The Story of Youth Unlimited:

Mission Statement

“Youth Unlimited helps churches challenge youth to commit their lives to Jesus Christ and transform this world for him.”

Youth Unlimited is a non-denominational, non-profit ministry organization with the focus of assisting the Church and its many local congregations with their ministry to our youth. We strongly believe that the local church is the tool God longs to use to reveal himself to this world. We know that taking the call of ministering to youth today is not easy or for the faint of heart. Therefore, we are blessed by encouraging, supporting, equipping and partnering with congregations across North America to reach this generation for Jesus Christ!

Statement of Faith

The Bible is the inspired Word of God. It serves as our rule for faith and life and the story of us all.
God has revealed himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and that in Jesus Christ all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily.

God created the heavens and the earth, and humankind was created in the image and likeness of God.  Sin separated humankind from God and on our own we’re unable to be reconciled to God… 

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The sacrificial death and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ has provided the only way of reconciliation with God, which is why we call Him Savior.

Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, and now reigns at God’s right hand, which is why we call him Lord.

Through Jesus’ redemption, all of creation can be claimed and restored through the Spirit.  Therefore, we are ambassadors of Christ’s Kingdom in all of society.

Salvation is God’s free gift based upon the atoning work of Christ, and this gift is affected by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of people and received by faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Jesus Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead – The Righteous and the wicked.

We believe that the local church plays the central role in the story and fulfillment of the Great Commission and that the spiritual unity of believers comprises the one body of our Lord Jesus Christ.

People who are apart from God matter to God, and therefore matter to the church.  For this reason it is the individual Christian’s and the church’s responsibility to proclaim the Gospel in actions and in words, by every means possible, through a life of holiness, service and love.


We value being centered on Christ, the transformation of livesoperating within the context of the church, missional living, proclaiming the gospel to youth in a way that is relevant to them, a reformed perspective, building and valuing personal relationships and relationships with God, and intentional inclusiveness and diversity (ethically, culturally and denominationally).

Our History

Youth Unlimited was established in 1919 as the American Federation of Reformed Young Men’s Society and has since evolved into the church-assisting, youth ministry that we are today.

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  • September, 1919 – American Federation of Reformed Young Men’s Society (AFRYMS) founded
  • December, 1920 – The first Convention – 26 societies present
  • May, 1932 – American Federation of Reformed Young Women’s Society (AFRYWS) organized
  • December 1955 – Merger of Young Men’s and Young Women’s Federations ratified to become the Young Calvinist Federation (YCF)
  • August, 1959 – First co-ed Convention in Edmonton, Alberta
  • August, 1960 – First Summer Worship in Missions (SWIM) – Salt Lake City, Utah
  • September, 1966 – YCF, Calvinettes (now GEMS) and the Calvinist Cadet Corps merge to form United Calvinist Youth (UCY) (now Dynamic Youth Ministries or DYM)
  • 1989 – Serve begins with 3 mission sites
  • 1992 – Youth Unlimited is chosen as the new name for the Young Calvinist Federation
  • 1999 – Compass 21 is developed as a youth ministry assessment tool
  • Summer, 2001 – Encounter replaces SWIM as our long-term missions program
  • 2003 – Youth Unlimited launches Equip ( now Equip Magazine), a free resource for youth leaders all over North America
  • Winter/Spring 2004 – One Week spiritual renewal weeks are offered to Christian Schools across the United States and Canada
  • September 2005 – Serve and Encounter merge into a unified Missions Program
  • Spring 2006 – Youth Unlimited partners with area urban youth network to offer the Where U At? urban youth conference
  • 2010 – Youth Unlimited launches Leadership Development arm to our ministry
  • Winter 2010 – Soul Care Retreats are introduced with 3 locations
  • June 2011 – The Leadership Development arm of YU introduces a trip to Israel
  • July 2011 Live It! replaces Convention
  • July 2012 – The Marion project is born
  • 2013 – The 2nd Live It! event will take place in Pittsburgh, PA

Ministry Partners

Youth Unlimited serves alongside several Christian organizations as we seek to further God’s Kingdom. We encourage you to check out some of our partners!

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Youth Unlimited is one of three ministries incorporated in an organization called Dynamic Youth Ministries. GEMS Girls’ Club is a ministry for young girls and Cadets is the companion ministry for boys. Youth Unlimited is the co-ed ministry for high school youth.

Gems Girls’ Club | Redeemer University College | The Calvinist Cadet Corps | Facing Your Future


Our Team:

Meet the Team

Actually, the whole team is more than the staff and board members listed here, it is all of our host churches, sending churches, planning teams, students, parents, pastors, volunteers and more that make every ministry year happen. At Youth Unlimited, we are here for you and the goal of assisting local churches with faith-forming experiences that help lead students to a lifetime of faith in Jesus Christ!

Elizabeth Bosscher

Canadian SERVE Coordinator
616.241.5616 x3039

Ron DeVries

Canadian SERVE Director

Board of Directors

Diana DeVries
Fenwick, ON

Brittany Sutphin
Fairfax, VA

Jen Rozema
Holland, MI

Steve Lankhaar
Vice President
Lynden, WA

Tyler Gaastra
Grand Rapids, MI

Dan Flaherty
London, ON

Brian Bierenga
Grand Rapids, MI

Zan Ingalls
Newark, NJ

Jeff Miller
Ripon, CA

Joe Skillen
Atlanta, GA

Lisa TerHaar
Grand Rapids, MI