The Young Priest Initiative

The Young Priest Initiative (YPI) is a vehicle for finding, forming and supporting young leaders to serve the Episcopal Church. YPI allows young adults to discern a call to leadership outside of the typical parish setting. This happens through:

  • Retreat: Space for young adults to discern their call to leadership, typically in March.
  • Exploring  the Church: Prior to the retreat, seekers are asked to complete a set of church visits and conversations with church professionals.
  • Internship: A paid internship places interns in full-time parish ministry with an experienced priest, typically during the summer after the retreat.
  • Community Discernment: Seekers meet four times over the summer for group discernment.
  • Mentoring: Throughout the process, members of the YPI committee mentor seekers.

Commitment & Timeline

  • December 1-February 15: Applications accepted.
  • Prior to retreat: Begin Exploring the Church.
  • MarchYPI opening retreat
  • After March: Internship conversations
  • Summer: 8-week internship and four group discernment sessions:
  • Fall: (If discerned) prepare postulancy application

Good Candidates for YPI

  • Bright, energetic Episcopalians with a passion for ministry and a desire to be leaders in the Church.
  • Juniors and seniors in college and those up to six years out of college.
  • Self-starting, healthy and emotionally mature.
  • Skilled in teaching, writing and communicating.


Before applying, we encourage seekers to have a conversation (or series of conversations) with the priest or campus minister most active in their life, whether that be the rector of the parish where the seeker grew up, the priest at their adopted church while at school, or their college chaplain. This priest/minister will write a letter of recommendation on your behalf. A detailed description of what to write is included in the application as well as a separate document, below.

Please submit the application and have the recommendation letter sent to the Rev. Lee Gandiya, YPI Director, and the Rev. Dr. Sarah Kye Price, Vocations Minister. 

Meet the Director

Padre Lee Gandiya is the rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, King George. He was ordained in 1994 in the Church of England. Prior to that, he served as Chaplain to Her Majesty’s Armed Forces (Army) from Oxfordshire, England, where his parish extended over three countries Great Britain, Northern Ireland, and Germany.

YPI in Action

Since 1999, YPI has worked with over 100 young adults, many of whom continue their ministry as ordained priests or lay leaders. YPI alumni includes:

  • The Rev. Justin McIntosh, Rector of St. Paul’s, Ivy
  • The Rev. Susan Daughtry, Missioner for Formation, Episcopal Church in Minnesota
  • The Rev. Grant Mansfield, Rector of St. George’s, Maplewood (NJ)
  • The Rev. Taylor Devine, Curate for Outreach, St. Philip’s, Tuscon (AZ)