattered across the country that could envision a partnership with CCO as a great way to reach into the college students in their community.


Susan Holland, EPC Coordinator of Student and College Ministries

“I am really excited,” Holland said. “I have prayed for a long time about how the EPC can better reach college students across the country, and CCO has been doing exactly what my vision has been. I am thrilled to be expanding our partnership.”

Jeremiah said that Holland has been “patient and persistent across the years as she has waited on the Lord’s timing for the relationship to blossom into a substantive Kingdom opportunity for both the EPC and CCO.” Simko and DeBruler have played important roles in nurturing this relationship as well, and the SCM Committee will take the lead in contacting churches that may want to pursue a partnership with CCO.

The 2015 General Assembly approved “reaching the next generation for Jesus Christ” as the focus for the 2017 General Assembly in Sacramento, California. “I’m very confident the Lord will provide us some exciting success stories we can celebrate in 2017 as our churches take advantage of this Kingdom opportunity,” Jeremiah said.

Reformed Youth Ministry offers leader training; scholarships available



RYMlogoEPC’s strategic equipping partner Reformed Youth Ministries (RYM) is holding its annual Youth Leader Training conference January 25-29 in Nashville, Tenn. The conference provides biblical training in theology and philosophy of ministry, small group interaction, mutual encouragement, edification, and networking for those who minister to junior and senior high school students. You do not have to be ordained or full-time church staff to attend, and scholarships are available.

Featured speakers include Richie Sessions, RUF Campus Minister at Vanderbilt University in Nashville; and Walt Mueller, Founder and President of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding in Elizabethtown, Pa.

The partnership with RYM is part of the EPC’s strategic initiatives for both leadership development and church revitalization. To help those churches that may not have the financial resources to send their leaders, the Student and College Ministries Committee is offering nine need-based scholarships of $400 each for student ministry workers to attend.

The normal conference cost is $375 per person, and includes tuition, training materials, lodging, and food (except for dinner on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday). EPC leaders in attendance will gather for one of these meals; watch for details soon.

To apply for a scholarship, contact Susan Holland, EPC Student & College Ministries Coordinator, at Please provide your contact information, name of the church where you serve, and a brief statement indicating how a scholarship would help you attend the conference. Scholarships are limited to leaders serving in EPC churches and ministries. The deadline to apply is January 15.

The scholarships are a way to extend this training opportunity and establish momentum within EPC student ministry workers and RYM for years to come.

For more information about the conference visit

Student Ministries online book study “Sustainable Youth Ministry” begins February 2


Sustainable Youth MinistryThe EPC Student Ministries 2015 online book study, featuring Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark Devries, kicks off the week of February 2 and runs through the week of March 23. The study will be facilitated by Mark Steimer, Middle School Pastor at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tenn., and an EPC teaching elder.

Participants will read the book in community with other leaders, and respond to weekly discussion questions on the EPC Student Ministries “Sustainable Youth Ministry” Facebook group page.

You should take this course if you are a:

Youth Leader
If you are sold on the idea of building a youth ministry that will be stronger years after you are gone than it is today, this study is well worth your investment. We will study and discuss ideas for developing or re-developing a sustainable vision, and learn ways to communicate the vision to the larger church.

Senior Pastor
No one will more strongly influence the building of sustainable youth ministry. You are uniquely positioned to help your church reach the next generation in a deliberate and lasting way. This study also is a great a resource for developing a picture of what is reasonable to expect from your Student Ministry staff.

Search Committee
The key advice from this study is “Don’t hurry and don’t settle.” The people you hire will do what they like to do, so hire people who like to do the things the job requires. Therefore, you should discuss vision before you ever announce a job opening.

Youth Elder
You will learn and discuss ideas for creating an intentional process for maximizing the possibility that younger, inexperienced staff can succeed, thrive, and receive training to become effective leaders—to the next generation as well as the larger church.

For more Information, click here to download the syllabus.

Reflections from Urbana 12


Urbana is an Intervarsity’s Student Missions Conference held every three years in cities around the country.  Urbana 12 was held on December 27-31, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The focus of the conference is to deliver a compelling message to this generation to “give their whole lives for God’s global mission.”

