About AYP

The global hub for Seventh-day Adventist young adults

Founded in fall of 2019, AYP has grown to a community of 10,000+ young Adventists who believe in a culture of collaboration, innovation, and ambition centered around Christ! Our resources, groups, and local chapters minister to our members with the whole person in mind.

Chapters

Join an in-person urban-based AYP community.

Groups

Join a virtual topical-based AYP community.

Convention

Sign up for our 2024 convention in Houston, Texas.

Mission Trip

Sign up for our upcoming mission trip in Miami, Florida.

Resources

Directory

Network online with AYPers from across the globe.

Mentorship

Grow through the experience of seasoned professionals.

Chaplaincy

Receive spiritual care that supports your faith journey.

Podcast

Gain valuable insights through real-world insights.

Blog

Read inspirational content by and for young professionals.

Conversation Column

Dive into our monthly theme through an interactive Bible study guide.

Community Calendar

Find and share local and virtual events for young professionals.

Library

Explore books to grow you as as a disciple and leader.

Become A Member

Access all of AYP’s communities and resources for FREE.

Who We Are

MISSION

Adventist Young Professionals exist to foster Christ-centered community through faith development, authentic connections,  and ministry engagement.

VISION

Adventist Young Professionals seeks to be a global network of local communities that unites, engages, and inspires Seventh-day Adventist professionals to glorify God.

VALUES

Adventist Young Professionals values discipleship grounded on growing in faith, living in integrity, and serving in love.

We focus on individuals in their 20s-30s who are growing in faith, embarking on their career, and seeking opportunities in their personal, professional and spiritual journey.

AYP is a 501C3 non-profit organization foundation on the teachings of the Bible and the values of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Below is a brief overview (extracted from Adventist.org) of the values Adventists uphold.

Seventh-day Adventists are a global family of Christians who hold the Bible as the ultimate authority. There are, however, a few distinguishing characteristics that set them apart from many other Christian denominations.

  • Adventists look to Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
  • Adventists believe the Bible introduces you to God.
  • Adventists acknowledge the call to be unique, or “set apart” from the world.
  • Adventists uphold the importance of the 4th commandment, the Seventh-day Sabbath, even today.
  • Adventists have a rich history, fueled by a renewed emphasis on rigorous Bible study.
    The Adventist Church today believes in action.
  • The goal is eternal life with Jesus Christ.

Learn more about Seventh-day Adventists at Adventist.org.

AYP is led by a team of over 70 volunteers passionate about fostering Christ-centered community through faith development, authentic connections,  and ministry engagement. The team is organized into the following ministry teams focused on empowering innovation and ambition in the next generation of our Church’s leaders.

Meet our leadership team at AYP.me/About/Leadership.

Over the next two years, AYP will continue to grow communities across the globe. Additionally, we will expand our emphasis on missions and outreach, and will launch new resources to equip young professionals to actively share Christ and integrate into loving Adventist churches. It’s our prayer that God will allow these programs and resources to impact thousands for Him.

Explore our goals below and dig deeper at AYP.me/About/Strategy.

Growing in Faith
  • Cultivate chapters in major population hubs across North America and across the world.
  • Establish and grow virtual groups with leaders from all corners of the world.
  • Expand the AYP Convention to be the premier gathering of Adventist young professionals in North America.
Living in Integrity
  • Grow new and existing financial streams to support the hiring of supporting staff and grow programs by July 2025.
  • Expand the global brand recognition, engagement, and advocacy for AYP.
  • Foster a culture that enables inreach and outreach to coexist, serving as a catalyst to engage young professionals as active members of a local Adventist church.
Serving in Love
  • Share Christ locally and internationally through mission trips and outreach projects.
  • Grow a thriving global team of young professionals to advance the mission of AYP.
  • Improve operational processes through training and mentorship for new and existing team members.
  • Develop, implement, and adapt volunteer engagement strategies that showcase appreciation to volunteers for their dedication to the ministry, increase team comradery, and support every volunteer as a growing Christian leader.

Every year, our team works together to come up with a theme that guides our approach to the next 12 months. This theme is used for our convention, activities within our chapters and groups, the resources that we develop, and a number of other areas.  Below are a list of our current and past themes:

  • 2023-2024 – Cultivate: Rhythms of Christ
  • 2022-2023 – Thrive: The Next Level
  • 2021-2022 – Brave Hearts
  • 2020-2021 – Reconnect

Start A Chapter In Your City

Meet our network of mentors from across the globe!

Stay Connected

Sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive highlights on upcoming AYP initiatives.

Partner With Us

Your support enables AYP to serve young professionals across the globe!

