Young Life


Young Life introduces adolescents to Jesus Christ and helps them grow in their faith. Young Life desires to make a positive impact on kids' lives and prepare them for the future. Young Life builds positive relationships with young people in order to share the truth about Jesus Christ. Young Life is a nonprofit organization and contributions to it are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. In addition, it is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).

Contact information

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 520
420 N. Cascade Avenue (80903)
Colorado Springs, CO 80901-0901


Phone: (719) 381-1890


Organization details

EIN: 840385934

CEO/President: Mr. Newton F. Crenshaw

Chairman: Mr. John Brandon

Board size: 26

Founder: Mr. Jim Rayburn

Year founded: 1941

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 09/30

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1980


Young Life is a worldwide organization for middle, high school and college students. Our staff and volunteers enter the world of kids, focusing on what matters to me--fun, adventure and friendship. In doing so, we earn the privilege of talking to them about something that we think matters most of all--the truth about God and His love for us. Founded in 1941, Young Life has more than 6,000 staff and 80,000 volunteers and is active in more than 100 countries reaching more than two million kids annually. Young Life leaders bring more than 200,000 kids each year to one of our 34 camping properties worldwide.

Mission statement

Young Life uses the following to express its mission:

Our Mission is Introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith. We accomplish our mission by...

  • Praying for young people
  • Going where kids are
  • Building personal relationships with them
  • Winning the right to be heard
  • Providing experiences that are fun, adventurous and life changing
  • Sharing our lives and the Good News of Jesus Christ with adolescents
  • Inviting them to personally respond to this Good News
  • Loving them regardless of their response
  • Nurturing kids so they might grow in their love for Christ and the knowledge of God's word and become people who can share their faith with others
  • Helping young people develop the skills, assets and attitudes to reach their full God-given potential
  • Encouraging kids to live connected to the Body of Christ by being an active member of a local congregation
  • Working with a team of like-minded individuals - volunteer leaders, committee members, donors and staff

Statement of faith

Young Life uses the following to express its Statement of Faith:

Article One:
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments being given by divine inspiration, are the Word of God, the final and supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.

Article Two:
In the Scriptures, God reveals Himself as the living and true God, Creator of all things. Perfect in love and righteousness in all His ways, this one God exists eternally as a Trinity of Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Article Three:
God made man in His image that He might have fellowship with him. Being estranged from God by his disobedience, sinful man is incapable of a right relationship to God apart from divine grace.

Article Four:
The only Mediator between God and man is Jesus Christ our Lord, God's eternal Son, who as man fully shared and fulfilled our humanity in a life of perfect obedience.

Article Five:
By His death in our place, Jesus revealed the divine love and upheld divine justice, removing our guilt and reconciling us to God. Having risen bodily from the dead and ascended into heaven, He rules as Lord over all and intercedes for us as our great High Priest.

Article Six:
The Holy Spirit, through the proclamation of the Gospel, renews our hearts, persuading us to repent of our sins and confess Jesus as Lord. By the same Spirit we are led to trust in divine mercy, whereby we are forgiven all our sins, justified by faith through the merit of Christ our Savior, adopted into God's family as His children and enabled so to live in the world that men may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven.

Article Seven:
God, by his Word and Spirit, calls sinful men into the fellowship of Christ's body. Thus, He creates the one holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, united in the bonds of love, endowed with the gifts of the Spirit and summoned by Christ to preach the Gospel and to administer the sacraments, to relieve human need and to strive for social justice.

Article Eight:
God's redemptive purpose will be consummated by the return of Christ to raise the dead, judge all men and establish His glorious kingdom. Those who are apart from Christ shall be eternally separated from God's presence, but the righteous shall live and reign with Him forever.

