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students at the Augsburg Youth Theology Institute

What is AYTI?

The Augsburg Youth Theology Institute (AYTI) is an annual, week-long summer program for high school students (9th-12th grades). AYTI offers young people an environment with the freedom to discover who God has called them to be through building meaningful relationships, engaging in community, and practicing vocational discernment.

This experience aims offers young leaders an opportunity to learn to love themselves more fully through discovering the gifts God has given them, through engaging community and spiritual practices, and applying what they are learning in a meaningful way that lives into the hope they have for a more loving world. 

It is a collaborative effort sponsored by Augsburg University’s Christensen Center for Vocation and supported by Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Reconciling in Christ logo
Reconciling in Christ log

In 2009, Augsburg was named a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) institution by Reconciling Works: Lutherans for Full Participation, meaning the University is welcoming and affirming of all people in regard to their gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation. AYTI is committed to living and teaching these faithful values at the Institute in our instruction, small group relationship building, and worship. You can read more about RIC and LGBTQIA+ services here.



  • Do you wonder what gifts God has given you?
  • Do you wonder how to use them to serve your neighbor?
  • Do you have questions about God?
  • Do you have an open heart and open mind?
  • AYTI is for YOU!


  • A diverse community of participants from a variety of faith communities and geographic locations around the United States.
  • A place to build meaningful relationships with other high school students while spending time in small groups led by a college mentor.
  • A chance to experience spiritual practices such as communal worship, contemplative prayer, journaling, and small group discussions that become useful tools for us to use in our vocational discernment during the week and beyond.
  • An opportunity to explore community-based learning in the Twin Cities area by experiencing the richness of neighborhoods through meeting people and trying new foods, and hearing stories.
  • A brave space to engage in academic inquiry shaped by ongoing engagement with a theological text and theological questions facilitated by a college or seminary professor and designed to help us make connections between what we are experiencing and God’s vision for our world.


Augsburg University undergraduate students are eligible to apply for the student leadership position of AYTI Mentor. These student leaders are committed to supporting young people in this faith journey as they participate in the summer institute. AYTI Mentors receive extensive training in preparation for their work with AYTI participants.

  • Mentors are college student leaders
  • Mentors support AYTI participants
  • Mentors lead small groups
  • Mentors provide relational support for participants
  • Mentors help with academic, theological study, community based learning, and daily worship


When do I apply? AYTI is a once a year, annual event in the summer. Applications open in January.

Who can apply? High school students who have completed 9th-12th grade with a curiosity about vocational discernment.

How do I apply? Complete the online application and essay questions. Fill out the form: APPLY HERE!

How much does it cost? $350 per participant (in-person) or $130 per participant (virtual).

What is included in the cost? For an in-person, on-campus event the cost includes registration fees, housing, meals, supplies, transportation during the event, and overall institute staffing support. The cost of travel to and from the event is the responsibility of the participant. For a virtual event, the cost includes registration fees and supplies and overall institute support.

What were past years like? Check out past institutes here.

Who can I contact with questions? Please contact with questions about the institute.