PARTNERS

From colleges to universities to seminaries to schools of theology,
YTN partners are passionate about helping high school students
interested in ministry explore their questions and live out their faith. 

For general information about YTN, contact Jodi L. Porter. To learn more about specific partners, please contact the appropriate individual below.

Whether traditional, academic or activism-focused ministry, these incredible institutions host short-term, primarily summer programs that give students the opportunity to understand what service and mission work can look like in the real world.

By providing a safe space for reflection, mentorship to lean on and a community of peers asking the same questions, students can find the answers they need. After attending, they often feel a sense of direction in their life and a clearer understanding of their next steps.

We are proud to call each of these organizations a partner, and hope you learn as much from them as we do!

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!Explore

Andy Kaethler |Director|Email
Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary|Anabaptist

!Explore gives young people in grades 10, 11 and 12 the chance to develop leadership gifts. The theological program nurtures youth who are passionate about the church and who desire a place in it — youth who are asking deep questions and long to share their vision, energy and hopes. Through a congregational experience and a 16-day group experience, participants engage the world of theological ideas and foster a call to vocation in the church.

360 Leadership Institute

Felix Theonugraha|Director|Email
Trinity International University|Independent

The 360 Leadership Institute introduces high school youth to theology through a curriculum taught by college and seminary faculty. Students explore Christian theology, spiritual disciplines, cultural activities and leadership development experiences and receive college credit for completing the program.

Academy of Preachers (AoP)

Dwight Moody|Director|Email
Academy of Preachers|Nondenominational / Interdenominational

The Academy of Preachers (AoP) is a national organization launched in 2009 now centered in Lexington, KY, with a mission to identify, network, support and inspire young people (ages 14-28) in their call to gospel preaching. Programs include festivals of young preachers, gospel slams, preaching camps, a gospel catalyst network and sermon publication (print and video).

Appalachia Service Project

Neal Bowes |Director|Email Melisa Miller |Co-Director|Email
Appalachia Service Project|Nondenominational / Interdenominational

ASP provides one of the most rewarding structured service opportunities in the nation — bringing thousands of volunteers from around the country to rural Central Appalachia to repair homes for low-income families. Volunteers, staff, families and community members are encouraged to put their faith into action as they participate in service-minded discipleship. More important than construction know-how is a willingness to enter the communities and homes of Central Appalachia with sensitivity, concern and love.

Augsburg Youth Theology Institute (AYTI)

Jeremy Myers|Director|Email
Augsburg University|Lutheran

Based in the Christensen Center for Vocation, the Augsburg Youth Theology Institute (AYTI) provides programming for rising 10th to 12th graders that combine worship and contemplation, theological study, diverse community-based service experiences and intentional small group conversations.

Awakening: Inspiring the Next Generation of Theologians and Servants

James DeBoer|Director|Email
Hope College|Presbyterian / Reformed

Awakening: Inspiring the Next Generation of Theologians and Servants aims to increase the number of spiritually inquiring and discerning youth that enter Christian higher education, pursue vocations in ministry and become mission-oriented leaders in their churches. Youth will work with college student-mentors, interact with local and internationally recognized worship leaders and study with Hope College and Western Theological Seminary faculty.

Be the Light Youth Theology Institute

Stephen Chanderbhan|Director|Email Darby Ratliff|Co-Director|Email
Canisius College|Roman Catholic

This six-day residential institute aims to introduce high school youth to the Catholic, Jesuit concept of faith in action and develop the next generation of faithful, ethical leaders who will "be the light" within their local and global communities.

Beauty Will Save the World!

Adam DeVille|Director|Email
University of Saint Francis of Fort Wayne|Roman Catholic

Rooted in the Franciscan tradition, Beauty Will Save the World! invites high school students to deepen their understanding about how beauty in the world reveals God. It aims to challenge youth to open their lives to vocations of service through the arts, the church, care for the earth and ministry with the poor.

Brethren Academy

Jamie White|Director|Email
Ashland University|Anabaptist

Through partnerships with Ashland Theological Seminary and the National Office of the Brethren Church, the Brethren Academy aims to deepen the faith of young people and cultivate the next generation of Brethren leaders among high school students with denominational ties.

Called to the Common Good

Krista Hughes|Director|Email
Newberry College|Lutheran

Called to the Common Good equips youth to engage the Christian theological tradition as a rich resource for reflecting upon moral and ethical challenges facing our world (specifically, poverty and environmental degradation) and the students’ own sense of vocation—and helps them to forge the integration of those two. Participants leave the institute with plans, resources and support for sustained civic engagement and vocational reflection in their home communities.

Campbell Youth Theological Institute (CYTI)

Colin Kroll|Director|Email
Campbell University|Baptist

Campbell Youth Theological Institute (CYTI) is a residential summer experience that combines theological study and Christian worship with project-based learning experiences in the areas of restorative justice, public health, social entrepreneurship and religious leadership.

Christ Academy

Matthew Wietfeldt|Director|Email
Concordia Theological Seminary|Lutheran

Christ Academy consists of three essential elements: worship, learning and fun. The Academy focuses on the person and work of Jesus Christ. Students are incorporated into the community at Concordia Theological Seminary, worship in Kramer Chapel, learn with world-class faculty and have fun together while building lifelong friendships.

COLLIDE

Dietrich Kirk|Director|Email Andrew Zirschky|Co-Director|Email
Center for Youth Ministry Training|Nondenominational / Interdenominational

COLLIDE combines service and mission work with significant opportunities for theological study in order to develop the faith of youth and adults. The program provokes and nurtures disorienting dilemmas, giving youth and adults the resources to understand themselves, their world, their callings and their God in new ways.