Volunteer Opportunities

Looking for ways to serve with us? Explore our open volunteer opportunities!

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Justin & Sheree Kelly

Meet Sheree Kelly, a spirited and visionary leader in elementary education with over a decade of transformative experience. A proud alumna of Oakwood University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, Sheree has earned accolades aplenty, including the illustrious Southwestern Union Conference Teacher of Excellence award in 2023. Her dedication to nurturing young minds is enhanced by a Counseling endorsement on her denominational certification, showcasing her commitment to comprehensive student well-being.

Justin Kelly is a dynamic professional whose expertise spans education, information technology, and missionary work. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Oakwood College and a Master’s Degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Justin is a tech-savvy trailblazer. He is the creative force behind Superscrum.net, a cutting-edge blog on agile software development techniques, making waves in the tech community.
This powerhouse couple, Justin and Sheree, shine as local elders at Fondren Seventh Day Adventist Church in Houston, Texas. They’ve also shared their talents as elementary teachers at Excel Adventist Academy. Beyond their professional roles, they are known for their love of salsa dancing, country music, and throwing unforgettable themed parties. Their true passion lies in building community through small group studies, potlucks, and engaging events at their home in Fresno, Texas.
Justin and Sheree excel in mastering the delicate art of balancing life, work, and church. They champion the virtues of temperance and healthy boundaries, ensuring harmony in all aspects of life. With nearly eight joyful years of marriage, their unwavering faith in Jesus Christ fuels their journey and dedication.

Daniel Pino

Daniel Pino Romero serves as a pastor at the Houston Spanish Northwest SDA Church.

Dr. Tom Grove

Dr. Tom Grove is a proud native of Pennsylvania who calls Texas home. He is serving as the
Associate Director for Ministry & Evangelism for the Texas Conference. He also serves as the
English Men’s Volunteer Coordinator for the Conference. Prior to his transition to the Texas
Conference office, he served as the Executive Pastor of the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist
Church in Arlington, Texas. Before coming to Texas, he spent 15 years pastoring in the
Pennsylvania Conference. He is an alumnus of Columbia Union College (now Washington
Adventist University) as well as Andrews University where he received his Master of Divinity
and his Doctor of Ministry. He is the author of the Men’s Spiritual Leadership curriculum,
Joshua’s Men, which is published by AdventSource and is being used throughout the North
American Division to mentor men to be leaders in their homes, communities, and churches.

He has been married to his wonderful wife Deborah, a Speech-Language Pathologist, for 27
years and is the proud father of Mark and Caroline. In his time off, he loves reading, traveling,
playing racquetball and cheering for all the sports teams who call Pittsburgh home.

Xav Handfield

Xavyance “Xav” Handfield is a nationally recognized speaker, health and wellness activator, educator and is the CEO of the Handfield Group, LLC. His mission is to use his gifts and his voice to inspire and evoke change in the world. In 2015, he started his speaking career and has been blessed to inspire and speak to thousands of individuals across the country for corporate events, churches, and community organizations. In 2017, he created Plant Based Brotha, which initially started to empower people to be able to transition to a plant-based lifestyle but has since pivoted to teaching others that health and wellness is a holistic experience.

Xav is excited about life and is a living testament that our gifts make room for us, and he truly works towards God’s purpose. He is married to his wife Jasmine, and they just welcomed their first child, a baby girl in April. Xav aspires to inspire before he expires and has a favorite verse, Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Michal Anne Whitcomb

Michal Anne Whitcomb is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, Texas. Michal has spent her 16 year career dedicated to the empowerment, healing, and growth of her clients.  She began her career at Genesis Women’s Shelter, where she worked with women and children impacted by domestic violence. Michal continued her work with children and their families at Dallas ISD’s Youth and Family Centers. In 2012, she began her private practice in Dallas, Texas, where she works with adults, teens, and families on issues of depression, anxiety, grief/loss, relational issues, and trauma. Michal has training in several modalities, many related to the treatment of trauma and adverse experiences. Michal is Certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), an evidenced-based trauma treatment, and is also an EMDR Consultant-in-Training. Michal lives in Arlington, Texas with her husband, Levi, and their two children. If she is not at work, you can usually find Michal playing softball, singing at church, or enjoying a hike.

Stephen and Felecia Lee

Stephen and Felecia Lee are a mission-minded creative duo. Stephen founded a marketing business, and Felecia is a homemaker. They led at ASI and spoke at GYC, SAC, AYP, and conference events. Based in the ‘Live Free or Die’ state, their talks on communication, relationships, productivity, and faith empower individuals to inspire change.

