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ELCA Growing Young: Train the Trainer Virtual Gathering

August 10, 2020 - August 11, 2020

The ELCA Faith Formation Team and The Fuller Youth Institute invite you to the 2020 ELCA Growing Young Train the Trainer Virtual Gathering.

August 10-11, 2020

11:00 am-5:30 pm Central Time

Registration is now open and closes on August 1, 2020. Register Now. You will receive an immediate confirmation if you submit the form correctly.

Learn More:

What We Know

We share a love and calling for the church and young people

We desire deeper connections and networking with other leaders in synods and other leaders in our church and a hope for collaboration

We know that young adults who were active in their church in high school are dropping out of church. We know our congregations are asking, where are the young people?

We know that past research from the Exemplary Youth Ministry Study and similar studies shows that some congregations are not shrinking, they are retaining and involving their young people (ages 15-29) which brings overall vitality to the congregations.

We hope this Gathering will train leaders to work within the Synodical structures and our congregations to increase the number of youth and young adults involved in the life and leadership of the church

We pray that because of this leadership training we will create pathways for increased leadership roles for younger people in our church

In September 2019, over 40 leaders who serve as SYMBOL leaders, other synod leaders and churchwide staff were trained in NJ. Since then, some of the SYMBOL leaders created a synodical plan, trained other leaders, worked with congregations, and are seeing substantial change and growth.

In January, 2020 Over 80 youth directors attended either a Growing Young Intensive Course or a workshop at the ELCA Network for children, youth, and family Extravaganza in Anaheim, CA.

In the spring of 2020, over 30 people participated in a 4 week online Growing Young book study.

Who is Invited?

We are inviting synodical leadership to this training, whether it be SYMBOL, DEM’s and others who are willing to be trained to implement the strategies in the congregations and ministries they serve.  We are inviting the Domestic Mission Staff and other churchwide staff who are interested in receiving this training for their context or ministry. Feel free to invite others to join with especially those who will benefit from the training and will help you implement a synodical or ministry strategy.

We believe this synergy of leaders; congregationally, synodically and churchwide, will create a stimulating and innovative learning environment for training, discussion, and brainstorming.


Thanks to a grant from the ELCA Always Being Made New Campaign, we can offer this leadership training at no cost for all who attend.  Mark the box on the registration form if you do not have the book and we will send one to you. We ask that you read it before our training.


Trainer and Speaker: Jake Mulder, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Fuller Youth Institute and Co-Author of Growing Young

We will meet online via Zoom. A zoom link will be sent out closer to the online gathering along with a training guide and detailed schedule.  (You will have a couple of breaks during each day to check your emails and answer calls including lunch.)

Both Training Days we will begin at 11:00 am central and conclude at 5:30 central.  On Tuesday, you will spend time in a regional/synod group creating an implementation plan.

For Questions Contact Rachel Alley, ELCA Program Director for Youth Ministries


Please read Growing Young, 6 essential strategies to help young people discover and love your church written by Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin. You can find the book at Amazon as well as the Fuller Growing Young website. If you indicate you need a book on your registration form, we will send one out to you.

Additional Growing Young Resources for leaders, pastors, and congregations can be found at


August 10, 2020
August 11, 2020