Ministry Exploration and Mentoring Projects for Young Adults

Applications Open

Exploring Your Next Most Faithful Step

FTE provides support to young leaders interested in exploring ministry as a vocation and connects them with congregations within communities they want to serve. Young adults are given the chance to expand their view of what they might do through the church, learn more about innovative ecclesial models of ministry, and create a meaningful mentoring relationship.


Recipients will receive a $1,000 grant to develop a Ministry Exploration and Mentoring Project. Eligible applicants must be residents of the US or Canada and have participated in either an FTE discernment retreat, online course for young adults, or the Christian Leadership Forum. Applicants must identify a sponsoring organization to assist them and hold them accountable. It is encouraged that applicants submit their proposals by the first deadline after their FTE event participation.

Application Period: September 28-October 26

This experience gave me a vision of ministry that I would actually want to be a part of: justice-focused, brave, loving. Past Recipient

The Ministry Exploration and Mentoring Project is available to young leaders (ages 18-35) who have participated in an FTE discernment retreat, the annual Christian Leadership Forum: Young Adult Cohort, or an FTE online course. Eligible applicants must live in the US or Canada. You may receive this award only once.

Young people exploring their call need opportunities to learn how church leaders and faith communities are participating in God’s work in the world. These funds provide opportunities for young adults to:

- Create a project to explore ministry as a vocation,

- Expand their view of what they might do through the church,

- Learn more about traditional and innovative ecclesial models of ministry,

- Connect with congregations within communities the applicant wants to serve, and

- Create a meaningful mentoring relationship with a pastoral leader.

Applicants must be a US citizen, Canadian citizen or permanent resident of either country. 

Yes! Applicants can collaborate with other discernment retreat and Christian Leadership Forum participants on a proposal idea.

A complete application includes:

  • An identified and contact mentor/sponsoring organization that will assist in the applicant’s exploration of ministry.
  • A grant application form that answers the provided questions and explains the applicant’s idea for a ministry exploration and mentoring project and how the $1,000 will support the implementation of the project. (The project must be carried out and completed within 13 months of application.)
  • Budget items related to the ministry exploration and mentoring project. (Limited to travel expenses, books, materials, registration fees and other 4 related expenses. Funds may not be used to purchase equipment or used for philanthropic purposes.)
  • A photograph of the applicant (no selfie).
  • Additional documentation, photos or videos that will assist FTE’s selection committee in evaluating the merits of your proposal (optional).

Please Note: If awarded, changes to the project budget and proposal plan can be made but only with the approval of FTE. Don't hesitate to reach out to and revise a plan if COVID or anything else disrupts the initial proposal. FTE is here as a partner to help you discern how this project best assists your ministry exploration even during difficult times. 

Although there may be more, we’ve found the following four types of projects to be successful. Decide which of the following types is most applicable to you, and then recruit a conversation partner (peer, pastor, FTE retreat leader, etc.). We highly encourage you to reach out to FTE staff to discuss your idea before completing your application.

The Pilgrimage: I want to visit several pastoral leaders and/or communities doing the type of ministry I am interested in. Both virtual and in-person visits are possibilities. Please use discretion deciding which to do based on the current pandemic landscape Example:

  • I will visit 3-4 faith communities working with food justice.
  • I will purchase two books related to ministry and food justice.
  • I’ll email my pastoral mentor and schedule a series of virtual video conversations over a meal (ex. E-gift cards for Doordash or /Grubhub).
  • The mentor will help me process the experience and name the next steps for preparation/discernment, etc.

The Mini-Internship: I want to explore ministry alongside one pastoral leader and/or community doing the kind of ministry that interests me. Both virtual and in-person visits are possibilities. Please use discretion deciding which to do based on the current pandemic landscape. Example:

  • I want to spend a few weeks working with my/a congregation learning about leading worship and small groups online. 
  • I’ll email my pastoral mentor and schedule a series of virtual conversations over a meal (ex. E-gift cards for Doordash or /Grubhub).
  • My mentor will help me integrate my learnings from this virtual internship and discern next steps in designing my version of this ministry.

Connecting with a ministry network focused on a specific aspect of ministry I’m interested in learning more about. I need more time around other young adults who are exploring this aspect of ministry and engaging in practices of discernment. I want to go to a network gathering or training that helps people network and learn about a particular aspect of ministry. Please use discretion deciding which to do based on the current pandemic landscape. Example:

  • I want to participate in the Biblical Storytelling Festival (Other examples include: Proctor Institute, Young Preachers Festival, Why Christian Conference, etc.).
  • The project funds will pay for my registration, meals while attending the gathering, meals with a mentor, etc. (ex. E-gift cards for Doordash or /Grubhub)
  • Rev. Y will serve as my mentor and will help me think about how this event informs my next steps of preparation for leadership within the church, etc.
  • I will engage in the exploration of one key topic of ministry after the enrichment event and will continue working with my mentoring relationship during my discernment.

Learning more about a topic: (and sharing it with others) I want to explore a cause (e.g., food justice, the environment, anti-racism training) or some specific intervention congregations could use (e.g., art therapy, hip hop aesthetic) and consider how I would engage a faith community in it. Please use discretion deciding which to do based on the current pandemic landscape. Example:

  • I want to participate in an anti-racism training so I can awaken other Christians to their call to do anti-racism work.
  • The project funds will cover the cost of registration for the training that I attend and meals with my mentor to process the experience (ex. E-gift cards for Doordash or Grubhub).
  • My mentor will help me reflect on my learnings from the training. How did the training inform my ongoing call? Am I called to invite Christians into deeper engagement with this; if so, what further preparation or training do I need?

Applicants may apply to do a one-year Ministry Exploration and Mentoring Project of $1,000 per person. Awarded proposals must begin within 3 months of receiving the award.

Each recipient is required to complete the following within one month of completing their Ministry Exploration and Mentoring Project:

  • Submit a brief report form questionnaire summarizing their experience.
  • A budget/expense detailing how funds were spent.

Recipients will receive a notification within 40 days of the application deadline. 

Please contact Heather B.P. Wallace or send a message to us on our contact page.


Three Arrows