Innovation Grants for Youth and Young Adult Ministry

webhomes-thinking-plus-innovation-innovation-plus-emerging-thoughtIf you’ve been following social media for youth and young adult ministries in the ELCA you’ve been seeing a lot about an informational webinar about something called “innovation grants” for youth and young adult ministry. The webinar will be recorded and you can watch it later if you’re not available to follow live. What I really want you to know is that we are genuinely interested in your ideas for investing in young leaders in the church and for innovative ways of nurturing the gift of faith in youth and young adults. Included in this blog post (see below) are the basic goals and guidelines for these grants.

The combination of creative and innovative ministry ideas and the goal for partnership between congregations/synods/outdoor ministries/campus ministries and the many ways the ELCA engages leadership development and faith formation, virtually guarantees a wider reach for your new ideas. Think outside of the box. I often ask people, “What would you do if money were not a factor?” Ask that of yourself, then see if your idea fits the grant opportunities we are offering. Remember, you can’t receive a grant if you don’t apply!!

These grants are made possible through the Always Being Made New Campaign for the ELCA and are being offered because youth and young adult voting members at the last churchwide assembly noted a problem and then took the initiative to ask for funding to fix the problem. These are the kinds of leaders we need for this church!

I continue to believe that this is an exciting time to be the church. I also believe that our investment in youth and young adult leaders will directly impact our capacity for reaching others with the Good News of Jesus Christ and help create communities of faith that can make a difference in the world. You can be a part of making these things happen.

Paul Amlin, Program Director for Youth Ministry

Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA gives us the opportunity to expand our ministries among youth and young adults to cultivate young leaders, embrace a culture of diversity and inclusion, and build a robust network of support.

Through the Youth and Young Adults ministry of The Campaign for the ELCA, we will focus on the following Core Values:

  • Form faith in youth and young adults
  • Develop and multiply youth and young adult leaders
  • Start new ministries or enhancing current efforts
  • Promote collaboration and creativity
  • Engage youth and young adults of color
  • Accompany communities and persons living in poverty


  • Applications must be submitted on behalf of a partnership of two or more ELCA-related ministries, one of which must be a congregation or synod.
  • Grants are one time, lump sum grant amounts.
  • Grants will range from $5,000 to $40,000.
  • Initial applications will be received June 10 – September 1, 2015. Applicants will be notified and funds dispersed by the end of September 2015.
  • Funds will be directed through an established ELCA ministry.
  • Grant recipients are expected to establish measurable outcomes, provide two updates on their project, one six months after the start date and a final report. Recipients also agree to participate in at least one online gathering of grant recipients.

Grants will be awarded via application. The application questions are included in this form. All areas must be completed and you must be prepared to demonstrate hoped for outcomes, budget and a willingness to communicate progress toward goals. Once submitted, applications will be considered at a predetermined time by representatives of youth, young adults and churchwide staff.

  1. […] Over at the ELCA Youth Ministry Network, pastor and director Todd Buegler shared about “Innovation Grants for Youth and Young Adult Ministry.” […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: