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Join the Vinery

Is there a university within a mile or two of your church?  


Do you long for your church to become a dynamic hub of vibrant ministry serving people from your neighboring university? 


Is your church already doing great ministry with its university neighbors, but you’re looking for a process and partners to help take your ministry to the next level?


We invite you to join us in a narratival process of  listening deeply to your university neighbors and the broader community; reflecting on your congregation’s history, theology, and practices; then reimagining your congregation’s story of thriving in ministry with young adults, university neighbors, and your broader community. 

Our promise is to see your church through this process every step of the way.

Before applying to be a part of The Vinery’s first cohort, it is important to read and carefully consider the criteria and commitments detailed below. 


What to know before applying

Is the Vinery right for my church?

Indicators of congregational readiness:

Proximity, Priority, and Capacity



We aim to partner with congregations within close physical proximity to universities. We define close proximity as in walking distance--within two miles or an accessible public transit ride that is ten minutes or less.



The initiative is intended for congregations that either already prioritize vibrant college and young adult ministry or they have committed to a strategic plan to implement such ministry within the next five years.



Strong candidates are congregations that demonstrate a willingness to commit to the following:    


  • Theological premise for self-reflection and examination of their mission, values, theological resources and trustworthy ministry practices.

  • Cultural competence around issues of race, justice, equity, and narratives of dominant culture in their congregations and in ministry with their university neighbors,

  • Financial investment in covering expenses for participation in a network of congregations committed to dynamic university ministry.

  • A lead team ready to guide their congregation through the multi-step process,  represent their congregation in the Vinery community, and communicate the vision and their work to their congregation. 

  • Time for rhythms of deep listening, reflecting, and reimagining during retreats and listening sessions during a two-year cohort.

2024 The Vinery Gatherings 

As you consider applying, please note the following dates:

Annual Retreat: 

January 28 - 31 1, 2024


Mid-Year Partner Church Gatherings: 

July/August 2024 

Learning Community Sessions:

Tuesdays, 3 PM to 4:30 PM EST via Zoom on

  • February 27     

  • March 26

  • April 30 

  • June 25

  • September 24

  • October 29

  • December 3

Cohort Coaching: 

Individually scheduled during the following months: 

  • May

  • July/August

  • November

"Young adults desire multi-generational connection, learning and mentorship. Congregations can be a part of meeting these desires while providing care and enrichment for young adults."

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