YFC president: ‘Christ is glorified through Kingdom partnerships, and collectively we get to invest in the next generation’
August 29, 2022
Denver— As the fall semester kicks off at universities across the country, one school is launching a unique program with a Kingdom focus in mind. Youth For Christ (YFC, www.yfc.net), a leader in the missional ministry community in America for 77 years, is partnering with Bethel University in Indiana to offer an online program for select students designed to prepare them for future ministry. Young people who join YFC’s staff or volunteer ranks will be able to enroll in the program to earn a fully accredited associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
Through this partnership, interns, staff and volunteers serving with Youth For Christ will be able to earn a college degree while continuing to stay involved with YFC’s various ministries and outreaches. In fact, by continuing to work with YFC, the student can apply their experience with the organization as college credit in the program. For YFC, this allows younger leaders to stay connected with mentors, engaging the next generation and pursuing higher education at the same time. The Fall 2022 semester has 26 students enrolled in the program.
YFC President and CEO Jacob Bland stated, “We started thinking about the unique role we could play nationally to help broker partnerships that enhance YFC’s mission locally, as well as advance Christ’s great commission beyond YFC. Furthermore, we began to look at each objective in our strategic plan and ask if there’s a right collaborative partnership out there that could help catapult the mission to new heights, new growth, and honor God. What’s clear to me is that God is pushing YFC to dream bigger and ask, ‘How can we find shared wins and better position YFC as generous partners in the Kingdom?’”
Time spent in thought and prayer led to YFC’s new partnership with Bethel University, a widely respected private university with Christian roots that offers over 50 areas of study in undergraduate and graduate degree programs. This innovative collaboration will provide opportunities for YFC’s young leaders to achieve a college degree at a discounted rate, opening doors for some students who previously could not afford the luxury of higher education.
Bethel University’s President Barbara K. Bellefeuille, Ed.D., stated, “Bethel University has had a rich connection to Youth For Christ for many years. YFC’s decision to provide their already superbly trained staff with the opportunity to continue their work while earning a college degree from Bethel University — well that’s just brilliant! Bethel University gains motivated, missional students who will continue to transform every community group they touch for Christ. We couldn’t be happier to further our support of Youth For Christ, and we look forward to how God will use this path to raise up many future YFC staff members.”
For the 26 students enrolled in the program already (many of which are spread across the country), YFC and Bethel University are working to build community and camaraderie. The areas of study vary widely from Academics, Behavioral Science, Biblical Studies, Business, Christian Counseling, Ministry & Leadership, Organizational Leadership, Communications, Education, Worship Arts and Youth Ministry. All the chosen majors will help further the ministry of YFC.
“I pray that this partnership with Bethel University will help usher in an era of investing in our leaders,” Bland commented. “There’s been evidence that the Lord has been in this from the very beginning. Christ is glorified through Kingdom partnerships, and collectively we get to invest in the next generation.”
YFC chapters impact thousands of communities across the nation, seeking out and serving youth from all walks of life. Young people are silently struggling through a wide variety of challenging issues—and through the YFC ministry God empowers, they see the living power of a loving God. YFC trains its leaders in a proven, relational ministry model called 3Story®, which encourages staff and volunteers to be good news while also sharing the stories of the Good News of Jesus. It involves building relationships through the ups and downs of everyday life to lead people to Christ.
YFC has been a pillar of missional ministry since 1944, when Dr. Billy Graham served as YFC’s first full-time staff member. Since then, Youth For Christ has continued to be both a rural and urban ministry on mission, and it is always about the message of Jesus. YFC reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other like-minded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus who lead by their godliness in lifestyle, devotion to the Word of God and prayer, passion for sharing the love of Christ, and commitment to social involvement. Youth For Christ operates in over 100 nations and has over 130 chapters that impact communities across America.