Compass Program

Bryn Clark|Director|Email
Gordon College|Nondenominational / Interdenominational

Immersed for one month, mentored for three years, changed for a lifetime. Compass is a leadership development program for high school students featuring an intense month-long immersion component and an extended three-year mentoring component. The immersion comprises three experiential-education components: a ten-day wilderness program in the Adirondack Mountains, an intensive ten-day classroom experience at the seminary campus, and a ten-day missions service trip to Iceland. Compass partners with churches, pastors, teachers, parents and other church leaders from across the country to identify youth for ministry, equip them for service and mentor them to maturity.

Connect: A Youth Theology Institute

Mikah Brondyke|Director|Email
North Carolina Wesleyan College|Methodist

Connect is designed to connect high school students to Christ, Community and the Church. The institute includes a weeklong residential program with community outreach/projects, biblical teaching from professors, group discussion times, and dynamic, nightly worship.

Convergence

Kendra Grimes|Director|Email Hal Breitenberg|Co-Director|Email
Randolph-Macon College|Methodist

Conducted in collaboration with faculty from Union Presbyterian Seminary, Convergence seeks to help youth examine, recognize, understand and share with others the different messages of faith and science, and to learn how those disciplines complement one another.

CrossRoad Summer Institute

Ann Bezzerides|Director|Email Kyra Limberakis|Co-Director|Email
Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology|Orthodox

The CrossRoad Summer Institute is a ten-day theological institute for Orthodox Christian high school juniors and seniors. Two sessions are offered on the HCHC campus in Brookline, MA, and a third is held in Chicago, IL. The mission of CrossRoad is to inspire youth to respond to the call to travel the road of Christ, for it is in Christ they will find direction, meaning, hope, love and answers. CrossRoad invites students into life-long journeys of Christian formation and Christ-centered leadership -- to be shaped by Christ through scripture and the tradition of the Orthodox Church, and then to shape the world and culture around them.

CrossWays: A Youth Theology Institute

Jeffery Walling|Director|Email Zac Luben|Co-Director|Email
Pepperdine University|Christian Churches / Churches of Christ

CrossWays seeks to inspire youth through an intensive and interactive summer institute involving theological study with Pepperdine faculty and staff, worship, service projects and presentations by guest speakers.

Crosswise Institute

Joel Oesch|Director|Email
Concordia University Irvine|Lutheran

Crosswise Institute is a summer experience that seeks to inspire young adults to prepare for the challenges of their futures by practicing the art of theological reflection, applying theological insights to contemporary issues and engaging in vocational discernment.

Dig: Uncover Your Future

Aaron Einfeld|Director |Email
Calvin Theological Seminary|Presbyterian / Reformed

Dig helps students uncover their future as they explore how a calling to ministry can be lived out in any vocation. Through interactions with Calvin Seminary faculty and ministry practitioners, off-campus excursions to ministry sites, small group time and reflection activities, high school students form a strong community as they explore where God may be leading them next. Dig helps students understand their own gifts and learn how to seek leadership opportunities.

Discover

Shannon Axtel Martin|Director|Email
Catawba College|United Church of Christ

Through partnerships with Livingstone College, Hood Theological Seminary and the Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ, Discover provides high school youth a dynamic summer learning experience designed to stimulate theological and moral reflection.

Duke Youth Academy

Milton Gilder |Director |Email
Duke University Divinity School|Methodist

The Duke Youth Academy for Christian Formation (DYA) is a year-long program for high school students to experience an intensive encounter with Christian life during one week of residency at Duke University and one year of ongoing engagement and practice. DYA seeks to empower young people to embody faithful life and worship in the midst of their everyday life, in their homes, schools and congregations. Focused on the formation of Christian baptismal identity, DYA guides high school youth in learning about and living into practices that shape them as more faithful disciples of Jesus.

Embody: Beauty, Justice and Faith in Action

Judy Fean|Director|Email Arlene Montevecchio|Co-Director|Email
Saint Mary's College|Roman Catholic

This summer institute aims to assist high school women in the development of a healthy self-image, a confidence in their ability to contribute to the world and an understanding of social justice and interfaith dialogue.

Emory YTI IMPACT: Immersion in Meaningful Practices of Action, Community and Theology

Jillinda Weaver|Director|Email
Emory University|Methodist

Emory YTI IMPACT is comprised of four distinct opportunities for youth: intentional Christian community and theological reflection, justice ministries in the local Atlanta area, peacemaking travel seminars and workshops on the theological and practical dimensions of transitioning from high school to college.

Empower: Lives That Matter

Michael Severe|Director|Email
Taylor University|Nondenominational / Interdenominational

Empower: Lives That Matter seeks to foster theologically-minded youth who will step into leadership roles in their home congregations and emerge as Christian leaders in the church and society through vocational discernment and mentoring opportunities. Hometown mentors will work with youth to design capstone leadership projects to undertake in their local congregations.

Encuentro: St. Catherine University Theology Institute

Christine Luna Munger|Director|Email Rhodora Beaton|Co-Director|Email
St. Catherine University|Roman Catholic

Encuentro is a summer institute that fosters theological reflection and dialogue for rising high school sophomore and junior women. It aims to equip participants to serve as theologically-formed leaders in their communities, and it includes an at-home project.

Encuentro/Encounter: Theology Institute for High School Students

Gloria Urrabazo|Director|Email
Our Lady of the Lake University|Roman Catholic

Encuentro/Encounter is a summer theology institute focusing on challenges facing Hispanic communities for first generation college-bound high school youth. After program completion, youth will work in their home parishes for one year to complete a leadership project.

ENGAGE: Youth Theology Initiative

Claire Frederick|Director|Email
Lipscomb University|Christian Churches / Churches of Christ

ENGAGE: Youth Theology Initiative helps students discern the deep connections between Christian theology, vocation and the task of racial reconciliation, integrate new understandings about race, class and poverty in America with Christian theology and explore how they might become catalysts for racial reconciliation as leaders in the Churches of Christ and beyond.

Engaging Stories: Listening and Telling from the Heart of Faith

Joanne Kuttner|Director|Email
Lewis University|Roman Catholic

Engaging Stories: Listening and Telling from the Heart of Faith invites high school youth to explore theology as an academic study and a lived practice through the process of engaging stories. Youth will explore the theological concept of vocation and the many ways they can live out their vocations, including paths to leadership within the church.

