Hundreds of Prospective Young Clergy Attend 'Exploration'


Members of the Georgia State University Wesley Foundation at Exploration 2015 in Orlando.

Choosing a career path is a difficult decision. For young adults considering ordained ministry, that decision can be even more stressful. Individuals pursuing more traditional vocations, have ample access to occupational education and job fairs, however, the same can’t always be said for those considering ordained ministry. Enter Exploration.

Exploration is a biennial, three-day event for young adults ages 18 to 26. 

“Exploration is for those who think God may be calling them to ordained or licensed ministry, and wondering what that type of ministry looks like in the United Methodist Church,” says the Rev. Trip Lowery, director of young adult ministry discernment and enlistment at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

Hundreds of young people attended the November 6-8 event in Orlando, Florida, including some from North Georgia. At the event, they had the opportunity to learn more about United Methodist seminaries and theological schools, and explore their gifts for service as potential deacons or elders in The United Methodist Church.

“This is an opportunity to discern with others who are in similar seasons of life, with similar questions, and learn from the experiences of leaders who have already answered that call,” adds Rev. Lowery. “Exploration is about helping you make an informed and prayerful decision about pursuing — or not pursuing — a path in ordained or licensed ministry.”

Attendees heard from several renowned speakers who have explored and followed their calling to ministry including Rev. Bridgette Young Ross, dean of the chapel and spiritual life at Emory University in Atlanta. Rev. Ross is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program at Candler School of Theology. Prior to answering her call to ordained ministry, she spent 10 years in corporate America in sales, marketing and human resources management.

Exploration creates a sacred space for young adults to participate in meaningful fellowship, passionate worship, theological reflection and practical workshops as they discern whether God’s call in their life is to ordained ministry for The United Methodist Church, and what faithful steps they can take in response.

For more information, visit Follow Exploration on Twitter at @explorecalling.