about nywc

The National Youth Workers Convention (NYWC) is a gathering of people from all around the country (and the world!) who work with and care about teenagers. It’s an opportunity for you and your team to get equipped, be inspired and encouraged, do some bonding and team building, and have fun!

the leaders of ys

About Youth Specialties
Youth Specialties has been helping Christian churches of every denomination lead students to find and follow Jesus for 50+ years. Each year we serve more than 100,000 youth workers worldwide through our training seminars, conventions, resources, and online communities. Whether you’re new to youth ministry or a veteran, we’re here to help you.
About Orange

Orange is a gathering of leaders who are passionate about engaging churches and families to influence the faith and character of the next generation. 

We want to help you create a better experience for this week for kids and teenagers.

About Download Youth Ministry

Between Doug Fields and Josh Griffin, they have 50+ years in full time youth ministry. Doug and Josh created Download Youth Ministry to help youth workers win in their vital role by providing resources that are: High Quality, Easy to Use, Inexpensive, and Trench-tested.

frequently asked questions

The National Youth Workers Convention (NYWC) is THE gathering of youth workers from all around the country (and the world!) who work with and care about teenagers. It’s an opportunity for you to get equipped, be inspired and encouraged, do some bonding with other youth workers, and have fun! 

Youth Specialties (YS) creates and produces the National Youth Workers Convention and has done so for 50+ years. Youth Specialties has been training and equipping youth workers since the 1960s and is solely devoted to helping people who care about teenagers find effective ways to minister to them in any context. In the spring of 2018 the combined leadership of Orange and Download Youth Ministry acquired Youth Specialties and is now pioneering a new chapter for both YS and NYWC!​

Fun. Laughter. Insight. Encouragement. Training. More Fun. A community of leaders (both paid and volunteer) who understand what you do. Empathy. Empowerment. Love. Really, you can expect opportunities to get out of this event what you need most. Youth workers designed this event for youth workers to offer you as many choices and opportunities for training, conversation, and growth as you can fill into your schedule. Some attendees will try to attend everything possible… while others take a more selective approach and use this time to rest, pray, reflect and network. There’s no wrong way to do NYWC.

We offer more than 60 practical training breakouts led by youth ministry veterans, the authors of the best-selling youth ministry books, Youth Ministry College/University professors, and in-the-trenches practitioners. All of these men and women take the time to interact with attendees and answer questions specific to your ministry. We also provide several opportunities for open-topic conversations, Q/A panels, and live podcasts will fill-in niche areas not covered by traditional workshops. We have pre-conference Deep Dive options (2 or 4 hours) that focus on specific topics in youth ministry. Plus, you’ll soak up learning in the inspirational Big Room where we gather everyone together to celebrate, be challenged to continue, and inspired by our common goal and language. We’ll also have a fun Comedy Night Kick-off on Thursday night that we’re confident will become a crowd favorite. Whether you’re new to ministry or you’re a seasoned veteran, you’ll find something that will challenge you or teach you.

We start with a bang and go full throttle for 3.5 days. The full schedule can be viewed on this site. We’ve made some changes to this year’s schedule to allow more space for conversation and connection. Plus, you can also choose your own learning adventure. We are really excited to see how God works in and through all the different aspects of NYWC!

It’s literally impossible to attend everything… BUT, you can purchase audio downloads of the majority of the breakouts at the event. We’ll provide an on-site head-snapping deal (that’s just how we roll these days) to get all the downloads at the NYWC Store, so be sure to stop by! To get your hands-on previous years breakouts or Big Room session check out our YS Online Store.

You can select these at the convention. Breakouts and deep dives are available at a first come, first serve basis.

The NYWC Store will be packed with convention-exclusive gear, tons of resources, books, curriculum and videos that are designed to make it easier for you to do ministry with teenagers. The store staff is always on hand to help you find exactly what you need. And, the NYWC exhibit hall is packed with over 170 camps, services, apps, podcasts, curriculums and resource companies that can help you in ministry (and usually lots of great freebies).

