2023-24 Grants Cycle Open | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
February 2023

2023-24 Grants Cycle Open

By Chris Wilterdink

We are happy to announce that grant applications are now being received for the “Global Youth Service Fund” and the “Grants for Ministries with Young People” programs. Applications will be open until April 15, 2023. The grant programs invite innovative submissions for ministries with young people.

The application should take between 15-30 minutes to submit and is a very basic “who, what, when, where, why, and how” application that also asks for a basic budget showing expected income and expenses. If our review team thinks your application meets the grant requirements and has a good chance of getting funded by the final review team, you will be invited to submit a second, more detailed application that would be due by May 15.

Click here for more details about each grant program and grant requirements.

We are excited to see your innovative ideas for ministry with young people! For an idea of the variety of projects awarded grant funding in the past, here are the projects that were selected for funding in 2022 and are being funded in 2023:

Philippines “NEPAC UMYFP: Young Leader Training in Crash Courses”

The leadership from NEPAC UMYFP (The NorthEast Philippines Annual Conference’s United Methodist Youth Fellowship in the Philippines) will create a project to train leaders of youth and young-adult ministries in their conference using a cohort model and the Crash Courses on Youth Ministry materials published by Discipleship Ministries. Discipleship Ministries staff will make themselves available for cohort access; the Crash Courses are available electronically for free, so the project does not have to deal with printing costs.

Malawi “Youth Training Across 20 Districts”

The leadership of the Malawi Annual Conference seeks to build up the discipleship training, leadership development, and networking of youth from across their episcopal area. Churches and young church leaders who have never met will develop skills and networks to strengthen the church and their potential to develop new generations of committed members.

Nepal “Peace-Building and Justice Work with Youth”

Nepal is a nation with a minority Christian population. This project seeks to develop peace-building skills and build inter-religious networks to positively effect social justice capabilities with young people from many faiths.

Missouri, USA “Multigenerational VBS and Social Justice”

This project, housed at a United Methodist church, aims to create a new multigenerational model for vacation Bible school, including the creation of resources to be made available for sharing after the project’s completion. The VBS will focus on local justice issues.

USA “UMCLEAD Cohort Year 2”

UMCLEAD exists to be engaged in conversation around leadership, theology, worship, mission, and innovation within The United Methodist Church and is developing their next generation of young leaders, and this would be the second year that we help to fund the intentional training of that upcoming group. The UMCLEAD conference traditionally takes places in January, with this leadership development cohort meeting multiple times throughout the year to broaden the impact of the event and develop new entrepreneurial leaders.

Cameroon “Young Women’s Leadership Development”

The National leadership for young people in Cameroon seeks to develop the leadership skills of 150 women across the United Methodist Church in Cameroon. This can help provide women with inroads to church leadership and engage their local faith communities more actively. The training will include discipleship, leadership, and evangelism.

USA, Virginia “Struggle Bus: A Mental Health Initiative”

Based on a college campus, this project will create an innovative space to address mental health in the student population. Our funding would combine with other sources to create a mobile mental health center, increasing the availability of services and creating more awareness about mental health needs.

USA, North Texas “Micro-Grant Development”

A campus ministry with a diverse student body seeks to create a micro-grant program to serve underprivileged students and communities. Our funding would combine with other funds to establish micro-grants to connect new people to the campus ministry and invite student leaders to innovate and connect with their diverse community in new and different ways.

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.