The Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries oversees the ACYOA Juniors and Seniors, as well as the Diocesan Summer Camp programs, St. Vartan Camp and Hye Camp. The mission of the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries is to inspire youth and young adults to develop their Armenian Christian identity by creating experiences which help them connect the faith and culture of the Armenian Church to their daily lives. To learn more about specific programs, please visit the Programming section of this website.

Director: Jennifer Morris

Living the Faith in Christ

Through Worship, Witness, Service, Education, and Fellowship

Statement of Purpose

We believe that the goal of Armenian Church Youth Ministry is to offer a balanced program including: liturgical experience, religious education, cultural appreciation, spiritual and moral guidance as well as social activity. The focus should always be the core of what comprises the Christian life: Worship, Witness, Service, Education, and Fellowship. We define them as follows:

Worship. This refers to our relationship with God through liturgy, prayer and sacramental life. Worship means encouraging liturgical experience and developing a penetrating program for spiritual growth, both as individuals and as groups. All other dimensions of Christian life depend on this.

Witness. This is the logical extension of worship. If we are united with God, we will reflect Him in our daily life. In the same way that Christ constantly indicated the Father, we, too, must confess Him, labor for Him, and witness to our faith through our example and our daily lifestyle according to the measure of faith which God has assigned.

Service. The emphasis in service is on charity and sharing one’s “gifts.” Christ came not to be served but to serve, and HE urges us to do the same. We can live in the image and likeness of God by loving and serving mankind. Service is an essential component of lay ministry, the Armenian Christian’s call to participate in the active ministry of the Church.

Education. This is vital to spiritual growth. The proper nurturing of our youth’s spirituality must be one of our Church’s primary concerns. The Armenian Church needs to communicate her orthodox faith to our youth. By learning about and living the Holy Scriptures, doctrines, sacraments, rites, history, and traditions of our Church, our youth will better understand the teachings of the Christian faith and be better able to live the other “circles of the cross.”

Fellowship. This refers to the way that Armenian Christians bring their faith into daily and social life. There is something holy about Christians who gather together socially and remain conscious that they are people of God. Whatever the youth do, be it in the church hall, home, or gymnasium, they must remember that they are “Temples of the Holy Spirit.” Social activities must be consistent with the reality that Armenian Christians are in constant fellowship with each other and the Holy Spirit.

OUR ULTIMATE GOAL must be to envision that our youth will grow to love Christ and His Church and to pursue the way of life to which God calls us.


The Armenian Church Youth Organization of America (ACYOA) was founded in 1946 through the vision of Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan, of blessed memory, the late Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America.

ACYOA remains the oldest church-related youth organization in the worldwide Armenian community. Its goal is to promote a deeper relationship between young Armenian Christians and their ancestral church, and to provide a stage on which young Armenians can gather to know and love their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and to discover their identity as Armenian Christians.

Generations of young Armenian-Americans have participated in ACYOA activities focusing on worship, witness, service, education, and fellowship-five ideas corporately known as the “circles of the cross.” By building bonds among its members, the ACYOA also strengthens the sense of attachment and leadership that young Armenian Christians feel towards the Armenian and American communities in which they live.

Through programming initiatives such as leadership conferences, educational workshops, spiritual retreats, service projects, and trips to Armenia and the Holy Land, the ACYOA prepares young Armenians to be active, educated members of their church, and leaders in their local parish communities and within the broader Armenian Church.

ACYOA alumni currently serve throughout the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) as clergymen, parish council members, Diocesan delegates, Armenian and Sunday school teachers, choir and Women’s Guild members, youth directors, and in lay ministry positions throughout the Diocese.

Today, 26 parishes have organized ACYOA chapters. These local chapters are governed by a seven-member Diocesan body, the ACYOA Central Council, elected by the General Assembly which meets annually to review the year’s accomplishments and to make decisions about its future.

For detailed information on the ACYOA, visit its dedicated website, www.acyoa.org.

Diocesan Summer Camps

St. Vartan and Hye Camps provide a physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy environment in which young Armenian-American Christians can grow and flourish as they learn about and develop a deeper understanding of their Armenian faith and culture.

Please click on the images below to visit our Diocesan Summer Camps website at www.diocesansummercamps.org. For further information please contact Jennifer Morris, Youth and Young Adult Ministries director, at (248) 648-0702, or via e-mail or Kathryn Ashbahian, Youth and Young Adult Ministries coordinator, at (212) 686-0710, ext. 143, or via e-mail.

Hye Camp