PRINCETON, N.J. – Intergenerational teams at 12 churches across the United States have been selected to participate in the Log College Project, a process of innovating new forms of youth ministry in partnership with young people.
“We’re not looking for one new form of youth ministry,” says Rev. Abigail Visco Rusert, director of the Princeton Seminary Institute for Youth Ministry. “We are designing a process that churches can use to create a youth ministry that fits their context. Our goal is to let them lead – we don’t want to get in their way.”
Created by Princeton Theological Seminary’s Institute for Youth Ministry, the Log College Project – named after the first Presbyterian training school founded in colonial America – provides a $15,000 grant to each church and will partner with and support the churches in developing programming and strategy alongside youth in their communities. Three Princeton Seminary research fellows will observe and follow the Log College grant recipients, compiling their findings and collecting ideas and programs put in place by the church teams, discovering and documenting successful innovative youth ministry programs that can be shared with churches across the country. The ethnographic research by the fellows is part of the Seminary’s Practical Theology PhD program and will be integrated into the lead researcher’s dissertation.
The 12 Christian congregations in North America are from diverse theological, geographical, and social contexts across nine states and from seven different church denominations including Lutheran, Baptist, Episcopal, and Presbyterian, amongst others. Each congregation has identified a team of influential adult and youth leaders who will help to create a new form of youth ministry using a process of design-thinking while grounding their work theologically and innovating alongside young people who are within their church communities. In summer 2019, they will participate in a “design lab” where Princeton Seminary faculty, recognized leaders in business and youth ministry, and the IYM staff will work with the church teams.
The congregations that make up the 2018/2019 Log College Project’s Community of Practice are:
- Abiding Presence Lutheran Church – Washington, D.C.
- Berean Baptist Church – Brooklyn, New York
- Calvary Episcopal Church – Rochester, Minnesota
- Coppin Memorial AME Church – Chicago, Illinois
- Esperanza Viva Iglesia Cristiana – Norwalk, California
- Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church – New York, New York
- First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
- First Presbyterian Church, Middletown – Middletown, Ohio
- Healdsburg Community Church – Healdsburg, California
- NextGen Church – West Windsor, New Jersey
- The Table at Central United Methodist Church – Sacramento, California
- Tualatin Presbyterian Church – Tualatin, Oregon
The Log College Project is funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc., built by the Institute for Youth Ministry, and is housed at Princeton Theological Seminary.