Hatch-A-Thon FAQs:

Good ideas don't come ready made!
April 27-29


Amidst economic uncertainty, funding patterns for churches and ministries are changing. New ministries must contribute enough resources to sustain themselves—but rather than see this as a barrier to mission, we think it’s an invitation to begin thinking about ministry in new and entrepreneurial ways. Our suspicion is that the Holy Spirit is moving the Church in new, surprising, and non-traditional ways. As church leaders, it’s our job to notice where and how God is already at work in the world, and to help those with “eyes to see” create ways in which the church can join in what God is already doing.


The Hatch-a-thon is an accelerator program that helps creative people turn hare-brained ideas into sustainable ministry. It combines the innovative process of a hackathon with the nurture and intentionality of an incubator.

Hackathon: “Hack” means creative or exploratory activity. Hackathons originated in the tech field and bring a group of people together for intense collaboration over a particular project or problem.

Incubator: Good ideas don’t come ready made. They need to be intentionally nurtured, cared for, and hatched before they can spread their wings and fly.

Hackathon + Incubator = Hatch-A-Thon, a place where innovative people and ideas are nurtured towards sustainable ministry. Our suspicion is that the Holy Spirit is moving the Church in new, surprising, and non-traditional ways. The Hatch-a-thon helps creative, God-discerning people get their ideas for how to participate in God’s work in the world off the drawing board and into the field.


Participants will meet at Princeton Theological Seminary for three days (Sunday, April 27 through Tuesday, April 29) where they will work closely with Kenda Dean and Mark DeVries. Following an opening dinner on Sunday evening, participants will be grouped into teams and will spend the next 36 hours working through an intensive process of concept development, theological reflection, ministry strategy, business models, and social communication strategies. On Tuesday morning, each team will present a 2-3 minute concept video that can be posted on a crowd-funding source like Kickstarter or Indiegogo.


The Hatch-A-Thon is a pilot program of a new organization called Ministry Incubators. Ministry Incubators, Inc. was founded by Mark DeVries and Kenda Creasy Dean to help creative people turn hare-brained ideas into sustainable ministry.


The Hatch-a-thon is April 27-29 before the Princeton Forum on Youth Ministry. The opening session begins at 7pm on Sunday, April 27 and the event will conclude 12pm on Tuesday just before the start of the Forum.

Cost per participant is $150 + lodging, and includes all meals except Monday dinner and Tuesday breakfast.

(NOTE: The Hatch-a-thon is a pre-Forum event, and participation at the Princeton Forum on Youth Ministry immediately following the Hatch-a-thon is required. For information about the Forum see www.ptsem.edu/forum2014 )


Applications are welcome from anyone interested in developing fresh ideas for ministry that have a unique and/or non-traditional funding idea. You are welcome to apply whether you have a well-developed idea, are working on an idea, or want to help creative ideas become realities. You may apply as an individual or as a member of a team (2-4 people). Enrollment is limited to 20 participants. Individuals will be assigned to a team upon arrival. Team members will work together on one missional initiative for the duration of the Hatch-a-thon.


For further information contact the Institute for Youth Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary.


Good ideas don't come ready made!