EPC College Ministries had the privilege of extending scholarships to 23 college students and young adults from the EPC community.  We asked each recipient to connect with us after the conference by sending us their “Reflections” on their experience, where they feel God may be calling them and/or the highlights of their trip.  The responses we received were incredible and heartfelt.  Here are just a few of the “reflections,” highlighting the varying ways God was working in these young adults at Urbana 12:

“The speaker from Afghanistan who talked about missions with her husband helped me solidify the idea of going to Uganda this summer and possibly for long term in the future.”  ~ Christopher H.

“It was a huge blessing and an experience I will never forget and one that will challenge me for the rest of my life!  I went to the event disheartened and discontent…, but now I feel alive and invigorated to share the gospel where ever I am and wherever God leads me.”  ~ Ryan W.

“One message that was pretty clear throughout my time at Urbana is that we are on mission everywhere we go, on our college campuses, at our jobs…everywhere.”  ~ Hollie T.

“Wow!  What an incredible time. The manuscript Bible studies have revolutionized the way I will read my Bible.  I made a commitment to a long term mission trip, which I plan to take with Latin America Missions for a year starting in September.  I also commited to sharing the gospel of Luke with someone this year.  ~ Elizabeth D.

“On the last day of the conference, I quietly made a long-term missions commitment to God.  I want to use business to help people become self-sufficient and break the cycle of poverty, while sharing God’s truth and love.”  ~ Anna

“I had an amazing time listening to the speakers, who compelled me to go, and for me specifically, to go to India.”  ~ Kelsey G.

“I know that I want to be a missionary, but I was unsure of the possibilities overseas.  I [was] led to apply to Moody Bible Institute to pursue a degree in Applied Linguistics and Counseling Victims of Sexual Exploitation. I found a lot of ways my love of psychology and language can be used overseas for God.  Since coming back I have applied to Moody and talked to my mentor about keeping me accountable.” ~Alycia W.

“Urbana was seriously a LIFE-CHANGING trip, to say the least.  I feel like through the course of the week, God was really pulling me in the direction of long-term missions, perhaps to areas that are closed, or even areas of the world that have never been reached.  I LOVED the bible studies in the morning.  Because I loved it so much, I started my own inductive Bible study here in my town with a bunch of college-aged woman!  It’s so amazing to see God working in them too – some of them don’t even believe in God!”  ~ Heather B.

EPC Youth Leader Cohort Update


Youth Ministry Coaching Program with Mark Oestreicher

Student Ministries has an exciting opportunity to tap into the experience and wisdom of one of the countries most recognized youth ministry coaches, Mark Oestreicher (some may know him as EPC World Outreach, Dick Oestreicher’s, bearded son).  In youth ministry circles, Mark is better known as “Marko.”

Marko’s Bio:
“[He] has been involved in church ministry most of his life, particularly with teenagers and youth workers. Marko has a broad experience working in churches, in roles ranging from Junior High Pastor to Executive Pastor.  For 11 years, Marko was at Youth Specialties in San Diego, an organization that trains and equips church youth workers – the last 8 of those years as president. Concurrently, Marko was also a part of the leadership team of Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI).

Marko has authored or contributed to more than 60 books, including the much-talked-about Youth Ministry 3.0.  Marko is a partner in The Youth Cartel, providing resources, training and coaching for church youth workers.”

In recent years, Marko has developed a new ministry based on his own participation in a life-changing coaching program.  Believing he could have a similar impact on other youth workers around the country, he developed the Youth Ministry Coaching Program.  Marko has agreed to lead a customized coaching program, designed specifically for EPC youth leaders.

Several EPC youth leaders completed a year-long cohort with Marko and wanted to share about their experience:  Youth Ministry Leader Coaching Program

Partner with EPC Student Ministries to train youth workers

  • Read the post “Youth Leader Cohort”
  • Donate to the Youth Ministry Coaching In Community Fund online:
    • Go to
    • Click the “Donate Today” button
    • Select “Student and College Ministries,” then
    • Select “Youth Ministry Coaching in Community”, and enter the amount you want to donate
  • Send a check to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church designated to “Youth Ministry Coaching in Community Fund” to the address at the bottom of this page.

