Welcome! If you are a young person and sense God is calling you to a vocation as a Gospel Preacher, the Academy of Preachers (AoP) is here to Identify, Network, Support, and Inspire you in that calling. We encourage you to join our movement to raise up the next generation of Young Preachers in America.
How do I preach in an AoP event?
Festivals of the Academy of Preachers are open to any young person between the ages of 14 and 28 who has discerned or embraced a call to a vocation of Gospel preaching. The young people connected with the Academy of Preacher’s network represent high school, college, and seminary students, as well as young people “between” schools. In 2015, a new category of participants was added, First Parish Preachers, ages 29-35, and this initiative will be expanded in coming years.
While participation in AoP events is limited by age, membership in the AoP is open to any Young Preacher, Professional Minister, or Institutional Partner. Click on the JOIN THE AOP link in the side bar to the right of this page.
The National Festival of Young Preachers is hosted every year in the month of January. This unique and inspirational event welcomes young people from every Christian tradition: Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Evangelical, Protestant, and Pentecostal. So far, we have welcomed six “classes” of young people (AoP ’10, AoP ’11, AoP ’12, AoP ’13, AoP'14, AoP'15, and AoP'16) into the Academy of Preachers. Here is a complete, alphabetical list of all 512 Young Preachers who have preached in our National Festival and entered into the Covenant of Gospel Preaching.
Learn more about AoP Festivals and also about the new 2015 initiative creating three AoP Membership categories by clicking here. Beginning in the summer of 2015, all persons who register to preach at an AoP regional or national festival pay the $25 annual membership dues.
The 2015 National Festival of Young Preachers was held January 2-5 in Dallas, Texas, hosted ny Perkins School of Theology and Highland Park United Methodist Church. Visit our AoP social media sites to see pictures, video and participants from that National Festival. You can also watch the sermon videos of the Young Preachers at all of the National Festivals by paying a visit to the AoP channel on YouTube or purchasing one of our books of sermons, compilations of young preacher sermons delivered on each of our festival themes.
We encourage Young Preachers to secure the support of a mentor and sponsoring congregation to support their participation in the National Festival of Young Preachers. Typically, mentors attend the National Festival with the young person and introduce him or her before they preach. Finding a mentor or a supporting congregation is not always easy for every young person, and we are happy to answer any questions you may have about initiating this process.
How can I become involved in the AoP if I haven’t been able to preach at a Festival yet?
The Academy of Preachers believes in connecting you to an ever-growing network of Young Preachers throughout the year, regardless of if you have participated in a National Festival. Visit the JOIN THE AoP page to learn about the four categories of membership and how you can join.
We maintain an active network on Facebook and Twitter, and our Gospel Catalyst Network maintains Preaching Circles: private Facebook groups where Young Preachers can collaborate and discuss various topics related to Preaching throughout the year. When you arrive at the National Festival, our hope is that this online collaboration will have already helped you form relationships and friendships to enhance your overall experience. To find out how you can get plugged into a Preaching Circle, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Young Preachers also have the option to participate in a Campus Festival of Young Preachers or participate in any of the 2015 Regional Festivals (New England, Wisconsin, Louisville, and Texas).
We welcome you to check out (or become a subscriber to) our YouTube channel to view sermons, testimonials, and other news from the AoP.