EnvisionPDX

Jeanie Whitten-Andrews|Primary Contact|Email
Concordia University-Portland|Lutheran

EnvisionPDX offers youth each year three pathways for theological exploration: theological video and tabletop game design institutes for 9th graders, social justice community projects for 10th and 11th graders and Christian leadership development opportunities for 12th graders.

Equip/Theology Matters

Jennifer Jukanovich|Director|Email Lauren Becker|Co-Director|Email
Gordon College|Nondenominational / Interdenominational

This three-tiered initiative offers a summer institute for sophomores, the seminary’s COMPASS program for juniors, and a study center experience at La Vida Center for Outdoor Education and Leadership in the Adirondacks for seniors.

Ever to Excel

Casey Beaumier|Director|Email
Boston College|Roman Catholic

Housed in Boston College's Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies, Ever to Excel engages youth in a summer program that involves the study of Christian scriptures and Jesuit spirituality focused on themes of identity, voice, service and pilgrimage.

Examen: Fostering a Theology of Christian Vocation

Amanda Drury|Director|Email
Indiana Wesleyan University|Wesleyan / Holiness

Each summer, young people will have the opportunity to take a theology course for college credit and participate in Ignatius' Daily Examen with a small group of like-minded peers and mentors. The institute will include a 48-hour guided retreat with the Sisters of Victory Noll.

Explore Your Call (EYC)

Russell Haitch|Director|Email
Bethany Theological Seminary|Anabaptist

Explore Your Call (EYC) offers high schoolers the opportunity to dive into theological thinking, submitting hard questions about the Bible and faith that they address with seminary professors during the ten-day program. Youth shadow pastors, learning about vocations in church ministry. EYC also is a learning lab for seminary students who serve as staff during the program.

EXPLORE: Faith Launch

Jon Powers|Director|Email Mary Jeffries|Co-Director|Email
Ohio Wesleyan University|Methodist

EXPLORE: Faith Launch brings high school youth to campus to immerse them in close examinations of their Christian faith and practice while preparing them for college life as a Christian leader. The program combines classroom experiences focused on comparative denominational theology and praxis with small group reflections, worship, service projects and practical leadership skill development.

Exploring Gifts and Graces: Summer Adventure in Theology and Leadership (EGG)

Alice Wood|Director|Email
Bethune-Cookman University|Methodist

EGG is a residential summer experience for rising 11th and 12th graders that aims to help young people live out their calling to serve God and the world and prepare them as theologically minded and socially engaged leaders for the church. EGG also will offer workshops for local youth ministers and lay leaders to share insights from the summer program.

Faith and Service in the City: Vincentian Leadership Institute

Joann Heaney-Hunter|Director|Email
St. John's University in New York|Roman Catholic

Faith and Service in the City: Vincentian Leadership Institute is an intensive theology and faith formation program for youth to explore Christian scripture, Catholic Social Teaching and Vincentian spirituality while examining contemporary issues of social justice.

Faith and Sport Institute (FSI): Running the Race Well

Cindy White|Director|Email
Baylor University|Baptist

Focused on youth sports and conducted in partnership with George W. Truett Theological Seminary, RRW is designed to inspire Christian youth to integrate their faith into their lives in God-directed ways that enable them to be discerning, vibrant leaders alive to their own and to others' well-being.

Faith Front

Wendell Loewen|Director|Email
Tabor College|Anabaptist

The heart of Faith Front, open to Mennonite Brethren and other Christian youth, is a mobile summer intensive retreat. Faith Front also offers a ministry innovation program for alumni who attend Tabor and workshops that encourage local churches to cultivate a culture of calling.

FaithActs: Loyola University New Orleans Youth Theology Institute

Thomas Ryan|Director|Email
Loyola University New Orleans|Roman Catholic

Focused on environmental sustainability, FaithActs seeks to help rising high school juniors and seniors draw on the wisdom and resources of the Christian theological and biblical traditions and apply them to the context of New Orleans' rich cultural and religious heritage to help Catholic youth become leaders in the region's renewal. Students may earn college credits and high school service hours.

Faithways Academy

Andrew Noe|Director|Email
Georgetown College|Baptist

The goal of Faithways Academy is to develop the interest and deepen the knowledge of high school youth (sophomore to senior) in the core areas of biblical knowledge and interpretation, church tradition and theology, worship and ministry vocation, and Christian ethics.

FaithWorks @ Messiah College

Brian Smith|Director|Email Shelly Skinner|Co-Director|Email
Messiah College|Nondenominational / Interdenominational

The mission of TRaX @ Messiah College is to nurture students' faith by deepening their understanding of God and by fostering their commitment to meaningful engagement with the world. TRaX integrates faith, learning and living by providing stimulating intellectual engagement, challenging spiritual growth and fulfilling service to students.

Francis Youth Institute for Theology and Leadership

Joseph Mudd|Director|Email Anastasia Wendlinder|Co-Director|Email
Gonzaga University|Roman Catholic

Inspired by Pope Francis' Laudato Si and grounded in the Ignatian tradition, the Francis Youth Institute for Theology and Leadership offers youth transformative experiences that enable them to see the connections between theology, ecology and economics, exploring questions about the interdependent character of the natural environment and human community.

Franciscan CORE Social Justice Institute

Emily Dykman|Director|Email Jacob Hart|Co-Director|Email
Viterbo University|Roman Catholic

The Franciscan CORE Social Justice Institute is a summer residential program for rising 10th, 11th and 12th graders grounded in Catholic Social Teaching and guided by St. Francis of Assisi as a model for action.

Future of Hope Institute

Dametraus Jaggers|Director|Email
Johnson University|Christian Churches / Churches of Christ

Designed for rising juniors and seniors from Knoxville area inner-city high schools, the Future of Hope Institute is a selective program that includes opportunities to interact with community leaders, entrepreneurs and educators while examining the city through a biblical lens. For the eight months following the summer institute, students form teams and work with mentors and project advisors on a community-based vision project that meets a critical need and may address issues such as housing, violence, racism, healthcare or education.