Costin Jordache, MA, MBA, APR

Costin Jordache serves as Vice President of System Strategy and Brand Development for Adventist HealthCare, a healthcare system operating in Maryland and Washington DC. In his role, Costin oversees strategic planning and development, as well as public relations, marketing and communication for the healthcare system.

Over the last 25 years, he has served in leadership roles including News Editor for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines, Vice President for Communication in the Central California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Director of Communication in the Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Pastor for Media at the Loma Linda University Church and Senior Pastor of the Dallas First Church.

Costin holds a Masters degree in Radio, Television & Film from the University of Texas at Austin as well as an MBA from California State University, along with a BA in Theology and Biblical Languages from Southwestern Adventist University. Costin is accredited in Public Relations by the Public Relations Society of America.

He specializes in strategic communication and media leadership, public relations, teaching, strategic planning and organizational leadership.

Costin is married to Leah Jordache. They have two sons, Roman, 18 and Lance 16.

David Asscherick

David is a speaker/director for Light Bearers and ARISE co-founder and instructor. Since his baptism in 1999, David has traveled the globe preaching and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. He and his wife Violeta are the happy parents of two boys, Landon and Jabel.

Keynote Speaker

Benjamin Lundquist, host of Rise & Lead, will headline 2023 AYP Convention.

Benjamin Lundquist is a top motivational speaker and one the leading voices for leadership development and empowerment. He is passionate about helping students and professionals see their worth and value, see themselves as a leader, and see their potential to change the world. The message he shares is motivating, relatable, and highly practical. Audiences are challenged to take extreme ownership of the unique gifts and opportunities they have. He is an international speaker and host of Rise and Lead Podcast which has been downloaded in over 110 countries providing aspiring and experienced leaders of all ages with world-class content and conversation. He frequently speaks at corporate and faith events, universities, and high schools.

Identity in Christ | Breakout Track

April is currently an associate pastor for discipleship at Keene SDA church. She is enrolled in a dual graduate program for Public Health and MDIV chaplaincy. She enjoys working with different ministries that highlight service, hospitality, and life enrichment. 

Her hobbies include traveling, reading, music, and extreme sports. An introvert at heart, she enjoys moments with close friends and in the quiet. Her and her husband, Blake Snyder reside in Burleson, Texas.

Purpose & Calling | Breakout Track

Ann Roda likes to describe her life as one long adventure with God. She began her career as a registered nurse in OB then transitioned into healthcare administration. Then, God unexpectedly redirected her path to the Adventist Theological Seminary, for an MDiv, and into pastoral ministry. She spent 15 years as a church pastor in Marietta, Georgia and Fulton, Maryland. Six years ago, God had another adventure for Ann, and called her back into the health care ministry, serving with Adventist HealthCare as Vice President for Mission and Spiritual Care. 

This position is the perfect combination of both pastoral ministry and health care. Ann is married to Jose Hernandez, a licensed professional counselor. Ann and her husband enjoy hiking, biking, and traveling.

Relationships | Breakout Track

Stephen and Felecia Lee are partners in the mission. They share a mutual passion for young adult ministries and using their talents to share the Gospel online and through speaking engagements. Stephen helps individuals and businesses function more efficiently through time management and productivity techniques. Felecia is a full-time homemaker and also the founder of the New Wives Club. 

In addition to this, she runs a program teaching women of color how to learn principles of faith through natural hair care. They live in New Hampshire and speak in different places on topics related to singleness, courtship, communication, evangelism, and faith.

Spiritual Health | Breakout Track

Shawn is passionate about generations coming together! She grew up in a four-generation family business and knows, from first-hand experience, that when people of all ages work together, everyone wins!

She has a B.S. in marketing from the University of Nebraska and is an award-winning sales and marketing professional. Her professional certifications include being a member of the John Maxwell Team and DISC Behavioral Consultant. Recently she published her first book “Strategies for Generational Inclusion at Work.”

Communities | Breakout Track

Michael Gibson currently serves as the Lead Pastor at the Keene SDA Church where he most previously served for four years as Pastor for Young Adults and lead Elevate, a growing and thriving young adult community in Keene. Michael is married to Melissa and they both enjoy the outdoors, long walks, and traveling to new, unexplored places. 

Most days, when he’s not teaching, preaching or studying, you’ll find him playing disc golf or working on home renovations with Melissa. They recently welcomed their son, Micah Eden, into the world last October and ever since, life has taken on a whole new meaning. Above all, Michael and Melissa have a passion for discipleship and telling others about the incredible God they serve. For them, the gospel boils down to loving God and loving people.