Peer Ministry Leadership’s corporate’s name is EveryDay LLC, as it is a ministry that is lived every day, everywhere and in every relationship.
PML works with all denominations. The theology is Christian, and flows from the Good Samaritan Story, with an emphases on relational caring, welcoming and affirming skills. PML is a good fit for many denominations and adapts well for various settings.
Our roots are well grounded in the original Peer education movement. Dr. Varenhorst is the leading pioneer for Peer programs both with schools and churches. As a school counselor in Palo Alto, California, she recognized that the needs of students were greater than her staff could keep up with. As she talked with kids, she would often ask, “To whom do you turn when you have needs?” At first Barbara was hurt that they didn’t say, “Well, we would come to you.” Instead, they often spoke of friends whom they trusted. Barbara also would ask, “When a friend comes to you with a problem, do you know how to help him or her?” The answers indicated that students wished they could be better at helping. Working with the state of California, Barbara developed a written curriculum and began training what was then called Peer Counseling.
Today, many programs such as Peer Helpers, Natural Helpers, Peer Mediation, Peer Ministry all flow out of her original work.
Irene Strommen, author, trainer and organizer (Husband Mert founded Search Institute and The Youth and Family Institute) worked with Dr. Varenhorst to broaden Peer Ministry by starting to include associate trainers in the Twin Cities area. Peer Ministry Leadership exists today because of her guidance and passion.
The Youth and Family Institute at Augsburg College, under the direction of Dr. Dick Hardel, became the first home for Peer Ministry Leadership. Later the Institute would leave the college campus and become it’s own organization. Through a 12 year period, Lyle Griner worked to broaden PML on a national level.
Peer Ministry became it’s own organization in 2010 when the Institute changed it’s name and direction to become Vibrant Faith. Today Peer Ministry Leadership seeks to train and broaden the strategies that allow youth and young adults to become relational leaders.