Gustavus Academy for Faith, Science and Ethics

Siri Erickson|Director|Email
Gustavus Adolphus College|Lutheran

The Gustavus Academy for Faith, Science and Ethics allows young people to interact with leading scientists and outstanding theologians to explore creative alliances between religion and science and efforts by these leaders to solve ethical problems. Youth will offer at-home public presentations and will be invited to a Celebration Event in conjunction with the college's annual Nobel Conference.

Head, Heart and Hand Summer Theological Institute

Pollie Murphy|Director|Email Debra Haggins|Co-Director|Email
Hampton University|Nondenominational / Interdenominational

A Christian ecumenical program, Head, Heart and Hand Summer Theological Institute brings together rising 10th graders to deepen their theological knowledge, develop their personal faith and encourage them to express their faith through acts of service. Hampton will implement the institute in partnership with its Hampton University Ministers' Conference.

Hendrix Youth Institute (HYI)

Michelle Moore|Director|Email
Hendrix College|Methodist

Using a holistic approach, HYI helps high school youth understand their call to the ministry and introduces them to vocations in ordained and professional ministry. The institute culminates in a mission trip and also includes the opportunity to shadow a minister.

Huntingdon Leadership Academy (HLA)

Macon Armistead|Director|Email
Huntingdon College|Methodist

With calling as its primary theme, HLA seeks to engage high school aged youth each year through a summer theology program and a year-round online network to promote sustained theological reflection on the Bible, Christian tradition and their spiritual experiences.

Immerse: SPU Youth Discipleship Academy

John Harrell|Director|Email
Seattle Pacific University|Wesleyan / Holiness

Immerse: SPU Youth Discipleship Academy encourages youth to grow deep in their Christian identity as they explore their role in the church, community and world.

Kaleo Academy National Friends Youth Training

Brockie Follette|Director|Email Katy Moran|Co-Director|Email
Barclay College|Quaker

Kaleo Academy seeks to identify Quaker youth who demonstrate high potential as leaders and encourage them to explore potential vocations in ministry and service in the Evangelical Friends Church. The institute includes online interaction with other youth and mentors throughout the year.

KALEO Youth Theology Institute

Donnie Brown|Director|Email
Wayland Baptist University|Baptist

KALEO Youth Theology Institute aims to transform the lives of young people through the discovery, discernment and affirmation of God's call to Christian leadership. Youth will participate in a leadership immersion experience and international mission trip as well as university study and year-long mentoring.

Light the World! Institute

Rylee Kenney|Director|Email
The Catholic University of America|Roman Catholic

Light the World! Institute seeks to cultivate young Christian leaders by engaging them in the intersection of faith and culture through the areas of art, science, sports, business and politics. Participants hear from Catholic men and women who model faithful excellence in their professional lives at prominent Washington, D.C., locations.

Living and Leading with Love (L3)

Emily DeMoor|Director|Email
Brescia University|Roman Catholic

Rooted in Jesus' call to "Love one another as I have loved you" (John 12:15), L3 invites high school students to participate in a year-long program that includes online learning, service opportunities, retreats and prayer experiences and concludes with an on-campus intensive.

Living Into Our Future

Warren Booker|Director|Email Annie Travis|Co-Director|Email
Rust College|Methodist

Living Into Our Future is designed to provide youth with opportunities to explore theologically and discern thoughtfully their vocational aspirations in a faith-focused and nurturing environment on the college campus.

Living the Questions

Katie Friesen Smith|Director|Email
Bethel University|Nondenominational / Interdenominational

Living the Questions emphasizes faith in action, moving youth beyond academic inquiry to explore how hard theological challenges are worked out and shape Christian life. Topics include social challenges and justice, science and faith and the media.

Living Your Faith

Daniel Den Boer|Director|Email
Northwestern College|Presbyterian / Reformed

Living Your Faith engages high school aged youth in theological study, worship, service and vocational discernment practices while building relationships with mentors who will support them during the academic year.

Lux Summer Theological Institute for Youth

Jessica Hawkinson|Director|Email
Monmouth College|Presbyterian / Reformed

The Lux Summer Theological Institute for Youth engages young people in theological reflection on contemporary topics such as food security and care for the environment. The institute also invites youth to explore religious themes in great works of literature and poetry.

Marian University Missionary Disciples Institute

Adam Setmeyer|Primary Contact|Email
Marian University|Roman Catholic

Rooted in the Franciscan tradition, the Marian University Missionary Disciples Institute prepares high school youth to step into leadership roles in service as young missionaries in their home parishes, local communities and the world at large.

Maryville Adventures in Studying Theology (MAST)

Anne McKee|Director|Email Carrie Niceley|Co-Director|Email
Maryville College|Presbyterian / Reformed

The MAST program invites youth to participate in a summer institute, weekend retreats and seminars throughout the year to explore Christian theological traditions and discover how theological commitments can shape responses to contemporary challenges. The program also provides leadership training for area youth ministers within the presbytery.

Miller Summer Youth Institute

Erin Davenport |Director|Email Derek Davenport|Co-Director|Email
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary|Presbyterian / Reformed

The Miller Summer Youth Institute (SYI) is a one-week program in partnership with Waynesburg University. High school seniors engage in study, worship, mission and fun while earning one college credit. The goal of the program is for every person, including students and staff, to gain a greater understanding of who God is calling them to be and what God is calling them to do. The alumni of the program find themselves returning to the community of SYI through the institute's various programs that engage not only youth but also adults and entire congregations who continue to ask big questions of God and the Christian faith.

NEXUS Community of Young Christian Leaders

Kate Faas|Director|Email
Grand View University|Lutheran

NEXUS draws together youth each year to create and sustain a faith community that explores the book of Galatians and Martin Luther's Small Catechism. The institute offers youth the opportunity to attend for multiple years.

