Distinguished Educator Award
The AYME presents the Distinguished Educator Award occasionally to those who have made significant contributions to the field of youth ministry education through service, scholarship, teaching, or other means of advancing the field. The association may recognize significant contributions made in one afore mentioned area or across multiple areas.

Typically this award is presented to a person who is well known to the AYME membership and is in the later stages of their career. (While this is not truly a lifetime achievement award, neither is it an educator of the year award.) Normally the award is presented to long-standing members of AYME who have distinguished themselves among their peers. However, given the interdisciplinary nature of youth ministry education, non-members in other disciplines who have made significant contributions to our field may also be considered for this award.

  • Any member of the association may nominate candidates to the board.
  • Nominations may be made at anytime.
  • Nominations should be directed to the president of the board for consideration.
  • The board of directors chooses the awardee.
  • Awardees are recognized at the fall AYME conference.


1998                Wesley Black, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
2001                Merton Strommen, Search Institute
2003                Jay Kesler, Taylor University & Youth for Christ
2006                Dean Borgman, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary
2011                Mark Senter, Trinity International University
2012                Kenda Creasy Dean, Princeton Theological Seminary
2016                Leonard Kageler, Nyack College
2022               David Rahn, Huntington University & Youth for Christ