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Young Adult Ministry

Some congregations that are very new may have as their primary purpose, or as a key program, serving the needs of young adults. The Unitarian Universalist Association Office of Young Adult Ministry considers young adults to be individuals who are between eighteen and twenty-five years old and also acknowledge that some young adults between 25 and 35 may often need added support.

The emerging congregation may be located near a university or college campus, or it may demographically have a high proportion of young adults. When located near a campus, congregations can maximize on that proximity to reach out to and nurture young adults enrolled in both undergraduate and graduate programs.

If a critical mass of young adults are present in the congregation, then resources for small group ministry, sometimes called covenant groups, are relevant. These can be used for groups that include young adults but are not completely made up of young adults.

No matter how many young adults there are in your congregation the best way to involve them and retain them as members is to involve them in all aspects of congregational life. Young adults can serve on the Board, be involved at all levels of religious education programs, serve on the membership or worship committees, and so on.

One commonality that many young adults share is that they are at a major transitional phase of life. Beyond that they vary, one from another, as much as people of any age group do.

It is important not to assume that they will move away soon, nor never be part of another UUA congregation if they do move. Each congregation should value providing rich and vital ministry to every congregant for the duration of their involvement and membership. It is also important not to assume that they cannot afford to donate money to the congregation, as some young adults have enough disposable income, or earn enough to be able to give generously. Please refer to the top ten tips above, to get a clearer picture of young adult realities.

For more information contact youngadults @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Monday, May 16, 2011.

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