YUStep Logo

Can you imagine taking over the responsibility of leading God’s people after Moses? Joshua? How about taking over the responsibility of leading your youth ministry from your youth minister?

A number of questions might cross your mind:

  • Do I have the ability to lead?
  • Do I have their strong connection with God?
  • Will the people follow me?

YUStep is designed to help you on your journey of answering these and other relevant questions. 

Throughout history, God has called and raised up leaders from among His people. Moses led his generation out of slavery in Egypt to cross the Red Sea. Joshua accepted the role of leader and led his generation across the Jordan, where literally one step led to one of the most dramatic moments of Israel’s Exodus experience:

Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. –Joshua 3:15-16

God was faithful to empower his leaders, Moses and Joshua to lead His people to the land of Promise. What God asked of His leaders was to take a step. And when they did, AMAZING things happened.

God still calls his leaders to take a step. 

Youth Ministry has and continues to be an area of service in the Church that requires strong, courageous and determined leaders. The Church needs leaders who understand the responsibility of assisting the Church in leading the next generation of students into the presence of Jesus, equipping them for life and eternity and assimilating them into the overall community of faith. 

Is God calling you to take the step into Youth Ministry?

Our Mission:

The mission of YUStep is to collaboratively work to raise up the next generation of youth ministry leaders.  

What is YUStep?

This is a summit weekend designed by a collaborative effort of youth ministry professors from Abilene Christian University, Lipscomb University, Lubbock Christian University, Oklahoma Christian University and Pepperdine University to assist churches within the Restoration Heritage. The conference will feature four general sessions, small group interaction, and three break-out sessions team-taught by the university professors. The sessions are designed to challenge, refine, focus, direct, and encourage the high calling of youth ministry. One of the conference highlights will be a Saturday night dinner and college fair where a corporate blessing and charge will be given to show our unified spirit to raise up the next generation of youth ministry professionals. 

Who Can Attend?

Up to four male and/or female high-school juniors, seniors or graduates selected by church leaders may attend from each congregation. Up to two adult sponsors (Youth Minister, Preacher, Deacon, Elder, Parent Sponsor) must accompany them to the summit and will have several opportunities to interact with their student participants. Unless otherwise cleared, every participant will attend with an adult sponsor. Adult sponsors are responsible for their students’ conduct while at YUStep.

Selection Process:

The selection of student participants should be made on the basis of spiritual maturity, aptitude for youth ministry, and the student's desire to pursue a career in youth ministry. The registration process will assist church leaders in participant selection.

The Cost:

The registration fee is only $75.00. This price does not include travel or lodging.

Travel & Lodging:

Participating congregations are responsible for the travel and housing arrangements for adult sponsors and student participants. The summit will be held at the Hills Church, 6300 NE Loop 820, North Richland Hills, Texas

YUStep Summit Schedule:

April 21, 2017

  •  8:00 pm - Registration Opens
  •  8:30 pm - YUStep Opens with General Session
  • Small Groups

April 22, 2017

  •  9:00 am - General Session
  •  10:30 am - Breakout One
  • Lunch Break
  •  2:00 pm - Breakout Two
  •  3:30 pm - Breakout Three
  •  6:30 pm - General Session
  • Small Groups

April 23, 2017

  •  9:00 am - General Session
  •  10:30 am - Summit Closes

YUStep Leadership:

David Fraze Profile Photo

David Fraze D. Min, Special Assistant to the President, Lubbock Christian University

David Fraze (D.Min., Fuller Theological seminary) is Special Assistant to the President of Lubbock Christian University and Manager of DFW Character Coaches for Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  Based out of North Richland Hills, Texas, David has been a student minister for over 25 years.

David is a popular speaker at Youth Events, Public/Private School Events, Ministry Trainings and Seminars. David is a writer who has contributed articles for youthspecialties.com, ENGAGE, the quarterly journal of The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding, Youth Worker Journal, Journal of Student Ministries, and the Fuller Youth Institute. David serves as a Ministry Coach for Youth Specialties, speaker for Sticky Faith and serves as Character Coach for Richland High School Football and Athletics.

He has been married to Lisa for 25 years. They have two children, Braeden and Shelbee.

Dudley Chancey

Dudley Chancey, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Youth Ministry, Oklahoma Christian University

Dr. Chancey is interested in researching adolescent spiritual formation, parenting adolescents, and adolescent culture. He is involved in several professional organizations including the National Council on Family Relations, Groves Conference on Marriage and Family, Youth Ministry Educators, and the National Conference on Youth Ministries. Dr. Chancey not only loves to teach, but he is dedicated to Honduras family mission trips and the new Latin American Studies abroad program at OC. He and his wife Vicki have two children, Drew and Matt. They attend Memorial Road Church of Christ.

Robert Oglesby, Director of ACU Center for Youth and Family Ministry

Oglesby is director of ACU's Center for Youth and Family Ministry, located within the Department of Bible, Missions and Ministry. He also teaches youth and family ministry and general ministry courses while keeping a hand in youth ministry, "I'm one of those professors who loves to do youth ministry.”  He earned a bachelor's degree in Bible in 1981. Both he and his wife, the former Jenny Linn, are graduates of ACU. 

Steven Bonner

Steven Bonner, D.Min., Associate Professor of Youth, Family, & Culture, Lubbock Christian University 

With nearly 18 years of ministry experience, Steve's passion is to see young people come to a healthy community-based relationship with Christ.  His research interests include the study of youth culture, adolescent psycho-social development, precocious puberty, student athletics, and intergenerational spiritual formation.  His dissertation on rural ministry to mid-adolescents was published in 2009. He has published articles in The Journal of Youth Ministry and the Journal of Faith and the Academy and has chapters in two books published by ACU Press and Baker Academic. Additionally, Dr. Bonner regularly speaks, lectures, and presents his seminar entitled Behind Blue Eyes: Unveiling the Realities of Adolescent Culture, serves on the national Board of Directors for the national Association of Youth Ministry Educators, and was recently awarded a Lilly Endowment, Inc. grant to create and direct Vocati: a Missional Youth Theology Institute.  In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Bonner also preaches for The Tahoka Church of Christ in Tahoka, TX.

Jeff Walling

Jeff Walling,  Director of Youth Leadership Initiative, Pepperdine University 

For more than 20 years, Jeff Walling has been speaking before thousands each year in inspirational and motivational workshops and seminars across the globe. Having preached for some of the largest churches in the country, he is regularly called on to keynote for youth conferences. His international speaking schedule has taken him to lecture on five continents including a tour in South Africa, seminars in Japan and Australia, and presentations at the Kiev Polytechnical Institute in the former Soviet Union. Jeff received his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Irvine in speech/communication, a master's degree in religion at Pepperdine, and an honorary doctorate from Hope University in Fullerton, California. Jeff and his wife Cathryn have three sons and a two daughters-in-law: Taylor and Courtney, Riley and Megan, and Spencer.  

Walter Surdacki

Walter Surdacki, DMin Associate Professor of Youth And Family Ministry, Lipscomb University.

Dr. Walter Surdacki is an Associate Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN where he teaches various Youth Ministry and practical ministry courses as well as Spiritual Disciplines and Spiritual Formation courses. He has served in full time youth ministry for over 16 years working at churches in Torrance, Malibu and Campbell California. He currently volunteers with the youth ministry at the Otter Creek Church where his daughters are in the youth group.  He is a regular speaker and teacher at events all over the country.  Walter and his wife, Amy, have two daughters, Madeline and Abby.  Walter loves to travel, cook, snowboard, read, write, and ride rollercoasters.