UrbanPromise International

About Us: History & Mission

The mission of UrbanPromise International is to prepare emerging leaders to initiate, develop, and sustain Christian-based youth development organizations and to seed their new ministries as they serve vulnerable children and teens in our world’s most under-resourced communities.


Bruce Main: Founder & President of UrbanPromise
Thirty years ago the vision and mission of UrbanPromise was conceived in a dusty church basement in East Camden, NJ. A small group of college-age missionaries created a summer camp for neighborhood children--providing a safe, loving, fun, and creative place for local youth to escape dangerous city streets. 

Since 1988, the UrbanPromise model has been replicated in other cities in North America including Vancouver (British Columbia), Toronto (Ontario), and Wilmington (Delaware). In 2003, the model was replicated in Malawi, Africa when William Nyasulu established YouthCare.

In 2008 UrbanPromise International was established to formalize this replication process and provide the supports necessary for the model to be used in other communities.

Our Approach

Since 1988, over thirty-five affiliate ministries have launched world-wide, in ten countries, and four continents. Our affiliate ministries have been started by individuals who have a passion to reach a child, raise a leader, and restore their communities using the model of UrbanPromise.

Each UrbanPromise and affiliate ministry site are dedicated to providing children and youth with the support that they need to succeed academically, grow spiritually, and prepare for leadership that will bring positive change to their own communities.

Board Members
Meet Our Speakers
Financial Information
Corporate Support

UrbanPromiseInternational Board

James Reynolds, Esq - Chair

Executive Director, The Diocesan Housing Services Corporation of the Diocese of Camden

Mindy Holman - Vice Chair

Holman Auto Group

Sheila Jacobs, CFP, CAP - Secretary

Managing Director-Market Leader, Wells Fargo Advisors

Phyllis Jones - Treasurer

CFO, Episcopal Diocese

Zareh Sarrafian

CEO, Riverside Country Regional Medical Center

Violette Hawkins - CFP 

Financial Advisor, Edward Jones, Cerner Corporation

Neil Singh

Retired, Senior Staff Consultant, Klohn Crippen Berger

Rev. David Joynt, PhD

Senior Pastor, Valley Presbyterian Church, Phoenix, AZ

Rob Prestowitz

President and founder of UrbanPromise Wilmington, DE

Kristen Nielsen Donnelly, MSW, MDiv, PhD

Director, Abbey Research

Beth Fitzgerald

Executive Coach/Strategist, Fitzgerald Coaching & Consulting

Rev. Bruce D. Main, DMin

President and founder of UrbanPromise Ministries

Bruce Main

President & Founder
The founder and president of UrbanPromise, Dr. Bruce Main established our first summer camp in the city of Camden in 1988 at the age of 25. His many UrbanPromise roles have included camp director and executive director, as well as the visionary creator of UrbanPromise’'s satellite locations in Wilmington, DE; Miami, FL; Trenton, NJ; Charlotte, NC; Little Rock, AR; Toronto, ON; Vancouver, BC; Copán, Honduras; Lilongwe, Malawi; Embu, Kenya; Monrovia, Liberia; and Mukono, Uganda.

Selected by Christianity Today as one of the country's "“50 Up & Coming Leaders Under 40,"” Bruce speaks nationally and internationally at mission conferences, colleges, churches, and business seminars. He and UrbanPromise are featured regularly in local media outlets and were highlighted on Diane Sawyer’'s 20/20 special “"Waiting on the World to Change"” and ABC'’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Bruce is an adjunct faculty member at Eastern University and co-authored the book Revolution & Renewal: How Churches Are Saving Our Cities with Dr. Tony Campolo, professor emeritus at Eastern and renowned sociologist and Christian leader. Bruce has also authored If Jesus Were A Sophomore: Discipleship for College Students, If Jesus Were A Senior: Last Minute Preparations for a Life of Discipleship, Spotting the Sacred: Finding God in Unlikely Places, and Holy Hunches: Responding to the Promptings of God. His latest book, The Promise Effect, is available now.

Bruce graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology. He received his Master’'s in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and his Doctorate of Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Pamela and has three children.
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Pamela Burgess Main

Goodwill Ambassador for UrbanPromise International
Pamela Burgess Main is our Ambassador for UrbanPromise. She is the wife of our founder Dr. Bruce Main. As newlyweds, in 1988 they traveled across the United States and landed in Camden New Jersey, where together, they birthed UrbanPromise. 

Pamela has been an intricate part of the shaping and growth of UrbanPromise, serving as camp director, workgroup coordinator, tour guide, food bank distributor, and hostess to numerous affairs, dinners, and fundraisers. She is also an author. When given the opportunity, Pam Main loves sharing about UrbanPromise International and it's affiliates around the world.
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UrbanPromise International is a tax-exempt non-profit organization.

UrbanPromise International Tax ID # 26-3389429
Financial Statements (PDF)View 990 form (PDF)

Corporate Support

If your business or organization is interested in supporting UrbanPromise International
email Bruce for more info!

Eastern University

Eastern University and UrbanPromise have a long history together. For years, Eastern University has partnered with UrbanPromise to send kids from Camden, NJ to college as well providing discounted tuition rates to staff to further their education. 

In addition, Eastern is one of the sponsors for the UrbanPromise Summit.
Visit Eastern University

Cairn University

Cairn University partners with UrbanPromise International to offer options for undergraduate and graduate degrees to our youth and staff around the world.
Visit Cairn University

Holman Automotive

Holman Automotive has sponsored the last two UrbanPromise International Summits, providing a two day retreat for over 200 of our staff.
Visit Holman Automotive

Thanks to all our corporate partners

  • Albion Engineering
  • Beneficial Bank
  • Car Sense Inc
  • Geoffrey's Malibu
  • Hardenbergh Insurance Group
  • Inkwood Books
  • KDH Consulting LLC
  • Metro Commercial
  • Nevell Group
  • Rotary Club of Haddonfield
  • Valetines
  • Wide Eyed Studios

Reach a Child

Raise a Leader

Restore a Community

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