Northwest University Summer Journey

Joshua Ziefle|Director|Email
Northwest University|Pentecostal

The goal of the Summer Journey is to deepen the desire of youth to serve the church and world. The Summer Journey gives high school youth the opportunity to discover their own sense of calling and its implications for their leadership in their churches, communities and beyond. Insights from the institute will contribute to an annual university conference for youth leaders in its region.

Notre Dame Vision

Megan Shepherd|Director|Email
University of Notre Dame|Roman Catholic

Notre Dame Vision explores vocation in terms of the “Universal Call to Holiness", a central concept of Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium. The program offers two major summer experiences, one for high school students (Vision) and one for professional ministers who work with high school students (Vision CYM). Vision is a 5-day experience on the Notre Dame campus designed to help youth ask big questions about how God is calling them to use their talents in service to the Church and world. Participants connect with hundreds of other high school students to learn from the witness of the saints and develop practices to live the Christian faith.

One Bread, One Cup

Tammy Becht|Director|Email
Saint Meinrad School of Theology|Roman Catholic

One Bread, One Cup is a five-day liturgical leadership conference for high school youth offered three times each summer. The conferences are presented by the monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey and augmented by other staff comprised of youth professionals, musicians and a 20-member team of college interns. One Bread, One Cup is designed to provide formation for teens and their leaders in various liturgical ministries to strengthen their appreciation of and engagement in their parish liturgical worship experiences.

Open Table

Tamara Gieselman|Director|Email Keith Turner|Co-Director|Email
University of Evansville|Methodist

Drawing on key New Testament passages where Jesus feeds those in need and teaches his disciples that the kingdom of God is like a banquet open to all, Open Table invites youth to deepen their faith by exploring Christian practices of invitation and table hospitality. Through embodying acts of hospitality, youth are encouraged to explore vocations in Christian service that reach out to members in the wider community.

Passage, a Retreat for Vocational Discernment

Luke Tallon|Director|Email Patrick Mays|Co-Director|Email
LeTourneau University|Nondenominational / Interdenominational

Through Passage, youth from the ARK-LA-TEX region participate in an intentional mentoring program to explore vocations in Christian leadership and implement at-home projects. The year-long program includes a summer institute experience at its beginning and end.

Pfeiffer Youth Theological Institute (YeTI)

Sherri Barnes|Director|Email
Pfeiffer University|Methodist

The Pfeiffer Youth Theological Institute (YeTI) seeks to cultivate a new generation of servant leaders by deepening their understanding of the Wesleyan faith tradition and providing them with the tools to discern calls to Christian ministry. Topics include eco-theology, new monasticism and theology of sports, and participants may receive college credit.

Philander Forward Theological Institute

Zollie Stevenson|Director|Email Ronnie Miller-Yow|Co-Director|Email
Philander Smith College|Methodist

Philander Forward Theological Institute provides youth from the metro Little Rock area with the opportunity to explore the sacred scriptures deeply and connect them with theological traditions, participate in theological reflection and utilize cultural lenses to integrate these exposures with modern life and its challenges. The ultimate goal of the institute is to encourage youth to consider religious leadership and ministry as a future vocation.

Pinkard Scholars

Pat LeNoir|Director|Email
St. Mary's Seminary & University|Roman Catholic

The Pinkard Scholars program offers high school juniors an opportunity to study college-level theology while in conscious dialogue with a critical human issue facing the contemporary world today. This annual fifteen-week, three-credit fall semester course explores the cultural reality of human trafficking with a specific focus on where God, Christ, evil, sin, grace and technology intersect. Students will develop and deepen their critical thinking, theological reflection and dialogue skills, the very skills that can open a path to peacemaking as a means toward developing solutions to human problems. Students begin to experience a sense of being called by God to make a difference in the world as well as within their present spheres of influence.

Quest

Brent Dongell|Director|Email Mark Wilson|Co-Director|Email
Southern Wesleyan University|Wesleyan / Holiness

Quest summer intensive institute, incorporating the theological lens of the Wesleyan tradition, offers four tracks: women in ministry, adventure ministry, missional outreach and worship ministry.

Running with the Giants: A Youth Empowerment Summit for Ark-La-Tex

Solomon Waigwa|Director|Email
Wiley College|Methodist

The Summit engages youth from throughout the ARK-LA-TEX region in a summer experience that draws on the inspiration, wisdom and personalities in scripture.

Sacred Word, Sacred World, Sacred Call Youth Theology Institute

Denise Starkey|Director|Email Barbara LeGarde|Co-Director|Email
The College of St. Scholastica|Roman Catholic

Culminating in a wilderness retreat, Sacred Word, Sacred World, Sacred Call is an ecumenical institute that has been created to help Christian students dive into some of the most pressing questions they face about their faith and futures.

Saints and Scholars Institute

Andrew Polaniecki|Director|Email
Holy Cross College|Roman Catholic

Saints and Scholars strives to cultivate emerging leaders who are able to draw wisdom and hope from the Christian tradition in order to address the complex challenges facing the world.

San Damiano Encounter

Michelle Gilgannon|Director|Email
Cardinal Stritch University|Roman Catholic

Centered on stories from the life of St. Francis, San Damiano Encounter seeks to engage high school youth in questions of meaning, identity and purpose through a process that integrates substantive theological learning, reflection on vocation and critical thinking about current societal issues.

Scroll: Wabash Institute of Theology for Youth

Jonathan Baer|Director|Email
Wabash College|Nondenominational / Interdenominational

Scroll aims to open up scripture and Christian theological traditions in fresh ways to encourage young men to think deeply, critically and theologically about vital matters in their lives and in the world around them.

Shenandoah University Youth Theology Institute

Colleen Hallagan Preuninger|Director|Email
Shenandoah University|Methodist

The Shenandoah University Youth Theology Institute, comprised of experiences in the wilderness (the Shenandoah Valley) and the city (at Wesley Theological Seminary), inspires young people to become Christian leaders through dialogical, immersive and experimental learning in intentional Christian community.

