Activities | Youth Theology Institute

Students canoeing during the Institute

Each day of the Institute will include activities based on the following five elements:

Theological, Scriptural, and Contemplative Reflection: We'll provide a foundation of theological understanding, scriptural interpretation, and contemplative reflection to help prepare you to read and reflect on Biblical passages and discuss deep theological and ethical questions. 

Service Learning: As Christians, we are called to a life of service to one another and the world around us. We work with Churches United in Ministry (CHUM), Safe Haven, Hartley Nature Center and the St. Scholastica Monastery to provide opportunities for focused action in response to the needs of the Duluth community. The work you do with these organizations directly impacts people experiencing homeless and food insecurity, women escaping violence and the wellbeing of local environment.

Prayer and Worship: As an ecumenical institute, you will have multiple opportunities to experience a variety of Christian prayer practices. You will learn and practice lectio divina throughout the Institute and immerse yourself in communal prayer practices like praise and worship, Taize chant and prayer walks. 

Focused Exploration on Calling: You will have the opportunity to reflect deeply on your own interests, strengths and talents, along with where they might take you in the future. You'll be able to use tools such as StrengthsFinder, our Theology Sessions, and Wisdom Figure talks for self-exploration and vocational discernment. You will also be paired with a Benedictine sister from the St. Scholastica Monastery who will accompany you in prayer and in person throughout the Institute.

Community Building: You'll no doubt form close friendships throughout this process, but planned activities will also help to foster group togetherness. You will collaborate and share personal stories, accomplishments and obstacles, inspiring others and building the bonds of community and friendship.

Wilderness Retreat

The Youth Theology Institute will wrap up with a two and a half-day wilderness retreat at the beautiful Cascade River State Park. In the quiet of a lush forest alongside a fast-rushing, crystal-clear river, you'll be able to hear and reflect on the new insights you've gained about God's call in the rhythms of nature, discuss the revelations you've experienced during your journey, and consider those "big" life questions and next steps, including ongoing discernment in your home context and congregations.

The wilderness retreat will conclude on campus with a final barbecue and a Sending Forth Blessing with family, Community Partners, Institute staff and college mentors.

Contact Us

Mark Hakes

1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811
(218) 723-6349