The Journey

We are all called to ministry as followers of Christ. The question is how we will steward our specific gifts and personality to answer that call. Brethren Academy is one opportunity within a larger ministry called Brethren Connection that seeks to bridge the gap for young leaders in our denomination who are looking for significant ways to serve.

At this stage in your life you may be sorting through the many possibilities that lay ahead of you, and it can be quite overwhelming. Should you go into full time ministry as a missionary or pastor? Should you be an architect, journalist, cosmetologist, nurse (fill in any number of possibilities) and use those gifts to express your faith and honor God? Should you even go to college?

The good news is that the decisions you make now can go a long way toward helping you discern between so many good options. The Brethren Connection seeks to provide young Christians, especially those within the Brethren Church, with opportunities explore their calling in meaningful ways. You can read more about some of our opportunities below.


The easiest step you can take as a high school student is to attend Brethren Academy in Ashland, OH or one of our regional one-day events closer to you. Any opportunity you take to spend time learning from others and intentionally reflecting on what God is doing in your life will pay great dividends moving forward. Plus, we make it easy on you! Generous funds from grants and other donors help us to keep costs low and give you great experiences.


Students who attend Ashland University benefit from a vibrant campus ministry that takes seriously the mission to develop leaders for the next generation. AU students have the opportunity to join the Emerging Leaders Incubator (ELI) to learn more about Christian values, spiritual disciplines, and practical skills for ministry leadership with a cohort of their peers. These students are equipped to serve in meaningful ways on campus (small groups, leading worship, teaching, evangelism and hospitality ministries, prayer initiatives, etc). Additionally, Brethren Connection provides 8-week paid summer internships for young ministry leaders to gain practical experiences serving with local Brethren churches and church plants across the country.


High school and college students from any area are invited to contact us to obtain help connecting with mentors and resources for development. While we operate out of Ashland University campus, we recognize that there are students who will be led elsewhere for a variety of reasons and may lack resources to stay connected. If you would like help connecting with a mentor to guide you in your journey of faith and ministry development, or if you want help connecting to meaningful development opportunities, contact Cory Smith, Brethren Connection Coordinator in the Ashland University Office of Christian Ministry. 

Cory Smith
Brethren Connection Coordinator
Office of Christian Ministry | Chapel 104
(w) 419.289.5481


One final note: If you are a young leader exploring a call to pastoral ministry in the Brethren Church, it can sometimes be confusing knowing where to start. The opportunities listed above are helpful resources for your journey, but your most valuable resources are within your own congregation. To begin the process of licensure and ordination, your congregational leadership must turn in an official call to ministry to your district or regional leadership. Talk to your lead pastor today about your call and your journey!