Exemplary Youth Ministry

The Exemplary Youth Ministry Study was a national study of congregations in seven denominations funded by the Lilly Foundation and completed in 2003. This site is dedicated to share its learnings and encourage the practice of exemplary youth ministry in every church.

Listen to the authors, Rollie Martinson, Wes Black, and John Roberto, tell about the power of the EYM results.

About EYM

The Study of Exemplary Congregations in Youth Ministry (EYM) was funded by a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment and completed in 2003. The study focused on identifying congregations that consistently establish faith as a vital factor in the lives of their youth and discovering what accounts for their effective approaches to ministry.

Seven denominations were involved in the study:

  • Assemblies of God,
  • Evangelical Covenant,
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA),
  • Presbyterian Church (USA),
  • Roman Catholic,
  • Southern Baptist,
  • United Methodist Church.

The EYM Study asked:

  • Why do some Christian young people mature in faith and become devoted disciples of Jesus Christ when many don't?
  • How might congregations and their ministries factor into the faith maturity and devotion in these adolescents?
  • Do congregations with high percentages of committed Christian youth exist?
  • If so, What's going on in these congregations that might be contributing to vital faith in young people?
  • Might there be a positive relationship between the ministries of these congregations and the Christian faith of their young people?
  • Might congregations with effective ministries with devoted Christian youth have anything in common with each other? If common elements of effective ministries with youth of vital faith exist, can these common elements be transferred to other congregations?