$7-million Young Clergy Initiative Fund approved

By Vicki Brown

A $7-million young clergy initiative created by General Conference 2012 to encourage young adults in the United States to respond to God’s call to ordained ministry was approved May 4.  The funds will come from money previously budgeted for general church agencies.

The initiative was amended to ensure that all young clergy candidates be included in any initiatives that come from the fund. The provision had originally referred to increasing the number of young elders appointed to local United Methodist churches.

The Rev. Amy Lippoldt, a Kansas West delegate, said her concern was that when young adults are in seminary they are often still discerning what direction their ministry will take.

“I don’t think we should force the discernment process. People should not be forced to declare that they are going to be a local church pastor. We need to nurture young people to all kinds of ordained vocations — elder, deacons, chaplain, higher education,” said Lippoldt, who is pastor of Woodland United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kan.

The funding for this initiative is in addition to the funds that The United Methodist Church has already budgeted for discernment, recruitment, nurturing, education and support of young clergy leaders.

The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry will administer the fund. It will collaborate with other denominational boards and agencies, annual conference boards of ordained ministry, seminaries, bishops and cabinets to determine the most effective use of the Young Clergy Initiative Fund to assist young clergy leaders to reach their own generation and younger generations.


  1. Christine

    What ages do they use to define as “young” clergy ?

  2. William H.Pearsall, Sr.

    The loss of guaranteed appointments will surely make those ‘young’ people in seminary just jump at the chance to be a United Methodist pastor.

  3. Margaret Novak

    I’d be more impressed that we (the church/general conference) “added” this money to our budget if we hadn’t simply moved funds around to pay for it. It saddens me to know that the primary motive of so many of us was to save money for our own local points of ministry at the expense of what has been, since John Wesley imagined and challenged us, an amazing CONNECTION. So instead of adding the funds for developing leadership via young clergy and the African Theological Institute, we took them from other general boards and agencies–those very boards and agencies which will help all of us, including our new leadership, be in ministry to the poor, developing new points of ministry, and improving global health.

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