Lexington High School Students Accepted
Into Select Youth Leadership Institute

Students chosen to participate in Youth Becoming Leaders event at Asbury University

WILMORE, Ky. — Directors of the Youth Becoming Leaders Institute (YBL) have announced that five high school students from Lexington are among the 30-plus students (representing a dozen states) accepted into the selective, two-week, residential institute to be held June 6-17 at Asbury University.

In partnership with the Lilly Endowment, which offered Asbury a $600,000 grant through its high school Youth Theology Institutes initiative, YBL is open to select high school sophomores, juniors and seniors who are committed to Christ, leaders in their local communities, academically gifted and interested in exploring a call to ministry. Applications into the program were accepted until mid-March.


Lexington students accepted into the institute include:

Caitlyn Dixon and Madison Lewis (juniors from Crossroads Christian Church), 

Joseph Southworth (a junior from St. Luke United Methodist Church), 

Lydia Thompson (a freshman from the Church of the Savior in Nicholasville, Ky.),

Elia Zonio (a freshman from the Apostles Anglican Church).


Dr. Brian Hull, professor of Youth Ministry at Asbury and project director for YBL, says the camp is an expression of Asbury’s confidence in the value of youth leadership, as well as a much-needed opportunity for hands-on leadership training.

“One of the things we know from research is that students who have opportunities to lead when they’re young step into those roles sooner as adults,” Hull said. “Asbury has a long tradition of believing in young people, and in a world that often doesn’t, it’s important that we stand in that belief.”

The theme for YBL this year is social justice. Alongside faculty mentors from Asbury University and Asbury Theological Seminary, students will examine faith, social justice and the role of the church in global issues. Faculty will lead students through materials and research methods while grounding coursework in real-world leadership applications.

On the last day of the event, students will complete a session with a mentor of their choice — either a pastor or another Christian leader — from their home community. After YBL is over, students will continue to implement what they’ve learned with some homework: a ministry project with their mentor.

“It’s pretty obvious that the world needs better leaders, and the church needs better leaders,” Hull said. “YBL is a way for Asbury to partner with the local church, helping raise up young people who are equipped to lead — not sometime far off in the future, but today.”

For more information about YBL, visit asbury.edu/ybl or reach out to Dr. Hull at brian.hull@asbury.edu

© 2020 St. Luke UMC
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