Will Summer Seminary and Luminary Leadership Programs Create Our UU Future?

Steven Ballasteros and Alex Jensen

Youth have a great opportunity to find out if becoming a minister is what they want to do. The Summer Seminary Program provided through the UUA is a way to experience what it would be like to attend a seminary program. The attend workshops that introduce them to a variety of areas within the ministry and experience the preparation it takes to speak in front of their peers inside of the “Preach-Off”.  They discover if it’s their calling or it can create more engagement in their own congregations worship committees.

Luminary Leaders is an invitation that sprouts from attending the Summer Seminary Program. They further develop leadership skills through the support of their peers.

Steven Ballesteros and Alex Jensen are alumni of these programs after attending in  2014 and 2013. They share there experience and what other youth can expect to gain from the experience. Both are going into the ministry and this has added to the growth of their abilities in preaching and ministering in areas they are passionate about.


Steven BallasterosSteven Ballesteros Bio:

“I was born and then raised in Tucson, Arizona by my two adoptive moms,
along with my biological sister. I spent most of my teens in a variety
of athletic and artistic extracurriculars while traveling, hiking, and
attending churches with my family. I have spent the last 6 years
involved in Unitarian Universalist leadership from the congregational
to national level. I have dedicated my time and talent to a variety of
leadership roles, including dozens of committees spread between two
churches, volunteering at the UU Camp DeBenneville Pines, and
attending UU leadership schools. I currently serve as member of the
UUA Nominating Committee, co-chair of the General Assembly Right
Relationship Team, and as Faith Development Intern to the Edmonds
Unitarian Universalist Church of Edmonds, Washington.”

Steven on LinkedIn

Favorite Quote:

“We are often called to do the difficult, if not the seemingly
impossible, and it is vital to our spiritual growth that we not ignore
these challenges.”— Janice Marie Johnson

Alex JensenAlex Jensen Bio:

Alex Jensen is a second year student at California State University, Monterey Bay, where he studies Human Communication. Alex has been a Unitarian Universalist since middle school, where he joined Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Fremont, California. A graduate of the UUA’s first Summer Seminary (2013) and a Luminary Leader alumnus, Alex is discerning a call to ministry.


Alex on facebook
Alex on linkedin

Email: robertalexjensen@gmail.com

Favorite Quote:

“I do not pretend to understand the moral universe, the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways. I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. But from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.” ~The Reverend Theodore Parker, Unitarian Minister


Here’s where you can learn more about Summer Seminary

Final Credits: music thanks to:

“Carefree”, “Open Those Bright Eyes”, “Sweeter Vermouth”
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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