2019 Youth Leadership Summit

For those who attended the 2019 YLS, please fill out the EVALUATION FORM

ELCA Youth Leadership Summit

October 31-November 3, 2019
Lutheridge Conference Center, in Arden, North Carolina

The ELCA Youth Leadership Summit is an annual gathering for high school youth identified as leaders and an adult representative from each synod. The 2019 Summit will Equip the youth leaders through Peer Ministry Leadership. They will learn to welcome and include others in all situations promoting diversity and acceptance.  They will learn to share God’s love and grace through their daily connections, becoming aware of the hurts and needs of those around them and living out the Good Samaritan story. Through the peer ministry training the participants will learn how to be careful listeners, to guide healthy and purposeful conversations, to clarify concerns and values, to ask open-ended questions and make observations, and know when a task is to large and how to ask for help.

Youth will be challenged to take home what they have learned and to inspire action and teach others what they learned in their own synods and youth groups.

The Youth Leadership Summit is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and partners with the Domestic Mission Unit, the Faith Formation Team, the SYMBOL Network, the ELCA Youth Gathering, 65 Synods across the United States, ELCA Disability Ministries, and ELCA Ethnic Specific Ministries.

Who attends?  Two youth in grades 9-12 and one adult per synod are invited to attend. Synods are asked to pay attention to gender, ethnic and ability diversity when selecting youth leaders to participate.

Theme Verse: Ephesians 4:11-13

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.


We start with dinner on Thursday, October 31st at 6:00 pm Eastern and conclude on Sunday by 11:00 am Eastern.  A detailed schedule will be provided closer to the event.

When booking flights into Charlotte Airport (CLT), be sure to plan arrival no later that 3:30 pm on Thursday October 31st and depart no earlier than 2:00 pm on Sunday November 3rd.


Pastor John Tirro, University of Tennessee Tyson House

Special Guests:
  • Lyle Griner, Peer Ministry Leadership
  • Bishop Tim Smith, NC Synod
  • Savanna Sullivan, ELCA Young Adult Ministries
  • Molly Beck Dean, ELCA Youth Gathering
  • Jessica Stewart, Lenior Rhyne University
  • Chris Harris, Newberry College
  • Brenda Poggendorg, Roanoke College

All lodging, meals, programming, and a bus to and from the Charlotte Airport are provided by a gracious grant from the ELCA. Your synod’s responsibility is to provide the flights for the two youth and one adult attending from your synod and any incidentals they might incur during their travels.