About 40 high school students from across the Midwest will visit Marian University next week as part of the university’s focus on educating a new generation of church leaders prepared to serve their communities and the world.
Called the Missionary Disciples Institute (or MDI), the week-long summer camp led by theology, philosophy, and other faculty is the first event of its type for the university.
Made possible with grant funding from the Lilly Endowment, the program was developed in partnership with the local church community and national organizations specializing in vocational discernment and ministry skill development for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
The program includes appearances by nationally recognized speakers including Jackie Francois, Pastor Tony Kart, Sr., Amy McEntee, Fr. Michael Della Penna, Ted Miles, Chris Padgett, Dr. Sean Lansing, and Mike Patin.
Attendees will learn more about Catholic theology, develop practical missionary skills, discern whether they might be called to ministry, and discuss hot topics and tough questions that impact today’s youth.
Teachings will be focused on the Acts of the Apostles and The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis.
“We’re excited about answering the call of Pope Francis to form young leaders who can serve as missionary disciples,” explained Adam Setmeyer, vice president for mission identity at the university.
“The program we’ve developed is unique, providing youth with opportunities to learn ministry, see ministry, engage in ministry, and be ministers themselves,” Setmeyer said. “It blends theological exploration, skills development, and personal prayer and reflection to make a positive impact on the faith of youth which, ultimately, is our primary goal.”
Participants will choose from five specialized educational tracks: Diakonia (service), didache (teaching), koinonia (partnering), leitourgia (prayer) and kerygma (proclaiming). Depending on the track selected, youth will participate in immersive off-campus experiences at St. Gabriel the Archangel parish, Cardinal Rigger High School, St. Michael the Archangel parish, the Unleavened Bread Café, Our Lady of Grace Monastery, and DAT House.
Other highlights include community prayer, spiritual direction, a pilgrimage to the Sisters of St. Francis motherhouse in Oldenburg, IN, and developing personalized mission plans youth can implement in their home parishes and schools.
Current Marian University students and recent graduates engaged in young adult ministry will act as facilitators and mentors to high school youth.
After the event, participants will get one-on-one support from their mentors as they implement their mission plans.
MDI is well-aligned with Marian University’s mission to be a great Catholic university that educates next-generation leaders who are prepared to serve in the Franciscan and liberal arts traditions.
Find more information, including details about educational tracks, daily schedule, and a downloadable brochure, at marian.edu/mdi.