For Schools and Faith Communities

The LMU Youth Theology Institute is an innovative five-day summer institute at LMU—run by LMU professors, graduate, and undergraduate students.  We are inviting high school students to creatively and intensively explore their own future leadership potential and the “big spiritual questions” they have in dialogue with various religious traditions (including but not exclusively Roman Catholicism).  The institute is a holistic and integrative experience which seeks to capture young imaginations, cultivate the students’ spiritual growth, facilitate intellectual development, and promote leadership that is ethical, multicultural, and seeks justice in a broken world.  Students will express what they have experienced and learned through a short film created in groups and presented at a Friday showcase.

If your school or faith community would like to send students to the LMU Youth Theology Institute, please fill out the online Intent to Participate form no later than February 28, 2018.

Accommodations:  Participants stay in the LMU residence halls (commuters permitted). Rooms are double occupancy, most adjoined to another room with a shared bathroom.   While the residence halls themselves are co-educational, all rooms, suites, and bathrooms are single sex.  The Institute provides an undergraduate Institute mentor for every ten participants in the residence halls. Most meals occur at LMU dining commons, with some provided via box lunch. On travel days, meals may be provided at host sites, and/or at a restaurant.  Dietary restrictions can be accommodated.

Cost:  The only cost for the Institute is a $80 nonrefundable per student registration fee ($30 for students with need).  The LMU Youth Theology Institute is made possible by a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc.

Process for faith communities and schools:


Registration Timeline


December 2017

Save the date flyer available.


January 2018

Promotional materials sent to schools and churches.


February 2018


Schools and churches commit to participate.

Responses due to LMU by February 28, 2018.

March  2018

Participating schools and churches discern students they wish to participate.

List of participants due to LMU by April 15, 2018

April 2018

Student registration opens. Eligible students receive email from LMU with discrete link.

Online registration and payment of $80 non-refundable fee ($30 for students with need) due by May 15, 2018.

May 2018

Participants receive planning packets from LMU


June 2018


Parent/guardian waivers and student code of conduct forms.

Due June 18, 2018 at YTI check-in on campus of LMU.

Selecting student participants: 
Schools and faith communities will be invited to select a number of students to participate, depending on their size and the total number of institutions participating.  The LMU Youth Theology Institute believes that schools, youth ministry programs, and other organizations know best which students might benefit most from the Institute.[1]  That being said, we recommend students who have completed at least their first year of high school, who show a serious interest in “spiritual” (big life) questions, and who demonstrate leadership potential.  We seek a diverse group of students, ethnically, racially, and socioeconomically, and so participating students must be open to cooperating with others from different backgrounds.  Students need not be religious believers, but they do need to be open to the perspectives of various religious traditions (including Roman Catholicism) on important spiritual, ethical, and social questions.

Sample Schedule for the Week:


Main topic

Other topics



Monday, 6/18

Your role in the world (vocation)

Faith as a view of the world

A theology of leadership

Sharing your story



Movie night

Tuesday, 6/19

Working with sacred texts


Beauty and art


Interactive learning


Group short film planning

Wednesday, 6/20

Social justice


Dealing with differences

Community-based learning

Site visits to service organizations and diverse faith communities

Thursday, 6/21

Dealing with differences


Social justice

Community-based learning

Site visits to service organizations and diverse faith communities

Friday, 6/22

Film:  Beauty and service



Participant short film showcase

[1] LMU retains the right to negotiate with institutions over the final list of participants.