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We believe in young people, and we believe in the church. We exist to help the church become the best place for young people to grow. We transform cutting-edge research into resources for leaders and parents to help unlock young people's potential and unleash them to change the world.



2017 Programs and Results 

Growing Young 
The Growing Young project began with a collaborative study on today’s leading churches that are engaging young people well. The Fuller Youth Institute team authored and launched Growing Young: 6 Essential Strategies to help Young People Discover and Love Your Church in Fall 2016. 

In 2017, FYI launched the Growing Young Assessment, a comprehensive organizational evaluation based on best practices derived from research.
    • 70% of American Christians represented in the research
    • 35,000 copies sold within one year of release
    • 40,000 ministry leaders have learned about Growing Young through our presentations and interviews 

Sticky Faith
Sticky Faith is a ministry framework and parenting philosophy backed by practical and proven ideas to help develop long-term faith in teenagers. Rooted in research focused on high school graduates’ transition to college, the Sticky Faith series includes books and training for youth leaders and parents of teenagers.
    • 14 Sticky Faith books and videos created
    • 40,000 leaders and parents trained by our Sticky Faith speakers each year
    • 250,000 leaders and parents now equipped to help the teenagers around them 

Urban Youth Ministry
The goal of the Urban Empowerment Project at FYI is to increase the capacity of youth workers to spread the gospel in urban settings by offering training in the personal and professional skills needed for effective long-term ministry. Since 2003, the Fuller Youth Institute (formerly Fuller’s Center for Youth and Family Ministry) has been working with urban youth workers to identify the top needs of urban youth workers and develop new strategies to meet those needs.
    • 10 years of academic urban youth ministry training
    • 174 urban leaders trained
    • 75% alumni still serving in urban youth ministry capacity



The Fuller Youth Institute is a team of researchers, creatives, church leaders and dreamers who believe in helping churches unleash the passion and potential of young people everywhere. 

Kara Eckmann Powell, PhD Executive Director 


Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. 

Brad Griffin, MDiv Director 


Brad M. Griffin is the Director of the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, blogger, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of Growing Young, several Sticky Faith books, Right Click: Parenting Your Teenager in a Digital Media World, and the series Can I Ask That?: 8 Hard Questions about God and Faith. Brad and his family live in Southern California. 


Jake Mulder Director of Strategic Initiatives 


Jake Mulder is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), where he oversees business administration, coordinates new research, develops resources, and helps the team think strategically. He is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary (master of divinity) and Western Michigan University (bachelor of business administration in finance) and is pursuing a PhD at Fuller. Passionate about helping individuals and organizations achieve their full potential, he is the coauthor of the forthcoming Growing Young (fall 2016). Jake has worked in a variety of ministry and professional roles, including as a Financial Analyst, Youth Pastor in the Reformed Church of America, Ministry Director with Youth for Christ, and missionary with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Europe and Asia. 

Complete Profiles and Advisory Council:

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