SHU Journey: To God and the World through the Catholic Intellectual Tradition

Michelle Loris|Director|Email
Sacred Heart University|Roman Catholic

Rooted in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, the SHU Journey aims to engage youth through classroom instruction, small group discussions, community service, a trip to the Cloisters Museum and an introduction to liturgy and music ministry.

Simpson Youth Academy

Eric Rucker|Primary Contact|Email
Simpson College|Methodist

Grounded in the Christian tradition and utilizing resources from the United Methodist Church, the Simpson Youth Academy is an ecumenical community of youth and adult mentors who explore deep theological questions and take action, in order to equip youth to live into their vocations as agents of peace and justice in the church and world.

Six8 Fellowship

Brandon Winstead|Director|Email Jasmine Hilland|Co-Director|Email
Trevecca Nazarene University|Wesleyan / Holiness

Six8 is a summer intensive for young people held in the heart of Nashville on the campus of Trevecca. Six8 is designed for students who are passionate about theological exploration, serving others and healing injustice. The intensive is centered around the question: “How do we love our neighbor?” Students have the opportunity to dig deeper into their purpose, faith and calling. They will build community with scholars, mentors and students who are passionate about the call of Micah 6:8—to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God. Throughout the week students will come to know their own gifts and understand their capability to be agents of change in the world around them.

Spirituality and Leadership Institute

Kyle Bennett|Director|Email
Caldwell University|Roman Catholic

The Spirituality and Leadership Institute focuses on theological, spiritual and vocational issues, oriented by the four pillars of the Catholic-Dominican tradition: prayer, community, study and ministry. Students learn spiritual disciplines and leadership practices that promote public justice and the common good.

St. Kateri Institute for Integrative Learning

Eric Hall|Director|Email Christopher Fuller|Co-Director|Email
Carroll College|Roman Catholic

The St. Kateri Institute for Integrative Learning encourages high school youth to integrate their faith with their academic pursuits and other endeavors in pursuit of vocational discernment.

STREAM Youth Theology Institute

Tanya Boucicaut|Director|Email
Virginia Union University|Baptist

STREAM offers young adults the opportunity to explore the intersection of religious discourse (spirituality, theology, rhetoric, ethics, advocacy and ministry) and concrete factors informing life realities (science, technology, relationships, economics/environment, agriculture/arts and media).

STU IMPACT: Empowering Young Disciples

Ondina Cortes|Director|Email Jennifer Kryszak|Co-Director|Email
St. Thomas University|Roman Catholic

Conducted in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Miami, STU IMPACT: Empowering Young Disciples creates opportunities for high school youth to encounter the love of God and to respond to the invitation to live as joyful, loving and compassionate disciples as they explore contemporary social and ethical challenges and contemplate their future vocations, especially as the future leaders of the Christian church. The institute includes an at-home leadership project.

Student Leadership Academy

Jeremiah Gibbs|Director|Email
University of Indianapolis |Methodist

Two primary programs comprise Student Leadership Academy: a weekend vocational discernment retreat for youth interested in all vocations and a summer academy for discernment and theological formation for youth considering ordained or lay church ministry. Academy staff conduct site visits and other follow-up activities with alumni throughout the year.

Study-Service Theology Term (S2T2)

Tom Meyers|Director|Email Keith Graber-Miller|Co-Director|
Goshen College|Anabaptist

Featuring an international mission trip, at-home service and online interactions with faculty and mentors, S2T2 invites youth to explore different theological traditions, including the Anabaptist tradition of thought and action, and to consider vocations in Christian service.

SUMMA: A High School Theological Debate Society

Cindy Fribourgh|Director|Email
The University of the South|Episcopal

SUMMA is centered on the proposition that Christian faith is deepened significantly when young people engage in careful theological study and then are called to articulate their beliefs through the classical rhetorical practices of debate, all within a supportive community that emphasizes Christian love and encourages the participants to become Christian leaders.

Summer Connections

Eric Cain|Director|Email
Furman University|Nondenominational / Interdenominational

Summer Connections is a residential program for incoming first-year students (recent high school seniors). It welcomes thoughtful and open-minded participants to engage peers from different backgrounds, Furman teachers and mentors. Students grow more appreciative of their own “life stories” and discover that discernment of personal vocation yields authentic and unique human beings. The program challenges each participant to grow spiritually, intellectually, physically and socially.

Texas Youth Academy (TYA)

Eddie Erwin|Director|Email
Texas Annual Conference|Methodist

The Texas Youth Academy (TYA) is a two-week summer experience for selected high school students who are currently in 10th-12th grades to live in an intentional Christian community on a college campus in Texas. They participate in an intensive encounter with Christian life that will leave them confident that God is shaping their future in radical and exciting ways. Days are patterned by worship, Scripture, study, small groups, service projects, art and Communion.

The Call

Ron Jackson|Director|Email
MidAmerica Nazarene University|Wesleyan / Holiness

MNU's The Call engages youth in biblical and theological reflection through a two-year rotation of topics. Students will be exposed to theology and ethics, spiritual formation, biblical hermeneutics, worship and evangelism, Christian worldview, and interfaith and intercultural dialog.

The Challenge: Exploring God’s Call

John Blackwell|Director|Email
University of Mount Olive|Baptist

The Challenge: Exploring God's Call helps young people explore how they are called to be Christian leaders and help their churches address contemporary challenges. Youth will study the Bible and theology in ways that are relevant to their lives and reflect on God’s call through the lenses of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

The Franciscan Experience

Tyler Trahan|Director|Email Brian Pedraza|Co-Director|Email
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University|Roman Catholic

The Franciscan Experience immerses high school youth in the Church’s rich spiritual and intellectual tradition in order to help them encounter Christ in a way that will orient them to lives of service. Participants engage in liturgical and personal prayer, the study of Sacred Scripture and the foundational Franciscan documents, vocational discernment and faith-rooted service in the local community.

