Huntingdon RLI Presents Youth Ministry Seminar
Montgomery, Ala.—Huntingdon College’s Rural Leadership Initiative and the Department of Religion held a one-day seminar on “Reaching and Keeping Youth” last month for youth directors in the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. The seminar was presented by Dr. Ed. Trimmer, chair of the Department of Religion, professor of youth ministry, and dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at Huntingdon. Trimmer is a nationally recognized youth ministry expert, educator, and author. His books include “Youth Ministry Handbook,” Abingdon Press, 1994; “Youth Ministry: The Main Event and the Side Shows” (http://www.youthworkermovement.org); and “Between Everything: Teacher Helps for Transitioning Tweens,” Abingdon Press, 2004.
The event was held in Smith Recital Hall on Huntingdon’s campus and attracted more than 80 participants. The seminar provided creative ideas for building youth ministry programs and serving youth populations. The event was offered for a nominal fee in order to serve the needs of the Church community.
During the seminar, Trimmer suggested that every situation is contextual, meaning that it is dependent upon the church setting, congregation, and individuals involved. Because there is a shortage of qualified youth directors, often a church will appoint a youth director from within the congregation. Trimmer said it is important that churches identify those whose gifts are in working with youth, rather than appointing someone out of desperation. To build youth populations, Trimmer suggested forming prayer groups and hosting 4H, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, or other popular programs for youth.
The Rural Leadership Initiative is a part of the Duffey Institute for Church Leadership, established in 2003 at Huntingdon College. The Duffey Institute was created in honor of Paul A. Duffey, a long-time member of the Alabama-West Florida Conference and a former bishop in the conference. The Institute’s purpose is to “strengthen the body of Christ through the practical, educational, and spiritual development of students, pastors, and laity.” The Duffey Institute, in partnership with the Alabama-West Florida Conference, will be hosting monthly meetings of Conference youth ministers in the near future.
Huntingdon College, grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition of the United Methodist Church, is committed to nurturing growth in faith, wisdom, and service, and to graduating individuals prepared to succeed in a rapidly changing world. Founded in 1854 in Tuskegee, Alabama, Huntingdon moved to Montgomery in 1909 and now celebrates its 100th year in the capital city. A coeducational liberal arts college, the College motto is, “Enter to grow in wisdom; go forth to apply wisdom in service.”