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January 1, 2020

Looking for ways to grow in faith and leadership? Apply for Asbury University’s Youth Becoming Leaders: High School Christian Leadership and Global Transformation Institute (YBL) today.

YBL equips high school students for theologically guided living and decision-making through immersion in Christian scripture, theological texts, tradition and community, inspiring them to lead and serve in a complex global society. High school students can apply today for the 2020 program which will run from June 8 to June 19 on Asbury’s campus. View a complete schedule of YBL events here.

Steven Thompson ’22 is a current Bible/Theology major and Business minor at Asbury. As a high school student, Thompson traveled to Wilmore, Ky. to participate in YBL, a program that, in no small way, changed the course of his life.

For Thompson, YBL not only introduced him to lifelong friends and his current college roommate but also showed him that he can love like Jesus no matter what stage of life he’s in.

“I can make a difference in my community and anybody can wherever they’re at, no matter their age,” Thompson said. “I had a skewed understanding that for me to minister, I had to graduate from seminary and get a degree. But, YBL really taught and empowered me to disciple where I’m at and to use the gifts God’s given me in my community, whether that be here at Asbury or back home.”

During their time at YBL, accepted students will be immersed in a Christian community for worship, learning and experiencing God. They’ll receive theological instruction from renowned University and Asbury Theological Seminary faculty. Students can also expect:

  • Experiential training in spiritual disciplines
  • Training in researching and engaging significant global issues and discerning culture
  • Observation and training with local ministry leaders
  • Training for community action together with a mentor from your home community*
  • Developing a ministry project to start in your home community
  • A life-changing experience

Students will participate in a series of academic sessions, worship, prayer times and fun activities throughout the week. They’ll also take a Sabbath trip to Mt. St. Francis Monastery. A showcase presentation will be held at the end of the week to highlight what students have learned.

Like Thompson, Madison Lewis ’21 also ended up at Asbury by way of YBL. The art major participated in YBL during her junior year of high school as a new Christian and got baptized during the program.

“It felt like the best of both worlds between summer camp and college,” Lewis said. “It was a really nice way to get me acclimated to Asbury in seeing what courses and professors would be like. The classes were really intense but made me realize that studying theology doesn’t have to be this massive burden. It can actually be really insightful and fun to talk about.”

One of Lewis’ most vivid memories from YBL is the day they took a trip to the Mt. St. Francis Monastery.

“At the end of the day we were sitting at the docks on the lake and the sun was setting,” Lewis said. “We were just laughing and talking about God and life; and I thought, ‘This is what true relationship with people and God looks like.’ I wouldn’t trade that day for anything.”

Tuition for YBL is set at the low cost of $500, though the true cost sits around $4,000. This low rate is made possible thanks to generous gifts and grants from the Carson-Myer Foundation, Lilly Endowment, Asbury Theological Seminary, Asbury University and individual donors.

Students who enroll at Asbury will receive three academic elective credits to be applied toward the Traditional Undergraduate Foundations degree.

Requirements for admission to YBL include a minimum GPA of 3.3, demonstration of leadership in the local community, reference letters and scripture memorization. Student who do not meet the GPA requirements but who demonstrate leadership abilities with strong references will still be considered for admission.

Both Thompson and Lewis encourage high schoolers who are considering applying for YBL to go for it.

“It’s an experience unlike any other,” Thompson said. “I still have relationships that I made during YBL. Those were probably the most foundational days in my young adult life because of everything that I learned and the ways it challenged me.”

Learn more about Youth Becoming Leaders at Asbury University.