Hendrix Youth Institute participants reflect on inaugural session

The Hendrix Youth Institute (HYI) began in June 2016 with 12 rising high school sophomores and juniors from churches in Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee. The students spent the first week of the Institute on Hendrix College’s campus, attending classes in Bible and United Methodist history, shadowing ministry professionals, learning about social entrepreneurship, worshipping with children at the Methodist Family Health home, and experiencing a variety of worship services.

In the second half of the two-week experience, HYI students participated in a mission trip to Guatemala, where they helped paint a new parsonage for a United Methodist minister.

The students spent both weeks of HYI exploring a call to ministry and learning more about the variety of opportunities available to be in ministry. They participated in an Orientation to Ministry event presented by the Arkansas Conference Center for Vitality, where many of them discovered for the first time the various tracks to ordination in the United Methodist Church.

The group will gather for a reunion and follow-up event in January, which will include participating in mission opportunities at CanvasCommunity UMC Little Rock, and sharing how their summer experiences at HYI had an impact as they returned to their homes and local churches.

Students shared their impressions of the first HYI session anonymously through written evaluations. Here are some of their reactions:

  • “Hendrix Youth Institute not only gave me new insight, but also new experiences, new knowledge, spiritual growth, and new friendships with such wonderful faithful people.”
  • “HYI has been an amazing opportunity that has really helped to clarify God’s calling for me and my place in the United Methodist Church.”
  • “Hendrix Youth Institute is one of the most eye-opening and life changing experiences I have ever had. I learned so much about my call to ministry and what that really means.”
  • “This is honestly one of the best choices I’ve made, and I knew I had a call to ministry, but HYI really helped me find out how to use my calling.”

Contact Michelle Moore for details on HYI: michelle.moore@arumc.org.