The information on this page was last updated 1/6/2023. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]
Young Life is a world class organization for adolescents. Our staff and volunteers enter the world of kids, focusing on what matters to them -- fun, adventure, friendship and a sense of significance. In doing so, we earn the privilege of talking to them about the good news of Jesus and His love for them. Kids' lives are dramatically impacted when caring adults come alongside them, and they begin to see that their lives have great worth, meaning and purpose.
PO Box 520
Colorado Springs, CO 80901-0520
CEO/President: Newton F. Crenshaw
Chairman: Michael Stain / Nanette Ballbach
Board size: 28
Founder: Jim Rayburn
Ruling year: 2004
Tax deductible: Yes
Fiscal year end: 09/30
Member of ECFA: Yes
Member of ECFA since: 1980
Young Life is a worldwide organization for middle, high school and college students. Our staff and volunteers enter the world of kids, focusing on what matters to me--fun, adventure and friendship. In doing so, we earn the privilege of talking to them about something that we think matters most of all--the truth about God and His love for us. Founded in 1941, Young Life has more than 6,000 staff and 80,000 volunteers and is active in more than 100 countries reaching more than two million kids annually. Young Life leaders bring more than 200,000 kids each year to one of our 34 camping properties worldwide.
Our Mission is Introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith. We accomplish our mission by...
Praying for young people.
Going where kids are and building personal relationships with them.
Earning the right to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Providing fun, adventurous, life-changing and skill-building experiences.
Inviting kids to personally respond to the Good News and walking in friendship with them regardless of their response.
Preparing kids for a life-long relationship with Christ and a love for His word, His mission and the local church.
Working in community alongside like-minded adults (volunteer leaders, committee members, donors and staff).
Statement of faith
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, being given by divine inspiration, are the Word of God, the final and supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
In the Scriptures, God reveals Himself as the living and true God, Creator of all things. Perfect in love and righteous in all His ways, this one God exists eternally as a Trinity of persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
God made man and woman in His image that He might have fellowship with us. Being estranged from God by our disobedience, we are, as sinful people, incapable of a right relationship to God apart from divine grace.
The only Mediator between God and all human beings is Jesus Christ our Lord, God's eternal Son, who as man fully shared and fulfilled our humanity in a life of perfect obedience.
By His death in our place, Jesus revealed the divine love and upheld divine justice, removing our guilt and reconciling us to God. Having risen bodily from the dead and ascended into heaven, He rules as Lord over all and intercedes for us as our Great High Priest.
The Holy Spirit, through the proclamation of the Gospel, renews our hearts, persuading us to repent of our sins and confess Jesus as Lord. By the same Spirit we are led to trust in divine mercy, whereby we are forgiven all our sins, justified by faith through the merit of Christ our Savior, adopted into God's family as His children and enabled so to live in the world that all people may see our good works and the Gospel of grace at work in our lives and glorify our Father who is in heaven.
God, by His Word and Spirit, calls us as sinful people into the fellowship of Christ's body. Thus He creates the one holy, catholic and apostolic church, united in the bonds of love, endowed with the gifts of the Spirit and summoned by Christ to preach the Gospel and to administer the sacraments, to carry on the ministry of reconciliation, to relieve human need and to strive for social justice.
God's redemptive purpose will be consummated by the return of Christ to raise the dead, judge all people and establish His glorious kingdom. Those who are apart from Christ shall be eternally separated from God's presence, but the redeemed shall live and reign with Him forever.
