Hundreds of youth workers will get a chance to learn more about ministering to urban youth at the Urban Youth Workers Institute training, on November 7, 2009 sponsored by Biola University. The Reload training session is for those with a heart for urban youth ministry.

“Reload was created for people who are currently serving in urban ministry,” said John Lewis, the western regional director for UYWI. “It is also a great place for people who are looking to learn more about urban ministry.”

Larry Acosta, founder and president of UYWI, attended Biola University as an undergraduate student and went on to earn his Masters in Divinity from Talbot School of Theology. He founded the UYWI, formerly known as the Hispanic Ministry Center, and KidWorks, an organization serving at risk youth in Santa Ana, in 1993.

Based in Los Angeles, UYWI has become a nationally known ministry. Reload training sessions are held throughout the year in 23 cities across the country from Los Angeles, Calif. to Washington, D.C. The mission of UYWI is to strengthen and prepare the next generation of global urban leaders for ministry.

According to the UYWI website, Acosta originally founded HMC to reach Hispanic youth but quickly realized that other ethnic groups suffered from the same lack of urban youth leadership. HMC grew rapidly and in 2003 began to spread across the country with the name being changed to Urban Youth Workers Institute in 2005 to reflect the shift to a broader outreach.

Reload will include workshops with speakers Reverend Najuma Smith of St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angles, Albert Tate from Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, Acosta and Kara Powell of Fuller Youth Institute among many others.

Registration for the conference is $20 in advance or $25 at the door.

Learn more and register by visiting Reload Los Angeles.

Written by Katherine Smith, Media Relations Intern. Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator, can be reached at (562) 777-4061 or through email at