The Summit

Wendy Mohler-Seib|Director|Email
Southwestern College|Methodist

Through an on-campus experience and an online course, The Summit encourages high school youth to become Christian leaders by connecting them with a network of religious leaders, scholars, college students and peers who share a deep desire for faithful discipleship to Jesus Christ and a common commitment to make a positive impact in the wide variety of local, national and global issues of today.

The Well: Where Faith and Future Flow Together

Shawn Graves|Director|Email Matthew Ginter|Co-Director|Email
University of Findlay|Nondenominational / Interdenominational

The Well: Where Faith and Future Flow Together is designed for high school youth in grades 10 through 12. The program encourages young people to explore questions about faith and vocation, examine the wisdom of different Christian traditions and claim their Christian values.

Theologia: The George Fox University Summer Theology Institute

Hannah Souter|Director|Email
George Fox University|Quaker

Theologia: The George Fox University Summer Theology Institute provides youth the opportunity to experience theological study with faculty from GFU and the George Fox Evangelical Seminary and participate in small workshops with local leaders in a variety of professional fields about how their faith relates to their professions and sense of callings.

Theological Education with Youth (TEY)

MichelleHuth |Director|Email
United Lutheran Seminary|Lutheran

Through Theological Education with Youth (TEY), United Lutheran Seminary joins with congregations and denominational partners to amplify the faith and witness of high school youth as gifted theologians and leaders. In operation since 2000, TEY cherishes, respects, dwells with and learns with youth as dynamic disciples of Christ. The program seeks to amplify in young people a passionate, reflective and constructive love of theology in service to the gospel, and to invite young people to express that love in leadership, including leadership in the church.

Theological Foundations for Youth

David Whitla|Director|Email Rutledge Etheridge|Co-Director|Email
Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary|Presbyterian / Reformed

The Theological Foundations for Youth program equips young people for a life of ministry to Christ by providing intensive theological instruction, practical ministry experiences, and an increased awareness of opportunities to serve Christ, with a particular focus on service within the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America.

Theology for Teens

Ned Wisnefske|Director|Email
Roanoke College|Lutheran

Theology for Teens is a summer program that introduces high school youth to biblical and theological scholarship, engages them with contemporary challenges facing faith communities and explores how the Lutheran tradition, especially the life and thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, can fruitfully meet those challenges.

Theology of Healing Earth in Action (THEA) Institute

Lisa Reiter|Director|Email Katie Dorner|Co-Director|Email
Loyola University Chicago|Roman Catholic

The purpose of THEA is to engage high school students in Catholic theology and Ignatian spirituality so that they might act as Christian leaders who care for creation in their local communities and the world.

Theology Summer Academy

Peter Cariaga|Director|Email
Oklahoma Christian University|Christian Churches / Churches of Christ

Theology Summer Academy engages high school youth in theological reflection on contemporary issues that demand capable, spiritual leadership. Its program emphasizes theological themes of restoring humanity, restoring believers and restoring creation.

Theology Youth Institute (TYI)

Jonathan Rothchild|Director|Email Brett Hoover|Co-Director|Email
Loyola Marymount University|Roman Catholic

Through the lens of the Jesuit tradition and via awareness of cultural and religious pluralism, TYI seeks to facilitate the discernment of vocations for high school youth and encourage them to aspire to just and ethical leadership in all areas of society, especially in some form of ministry.

Theology, Action and Understanding (TAU) Institute

John Holzhuter|Director|Email
Ottawa University|Baptist

TAU’s purpose is to cultivate a new generation of morally and spiritually grounded theologians who are prepared to work across cultural and theological divides. The institute combines a summer residential experience, an online course and ongoing mentoring and service in regional cohorts.

Trailhead: Seeking God’s Call

Christian Hoeckley|Director|Email Christen Foell|Co-Director|Email
Westmont College|Nondenominational / Interdenominational

In partnership with Westmont faculty, local ministers, and business and nonprofit leaders, Trailhead helps young people discover how faith can guide their future. In an on-campus summer residency and yearlong mentorship, participants explore the many ways that theological reflection, education, and work can be united in a life of significance.

Trek Youth Academy

Bart Patton|Director|Email
Perkins School of Theology|Methodist

Trek Youth Academy is a faith formation and leadership development program for young people ages 15-22. The Academy involves participants from diverse communities in theological study, spiritual formation practices and service. Participants emerge as faithful leaders for the church and community. The program includes a spring conference, a two-week residential summer program, a ministry project, mentoring and college-preparatory seminars. College-age students participate in a spring conference and fall retreat.

Tuskegee University/Macon County Bridge Builders Program

Otis Head|Director|Email
Tuskegee University|Nondenominational / Interdenominational

Tuskegee University/Macon County Bridge Builders Program encourages high school youth from rural Macon County, AL, to pursue vocations in theological and spiritual leadership. Through monthly sessions on campus as well as local and national field trips, youth explore sacred and secular challenges, examining ethical issues at the intersection between spirituality, ethics and science.

Veritas Theology Institute

Karen Jones|Primary Contact|Email
Huntington University|Anabaptist

Through summer residential and international mission experiences as well as mentoring, at-home service and online community, Veritas Theology Institute aims to help rising juniors and seniors develop a heart and love for Christ as evidenced through the formation of a strong theological foundation, a clear sense of Christian identity and purpose and a commitment to a life of service to the church.

Vocati: a Missional Youth Theology Institute

Steven Bonner|Director|Email
Lubbock Christian University|Christian Churches / Churches of Christ

Vocati: a Missional Youth Theology Institute brings together theologically minded high school youth to encourage them to use their minds, hearts and hands for compassionate, informed Christian leadership. In the months immediately following the summer experience, youth will create missional leadership projects appropriate to their contexts and interests with online support from institute faculty and current university students who will serve as mentors.

