North Georgia UMs Among Young Clergy Initiative Grants Recipients


The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) as part of their strategy to enable and resource leadership within the church has selected three North Georgia United Methodists as 2017 Young Clergy Initiative (YCI) grant recipients.

This year, applications were received from every United Methodist jurisdictional conference, and of those applications, 34 grants were awarded. Award amounts vary based on project scope, and some grants are awarded funds over the period of several years for ongoing projects.

Recipients in the North Georgia Conference are: 

  • Called to Something Greater, Ashley Jenkins
  • Clark Atlanta University Young Clergy Development Internship, Anna Elaine Crawford
  • Strengthening the Black Church for the Twenty-First Century-National Network of Young Adults, Nathalie Nelson Parker
Each of the three grants will encourage young people who feel a call to ministry in our Conference.
The first of the three is a grant received jointly by the North and South Georgia Conferences for a state-wide ministry exploration event and a ministry internship effort, "Called to Something Greater." The ministry internship program is modeled on a successful South Georgia Conference initiative that will now be available for both Georgia Conferences.

"This collaboration is an example of how we can make the most of our connection," said Jenkins. "We were able to look at an established student internship program and work together to expand it, especially knowing that we have students from North Georgia attending universities in South Georgia, and students from South Georgia at North Georgia schools."

The internship lasts the length of the school-year and includes a stipend. A student has been selected for a ministry internship in Athens for the 17-18 school year. Applications for next year's ministry internship will be available early spring of 2018.

Additionally, a state-wide ministry exploration event for young adults discerning a call to ministry will be held at Epworth By The Sea. 

The Clark Atlanta University Young Clergy Development Internship nurtures students to function in leadership capacities while exploring their spirituality, call to ministry, or vocational discernment. "Four students will be selected to serve as interns for two years," said Dr. Elaine Crawford of CAU. "This peer learning and discipleship program mentors college students to focus on God's direction and purpose for their lives."

The interns will been given the opportunity to explore their vocational calling in various settings such as churches, service organizations, seminary campuses, and in the community. They will attend a United Methodist conference, a leadership retreat and receive a small stipend. The YCI grant will fund the program for 2 years.

The grant for Strengthening the Black Church - National Network of Young Adults will be used for a "Leading in Transformation" conference for young adult undergraduates, grad students, seminary students, and young clergy. The national event will be held at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta. The event will empower young adults who are called to ministry with tracks for their particular interest, but will include a serve project component include work in a local school, a community mapping exercise led by Global Ministries, and a suicide awareness communications effort on a university campus. 

LIT will be held Thursday, Sept. 21. Young adults can register at

YCI grants encourage opportunities that leverage denominational change on systemic and cultural levels through various conversations, events, experiments, resources, research, and training. YCI invites grant requests that assist young people to listen for, discern, and respond to God’s call to ordained ministry. The grants are awarded to programs geared toward increasing the number of young clergy in The United Methodist Church.

To read more about the grants and see all of this year's grant recipients, visit