In the next five months more than 115 teenagers will travel to Chicago from around the country to be part of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago's two Youth in Mission programs. "Serving Christ in the World" guides youth from across the U.S. in discerning their vocations and challenges them to explore how to connect their faith to service in the world. "Beyond Belief" connects high school youth with a number of ministry and service organization. While in Chicago the groups not only serve but find a better understanding of what goes on at these ministries year-round.
Twenty youth who will have completed their sophomore or junior year of high school will be part of a three-week international experience of deepening their faith through discovery and discernment. "Serving Christ in the World" youth will spend two weeks in Chicago with LSTC faculty, students and guest speakers both in the classroom and exploring the city. The group will travel to Mexico City for the third week to experience faith in a global context.
Throughout the three weeks, students will process what they discover in small group discussions. Anthony Schock, a high school senior from Sussex, Wis., and a 2006 participant, says, "I still think a lot about things I've learned about myself and my faith. I don't know exactly what I will do with my life, but I know that I need and want to do something that will help others and serve God, whether it is by becoming a psychologist, diaconal minister or pastor."
"Serving Christ in the World" is made possible through a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment.
Youth in Mission's "Beyond Belief" has moved beyond summer and will host high school youth groups for both spring break and summer sessions. The program will welcome groups from Nebraska., North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Participants will come to Chicago for one week to do a variety of service projects. One youth from Bethany Lutheran Church in Republic, Michigan, explained what she learned about God from Beyond Belief by saying, "God is here all the time even though you are not always looking. He is calling you."
Through the relationships they build and through the understanding of service, youth can grow and explore their call to ministry. The service that the youth do and the conversations that they have, help them to move beyond belief to faith in action.
Program Coordinator of Youth in Mission
Director of Communication and Marketing
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.