Donor confidence score
|Does the organization have a statement of faith consistent with historic Christian creeds and is that statement of easily found on its website?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the board have no more than 2 non-independent members?||Yes||10/10|
|Does the board have at least four independent board members for every non-independent member?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the board contain between 5 and 11 members?||No||0/10|
|Does the organization file a Form 990 and make its Form 990 available to the public?||Yes||15/15|
|Does the organization make its audit or review (if annual revenue is more than $1-m) available on its website?||Yes||4/4|
|Is the organization a member of the ECFA?||Yes||9/9|
|Is the CEO/President's compensation within one standard deviation of the median compensation?||No||0/4|
|Did the organization operate at a net profit (revenue greater than expenses) in the most recent year?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the organization refrain from owning or leasing a private aircraft, or having fractional interest in one, that is primarily used for travel by the organization's leaders?||Yes||4/4|
|For the past five years, has the organization been free of any lawsuits or administrative actions filed against it by an employee, client, board member, vendor, donor, or other related party?||No||0/4|
|Are author royalties and speaking engagement fees paid to the organization, and not the individual?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the organization require its employees to affirm upon hiring the statement of faith of the organization?||Yes||4/4|
|Is the board chair an independent member of the board?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the board have term limits?||Yes||4/4|
|Have there been no public accusations of misdeeds against the organization, founder, CEO, senior pastor, or board members in the past five years?||No||0/4|
|Has the organization refrained from the use of non-disclosure agreements?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the organization have an overall financial efficiency rating of at least 2 stars?||Yes||4/4|
|Total donor confidence score||78/100|
Financial efficiency ratings
Sector: Fellowship Evangelism
|Category||Rating||Overall rank||Sector rank|
|Overall efficiency rating||185 of 1085||5 of 31|
|Fund acquisition rating||497 of 1088||14 of 31|
|Resource allocation rating||258 of 1088||7 of 31|
|Asset utilization rating||202 of 1085||6 of 31|
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|Receivables, inventories, prepaids||$6,189,856||$6,246,885||$7,101,246||$6,976,346||$4,667,665|
|Other current assets||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Total current assets||$77,813,497||$98,981,133||$66,602,107||$78,021,013||$87,314,395|
|Other long-term assets||$47,912||$168,272||$128,071||$472,236||$287,573|
|Total long-term assets||$317,312,690||$307,028,732||$314,061,805||$325,561,502||$293,804,740|
|Payables and accrued expenses||$28,144,702||$21,053,378||$17,380,753||$34,419,824||$27,911,237|
|Other current liabilities||$10,717||$11,289||$14,671||$15,667||$19,383|
|Total current liabilities||$28,155,419||$21,064,667||$17,395,424||$34,435,491||$27,930,620|
|Due to (from) affiliates||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Other long-term liabilities||$36,320||$34,950||$37,105||$41,040||$5,840,442|
|Total long-term liabilities||$797,540||$1,054,630||$1,272,962||$1,480,185||$7,495,577|
|Without donor restrictions||$322,576,431||$344,316,500||$345,863,919||$345,848,199||$317,457,355|
|With donor restrictions||$43,596,797||$39,574,068||$16,131,607||$21,818,640||$28,235,583|
|Revenues and expenses|
|Program service revenue||$62,187,028||$39,011,816||$30,697,269||$81,759,184||$68,791,079|
|Total other revenue||$58,148,239||$36,838,359||$23,826,399||$65,690,038||$66,686,642|
|Management and general||$36,794,622||$32,510,454||$33,715,041||$27,467,346||$29,623,905|
|Change in net assets||2022||2021||2020||2019||2018|
|Other changes in net assets||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Total change in net assets||$12,723,778||$42,153,926||($9,432,078)||$32,145,248||$41,583,213|
|John Wagner||SVP Global Cities Initiati||$353,345|
|Wiley Scott||Senior Vice President||$328,632|
|Brent Cunningham||Senior Vice President||$312,763|
|John M Caldwell||Chief Foundation Officer||$274,620|
|Michael J Gaffney||Senior Vice President||$255,561|
|Paul Coty||Vice President||$251,142|
|Chad Edwards||Group Senior Vice Presiden||$248,202|
|Paul Sherrill||Vice President/Secretary||$205,386|
|Janis Morton||Asst. Secretary (part year)||$110,150|
Compensation data as of: 9/30/2022
No response has been provided by this ministry.
The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 1/6/2023. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]
Young Life is a group of caring adults who go where kids are, win the right to be heard and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them.
