2023-24 Grant Projects Funded by the Global Youth… | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
December 2023

2023-24 Grant Projects Funded by the Global Youth Service Fund and Grants for Ministries with Young People Programs

By Chris Wilterdink

Young People’s Ministries administers two grant programs that are outlined in The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church (in the 1,200 paragraphs if you want to geek out and look it up). The Division on Ministries with Young People (DMYP), which is a group of individuals chosen to represent their region of The United Methodist Church to the whole denomination, reviews applications and determines award amounts every year. Detailed information about how to apply to either grant program can be found at umcyoungpeople.org/grants, but here are the basics:

  • Applying for these grants is a multi-step process.
  • A brief and basic application may be submitted in January through April 15 of that same year.
  • Projects that seem to meet the grant requirements, have a clear purpose and outcomes, and a plan for how to help the project succeed are invited to complete a second, and more detailed, application due by June 15.
  • A review committee from the DMYP selects finalists for funding at a summer meeting.
  • Recipients of grant funds are notified of their award no later than September, and then they get to complete more paperwork!
  • Grant funds are sent in two halves, one in January of the year after the application was approved, and a second payment in July.

It is quite a process, but it does provide grant applicants plenty of time to identify the needs of young people in their communities and create a detailed plan to meet those needs.

Every year, we receive many applications, and not all are selected for funding. The funds available for us to award come through the “Global Youth Service Fund” (YSF), which is supported by individual donors as well as churches, events, and annual conferences that fundraise specifically to donate to this fund. An awesome part of YSF is that when an annual conference raises funds, the conference keeps most of the money for local YSF projects. A percentage is then sent by a conference treasurer to DMYP for awarding funds globally. Click here if you’re interested in donating or learning more.

Here are the projects that applied for funding through our grants programs in 2023 and will receive funding in 2024:

PHILLIPPINES: Resources for Peace with Justice.

Resource development and distribution across the Philippines to help young people create and engage with justice ministries.

USA: Cross-Racial and Cross-Cultural Appointment Support for Children of Pastors.

Pastors’ kids tend to move a lot, and they need support from the connectional church. Often, the need for support is amplified when a parent is serving a cross-racial or cross-cultural appointment.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Supporting Young People with Disabilities in Rural Areas.

With conflicts and war causing many injuries, a generation of young people finds themselves with physical limitations and an inability to support themselves economically. This project will provide economic training and opportunities for this population of young people.

GHANA: Addressing Gun Violence with Youth.

Gun violence among youth is on the rise in parts of Ghana, in part because of limited economic opportunities. This project will be organized at the grassroots level to build up communities and offer opportunities to escape patterns of violence and poverty.

NIGERIA: Education in Displaced Persons Camps.

War is displacing many people in parts of Nigeria and surrounding territories. Young people are part of populations that have been temporarily housed in camps for displaced persons. These camps do not have schools. This project will support education for displaced youth.

NIGERIA: Youth Leadership Training.

The National United Methodist Youth organization of Nigeria is organizing leadership training for young people across the country so that they can become leaders of local churches and beyond.

USA: Middle School Wyldlife.

An ecumenical after-school program is connecting middle schoolers to one another and their faith in a community where those kinds of opportunities have been rare. This project will support and grow creative and innovative connectional activities.

Chris serves as Director of Young People’s Ministries for Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church. Chris has a BA in English Education, and an MS in Project Management, and over 15 years of local-church youth ministry experience. He is passionate about leadership and faith development in young people and helping ministry leaders understand their value in the lives of young people. A Stephen Minister, Chris is a native of Colorado living in Franklin, TN with his wife Emily, 2 children, and sausage-shaped beagle.