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Fellowship Evangelism

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating431 of 76714 of 23
Fund acquisition rating391 of 76813 of 23
Resource allocation rating186 of 7687 of 23
Asset utilization rating673 of 76721 of 23

Click here to read Young Life's response to our ratings

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$7,687,008$5,451,458$5,004,508$14,230,453$24,814,002
Short-term investments$159,452,356$181,207,599$153,421,846$131,180,227$100,379,926
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$202,798,246$208,618,704$179,170,531$172,602,261$181,441,168
Long-term investments$2,163,236$2,207,128$2,190,265$2,124,029$2,007,202
Fixed assets$312,927,807$299,855,919$271,274,882$254,012,493$220,568,798
Other long-term assets$61,797,778$36,098,079$20,102,741$1,558,065$811,065
Total long-term assets$376,888,821$338,161,126$293,567,888$257,694,587$223,387,065
Total assets$579,687,067$546,779,830$472,738,419$430,296,848$404,828,233
Payables and accrued expenses$25,537,808$22,298,123$19,600,579$17,470,300$16,630,974
Other current liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total current liabilities$25,537,808$22,298,123$19,600,579$17,470,300$16,630,974
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$242,836$266,646$296,958$299,812$294,303
Total long-term liabilities$1,822,283$2,042,846$2,258,080$2,434,747$2,592,288
Total liabilities$27,360,091$24,340,969$21,858,659$19,905,047$19,223,262
Net assets20192018201720162015
Temporarily restricted$78,030,241$74,469,788$42,433,958$26,813,569$39,401,901
Permanently restricted$0$1,665,827$1,665,827$1,655,827$1,665,827
Net assets$552,326,976$522,438,861$450,879,760$410,391,801$385,604,971
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$337,237,804$345,842,645$294,864,362$267,907,249$251,404,659
Program service revenue$87,361,362$81,480,503$79,335,780$78,629,945$76,577,952
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income($4,640,250)$11,146,496$9,309,709$6,257,703$607,866
Other revenue$6,943,110$2,685,244$3,142,888$3,183,359$2,854,233
Total other revenue$89,664,222$95,312,243$91,788,377$88,071,007$80,040,051
Total revenue$426,902,026$441,154,888$386,652,739$355,978,256$331,444,710
Program services$334,027,323$310,278,080$292,248,498$281,733,933$255,216,386
Management and general$33,511,819$32,966,902$29,268,824$26,418,618$23,537,874
Total expenses$396,363,328$369,338,416$346,252,454$331,141,254$299,479,611
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)$30,538,698$71,816,472$40,400,285$24,837,002$31,965,099
Other changes in net assets($650,583)($257,371)$87,674($50,172)($2,034,051)
Total change in net assets$29,888,115$71,559,101$40,487,959$24,786,830$29,931,048


Newton CrenshawPresident/CEO$458,318
John WagnerSVP Global Cities Initiati$335,845
Joshua PowellMetro Director I$257,853
Brent CunninghamSenior Vice President$253,767
Wiley ScottSenior Vice President$253,370
John M CaldwellEVP Intl Ministries$248,699
Steve ThompsonCOO$213,099
Paul SherrillVice President/Secretary$190,689
Dave BriggsTreasurer$171,307
Scott BrillCFO$167,325
Janis MortonAsst. Secretary$106,675

Compensation data as of: 9/30/2019

Response from ministry

We applaud the efforts of Wall Watchers to hold ministries financially accountable. Young Life is firmly committed to good stewardship of the gifts God has provided through our many donors. As a founding member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), Young Life meets a high standard of integrity in stewardship. Through ECFA, Young Life is accountable to a set of peer ministries with a common, biblical commitment to sound stewardship. We also understand our need to be accountable to those who support our ministry. An openness about financial information and funding is valuable to donors. We value the independent judgment of those who support God's work. Because we respect donors' ability to make sound judgments, we feel it necessary to point out that the Wall Watchers rating system places greater value on liquid assets than on long-term investments. As a result, having 23 first rate camping properties where kids are presented the Gospel and treated to the best week of their lives puts Young life at a disadvantage in the analysis done by Wall Watchers. We appreciate the opportunity to respond to our rating. We will continue to spend our dollars wisely in pursuit of our vision: that every adolescent, everywhere will have the opportunity to meet Jesus Christ and follow Him.


In 1938, a young Presbyterian youth leader in Gainesville, Texas, named Jim Rayburn was given a challenge. A local minister invited him to consider the neighborhood high school as his parish and develop ways of connecting with kids who had no interest in church.

Motivated by the example set by Jesus Christ's ministry, Rayburn knew it was important to seek kids out. So he spent time with them on their turf and he built friendships with them. Rayburn eventually called this contact work, and it's the essence of Young Life ministry today.

Along with his consistent contact work, Rayburn also began a weekly club for kids. There was singing, a skit or two and a message about Jesus Christ. Club attendances increased dramatically when they started meeting in the homes of the young people.

