Emmanuel and Milligan awarded grant to benefit high schoolers

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (December 7, 2009) — Lilly Endowment Inc., an Indianapolis-based foundation, recently awarded a $440,000 grant to Emmanuel School of Religion in partnership with Milligan College to help continue the work of Youth in Ministry (YiM). YiM is a ministry based at Milligan that encourages high school students to explore God’s call for their lives through workshops, retreats, conventions and the annual YiM Student Leadership Conference.

“The relationship with Lilly Endowment has been a wonderful blessing to thousands of students,” said Milligan President Donald R. Jeanes. “The grant will enable YiM to continue its successful programs over the next five years and to offer new resources to high school students.”

YiM is one of 22 programs to receive a grant from the endowment for programs that provide young people opportunities to engage seriously in theological study and explore vocations. Other grantees include Duke University, Emory University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Lincoln Christian College and Seminary.

Since 2001, YiM has encouraged nearly 22,000 students through its mission. With the endowment funding, the organization is poised to grow and expand its programs. YiM will launch several initiatives in 2010 to help students remain connected through encouraging podcast messages, mini-workshops offered via Livestream and YouTube, as well as other leadership opportunities.

“Students who have participated in YiM programs are beginning to graduate from college and begin careers in vocational ministry and other servant-leadership opportunities,” said Phyllis Fox, founding director of YiM and director of church relations at Milligan. “It is exciting to hear the students talk about the impact YiM has had on their lives, helping them to discover God’s unique purpose for them.”

Seth Harkins is one of the thousands of students impacted by his experience with YiM. A 2008 Milligan graduate, Harkins currently serves as the student minister at Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming.

“The YiM conference helped me to discern God’s call for my life and it pushed me to trust Him in everything I do,” Harkins said. “I’ll always remember the YiM Student Leadership Conference as a pivotal part in my journey to full-time ministry.”

Although some YiM participants enter full-time vocational ministry, the organization prepares and encourages students to follow God’s call wherever it leads. Leslie Blowers, a 2009 Milligan graduate, is a nurse in the pediatric intensive care unit at the Johnson City Medical Center in Johnson City, Tenn.

“The spiritual lessons and disciplines I learned at the YiM Student Leadership Conference have been cultivated over the last four years to bring me to a deeper understanding of God and how I can serve Him through my nursing career,” Blowers said.

YiM’s premier event each year is the Student Leadership Conference (formerly called “The Big Picture”). This conference is a week-long opportunity for in-depth exploration of personality and spiritual gifts, focused sessions on specific ministry areas of interest, and intense worship and praise. The 2010 Student Leadership Conference will be held at Milligan July 25-31.

“YiM’s annual Student Leadership Conference has influenced hundreds of teens, helping them deepen their relationship with Christ and discover their own spiritual gifts,” said Curtis Booher, dean of the YiM Student Leadership Conference and assistant professor of Christian ministries at Milligan.

For more information about YiM, visit To learn more about Lilly Endowment, visit

Posted by on December 7, 2009.