Registration open for Youth Theological Institute at Pfeiffer


Misenheimer, N.C.—Registration is open for Pfeiffer University’s two-week Youth Theological Institute (YeTI) for summer 2017 for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors interested in exploring new ways to become effective servant leaders in their communities and throughout the world. YeTI takes place June 18-July 1, with residence the first week on Pfeiffer’s Misenheimer, N.C., campus, followed the second week by service learning opportunities in Asheville, Charlotte or Washington D.C. Over the course of two weeks, up to 36 students will put faith into action through hands-on learning and imaginative community service, prayer, worship and fellowship. The experience is designed to energize students for becoming better equipped to lead mission and ministry in their communities and congregations. “The Youth Theological Institute is for high school students interested in learning more about themselves in relation to God and God’s call on their lives—as they consider the definition of church and ministry in today’s world,” said Reverend Sherri Barnes, YeTI director. “With an opportunity to hear the stories of people they serve, learn reasons behind the issues they face and partner with groups doing good work, participants will explore nontraditional ministry approaches for solving real challenges. In doing so, they may have a broader understanding of ministry and decide to pursue vocations or other opportunities that make a difference in the lives of individuals and communities.” During the first week, which takes place on Pfeiffer’s Misenheimer, N.C., campus, students will engage with local partner organizations that are serving the community in creative and effective ways. These include Pfeiffer’s Center for Outdoor Leadership and its Hunger Relief Garden, Mt. Shepherd Retreat Center, Monarch NC, GHA Autism Supports and more. For the second week, each YeTI participant will travel to one of three locations for a weeklong service experience where they will apply principles learned during their Pfeiffer residence. Students will choose among participating in active sports ministries in Charlotte, N.C., with the Panthers, Hornets, Knights and NASCAR and their community partners; engaging with a congregation in Asheville, N.C., that is in the process of redefining its mission and reimagining its relationship with and services to the community; or examining issues of social justice in Washington, D.C., through the lens of homelessness and perspective of political asylum. YeTI is funded by a grant to Pfeiffer University from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., as part of its High School Youth Theology Institutes initiative, which seeks to encourage young people to explore theological traditions, ask questions about the moral dimensions of contemporary issues and examine how their faith calls them to lives of service. Pfeiffer is one of 82 schools from 29 states and the District of Columbia, and one of five in North Carolina, participating in the initiative. Although some schools are independent, many reflect the religious heritage of their founding traditions. These include Baptist, Brethren, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian and Reformed, and Roman Catholic churches as well as non-denominational and historic African-American Christian communities. Support from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., offsets the cost of the YeTI experience, making participation possible for a cost of $300 per person. For more information and to apply online, visit, or contact Rev. Sherri Barnes,, (704) 463-3073. Established in 1885, Pfeiffer University is a globally engaged, regional university distinctive for its transformational undergraduate experiences and leadership in professional and graduate programs that fill demonstrated needs on its campuses in Charlotte, Misenheimer and Raleigh, and online. Vested in its history as a United Methodist-related university and propelled by an innovative faculty and staff, Pfeiffer prepares its students for a lifetime of achievement, scholarship, spirituality and service. Visit Pfeiffer at or Pfeiffer University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate and master’s degrees.  

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at


  • Resources
Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.