Availability of matching fund grants for participants depend solely on the generous contributions of interested churches and individuals.

2013 Youth Leader Cohort – Early Bird Sign-Up is February 7th


Goals and Resolutions

2013 is just around the corner and that often means folks are taking some time to reflect and consider new directions. Student and College Ministries is also starting something new for 2013. We are launching a unique training opportunity for all EPC youth leaders that we hope will help fulfill several goals and resolutions for those in youth ministry.

For the youth leader with goals to prayerfully take more time to seek God concerning His direction for his/her ministry, read those books you keep piling up on your desk, deepen relationships with others in ministry, or even to spend a year with a personal/ministry coach.  You’ll have that opportunity in 2013.

To the senior pastor or elder looking for ways to encourage, equip and keep the youth leader who currently is serving their congregation; here’s the opportunity to invest in the leader, impact the students they reach and effect the future leadership of your church.

Talent Retention

One EPC leader, committee member Chris Brown, articulated it this way – “the EPC Youth Leader Cohort is really about talent retention.”

The majority of youth leaders only stay in their position an average of 1 ½ years. However, if we invest in the personal, spiritual and ministry growth of these young leaders in our churches, who we often find serving in youth ministry, we significantly increase the likelihood they will continue serving in the church who invested in them. Furthermore, they will feel a commitment to a denomination that created an opportunity for such growth and connected them with lifelong ministry friends within the EPC. These are the future leaders of the EPC denomination.

Early Bird Sign-Up – February 7th

The goal of Student and College Ministries is to begin the first EPC Youth Leader Cohort in the Spring of 2013, with meeting locations East of the Mississippi. The second cohort will begin in the Fall of 2013, with meeting locations West of the Mississippi. Youth leaders may attend either cohort; location sites are merely for travel convenience.

For those ready to sign-up or just looking for more information concerning the cohort beginning this Spring, please contact Susan Holland, Student and College Ministries Coordinator, at or (734) 838‐6952 by the early-bird date of February 7,th, 2013. Making an inquiry or signing up by the early bird date will allow you to participate in the decision-making process concerning the timing and locations of the 6 meetings, during the one-year program.

For more specific details regarding the EPC Youth Leader Cohorts, please go to the following webpage:

EPC Student Ministries and Juvenile Justice Ministry (YFC)


Partnering to Equip Churches to Reach Hurting Teens in Juvenile Facilities

Dan Weidman, EPC Teaching Elder, and former Director of Student Ministries, recently sat down for coffee in the Denver area, with Eric Kelly.  Dan and Eric are a wonderful example of a relationship forged in the trenches of an EPC youth group years ago, leader and student; now sitting over coffee sharing as friends the exciting ways God is bringing them together again, to reach troubled teens for Christ.

The following is a reflection by Dan on this meeting and how his former disciple has a heart to partner with EPC churches, so teens in the juvenile court “system” may be afforded the same opportunities he had as a young man in the EPC:

I would like to introduce you to a friend and fellow laborer reaching lost young people for Jesus Christ, and make you aware of a life changing ministry.   Eric Kelly is the National Juvenile Justice Ministry Director for Youth for Christ.  Eric came to know Christ to at age 16 at Trinity Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Plymouth Michigan in 1992.  After high school, Eric was involved in the Intervarsity Ministry at Kalamazoo College. Upon graduation, Eric spent a year as an intern with Russ Gabel, former youth pastor at both Trinity EPC and Fellowship EPC in Michigan. During that time, the youth group that Eric was connected to attended the EPC Summer Jam Conference in Gunnison, CO where he met the National Urban Ministry Director for Youth for Christ USA. When Eric finished his internship he was hired by Fort Wayne Youth for Christ as their Juvenile Justice Director.  Eight years after serving in that role, Eric was appointed the National Juvenile Justice Director for Youth for Christ USA.