Vocatio

William Wrede|Director|Email
Concordia Seminary|Lutheran

Vocatio is an opportunity for high school students entering grades 9 through 12 to participate in Bible study, worship and discussion about vocation. This five-day retreat on Concordia Seminary’s campus encourages participants to find God’s calling for their lives through studying theology, learning from seminary professors and engaging in thoughtful conversation and service.

WIYLDE

Mark Anderson|Director|Email
Northeastern Iowa Synod|Lutheran

WIYLDE (Wholly Iowa Youth Leadership Discipling Event) is a spiritual formation and leadership development program for high school youth in ELCA congregations in Iowa. Students explore their gifts through hands-on learning in small groups, with the goal of developing skills to share in their home congregations. WIYLDE welcomes youth into peer-led Bible study; worship planning, leadership and workshops on prayer; theological and vocational reflection; and engagement with social justice.

WorldHouse Academy: a Morehouse College Theology Institute for High School Youth

Terry Walker|Primary Contact|Email
Morehouse College|Nondenominational / Interdenominational

Rooted in the social gospel and comprised of a summer residential experience, monthly modules and quarterly Saturday intensives, WorldHouse Academy: a Morehouse College Theology Institute for High School Youth builds on the Morehouse religious tradition that encourages practical theological engagement, a commitment to liberal arts education and an interdisciplinary approach to compassionate professional service.

WorldViewEyes (WVE)

Rich Knopp|Director|Email
Lincoln Christian University|Christian Churches / Churches of Christ

WorldViewEyes (WVE) challenges youth and adults to expand their Christian mind, engage their multimedia culture, evaluate non-Christian beliefs and embrace a consistently-lived Christian worldview. Currently the primary WVE event is The Vine, a two-day retreat for youth and youth leaders that incorporates a follow-up mentoring program according to areas of interest such as Bible, missions, fine arts, athletics and worldview/apologetics.

Youth Becoming Leaders: High School Christian Leadership and Global Transformations Institute

Brian Hull|Director|Email James Hampton|Co-Director|Email
Asbury University|Wesleyan / Holiness

Youth Becoming Leaders: High School Christian Leadership and Global Transformations Institute equips high school students for theologically guided living and decision-making and prepares them to serve and lead in a complex global society through immersion in Christian scripture, theological texts, tradition and community. Youth will engage in community action projects with mentors from their home communities.

Youth Hope-Builders Academy

Anne Wimberly|Director|Email
Interdenominational Theological Center|Nondenominational / Interdenominational

The Youth Hope-Builders Academy (YHBA) seeks to promote Black youths’ formation of a valued ethnic-cultural and Christian identity, their theological understanding and practices of the Christian lifestyle and leadership, and their movement toward hope-building Christian vocation according to their interests. Through the YHBA Bridges Initiative, the Academy supports individual churches or clusters of congregations to serve as Bridge Units, who commit to nurture the faith and leadership development of Black youths. Each year a new group of congregations becomes Bridge Units. YHBA also offers a "village" orientation that promotes the supportive role of parents, other caregivers, seminarians, church and community leaders in the lives of youth.

Youth in Ministry (YiM)

Kit Dotson|Director|Email
Milligan College|

The mission of Youth in Ministry (YiM) is to invite high school students to pursue God’s call in their lives and to be servant-leaders. The program encourages teens to consider full-time vocational ministry and to be committed leaders within their churches. Each year YiM utilizes workshops, youth rallies and retreats, camp teams, special events with churches, conventions and the annual YiM Student Leadership Conference to reach students from around the United States.

Youth in Theology and Ministry (YTM)

Jeffrey Kaster|Director|Email Donelle Poling|Co-Director|Email
Saint John's School of Theology & Seminary|

Youth in Theology and Ministry (YTM) apprentices high school youth in Christian discipleship and leadership. Youth leave the two-summer YTM program inspired, motivated and equipped to be the hands of Christ, the feet of Christ and the voice of Christ for the world. This holistic apprenticeship takes place in a vibrant community of faith and includes study of theology with college professors, practice of Christian prayer forms, vocational discernment, community service, and multicultural and inter-religious immersion. One out of five youth who attend YTM choose to major or minor in theological study in college.

Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI)

Chris Neal|Director|Email
Azusa Pacific University|Wesleyan / Holiness

YLI engages high school youth who sense a call to ministry to participate in "anchor experiences" (including a Worship Arts Lab and Urban Ministries Practicum) and creates a community of parents, youth pastors and mentors who will continue to support young people as they explore potential vocations in Christian leadership.

Youth on The Way Leadership Academy

Suzanne Nicholson|Director|Email
Malone University|Quaker

Youth on The Way Leadership Academy helps high school youth to deepen their understanding of vocation and calling, explore ministry careers and develop as Christian leaders. Youth will work with a leader in their home churches after the academy to develop ministry projects.

Youth Theological Initiative (YTI)

Elizabeth Corrie|Director|Email
Candler School of Theology|Nondenominational / Interdenominational

The Youth Theological Initiative (YTI) was established in 1993 as a place where youth can address theological questions that might not be discussed in their local faith communities. The program gathers youth from across the United States to the annual Summer Academy, an ecumenical program in justice-seeking theological reflection for juniors and seniors in high school. The summer “scholars” explore important theological and social issues; worship ecumenically; create an intentional community of transformative, mutual relationships that call out the imago Dei in all people; and serve others through work at Atlanta-area social agencies. In addition to the Summer Academy, YTI is a center for research in innovative forms of teaching and ministry with youth. Several books and articles based on research conducted with YTI have been published, and YTI regularly shares learnings in ecclesiastical and academic settings.

youTheology Institute

Claire Smith|Director|Email
youTheology Institute|Methodist

youTheology Institute meets every summer. For five days, high school youth and their adult allies assemble to discover what shapes their Christian faith in the Pan-Methodist tradition and why it is important, explore how God is calling them to live out their faith in today’s world, and then go forth to live it out based on the plan they have prayerfully developed.