Church renewal program focuses on young clergy
Recruiting young clergy is becoming a serious problem for the church.
In 1985, there were 3,219 United Methodist elders who were under 35, according to Lovett Weems and Ann Michel’s book, The Crisis of Younger Clergy (Abingdon). In 2007, there were only 876.
“Many young leaders I know have considered jumping ship and starting new churches,” said Jenny Smith, a 26-year-old United Theological Seminary (UTS) student and ministry candidate. “Many of us question the relevancy of the United Methodist Church when our peers are finding faith and church boring and irrelevant.”
Responding to this two years ago, the UTS faculty revised the curriculum with an academic focus on church renewal, which is now a concentrated study at the seminary in Dayton, Ohio.