High School youth are invited to register for Chapman University’s Youth Leadership Symposium, which will prepare them to be leaders in their local congregation. This six-month long program is a new initiative designed to develop skills, provide a deeper understanding of congregational polity, and empower young leaders to make a difference in and through the church. This is not a leadership team, but rather a shared experience where youth will each design and lead their own personal project in their own home church.
The Youth Leadership Symposium will open in January, providing videos and recommended reading for participants. Three primary meetings will take place on February 4, April 29, and June 3, 2023. Participants may attend in person at the Fish Interfaith Center at Chapman University, or one of the many “Pod” locations where participants can zoom into the symposium as a group. Locations of pods can be found at Youth Leadership Symposium.
This is a free event, open to one high school age youth and one adult from every congregation in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ. If congregations wish, they can request a space for a second youth. Those youth who complete the symposium will be considered eligible for youth leadership scholarships at Chapman University, Texas Christian University and other church related institutions. Those completing the program will be provided more information on scholarship options and opportunities.
Part of the symposium’s training will involve interviewing local Church leaders, designing a project for a local congregation, and adapting that plan based on new information or research. The hope is to provide youth with a true practicum that will help them serve the church and become leaders in the world. Evaluating needs, project selection, building relationships across generations, and adaptive change are just a few of the topics that will help youth lead in and beyond the church.