National Chaplain Association for Youth at  Risk

About us:

 68 years ago, a handful of training school chaplains convened the first gathering of what later became named the National Chaplains Association for Youth at Risk (NCAYR). It was a small group then, but it grew over the years into an association of more than 100. It almost died in 1975—when state budget cuts addressed a serious recession in the economy—and the Ohio state conference that year was cancelled. But the faithful remnant from New York state—including our own historian and lifetime member, Dr. Charles Grimm—resurrected the Association in 1978 by hosting the first of 25 annual conferences in New York. NCAYR clearly reclaimed its national identity in 2000 when Carol Mayernick was elected president and hosted the conference that year in Indiana. Since then, we have held conferences in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Niagara Falls, Cleveland, Boston, Iowa, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and Illinois. We welcome all youth ministers to be part of our association.


The National Chaplains’ Association for Youth at Risk (NCAYR) is in its 59th year of support for ministers to youth in youth-serving agencies throughout the nation. NCAYR began in Chicago in 1948 with a small conference of chaplains from training schools in New York, Michigan and Chicago. Four chaplains began the association that grew into a network of approximately 150 members over the years and annual conferences were held in 15 different States. We seek out ministers from every youth-serving agency in the nation to join our Association and to increase our sharing of support and ideas for our common mission to advocate for quality spiritual