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What is The Immanuel Project?
The Problem

When I left college (1,000 years ago!), I got to enjoy an incredible trip through many of the Western US parks. Throughout my journey, I read a couple of books, the most influential of which was Seven Habits of Highly Effective people by Dr. Steven Covey. While many of the lessons are still with me, the most potent was 'begin with the end in mind.' 

Fifteen years later, I had the blessing of a wife and three rambunctious boys. Working alongside my bride as a camp director, we received invitations from many of our families to celebrate their child's bar or bat Mitzvah, a Jewish 'coming of age' ritual that dates back thousands of years. 

As our oldest approached his tenth birthday, Kate and I looked at each other and asked, "What's the most important thing we can do for our boys before they leave our house?" The answer we decided on: Guide them to be men who love God and lead productive, generous lives. 

Our society, and our faith no longer trains boys on how to be good, Christian men. Moms and Dads want their sons to grow up with a close relationship with Christ and prepared to be productive, responsible men but don't know how to do it. 


Back when children were on farms working alongside Pa, Ma, Uncle Joe, Grandpa, and their cousins, there were specific skills passed down, concrete responsibilities required, and guidance for growth given.


While we have come a long way from the rural society that started America, we have lost the close connections that allowed for skills and knowledge to pass down easily through the generations. Something needs to change, a solution needs to be found, and we have to be intentional about the entire process. 


Many people, from King David in Proverbs to Aristotle to George Gilder have commented that it’s essential to provide boys with a vision and training for the future if they are to be good, happy, patient, and productive men. 

With the help of many generous friends, mentors, and teachers, together we created the Immanuel Project. We help families and mentors introduce teenage boys to a life of Christian manhood. 


The Goal

By working side by side by their parents or mentors, teen boys will know what it means to be Christian men - and the world will be a better place for them!

The Immanuel Project provides an intentional, supportive experience for parents or mentors who want to guide their sons on the journey to discover what it means to be Christian men. Through scripture study, guided discussion, real-world skill building and constant encouragement, we will make these necessary conversations easy to start to continue in the future.

How We Help

Our families come from different backgrounds but they share one thing in common - they want their sons to grow to be Christian men. 

We do our best to help each family, small group, and church as best we can to reach this goal. Here are a few of our current offerings:

  • Available now, our workbook allows parents or mentors to walk the young man in their life through the steps together.

  • The Pathway to Manhood Class is an easy and useful way for small groups to work together anywhere, anytime. 

  • Our Instagram-delivered daily devotional, written by men who want to help, provides constant encouragement for teen guys.

  • The Personal Journey Experience guides young men through learning from the men outside their home. 

  • Cole is a dynamic and helpful speaker for parent groups interested in learning more about teen boys. 

We look forward to working alongside you to help introduce the teenage boy in your life to a Christian manhood.

Cole Kelly, Founder

After earning an undergraduate degree in Religious Studies, a Masters of Education, and a MBA, I found myself a bit over-educated and totally unprepared for my next opportunity - running a residential summer camp for kids. Thankfully, I caught up and, for the past seventeen summers, my closest friends and I have worked alongside our college-aged staff to provide an amazing experience for our 450 campers. It's been a blessing... and an enormous learning experience.


I'm a Christian, father of three growing boys and a husband who out kicked his coverage. I'm passionate about helping teen guys become Christian men and supporting their parents in any way I can.


The Immanuel Project represents my ideas on preparing young men for their spiritual, physical and emotional journey through life. I hope it will be helpful for you and the young man in your life!

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Please let us know if you'd like to host a small group in your area, want ideas on how to best use the Pathway to Manhood workbook in your home, or have us come speak at your organization. We'd be happy to help however we can.

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