Doug Franklin

Founder and President of LeaderTreks Youth Ministry

I have a passion for Jesus, students, and youth ministry. I believe the church is the best place for students to stretch their leadership muscles and grow.

I studied Christian Education at Wheaton College and I have served in a few churches and as a youth pastor – but it all started when I fell in love with youth ministry as a junior high small group leader.

As a youth pastor I noticed that every time I put students in charge, the youth ministry increased. Naturally, I began looking for tools to help me develop my young leaders, but I found none. That’s when God laid on my heart a desire to make leadership development resources for youth ministry. In 1994, I started LeaderTreks as a response to that burden.

Today LeaderTreks Youth Ministry offers trips, leadership training, and curriculum all focused on making disciples and developing leaders.

What I value:

I believe that large is inspirational and small is transformational. I want to spend my time working in small groups of youth workers and students because I want to see change happen. Real transformation requires time and relationship.

When youth workers tell me they have used a LeaderTreks resource, my first response is “did it work?” I want to create experiences and resources that are practical and actually work for youth ministry. Purpose drives me – I don’t want to just make products, I want to make tools that help students make decisions to follow Christ.

A student’s learning is not as dependent on how much they hear as it’s dependent on how much they do. That’s why our motto at LeaderTreks Youth Ministry is Principals + Experience = Transformational change. Everything we create—every training, every lesson, every trip—has an experiential component.

Books and resources I have written:

The Disconnect
Bridging the gap between Senior Pastors and Youth Pastors

Student Leaders Start Here
A practical, interactive workbook to help students grow in leadership. Includes 5 leadership assessments for students.

Moving On
Helps students identify the mission God has for their lives.

Know Growth
A resource to help youth workers make a individual spiritual development plan for each student.


I believe it’s a great honor to speak and training youth workers. Every time I speak, my goal is to be practical and add value to those in attendance.
If you think I would be a good fit for your event, please fill out the speaker request form and we can start talking about your goals for your event.


Places I have spoken:
  • Doug Fields Student Leadership Conference
  • Super Summer Ohio
  • Refuel Retreats
  • Texas Conclave
  • CTYL Youth Worker Training
  • NYWC or YS


doug franklin youth ministry speaker