Since 2005 the Diocese of Kansas Youth Program has engaged college students in youth ministry and vocational discernment through our summer internship program. Many of these students are now paid staff members and volunteers in parish youth ministries in our diocese.

We believe this internship is a powerful instrument of spiritual formation as well as a wonderful opportunity for vocational discernment. We need more faithful, committed, and talented leaders in both lay and ordained ministry. This internship seeks to equip and send a young disciple into the “harvest field” of youth ministry.

The Summer Youth Ministry Intern will:

  1. Grow in Relationship with God.
  2. Train in Ministry and Life Skills
  3. Develop other young leaders
  4. Do Ministry

Who is the internship for? Episcopal college students and young adults who are interested in youth ministry. Students must have completed their first year of college before they can apply.

Is it paid? YES! The intern is expected to work full-time for 10-12 weeks from mid-May to the end of July. Free housing may be arranged at the KU Canterbury House. Interns get two “personal days” during the summer that may be used with prior approval.

How can I apply? Application packets and two references must be submitted by February 28 each year.

Questions? Contact Youth Missioner Karen Schlabach, 913-708-5927 or

Intern Reflections

The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas Youth Ministry program is a program I went through myself as a youth. I basically got to do everything I did as a youth and then some but got paid to do it. This summer we worked on many things. We planned and staffed Mega Camp, MissionWichita, General Convention, Happening #93, and the College-aged retreat. As well as helping to prepare for the coming year.

It was neat going to the triennial meeting of the Episcopal Church (General Convention). We were there to watch in both houses the reunification of the Diocese of Cuba and I got to meet and see many amazing people. The college-aged retreat was a neat experience for people that went through camp along with educational programing. It was nice to be able to give back to the program just a bit of what I got from it and open opportunities to grow.

-Kirsten Lee, Missouri University of Science & Technology

My summer as a youth ministry intern was such a great experience. Having never been involved with my church’s youth program as a child (raised Roman Catholic), I was able to see just how valuable and impactful these programs are for youth. Knowing that I was part of making that experience possible was an amazing feeling. The kids taught me as much as (or more than) I taught them, and I was amazed at the depth of their faith. Anything we can do in the church to build bridges between generations is worth more than gold.

-Abby Zimmerman, Kansas State University

Previous Interns:
2005 – Katie Knoll Lenon
2006 – Natalie Vanatta, Christina Waggoner
2007 – Cristin Canaday, Steven King, Michael (Knoll) Funston, Natalie Vanatta
2008 – Sarah Brower, Steven King, Elisha McCallum, Natalie Vanatta
2009 – Elisha McCallum, Natalie Vanatta, Michael (Knoll) Funston (half summer)
2010 – Ellen (Weaver) King, Dalton Harts
2011 – Dalton Harts
2012 – Rachel Haley, Tyler Kerr
2013 – Annie Unruh
2014 – Chris Ash, Daniel Falk
2015 – Tyler Kerr, Sydney Webb
2016 – Kensey Plummer, Janelle Sparkman
2017 – Dillon Green, Katie Knoll Lenon
2018 – Kirsten Lee, Abby Zimmerman

Where are they now? The summer youth ministry internship is designed to help students discern if they have a future in ministry. Some decide they have other paths they would like to pursue, but many of our summer youth ministry interns go on to work in other ministry jobs for the Episcopal church, or continue to volunteer at Youth Events.

Katie Knoll Lenon went on to be a Campus Ministry Intern at KU Canterbury for one year, then worked at St. Thomas, Overland Park, for 9 years as the Youth Minister and Director of Small Groups. She graduated from seminary in May 2017 and is currently serving as a Chaplain at St. Luke’s Hospital in KCMO. She will begin as Assistant Priest to Children, Youth, and Families at Christ Church Frederica, In St. Simons Island, GA in September 2018.

Natalie Vanatta worked for one year as a part-time youth minister at St. Luke’s in Wamego. Then she represented the Diocese of Kansas at General Convention in 2012. She then served as the full time Youth Minister at Trinity Church in the City of Boston for two years.

Steven King worked as the part-time youth minister at St. Margaret’s in Lawrence, then participated in the Episcopal Service Corps for one year. He graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary in May 2014. He was ordained to the priesthood in January 2015. He served as Assistant Priest at St. Thomas the Apostle in Overland Park in charge of Youth Ministries and Small Groups for 2 1/2 years and is currently Director of Congregational Life at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Omaha, NE.

Michael Funston was the Interim Director of Youth Ministries at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church in Washington DC for two years. Then she served as the Interim Youth Missioner for the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas in 2012. She also served as the Youth Peer Ministry Coordinator for the Diocese from 2011-2015. She is currently the Associate for Youth & Campus Ministry in the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas.

Ellen (Weaver) King served as the Minister to Youth, Children & Families at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria, VA for three years. She served on the diocesan youth commission for one year and as camp director for two years.

Rachel Haley served as the part-time youth minister at St. Margaret’s in Lawrence for three years. She has also served as the summer youth ministry intern at St. Thomas in Overland Park for three years, and did a youth ministry internship with the Diocese during her Winter break in 2015. She then volunteered at St. Paul’s in Indianapolis with their youth program for a year.

Tyler Kerr served as the part-time youth minister at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lawrence for three years. He also served as a campus peer minister at KU Canterbury for three years. He received a UTO young adult grant in 2015 to coordinate and plan youth and college student trips to General Convention.

Sydney Webb signed up for a year in the Episcopal Service Core following her college graduation, and renewed for a second year after that.

Janelle Sparkman served for two years as the volunteer youth minister at St. Paul’s in Manhattan.

Dillon Green served as the Campus Ministry Program Assistant (Intern) at K-State for two years. He started seminary at Virginia Theological Seminary in Fall 2018.

Abby Zimmerman is serving at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Omaha for a year of monastic-style living.

Kensey Plummer returns every summer to serve on camp staff.

Christina Waggoner became a nurse and has helped at several youth events in that capacity.

Sarah Brower became a nurse and has helped at several youth events in that capacity.

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