Current Status: Alumni
Graduation Year: 2005
Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go,” encourages parents to raise their children in a way that is Christ-centered and Christ-focused. But what happens when a child is not introduced to Christ at home? The Young Life Organization serves to bridge this gap by building relationships with young people, sharing the love and life-giving Gospel. Young Life (YL) currently serves middle school, high school, and college students in all 50 of the United States and in more than 100 countries around the world.
While pursuing his HIU degree, alumnus, Michael Barsamian (BA ’05), discovered and developed a passion for ministering to youth. Upon graduation, Michael became a Youth Pastor in Chino, CA. After 6 years serving as a Youth Pastor and partnering with YL as a volunteer, Michael transitioned into a full-time YL Area Director.
Michael loves that his role is primarily about cultivating relationships. “I recruit, train, equip, and send out YL leaders to build great friendships with kids on various campuses, ultimately leading them toward Jesus,” Michael explains. “I also get to help Youth Pastors reach kids and grow their ministries in healthy, sustainable ways.”
Michael spends a lot of his time with teenagers on school campuses during and after school. “We host Young Life clubs on Monday nights where we have a blast with teens and get to introduce them to Jesus, many for the first time.” These weekly gatherings, combined with a week-long summer camp, provide significant opportunities for building meaningful relationships and sharing the gospel. A recent survey found that 4 out of 5 YL participants consider Young Life and its leaders to be a significant influence on their faith.
While majoring in Business and Management at HIU, Michael also earned a minor in Ministry & Biblical Studies. “HIU gave me a stable platform to grow into my career. My role in ministry requires administration, planning, strategy, theology, communication, counseling, and so much more,” Michael shares. “HIU – the community and professors – nurtured my Christian character, and that has sustained my calling and vocation over the last 15 years.”
Since graduating in 2005, Michael has devoted his life to teen ministry, serving in churches, schools, and at Young Life. He has found it fulfilling and rewarding, stating, “This is what I was made for!”