Youth for Christ has been in existence since the Billy Graham Rally Days of the 1940’s and 50’s. The ministry continues to be true to their “geared to the times, anchored to the rock” motto, meeting young people in relevant contexts and sharing the message of Jesus Christ. While many of you may be familiar with Youth for Christ’s (YFC) Campus Life program, you may not be familiar with the Juvenile Justice Ministry (JJM) that Eric oversees.  JJM reaches teens in local detention centers, group homes, emergency shelters, and residential treatment facilities. They provide programming and relationships inside these facilities, and continue to minister to teens as they reenter their communities.  YFC JJM currently serves in 195 juvenile facilities in the United States, but Eric and his team have a dream to reach teens in all 1,280 juvenile facilities in the U.S, known as the “1280 Project”.

Youth for Christ understands that their “1280 Project” is too big of a dream to accomplish alone. They are seeking churches and individuals willing to reach out to these lost young people, meet them in the very depth of their need, build relationships with them, share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and give them tools to make better choices in the future.

In talking with Eric, we learned that following about this Youth for Christ ministry:

1.   Wants to partner with local EPC churches,

2.   Share resources to help churches start these ministries to troubled youth,

3.   Provide ongoing training and coaching,

4.   Allow your church to determine its level of involvement.

The EPC Student and College Ministries committee is supporting Eric in this vision, and has made JJM a “committee commended resource” because we believe the EPC can take on this challenge.

Eric has mapped out the 1,280 juvenile detention centers across the United States and identified those which have an EPC presence in the area.  He would love to contact you with the name of the facility in your area and discuss how your church could be involved in reaching needy youth.  I ask you to prayerfully consider how a team of volunteers from your congregation could make an eternal difference in the lives of teens in tough places near you.  If Eric contacts you please listen to his heart and plan.

Please contact Susan Holland at for more information about our partnership.  Or to get more details on reaching out to juvenile facilities in your area, feel free to contact Eric Kelly directly at or (260) 580-0461.

EPC Youth Leader Cohort – A Leadership Coaching Program – coming in 2013


Student Ministries is excited to introduce a new approach to equipping and leadership developmentSeveral EPC youth leaders went through the coaching program with our partnering organization, The Youth Cartel.  The success of the program is evident in the feedback given by senior pastors from their churches.  See video testimonials at


The following are some commonly asked questions and answers concerning the EPC Youth Leader Cohort of 2013:

What’s A Cohort?

• Community of About 10 Youth Leaders

• Participating Together in a Coaching Program

• Facilitator Designs Program Around Group Needs

• Customized Course Work and Assignments

• Held Over the Course of One Year

• Meets as a Group Every 2 or 3 Months

• One-on-One Coaching Sessions with Facilitator Between Meetings

• Communication with Group and Facilitator is Ongoing by Phone and Online

• Incredible Training & Great Relationships

When Does It Start?

• Spring 2013 – EPC Youth Cohort #1

• Fall 2013 – ECP Youth Cohort #2


• East of the Mississippi – Cohort #1

• West of the Mississippi – Cohort #2

Who Should Go?

• EPC Youth Leaders – Especially those in ministry for 2 or more years

Who Are The Leaders?

• Student Ministries is partnering with The Youth Cartel and Mark Oestreicher (Coach/Facilitator)

• Mark O. is an exceptional coach and has years of experience training youth leaders around the country.

• Find out more about The Youth Cartel at

Who Will Be There?

• The goal is to have 10 EPC Youth Leaders in each cohort who will travel on a 1 year journey together.

What Does it Cost?

• The cost of the year-long program is $3,000 and is due at the beginning of the program.

*  Additional costs for travel and lodging may also apply.

How Do I Get More Information?

• Contact Susan Holland, Student & College Ministries Coordinator, at or 734.742.2020.

How Can We Help EPC Youth Leaders Raise Support?

Our Vision is to provide quality training and leadership development

opportunities to EVERY EPC youth leader.

Our Hope is that finances will NEVER stand in the way of an EPC youth

leader who desires training and coaching.

Our Goal is to offer matching-funds to youth leaders desiring to

participate in the EPC Student Ministries Cohort.

Our Need is for churches and donors to contribute to the EPC “Youth

Ministry Cohort” Fund