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Michigan young adults hatch new ideas

Young adults in Ministry Incubator

“I look forward to launching a new cohort of imagineers who have ideas ready to be hatched,” says Lisa Batten. Ministry Incubators and Wesley Theological Seminary are Michigan Conference partners.

Coordinator of Young Adult Initiatives, Michigan Conference

The Young Adult Ministries of The Michigan Conference are learning labs for experimentation of new ways of engaging the world outside of the traditional church setting. Whether starting ministries on campus (U of M Wesley is the oldest in the nation) or responding to the Bishop’s initiative on addressing children living in poverty by launching the Mission Intern Program in 1999, or starting a local church-based intern program in 2013 with EncounterMICall, young adult ministries test new initiatives for how the church can adapt to meet the needs of the current culture.

Today, our legacy of experimentation continues! In addition to ongoing campus ministry, Mission Interns, EncounterMICall, Ministry Exploration, and Global Mission Fellows programs, the Michigan Conference has partnered with Ministry Incubators to form a cohort of 11 young adults who bring ideas for missional ministry.

Ministry Incubators describe themselves:

We’re an incubator program and consulting group for early-stage impact entrepreneurs. We invest our time and experience in individuals, organizations, and faith communities who want to turn hare-brained ministry ideas into sustainable impact enterprises with a theological mission.

In addition to peer learning, coaching, and consulting for young adults, Ministry Incubators is building the Michigan conference staff’s capacity so that we can continue to create new cohorts of incubators who will hatch new ideas. Incubation reconnects us to the ancient practice of intergenerational apprenticeship. Biblical stories of Ruth and Naomi and Elizabeth and Mary guide the process where young adults find a sense of belonging, growth, and sacredness.

As the coordinator for Young Adult Initiatives, I look forward to launching a new cohort of imagineers who have ideas ready to be hatched. I also look forward to working with Sonya Luna, Coordinator of Hispanic and Latino Ministries, in hosting a Latinx specific cohort.

The fruit of the Michigan Conference in young adult ministries has not gone unnoticed by the larger church. In 2019 Wesley Theological Seminary heard of the intentional leadership and focus on missional ministry in the Michigan Conference young adult ministries and proposed a partnership which includes:

  • Work with Michigan Conference Young Adult Ministries to provide support, training, and materials to interns, campus ministers, and local church young adult coordinators for their leadership development.
  • Wesley Seminary will provide early admissions decisions for Michigan Conference Young Adult Ministries internship alumni. 
  • Wesley Seminary will provide merit-based scholarships of $8,000/year or greater for Michigan Conference Young Adult Ministries internship alumni who apply by the financial aid deadline (Feb. 1 for fall entry; Nov. 1 for spring entry), have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or higher and a MYAM staff recommendation, and meet all admissions criteria.
  • Wesley Seminary provides merit-based scholarships of at least $6000/year or greater for young adults who have been engaged in any Michigan Conference Young Adult Ministries or initiative (including campus ministries, retreats, and leadership positions) who apply by the financial aid deadline.
  • Wesley Seminary will provide early consideration of Michigan Conference Young Adult Ministries alumni for Community Engagement Fellows positions, including an additional stipend of $15,000 and intra-curricular innovative ministry opportunities.

I celebrate the legacy of young adult ministries in the Michigan Area and the ongoing learning labs around the Michigan Conference. 

The Michigan Conference