July 7 – July 28, 2012. The Youth Theological Initiative will host a summer program for high school Sophomores and Juniors at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

At YTI, we believe that young people need theology — the study of God and God’s relationship with the world — as one of the resources to draw upon as they explore their place in the world.  And we believe that the world needs young people to contribute their theological perspectives and their energy in order to promote social justice and the common good.  We gather approximately thirty-six rising high school juniors and seniors from across the country for the Academy, a three-week ecumenical experience in justice-seeking Christian theological education.  Our goal is to help you explore theological questions and perspectives in a supportive, mentoring community where your views, talents, and insights are respected and encouraged.

So what does this look like?  Kind of chaotic, actually, as we live out our commitment to practicing theology in the concrete situations of every day life.  We’ll make it possible for you to engage in academic exploration, service-learning, and community-building with a diverse group of “scholars” (as we call the participants) and staff.  You might take an exploratory course that focuses on a theological issue or topic (for instance, “Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People: The Problem of Theodicy”), ethics (“Nonviolence, Christianity, and Social Justice”), the Bible (“The Liberating Word: Reading the Bible around the World”) or world religions (“Faith and Dialogue: Exploration of World Religions”).  You’ll engage in service activities with a justice-oriented organization in Atlanta, which might include working with homeless people, refugees from countries torn apart by violence, or those who are mentally or physically disabled.  Because we bring together youth from diverse racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, national and denominational or religious backgrounds, you’ll learn about other people, and learn how to engage honestly and respectfully with people whose experiences, commitments, and perspectives are different from yours.  You’ll have opportunities to worship, both within the YTI community and with other faith communities around Atlanta.  And there will be time for relaxation and play, in activities like choir, our improv theatre group, basketball, creative writing, and ultimate Frisbee.

Click here to download an application…