Youth in Mission (YIM) at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago has received a $660,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc. to continue its current ministry initiatives and to make the programs self-sustaining. The grant is part of the Lilly Endowment's Theological Programs for High School Youth Initiative to support theological schools' programs that get youth excited about theological education and inspire them to consider vocations in ministry.
LSTC President James Kenneth Echols said, "LSTC is honored by and grateful for the Lilly Endowment's continued support of Youth in Mission through this grant. Their vote of confidence in our programs inspires and enables us to work toward long-term sustainability of the life-changing Youth in Mission programs."
Youth in Mission's Serving Christ in the World, a vocation immersion program for rising 11th and 12th grade youth is in its eighth year. To date, five Serving Christ in the World program participants have elected to attend ELCA seminaries and many more are college students considering ministry and other service-oriented vocations.
Beyond Belief is Youth in Mission's year-round program that connects high school youth groups with LSTC and Chicago service organizations for various ministry opportunities during week-long service trips. During their time in Chicago, participants meet with seminarians to explore vocation and life at LSTC.
In 2009, Youth in Mission held its first annual youth ministry workers' conference at LSTC. The 2010 conference will focus on youth faith formation in an interfaith world.
The Lilly Endowment Inc. provided grants to a total of 23 theological schools during this phase of their Theological Programs for High School Youth Initiative. The Indianapolis-based organization asked seminaries and divinity schools to create programs that engage young people in theological learning and encourage them to explore Christian ministry as their life's work.
Program Coordinator, Youth in Mission
The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.