The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with about 3.5 million members in about 9,100 congregations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Rooted and built in Jesus Christ, the ELCA walks with more than 80 companion churches in other countries to participate in God’s reconciling mission through proclamation and service. Participating in these relationships, ELCA members see how people’s lives are touched, transformed and renewed by the gospel, and how their communities live in hope.
Known as the church of “God’s work. Our hands.,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through Jesus Christ. Our living, daring confidence in God’s grace propels us, along with our companions, to say “yes” to a world searching for renewal and wholeness. Members and supporters are invited to join with us in their own fundraising efforts knowing that, together, we accomplish much more than we ever could alone.
About Young Adults in Global Mission
Every year the ELCA provides a number of young adults the opportunity to grow in their faith and work hand in hand with our global companions through the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program. These volunteers, who range in age from 21 to 29, take the plunge into a life-changing, yearlong journey in communities around the world. As they share their gifts of service, they also receive the gifts of their hosts' hospitality.
The YAGM program invites young adults into an international year of service supporting the ministries and projects of our global companions. It also invites volunteers into a journey of self-reflection, providing them with space to consider their own identity, God’s work in the world and their place within it all.
Young adults serve in the spirit of accompaniment, walking alongside global companions in a manner that practices mutuality, interdependence and solidarity. Areas of service include, but are not limited to, health and human rights, education, environmental justice, professional support and congregational ministry. All site placements provide opportunities for young adults to confront issues of wealth and poverty, racial privilege, gender privilege, economic disparity and globalization, all through the lens of faith.
Since its inception, the program has grown from just 10 volunteers serving in one country to more than 70 young adults serving in 10 country programs. There are almost a thousand YAGM alumni, many of whom have taken on significant leadership roles in church and society.
How you can support!
No matter where or how they serve, every one of our YAGM volunteers needs your prayers, support and gifts to succeed in their work. It costs approximately $15,000 to provide one young adult with training, airfare, a small living allowance, international health insurance, in-country support and simple room and board for a year. That’s just $50 a day to invest in empowering young leaders through life-changing global service.