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Activities | Youth Theology Institute

Students canoeing during the Institute

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

Prayer and Worship: Taking seriously the call in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to "pray without ceasing", we have structured all of our service, theology, and wilderness adventures to flow out of our prayer life. As an ecumenical institute, you will have 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, Taizé chant, prayerful art projects and prayer walks.

Theological, Scriptural, and Contemplative Reflection: As an ecumenical theology institute, our theology sessions draw on numerous Christian theological traditions as we together explore scripture and Christian tradition while considering the implications for our lives in our time. 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: James 2:17 reminds us that " by itself, if it has no works, is dead." We know that as disciples of the Way of Jesus, we are called to serve the people and world around us. We work with 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.

Focused Exploration on Calling: Frederick Buechner, a Presbyterian minister and theologian, describes vocation as "the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." Throughout the week, you will have the opportunity to reflect 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.

Creation and Community: The stunning beauty of our surrounding geography provides a unique opportunity to listen for the call of God in the natural world around us. We will spend time, hiking, swimming, and exploring the streams and woods nearby and enjoy a night camping at a nearby State Park. These wilderness adventures are often participants favorite parts of the week. You will also spend plenty of time building community and forming friendships with one another during free time and planned activities.

Contact Us

Mark Hakes

1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811
(218) 625-4445