After graduating from Dallas Seminary, Rayburn and four other seminarians collaborated and Young Life was officially incorporated on Oct. 16, 1941. They developed the club idea throughout Texas, with an emphasis on showing kids that faith in God can be relevant and fun.

By 1946, Young Life moved to a new headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo. and the staff grew to 20 men and women across several states. Volunteer leadership began at Wheaton College, Illinois, in the late 1940s.

Prior to the 1960s, Young Life directed its ministry almost completely to suburban high school students. By 1972 it started ministries in approximately 25 multi-ethnic and urban areas. Today, Young Life is in more than 600 urban communities meeting the unique needs of inner-city young people. Young Life is also reaching out to middle school students, kids in rural areas, kids with disabilities, teenage mothers and kids in military communities all over the world.

Rayburn targeted kids who were disinterested in church and that target remains the same today. We define a "disinterested" kid as one who doesn't attend church or attends but does not allow the teachings of the church to affect their life. Young Life club meetings are designed for a disinterested kid to feel welcome and begin to consider the truth of the Gospel. Young Life involves both evangelism and discipleship. Through Young Life, kids who come to know the Lord are led and challenged to grow in their faith. We recognize that kids need to get plugged into church if they are going to live connected to the Body of Christ. And so our staff and leaders encourage kids who have made a commitment to Christ to be an active member of a local congregation. For more than 65 years, Young Life has been reaching kids who may never have previously walked through the door of a church. Rayburn's way of reaching "disinterested" teenagers with the Gospel continues to be effective today.

Program accomplishments

Young Life began as an outreach to kids at a small high school in Texas. Now, more than 75 years later, Young Life has an impact on more than two million high school and middle school kids worldwide. For more than seven decades, God has blessed Young Life, increasing its staff from five to more than 6,000 and its program from one club in Texas to clubs in every corner of the world.

There are more than 80,000 Young Life volunteers. Young Life leaders are caring adults who invest in the lives of middle school and high school kids and college students. Through contact work, Young Life leaders spend time with kids on their turf and build life-changing friendships with them. Young Life leaders can be found with kids at the places where kids hang out--school athletic events, coffee houses, movie theaters and more.

In addition to the Young Life leaders are more than 20,300 individuals who serve as local adult committee members. Local committees are the foundation for ministry in communities. Committee members serve "behind the scenes" in a variety of ways to ensure that Young Life's ministry continues for years to come.

Young Life's efforts to reach out to every kid, everywhere has resulted in a number of specific ministries. Each of them apply the basics of Young Life to meet kids just as they are through friendship and faith.

Capernaum: Young Life's ministry to kids with disabilities. Named after the town where Jesus performed many miracles.

International: Young Life's outreach to high school and middle school kids in more than 50 countries around the world.

Small Town/Rural: Young Life's ministry to kids in one-high school towns of fewer than 25,000 people.

Urban: Young Life's ministry to racial and ethnic minorities, focused on kids who live in high-density communities and who are historically, socially and/or economically disadvantaged.

WyldLife: Young Life's ministry to middle school kids.

Young Life College: Young Life's ministry to college students. YoungLives: Young Life's ministry to teenage moms.


Young Life uses the following to express its Ministry Needs:

Volunteer leaders and committee members are vital to the mission of Young Life. Young Life needs adults who care about kids in their community to join their local Young Life staff in reaching kids for Christ. Young Life is not a facility-based ministry. Leaders go to where teenagers are - hangouts and athletic events - to spend time with them and build unconditional friendships with them. More than 15,000 volunteer leaders around the world help organize Young Life club, leads small group Bible studies called Campaigners and attend Young Life camp with kids. An effective Young Life committee is the lifeline of the local Young Life area. Young Life begins in new areas because of adults who care about kids and share Young Life's commitment to every kid. A committee's purpose is to share responsibility for making a positive difference in kids' lives with the local staff. More than 11,000 adults meet once a month in groups of six to as many as 24. They are unseen and unknown to most of the kids they serve, but these people are the foundation for Young Life in local communities. For more information on getting involved with Young Life in your community, contact your area office or the Young Life Service Center at (719) 381-1800 or For information on how to give financially to Young Life, go to and click on "Giving" at the top of the page.