Lead pastor at Destiny Worship Center Steve Vaggalis had a heart to reach and train the next generation of leaders. From that desire, Emerge Leadership Academy began in 2012.

As a spiritual family, Destiny Worship Center is committed to seeing the destiny of young leaders fulfilled. Malachi 4:6 says, "And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse."

“Emerge is a nine-month intensive training program designed to disciple, train, equip, and launch single young leaders into the ministry to which they have been called,” said Heather Tardo, director of Emerge Leadership Academy. “We wanted to create a program where students can dedicate nine months of their lives to God. They can come and find out who God is, who God says they are, and what he has called them to do.”

Students have Biblical leadership, life skills, and leadership classes. They also work in different ministries at Destiny Worship, and once a week they work in an outreach in the community — helping at a local nursing home or Food For Thought food pantry, for example. They also get to go on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic.

“All classes encourage public speaking and writing skills and will be taught by staff pastors and other church, community, or business leaders,” said Tardo.

Emerge, beginning its sixth year Sept. 9, is designed for those who have graduated from high school, are in college but not sure why, or a college graduate who desires to consecrate a season of their lives to God before they begin their career.

“Our program is for anyone between the ages of 18 and 25,” Tardo said. “Aspiring students should possess a strong desire to be shaped and molded by God so that they can discover clarity, develop character, and deploy calling in their lives.”

The Emerge Campus is located a mile and a half from the church on Holiday Road, once home to St. Symeon The New Theologian Greek. There are five buildings laid out on two acres. The buildings consist of a male and female dorm, each staffed with a resident assistant, a recreation center, an interactive library and a prayer chapel.

“The property has a sanctuary feel in that it is tucked away from U.S. 98 and possesses an amazing sense of serenity,” Tardo said. “If you are uncertain as to your future direction as a follower of Christ, consider the Emerge leadership program. Learn more about the program at www.emergeleader.com.”