“Who else wants to discover the connection between their faith and their life, the beauty of their Methodist tradition, and leadership and service?"

The Amazing Thing Of Course Is The Change That Happens Over the Course of One Year.  It’s is Rather Remarkable That Young People Can Grow So Much in One Year Or Less!

"youTheology has been a lot to me.

"It helped me . . . grow in my faith and know more about what it means to be a Methodist, where I came from . . .

"and also gave me an environment where I could be with other people my age . . . and these are still people I stay in contact with. . .

"it’s really neat to know that you still have those connections even if they are in a different state and

"you’re still able to talk to them about your faith and

"you’re still able to grow and know that other people are also on a journey with you."


Orientation: 12 December 2015

Rural Ministry Retreat: 4-6 March, 2016

Who are you? It's time to take a good look at you and love this unique person God has created. Learn about rural ministry. Serve your neighbors.

13-15 July, 2016

12 July, 2016

7-10 July, 2016

10-12 July, 2016

Closing: 16-17 July, 2016


I got to spend 10 days with the most awesome people . . . One of my greatest experiences was at the AMEZ Mother Zion church. . . I think I felt the Holy Spirit move within that church. It was awesome.

We learned that . . . God always gives us gifts and talents. . . The sanctifying, the justifying, the prevenient grace . . . are gifts God gives us to follow him, to make it easier for us to follow him.

Ilka Vega,  yT Class of 2011

Hayden Grant,   yT class of 2012

Kansas City, KS
Meet your peers. Build community. Find out more about the year. Begin the learning with peers and mentors.
Harlem, NY
Visit Mother Zion and learn the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion church and serve your neighbors.
Philadelphia, PA
Visit St George's UMC and Mother Bethel AME. Learn about the early Methodists and the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Baltimore, MD
Stop at the gorgeous Lovely Lane and Old Otterbein UMC churches. Prepare to be awed.
Washington, DC
Pick a social justice topic that you want to know more about and you participate in a seminar on it in DC.
Kansas City, KS
Back in Kansas City, it's time to wrap it up. The highs, the lows, what you're taking with you  . . .

Copyright © 2014-2015 youTheology Institute. All rights reserved.


Attention youth and youth workers who are ready to step it up.

Rachel Nyhart

Dear Friend,

If you and your students want to see how your faith and life connect, the grace behind the history, theology, and practices of the Methodist church, and lead and serve with greater confidence, this might be the most important information you’ll ever read.  Here’s why…

youTheology Institute is once again recruiting students for the youTheology Journey With High School Students.Yes! This proven and acclaimed program is back! Here is a taste of what young people willl discover on this astonising journey:

  • A supportive community of like-minded individuals. This helps young people to  know that they are not along and strengthen them on their journey.
  • What they believe and why. This helps them to be more grounded and to stay in the faith.
  • Space for their questions. Young people have many questions about faith and life and the space is created for them to raise these questions.
  • A special relationship with a caring adult. They will learn together and the adult will proide a listening ear for the young person as they discover more questions about faith and life.
  • How to take action on social issues out of love. Young people want to make a difference but sometimes don't know what their faith says and where to start.
  • They grow in their relationship wtih God. Through the teaching, worship, service, time with their peers and leaders young people grow a lot during the year in youTheology.
  • They become more confident. Young people have opportunities to lead and they become more confidenct.
  • A better understanding of self. As young people explore what it means to love themselves they have a better understanding of who they are.

That's just a small sample of what your students will get when theyy sign up for youTheology Journey With High School Students.

"Three Powerful Reasons High School

Students Should Sign Up"

Reason One: Over 150 young people who have gone through this program are leading and serving in various fields. Some are pastors. Some are teachers. Some are youth workers. The list goes on. Many of them speak of the growth they experienced in youth theology and the difference it made to their faith journey to learn about their Methodist heritage.

Reason Two: We guarantee that your young people will be treated with the utmost care and respect. They will be challenged to grow in love. They will be supported throughout their journey.

Reason Three: We have many testimonials from past youTheology participants. These are real results that real young people have gotten. You'll hear from some of them in just a minute. You'll see for yourself that they are not made up.

Now you don't need youTheology Institute for your young people to grow in the faith. You can try to do this on your own and learn by trial and error develop this type of program with this calibre of presenters, make all the travel arrangements yourself, bring young people together from diverse areas and Methodists denominations for your young people to have exposure to other youth.. You can do nothing. You can try other programs that have less to offer.

Or . . .

You can use a program that has been proven for over 10 years that is specially designed high school students with solid guarantees that's already been proven to be wildly effective!

youTheology Journey With High School Students reveals how young people can live faithfully now and lead now. It's impactful. It's fun-filled. It works.

