History of EPC Youth Ministry
The vision for denominational youth ministry began in 1985 with an action of the General Assembly. It appointed the Christian Education Committee to look into the feasibility of a national youth conference for the youth of EPC churches. Summer Jam was the first such conference and was held in 1987 with 100 students. That same year the General Assembly birthed the Committee on Youth Ministries.
In the early Nineties, the General Assembly Office brought on a full time Director and part-time assistant. By 1994, the Committee on Youth Ministries and Director of Youth Ministries became the Student & Young Adult Ministries Committee and the Director of Student & Young Adult Ministries-affectionately known as SYAM.
Since its inception, EPC Student & Young Adult Ministries has grown to encompass multiple conferences and short term mission experiences, an annual youth workers' retreat, ministry resources and training events, a denominational newsletter called The LINK, a national director and Committee for Student Ministries.
Until recently, EPC Student Ministries (EPCSM) was known as Student & Young Adult Ministries (SYAM). The reason for this name change was precipitated by the emergence of the denomination's first permanent Committee on College Ministries at the 25th General Assembly (June, 2005). With the College Ministries Committee taking the lead in ministry to post-high school students in the EPC, it didn't make sense for SYAM to keep its name (with its reference to "Young Adults").