The Connections Project  

 Funded by a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc.


No one knows the importance of community and mentoring better than youth ministers. Having a place to belong, a listening ear, and the patient voice of a youth minister can make a significant impact on a young life. But who does this for youth leaders? Where are the places of community, support, and guidance that help them help youth?

The Connections Project was born from the conviction that youth leaders need supportive communities as they work to give these gifts to young people. Youth leaders also need access to theological and ministerial training that focuses on their particular experiences of ministry. The Connections Project meets these needs in two ways. First, we partner with youth leaders to cultivate supportive communities who share together in the joys and challenges of youth ministry and cultivate vocational friendships. We call these communities ‘Regional Networks.’ Second, we coordinate personal mentoring for participants in the Certificate in Youth and Theology program.

Join or Create a Regional Network in Your Area:

Regional networks are small groups of 8-10 individuals from local congregations in a particular geographic are who are working in youth ministry. The include youth directors, associate pastors, and lay youth leaders. We are currently looking to create regional networks in particular areas throughout the country including rural, suburban, and urban areas. There is no cost to join or create a Regional Networks in your area. Participants in Regional Networks:


  • Receive funding for 8-10 participants to purchase books and other resources to youth leaders from your area to meet together and explore richer, more effective, and more faithful youth ministry practices.
  • Participate in free web-seminars through the Institute for Youth Ministry and other organizations.
  • Get connected to youth ministry experts and other youth leaders around the country.
  • Help shape a national study of the Lilly Endowment on creating stronger communities of youth ministers.