Practice Discipleship Initiative Trains Youth Workers and ALL People Interested in Faith Formation

This Practice Discipleship Project is the result of a dynamic partnership between the ELCA Youth Ministry Network, ELCA Lutheran seminaries and colleges and their faculty who teach chPD logoildren, youth and family ministry, and resource providers of the church.

The Practice Discipleship Initiative fosters faithful, thoughtful and intentional leaders in congregations who follow Jesus in their daily lives.

The Practice Discipleship Initiative will:

Educate.  Train leadership to accompany young people on their faith journey.

Connect.  Develop partnerships to strengthen faith formation opportunities for and with young people.

Renew.  Gather leaders for mutual support and encouragement in ministry.

The purpose of Practice Discipleship is to explore the realities of faith formation in this missional age. These sessions will help you understand cultural shifts we are witnessing both theoretically and theologically. They will also introduce you to some practical ways in which you and your congregation can begin to engage your context in new ways.

Training opportunities for adults who work with children and youth will take place in several different formats.  Seven webinars are available at, and several face-to-face trainings will be held across the synod in the coming months. 

Southeastern Iowa Synod Coach

Sonja Gerstenberger serves St. Peter Lutheran Church in Grimes as the Director for Faith Formation.  She has primary responsibility for Confirmation ministry, in addition to providing formative faith experiences for all ages including small group offerings, facilitating a Creation Station for young children during worship, and supporting Sunday School and Youth Group ministries. Sonja also coordinates electronic communications for St. Peter. Sonja graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Education from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. She lives in Grimes with her husband, Scott, and their three children, Lucas, Nicolas, and Analise.

Sonja’s Contact Information:
E-mail: [email protected]org


More information on the project, including all of the training resources from the first phase of the project, can be found at  For more information about Practice Discipleship in the Southeastern Iowa Synod, contact Sonja Gerstenberger.