The vision began in the early 1930s when an elderly woman, Clara Frasher, recruited a group of her friends to pray for the teenagers attending Gainesville High School in Texas. Six years later, during the spring of 1939, a young seminarian, Jim Rayburn, started a chapter of the Miracle Book Club in Gainesville, Texas, a small town 75 miles to the north of Dallas. As he was developing the program in Gainesville, Rayburn also worked with a local pastor, Clyde Kennedy.
Like Clara Frasher and her prayer circle, Kennedy was concerned about the town's teenagers, who showed no interest in engaging with traditional church programs. Realizing something must be done, Kennedy hired Rayburn to fill a part-time position within the church in order to accomplish something vital beyond its walls.
After exploring several possibilities, Jim decided that the best setting for the proclamation of the Gospel was at a Young Life club, held in the home of one of the kids. Club involved lively singing, a skit and a short talk about Jesus Christ. Jim believed that every kid had the right to hear the message of Jesus Christ and decide how to respond to the Gospel.
Young people who made the decision to follow Christ became involved in "Campaigners," a discipleship group where they participated in Bible study, prayer and sharing.
By 1944, Add Sewell, one of the first five staff members, discovered the key to going deep with kids: spending time with them on their turf. Add spent hours each week with kids, developing a relational style of outreach. Convinced that he had to win the right to be heard, he simply made friends with them. This approach eventually became known as "contact work," and it's been at the heart of Young Life's mission ever since.
Camping has also been a significant part of the Young Life ministry. Jim's vision in those early years led to the acquisition of several Colorado ranches. Today, 33 picturesque properties continue to provide magnificent backdrops against which to present the Gospel, while giving kids the best week of their lives at the same time.
Over the years, Jim gathered a group of gifted men and women around him and sent them out to start Young Life ministries to kids all over the United States. This was the Young Life staff.
Volunteer leadership - the backbone of Young Life - emerged from Wheaton College in the late 1940s. Staff persons found that they could multiply their efforts many times over by the strategic use of volunteer leaders. Today, more than 39,000 volunteer leaders work alongside staff persons to touch the lives of kids.
In 1950, Portland staff person Bill Starr developed a novel concept: the Young Life committee. This group of men and women lent their support to the local ministry. Today, committee and ministry support team members around the country number more than 18,000.
In 1953, Young Life went international with an outreach in France. Since then, incarnational evangelism has proven successful worldwide; Young Life ministries are now active in over 100 countries.
Beginning in the mid-1950s, Young Life broadened its focus to become a nurturing and healing presence for kids of all races; our multiethnic ministries share Christ as well as meet the unique needs of these kids.
Recognizing the need for quality training programs for staff, Young Life joined with Fuller Theological Seminary in 1977 to establish the Institute of Youth Ministries. This association provided a unique blend of graduate-level theological education and practical field experience for many years. The institute has now been replaced by expanded partnerships with several seminaries around the country.
In the late 1980s Young Life expanded its focus to include kids with special needs. Young Life ministries with kids with disabilities are in place in many areas of the country, allowing these kids to find their boundaries expanded, their lives enriched and their hearts warmed by the love of Jesus. We call this ministry, "Young Life Capernaum."
Doors of ministry to yet another group of kids - teenage moms - opened with the beginning of the YoungLives program. Young moms are matched with older experienced moms who are committed to providing support and friendship as well as the opportunity to consider the possibility of a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Today, the Young Life mission is still committed to incarnational witness: embodying and expressing the love of Christ through relationships with all kinds of kids: WyldLife is our outreach to middle school kids, Young Life for those in their high school years, and Young Life College is our program for college and university students. In addition to the ministries mentioned above, Young Life reaches military teens through a program called Club Beyond and the Small Towns/Rural initiative brings Young Life to communities of fewer than 25,000 people.
Young Life... our history is rich and our future is promising. We are a group of adults who continue to be committed to the historic Young Life mission: befriending kids and allowing them to take a good look at the Savior, Jesus Christ.