The Midian Leadership Project has its origins in the ambitions of a group of young student-athletes in Charleston, WV. Eager to build a successful future together, they sought out a network of adults within the community who began collaborating to support and empower their dream, culminating in a ten percent increase in the high school's graduation rate. By 2018, with dozens of the original group in colleges across the region, the Midian Leadership Project was formed to amplify and reinvest the contributions of our young community leaders in the rising generation.
The Mission of the Midian Leadership Project is to develop community leaders through a combination of educational, family, and faith support, anchored in sports-related programming, for young people age 10 to 25.
Rev. Dr. Jeff E. Biddle, Jr. is the founding director of the Midian Leadership Project. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in Economics in 2007, and finished his M.Div at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School before relocating to his family's one-time home on the West Side of Charleston, West Virginia. In 2018, he defended his doctoral thesis related to sports, faith and community leadership development among young people affected by the school-to-prison pipeline.
When Moses came to Midian, he was a young man from a marginalized family, taken in by a brutal ruling class, confused about his place in the world—not to mention a murderer on the run! But within the hospitality of Jethro and the Midianites, Moses matured, and heard God call to him through the burning bush to return and liberate God’s people.
For young people who struggle to navigate broken and hostile environments, sports are an essential “Midian”—an oasis to rest, mature, develop leadership, and listen for God. The Midian Leadership Project provides settings where Christian hospitality and support help people who are processing complex challenges to become the Christian leaders that our communities need, leaders who will transform the very systems that once entangled them.