In addition to developing leaders, youTheology Journey With High School Students contains


As the country becomes more diverse, it is important that Christian young people learn how to love God and neighbor, how to lead in a diverse community. To fail to provide this type of community is like sending a missionary to China without teaching them the language.

Here's a sneak preview at what they'll get:

  • How to interact with diverse groups. Young people come from different geographical areas and different Methodist denominations.
  • How to lead worship in a way that honors God. Young people are taught about worship and then they plan and lead it.
  • How to analyze a socail justice issue and be an advocate around it. Young people pick a social justice issue that's of interest to them and then they explore it during the seminar in Washington, DC and learn how to be an advocate.
  • The heart of their faith and tradition: Love for God and neighbor. The whole program centers on the theme of loving God and neighbor which is central to the Christian faith and Methodism.
  • The steps in doing theology using the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. Young people learn what theology is and for the whole year do theological reflection using the Wesleyan Quadrilateral.
  • The biggest mistakes in trying to love yourself. At this vulnearble age young people learn some of the pitfalls in seeking to develop self-love.

Plus, in addition to the learning that happens in youTheology as young people learn from seminary professors, leaders, their mentors, and each other in a diverse community, they're also going to get . . .

A Pan-Methodist Pilgrimage on the East Coast





youTheology Journey With High School Students starts and ends in Kansas City. However, there is a 9-day Pan-Methodist Pilgrimage where students immerse themselves in the history and tradition, learn more about social justice, and participate in hands-on ministry.

2 weekends, 1 10-day pilgrimage in 5 states

Now, I know you're probably skeptical. That's healthy. But don't take my word for it.

Listen to What More of Our Past Participants Have to Say . . . ,

Any program of this nature must

meet these 3 criteria:

One: Engage youth in the tradition and theology so that they know what makes them distinctinve, what they believe, and why, and better chart their course.

Two: Be made up of participants from diverse geographic, racial-ethnic, and Methodist denominational backgrounds.

Three: Involve a travel component in which participants emerge themselves to bring the learning alive.

By  now you're probably wondering, "How much does this cost?"


A program like youTheology Journey With High School Students could easily cost $3,000.00 or more and NONE o them can hold a candle to this year of tremendous growth.

But we have a big savings for you!

The price could include everything: meals and lodging, honoraria for presenters, staff, and leaders, the cost of preparing materials, the cost of printing materials, overland travel, air faires, hotel and hostel fares, administrative costs, security costs . . .  However, with the help of our generous donors and our commitment, we are underwriting some of these costs so you pay $1,500.00.

So what's our hidden movie? Why are we practically giving away this year?

In between gatherings

Time with Mentors
In between gathering times meet with mentors to discuss and do lessons on topics of your interest.

We guarantee that if your high school student does everything that is in this program he or she will be changed and grow in faith and confidence.

Why are we making this promise? Because we KNOW that youTheology Journey With High School Students works! You've seen the testimonies. We've seen the results. Young people understanding their faith, growing in love to God, others, and self, serving and leading. What else could you ask for?

Click the button below and make your reservation now, or click here. No money  is required. What do you have to lose?

Get ready to see your young people discover the connection between their faith and their life, the beauty of their Methodist tradition, and leadership and service.

Yours in Christ's service,


Claire A Smith, PhD
Director, youTheology Institute

P.S. "youTheology is very important for developing the young leaders that we need for the future of our church" says Austin Rivera, alumnus, class of 2004.  Send your budding leaders and help them be more.

P.P.S. After you sign up we will send you the application forms. Exciting, isn't it?

P.P.S. Make your reservation immediately so that you can get those application forms.

P.P.P.S. Some of the young people who have gone through youTheology and have been profoundly impacted by it say they came into the program because a youth ministry or youth pastor encouraged them to do so. If you're an adult, will you be that person? Don't simply put it in their hand and stop there. Help them through the process.

P.P.P.PS. Each young person needs to choose a trusted adult as a mentor.

Questions? Contact us.

Discover the Best of You and Your Faith!

We're here to empower young people so that they will journey to a more meaningful and deeper relationship with God, church, and others in a caring and fun-filled community as they discover themselves, connect with their past, and live into their future. This fee ensures that we cover the basic costs and the donations of money and time cover the rest. We all win.

And there's more.

You can pay this in 3 installments of $500.00 each. That's right. We will not add a fee for paying in installments. The fee is not due until the application has been processed and the high school student has been accepted into the program. However, if you pay in full by November 6, you will receive a discount of $300.00. Thus, you will pay $1,200.00.

Applications close September 15, 2015.

Loving God Day: April, 2016 (TBA)

Kansas City, KS