About LEAD

Franciscan LEAD is a five-day, Christ-centered, sacrament-soaked, prayer fueled immersion in Catholic teachings on leadership, evangelization, and discipleship inspired by the life and witness of St. Francis of Assisi. Our leadership philosophy is based on the foundation that youth leadership flows from a personal relationship with Christ. Therefore, we first give teens the tools to grow closer in their relationship with Jesus and then give them the essentials for servant leadership and evangelization.

  Watch a Short Video About Franciscan LEAD

I went into the LEAD week totally nervous and having a few problems with my faith, and came out feeling strong and confident in my faith as a soldier of God. Throughout the week all my fears about who I was and what I had to do vanished. I found confidence and strength in God and I slowly, through the week, realized that God has it all under control and that He loved me for who I was.

Youth LEAD Participant


To foster discipleship, teens will learn more about prayer, practical ways to pray and spend time in personal prayer every morning. Praise and worship is an integral form of group prayer during the week to foster hearts of worship and thanksgiving.  They will encounter Christ in daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration and Confession. Throughout the week, they will learn more about the persons of the Trinity and the Blessed Mother and grow in deeper relationship with Father, Son and Spirit. Men's and women's session provide an opportunity for teens to grow in their identity as sons and daughters in a smaller, more personal setting.

To equip them for evangelization, teens will learn how to share their personal witness/testimony with others and are given the opportunity to practice their witness in three minutes. They will also learn how to share their faith in the midst of the culture in which they live by learning about various cultural trends that can negatively impact one's beliefs, such as relativism. As they leave the week, they are encouraged to go forth and serve with humility and love.

Franciscan LEAD is a lot of fun too! Teens come together from different parishes and youth groups to grow in community and friendship. Small group time throughout the week offers a place to share with and learn from other teens with the same desire to grow in holiness and share their faith with others.

The week is led by a team of young adults who have a passion for ministry and desire to share what the Lord has given to them. All of the facilitators attend a yearly training at Franciscan University. Many of the leaders are studying for futures in ministry or have graduated college and are actively working in full time ministry.

Franciscan LEAD is held the week before each Steubenville Youth Conference, beginning Monday and ending Friday afternoon when the participant will join his/her group for the weekend youth conference.



The application for Franciscan LEAD is a two part online process – the youth application and referral form. All youth applying for Franciscan LEAD will need the name and email of an adult who may be their youth minister, priest or any adult that knows them well enough to answer questions about their faith life. (The referral cannot be a family member.) Click below to read more details about the application process.



Click below to begin an online application for Franciscan LEAD. You will be able to save your application and complete it at a later time if desired.

Apply Now!


  • What is Franciscan LEAD?
  • What happens over the course of the week?
  • When does Franciscan LEAD take place?
  • Who should apply for Franciscan LEAD?
  • What is the deadline for applications?
  • What is the age requirement for applying?
  • Who facilitates the Franciscan LEAD week?
  • How do youth apply for Franciscan LEAD?
  • Can a youth apply to Franciscan LEAD at a site different from where their group is going for the weekend conference?
  • What is the Franciscan LEAD acceptance process?
  • What is the cost of the week and what does this price include?
  • How are travel arrangements made?
  • Where will the participants join their group on Friday?
  • Will youth be considered if they apply for Franciscan LEAD a second year?
  • Can youth be considered for Franciscan LEAD if they have never attended a Franciscan University of Steubenville Youth Conference?

Contact Us