E&H Receives Grant to Help Young People Called to Ministry

Posted on: Monday, August 25th, 2014
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by Brent Treash
A $100,000 grant from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry will support an Emory & Henry College program intended to help young people discern and follow their call to ministry.

A $100,000 grant from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry will support an Emory & Henry College program intended to help young people discern and follow their call to ministry.

The grant will support "Defining Moments," a program that seeks to help high school students, college students, and recent college graduates as they respond to a call to ordained ministry while also providing young clergy with the opportunity to mentor these young people and receive tools necessary for their own effective ministry.

Through this grant, Emory & Henry can take a great step forward in strengthening United Methodist ministry now and in the future, according to the Rev. Mary K. Briggs, the chaplain at Emory & Henry College. “We not only have this awesome chance to influence the lives of individual participants, but we also have the potential to greatly impact our denomination.”

Three-Component Program

The grant funds a three-component program, one for each age group. “Recognizing God’s Voice,” designed for high school students begins with a five-day on campus experience that gives them a taste of college life and a unique opportunity to consider ministry as a vocation.  "Call and Covenant Community" provides a context for college students and recent graduates to explore a call while practicing the Wesleyan spiritual disciplines. 

A third aspect of the program, "Partners on the Journey," provides young clergy, who will serve as mentors to the young people in the first two components, with ministerial training on topics including the practice of developing collegial relationships with peers so that they may support one another throughout a lifetime of fulfilling ministry.

The program was developed in partnership with the Holston Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and several other ministry areas in the structure of our Annual Conference within the United Methodist Church. Board members served on the planning team that helped identify unmet needs that are preventing some young adults from successfully discerning and answering a call to ordained ministry.

Defining Moments will guide young people through the discernment process in a way that will allow them to explore the variety of ways they may use their gifts as ordained ministers.  Their mentors and covenant groups will support them as they consider how living out their call will take shape as they move toward success and fulfillment in ministryRev. Mary K. Briggs

“The program funded by this grant has the potential to transform our denomination by addressing issues that often prevent young people from becoming ordained and/or remaining in professional ministry.  An increased number of young clergy will bring a new face to ministry within the United Methodist Church, one with a unique perspective that will effectively illustrate the relevance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a complex world.”