Welcome to Candler's Youth Theological Initiative. Since 1993 YTI has been a center for research and the theological education of youth and youth ministers. Our work is focused around a vision of theologically-grounded, socially-conscious ministries with youth and young adults, ministries that help young people and the older ones working with them to Explore Questions that Shape Us. We welcome your participation with us in this important contribution to ministry in the church and the world.
YTI partners with Candler's Religious Education Program to offer a certificate in ministries with youth for MDiv and MTS students. Many students from Candler and Emory's Graduate Division of Religion work with us on our research, which explores the theological perspectives and practices of youth and young adults. Others work with our annual Summer Academy, an intensive, residential program of justice-seeking theological education for high school students. We accept applications for summer staff positions each fall, so contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information. In addition to our efforts to provide outstanding opportunities in youth ministry education at Candler, we support the work of denominations, regional judicatories, and congregations through our Youth Ministry Education programs, working to enhance the practices of youth ministry in local congregations. For more information contact Beth Corrie, Director, at email@example.com or Brenda Bennefield, Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404.712-9160.
The Youth Theological Initiative (YTI) will celebrate its 20th anniversary July 12-14, 2013. All alumni, former staff and friends of the program are invited to attend!
Reconnect with your YTI scholars and staff from your year. Find you class officer below and connect today!
Network with members of the YTI family across the years engaged in similar work and pursuing similar passions
Discover what YTI is up to now, including research in religion and culture, new practices of ministry and innovative forms of education, and engage in conversation with the most recent class of YTI scholars
Reflect on the impact of YTI on theological education, youth ministry, the church, and the world
Explore the “questions that shape us” now, as we enter new phases in our lives and vocations
Worship in the unique YTI way
Fellowship over meals and optional excursions in Atlanta
Serve your neighbor in an optional service project with MedShare International
Craig Dykstra, Research Professor of Practical Theology and Senior Fellow at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity
Professor Dykstra is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Before coming to Duke he was senior vice president for religion at Lilly Endowment, where he first envisioned the YTI program. He is co-editor with Dorothy Bass of For Life Abundant: Practical Theology, Theological Education, and Christian Ministry (2008). His book, Growing in the Life of Faith: Education and Christian Practices (1999) was published in a second edition in 2005. He also contributed to and collaborated with Bass in the creation of Practicing Our Faith: A Way of Life for a Searching People (1997; second edition, 2010).
Charles R. Foster, Professor Emeritus of Religion and Education at the Candler School of Theology of Emory University in Atlanta.
While on faculty at Candler School of Theology, Dr. Foster, working with Dr. Dykstra, helped to establish and design YTI as the first High School Youth Theology Program. He now teaches a culturally diverse group of children in the Sunday school of his local church, conducts workshops, serves as a consultant, and gives lectures to church and academic groups in the United States and several other countries. His publications include Educating Congregations: The Future of Christian Education (1994), Educating Clergy: Teaching Practices and Pastoral Imagination (2005) and his most recent, From Generation to Generation: The Adaptive Challenge of Mainline Protestant Education in Forming Faith (2012).
Workshop: Entering the Waters: Faith, Culture, and 21st Century Youth Ministry
A series of “TED-talk” presentations about the latest research in religion and culture from researchers and practitioners in the field, designed for pastors, youth workers, theologians, educators, and those interested in the intersection of religion and contemporary culture. Not a YTI alum and interested in attending Entering the Waters? Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Panels and Workshops
Panel discussions with former YTI staff members about what they have learned from youth about leadership, conflict transformation, ministry, teaching, mentoring, and social justice. Workshops led by YTI alumni from a variety of class years drawing on their research, passions, and professional interests.
Reunions and Fellowship
Class reunions for each of the 19 Summer Academy cohorts, excursions and service projects in Atlanta, networking across class years, engagement with current YTI scholars, and opportunities to learn how to re-engage and support YTI today.
|Friday, July 12
|Entering the Waters: Faith, Culture, and 21st Century Youth Ministry|
|10:00am||Religion and Culture Remix|
|12:00pm||Lunch, Reflections on the Future of Youth Ministry|
|20th Anniversary Celebration Weekend Begins|
|Saturday, July 13|
|8:30-9:00am||Continental breakfast & Opportunities Fair|
|9:00-10:15am||Workshop Session #1
Concurrent Sessions led by former YTI staff members
|10:30-11:45am||Workshop Session #2
Concurrent Sessions led by former YTI youth participants
|1:00-4:00pm||Optional Service Project (sign-up required)|
|1:00-6:00pm||Free time for class reunions, excursions, etc.|
Reflections on the Contribution of YTI to the Fields of Religious
Education and Youth Ministry
The cost for the weekend is $125, which includes all meals from Friday dinner through the Saturday banquet. A limited number of scholarships are available. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Register and pay online by July 1st. Register today!
A block of rooms at the Emory Conference Center Hotel have been reserved at the discounted rate of $119/night. We encourage you to connect with fellow YTIers to share rooms or find local classmates to host those from out of town.
Class officers are collecting updated contact information for our YTI alums to ensure all receive the information needed about this July’s events. We’d still love updated contact information, but you should also contact your class officers if you have ideas to encourage your classmates to attend, or ideas about excursions your class might want to make during down time. Find you class officer below and connect today!
|2000||Caitlin St. Louis DeLanoemail@example.com|
|2005||Wendy Weimerskirch Plagerfirstname.lastname@example.org|