Engaging Young Adults Initiative

Engaging Young Adults Initiative

PrayingHelping you connect with young adults
The Indianapolis Engaging Young Adults (EYA) Initiative is a special learning community opportunity for select congregations to learn about deepening relationships with young adults in their 20s and early 30s both within and beyond their faith communities. The EYA Initiative includes a learning phase, a piloting phase, and a grant project phase. 

The Center for Congregations will lead participating congregational teams through these three phases. Participating congregations will:

  • practice ways of engaging young adults in empathetic conversation for the purpose of understanding their lives and building relationships.
  • share and interpret young adult experiences, needs, and perspectives across the wider congregation.
  • connect the congregation’s deepest faith commitments with young adult experience and need.
  • follow the lead of young adults in piloting ministry projects.
  • develop ministries that enhance and enrich young adults’ religious lives.

Each congregational team will join a learning cohort with other congregations in the initiative.

In the grant phase of the initiative, participating congregations will be considered for matching grants of up to $30,000 to fund developing ministries with young adults. For purposes of this initiative, young adults are ages 20-34. Ministries with teens or with and for the children of young adult parents are not included.

Who may apply
Congregations in metro Indianapolis (Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Morgan, and Shelby counties) are eligible to apply for this initiative. Congregations in other Indiana counties were previously offered a similar EYA opportunity. Congregations with outstanding Center grant reports are not eligible. Outstanding grant reports should be resolved before application.

Applications can only be accepted from individual congregations. Schools, campus ministry groups, faith-based non-profits, judicatories or groups of congregations are not eligible to apply.

How to apply

  1. Familiarize yourself with the initiative by reviewing this EYA information page.
  2. Download the application and review the questions.
  3. Watch this video Information Session.


  4. Read and discuss this Engaging Young Adults article.
  5. Gather a group of interested persons in your congregation to discuss the questions before designating someone to write the application. This is an important step.
  6. Contact the Center for Congregations if you have questions about the program or the application process.
  7. Return the completed, signed application to:
    EYA Initiative
    Center for Congregations
    303 N Alabama St, Suite 100
    Indianapolis IN 46204
    or eya@centerforcongregations.org
  8. All applications must be scanned and emailed or postmarked no later than May 1, 2019.

The application
You can download the application and instructions here. For additional information, please contact EYA Coordinator Wendy McCormick at wmccormick@centerforcongregations.org or 812.618.2012, x 1308.

EYA Initiative timetable

February 1, 2019            Program materials and application available

February 5, 2019            EYA Initiative Information Session, 5-7 p.m.

February 6, 2019            EYA Initiative Information Session, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

May 1, 2019                   Program application deadline

June 1, 2019                  Congregations notified of program acceptance

Summer 2019                Participating congregations complete first assignment

August 28, 2019            Learning Community day 1, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Fall 2019                        Participating congregations complete next assignment

November 20, 2019       Learning Community day 2, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Winter 2020                   Participating congregations complete next assignment

April 23, 2020                Learning Community Day 3, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Summer 2020                Participating congregations develop grant projects

September 15, 2020      Grant application first draft deadline

October 31, 2020           Grant application deadline

December 1, 2020         Project implementation begins

*November 3, 2021        Closing event, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

November 30, 2021       Projects completed, final reports due            

*not confirmed

Engaging Young Adults education
Educational opportunities to assist congregations in engaging young adults are available to all congregations in Indiana. There are a number of excellent resources at the Congregational Resource Guide (CRG). Search young adults and millennials.