We do our best to get a wide variety of camp ministries, retreat centers, colleges, seminaries, curriculum agencies, publishing companies, youth ministry resources, mission agencies, and so many more! Exhibitors routinely tell us how excited they are to showcase their work and discuss a partnership with attendees at NYWC.

You can get all the details about exhibiting at NYWC here. We have plenty of opportunities for you to get your ministry or resource in front of youth workers. We have several tiers of booth options for exhibiting and some higher-level sponsorships available as well for a more in-depth and broader impact.

If you come to NYWC alone, you’ll never be lonely. We won’t force you into awkward icebreaker activities that you might make your youth groups participate in. But you’ll find plenty of other fun, crazy, passionate youth workers that you can get to know. If you come to NYWC with a team, you’ll have space during the weekend to spend time together having fun, debriefing, and dreaming.

We know that people who are passionately serving in ministry often neglect to refuel themselves as they intensely focus on others. It’s noble, but we want you to be healthy and alive in the coming years. You’ll find ample spaces (and people!) who will help care for your soul, whether you spend time in our prayer chapel, visit our Sanctuary, or meet with a personal spiritual director. You’ll also experience times of worship during our Big Room sessions, where you actually get to participate (instead of planning or leading it)! We’ll be sure to have a few misspellings on the screen to make you feel right at home, too.

Absolutely! We will be looking for a small but hungry team of full-convention volunteers. We have more volunteer applicants than we can use every year—so make a strong case why you’re NYWC-worthy! More information coming soon.

Food and lodging is not included. Food options will be available for purchase in the Exhibit Hall as well as many dining options available within walking distance of the conference. We have also worked out BEST RATE deals with hotels right near the convention center that you won’t find on Expedia or Priceline or on your own. Be sure to take advantage of that special pricing on our travel page.  

Any pre-registration tickets purchased prior to January 7, 2020 are 100% non-refundable. COVID-19: We pray that the current developments around COVID-19 don’t keep us from gathering in person for NYWC. If necessary, we will move the convention to either a partial or fully online format. Personal emergencies: In the event of a personal emergency please submit a refund request in writing to nywc@youthspecialties.com(opens in new tab) for our team to review.
You are responsible to manage the sale of any extra tickets you have. Tickets can be transferred into another name at the request of the ticket purchaser by emailing nywc@youthspecialties.com(opens in new tab). Extra tickets can be donated through the Tic Long Scholarship Fund by emailing nywc@youthspecialties.com

NYWC is structured to focus entirely on adult youth workers, which includes full-time staff, ministry assistants, adult volunteers, interns, and leadership. It’s a time to get away, hang out, relax and get some teaching and training that will help you minister more effectively to your teens. The subject matter has been developed specifically for adults, so we recommend attendees be at least college age (if you are a college professor and need a special rate for your class, please contact Terry Linhart at tlinhart@youthspecialties.com).

YS loves youth workers and their families… but, the Big Room is designed for adults, not children. With that in mind, we have a nearby family room with a video feed from the Big Room. There are comfy chairs and a big screen TV—it’s an excellent place for you and your kids. Childcare is not the responsibility of NYWC staff/volunteers, so child supervision is the responsibility of the parent. See our pricing page for spouse rates.

We hope that attendees can stay the whole time (Thursday evening – Sunday morning); however, we understand things come up that may prevent that from happening. Unfortunately, there is no ‘partial refund’ for the convention if you arrive late or leave early, as the convention fee is for the full schedule regardless of how many breakouts/sessions/activities you are able to participate in.

Please fill out this form if you are interested in speaking or performing at NYWC 2020 or future events.


Payment Details

Please see the pricing page for full pricing and deadline information. You may pay by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover). Credit card payments and the full amount will be charged at the time of registration.

Cancellation Details

Any tickets purchased prior to March 30, 2020 are 100% non-refundable. Other tickets are non-refundable except due to unforeseen emergency situations. Refund requests for emergencies must be received in writing and can be emailed to nywc@youthspecialties.com.