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Explore New Ways to Reach Young Adults: Be A Thompson Scholar

by Lifelong Learning Staff

Co-Leader Sharla Berry

How can our congregations reach and disciple young adults, in an age when so many young adults see the church as unhelpful or non-essential? That’s the challenge participants in Columbia Theological Seminary’s 2012 Thompson Scholars program will explore, May 1-4 on the CTS campus.

“For many of our churches, reaching and retaining young adults is a challenge,” says Ralph Watkins, CTS associate professor of evangelism and church growth.  “For other congregations, integrating young adults into the full life of the church presents a different set of challenges.  

“This year’s Thompson Scholars will focus on both attracting and integrating young adults into the life of the church.

“For this 15-person seminar, we hope to receive applications from senior pastors, pastors of young adult ministries, leaders in churches with an absence of young adults, and those who want to make their young adult ministries more vibrant.”

Participants will discuss – with each other and with young adults themselves – the major issues around young adult ministry (young adults being those from age 18 to 35). Among the questions to be addressed:

- Why is it important to bring young adults into the life of our congregations?

- How do we disciple young adults in the midst of the media and digital age?

- What are ways to use the virtual world to breathe life into young adults’ real world?

- What do we need to understand about being a young adult – especially in today’s culture?

- What aspects of the gospel of Jesus Christ can captivate young adults?

- How do we provide space for young adults to ask their tough questions and grow in their faith?

- What is foundational to birthing and developing a thriving young adult ministry

- How do we bridge the gap between our more mature adult members and young adults?

Together we will strategize how we might birth, develop, and grow young adult ministries in our congregations.

This seminar begins after lunch on Tuesday and concludes after lunch on Friday.

The $175 program cost covers the course fee, three night’s lodging (double-occupancy), and meals. The program cost with a single-occupancy room (limited availability) is $230.

Apply soon; enrollment is limited. Applications will be evaluated as they arrive. Qualified applicants will be accepted until the maximum enrollment of 15 people is reached. For an application form, click here.