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AUGUST 16TH-17TH, 2019 



Hastings, MN

(more specifics to come)


The Apex Gathering is 2 days to spend with other high level youth leaders from all different demographics to Innovate//Dream//Reflect. We believe having people to lock arms with and to experience true community with is the key to long term success in reaching students for Jesus.


The Apex Gathering is 2 life changing days each summer. More than just a two-day experience our hope is that the Apex Gathering starts a journey of growing together towards Jesus while leading students.

We will focus our time on conversations and intentional teaching times from participants and facilitators alike. There will be time for reflection and dreaming in conjunction with conversations with people who genuinely care for you. It is our hope and prayer that we will all come expecting change in our own lives which will spill over onto those we lead. We truly believe this time will change the landscape of our hearts and the trajectory of our ministries.

These 2 days will be filled with resources, conversations and other unexpected twists. We are intentionally vague on the specific details of the weekend because, well, we can, and a little mystery adds to the excitement. You will be on a need to know basis, you'll know what you need to know in plenty of time


The Apex Gathering is invite only and is designed for leaders who truly want to grow and reach as many students for Jesus as possible. No matter how many students you are currently leading your heart to Innovate//Dream//Reflect on what could be is what will qualify you to be with us at the Apex Gathering.


We believe that top tier leaders must keep their hearts in pursuit of Jesus which means, we have our eye on the goal and we aren't turning back all the while being reminded we aren't the experts in all of this but must remain life long learners.


The Apex Gathering will be Friday & Saturday,

August 16th & 17th 2019

The cost of the event is $149


Our  m i s s i o n  is to reach another student for Jesus by loving the youth leader in their community.


We take  v a l u e  in having a high standard of excellence, a family-oriented culture, being approachable, real, and comfortable with who we are, and most importantly, our passion for Jesus.


Our  d e s i r e  is to have a year-round connection with the Youth Leaders Summit family and to provide world-class training at a price that any youth leader can afford.

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Meet The Team

Austin Walker

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Austin grew up in a Christian family where church was attended weekly. It was a place he loved going to even from an early age (mainly because of foosball and donuts). Ministry felt like what he was designed to do from the beginning but he did everything he could to avoid it. In 2007, Austin began a journey as a ¼ time youth leader at his church and over the course of the next 8 years, God did what only He can do. He grew the program Austin oversaw in depth and width! Austin loves youth ministry because he believes it is the greatest opportunity to show people the love of Jesus in a way that transforms their entire life. He believes in what youth leaders do. He believes they change the world one student at a time! Austin is currently the Campus Pastor at the St. Croix Campus of Embrace Church. Austin has been married to his wife, Calli, for 13 years and they have three kids, Emerson (10), Silas (9), and Scarlett (4). 

Ty Schraufnagel

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Ty Schraufnagel is husband to his wonderful wife Hayley and dad to his two boys Noah (9) and Aidan (7).  As a business leader in Arizona - Ty has been able to develop systems and put leadership principles he has learned into action every day. It also has given him the time to pour into his role as Board President for Paladin Sports Outreach and as a board member of Youth Leaders Summit. Ty loves to find ways to continually grow and to help those around him do the same. He enjoys coaching his sons’ sports in Paladin and traveling with his wife.

Matthew Bader

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Matthew is the Executive Director of Youth Leaders Summit and Director of Family Ministry at Albert Lea United Methodist Church. He enjoys working with students, watching sports (especially NASCAR), traveling, and researching & teaching  history.

John Mitchem

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John serves as one of the original Youth Leaders Summit board members. He brings 30 years of experience in ministry as either a volunteer or a paid staff person. He currently serves as the Lead Pastor at a church in Albert Lea, MN. John will clearly say that some of his best moments in ministry happened as a volunteer youth worker. John takes great pride in those that grew up in his programs and are now serving the local church or para church organizations that are introducing the next generation to Jesus. John's focuses outside of ministry are his close friends and sports. Even though he lives in MN, his favorite college football team is the Ohio State Buckeyes. 


Jordan Engel

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Jordan is what we call the "execution guru" of Youth Leaders Summit. She's a rare type that loves all things that involve admin work and lists! She has a Communications Studies degree from the University of Minnesota and currently works as an executive assistant and admin, and has also worked in ministry for the last 6 years. She loves to spend time in coffee shops writing, and is always looking for suggestions on new books to read!

Hayley Schraufnagel

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Hayley is a stay-at-home mom that's never home. She and her husband are raising two boys that love sports, so you can usually find her in her minivan on the way to a field somewhere. Besides her family, Hayley's other passions include traveling, attention to detail, good grammar, and cake. She writes at Mary, Martha & Sparta and recently began teaching regularly at Releasing Ripples Conferences. She's excited to be back for her sixth year as the event coordinator at Youth Leaders Summit.

Calli Walker

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Calli is our hospitality and guest experience expert. She is an at home mom to her 3 kids, and is a part time educational assistant for an online high school. She has a passion for reaching the next person for Jesus, the people of Haiti and her family. She's probably best summarized by her son, Silas: "my mom is nice and does a lot of laundry".