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Mentors for the 2022 Youth Theology Institute

One gift we have each year at the Augsburg Youth Theology Institute (AYTI), is hiring current college students to train and lead as mentors during our annual summer institute. These students come to AYTI with energy and gifts for serving young people who are curious about how God is working in their lives and the world. These leaders spend the spring semester developing skills for small group facilitation, studying and researching biblical stories to prepare to lead a daily devotion with our participants, and honing their leadership skills to provide a safe and welcoming place for the high school participants during the institute.

2022 AYTI Mentors being goofy!
2022 AYTI Mentors being goofy!

We are excited to introduce to you the 2022 AYTI Mentors. They are such a fun group and we know the high school participants are going to enjoy spending the week of AYTI with them!


CARSON VINCENT (they/them)

Mentor: Carson Vincent
Mentor: Carson Vincent

Name, Pronouns, Year at Augsburg, Major/Minor

Carson Vincent, They/them/Theirs, 2nd year, Biochemistry Major with a minor in Religion

What should people know about Augsburg?

Augsburg is a small close knit school in the heart of Minneapolis. Because Augsburg is a smaller school it’s so much easier to form relationships with not only your peers but your professors as well. I’ve had so many professors go out of their way to ensure my personal academic success.

What excites you most about being an AYTI Mentor?

I’m most excited for the participants to be on campus this year! I’ve experienced AYTI in person as a participant, and online as a mentor. I’m excited for the participants to be able to interact and connect with each other face to face, and to be able to experience campus and the surrounding area!

How do you like to spend your free time?

In my free time I like to play video games, play with my cat, and drink some tea while watching a movie.

Favorite bible story and why?

My favorite bible story is the story of Joseph (Genesis 37) because it explores many themes that many queer people can relate to.

Mentor: Blaine Schultz
Mentor: Blaine Schultz

BLAINE SCHULTZ (they/them)

Name, Pronouns, Year at Augsburg, Major/Minor

Blaine Schultz, they/them/theirs, first-year, Undecided

What should people know about Augsburg?

Everyone on campus is so friendly! It really does feel like a close-knit community even though we’re in such a big city.

What excites you most about being an AYTI Mentor?

My experience as an AYTI participant was incredibly important in shaping my decision-making process when applying for colleges. I had amazing mentors who inspired me to actively pursue the opportunities that would benefit me. To be that person for even one participant, that’s what I am most excited about.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I enjoy spending time with friends, curling up on the couch with a good book, and listening to music.

Favorite bible story and why?

The Rainbow Promise in Genesis 9:15-17. This was my confirmation verse, and there’s a whole long story behind it, but I love it so much now because to me it symbolizes new beginnings.

SARAH RUNCK (she/her)

Mentor: Sarah Runck
Mentor: Sarah Runck

Name, Pronouns, Year at Augsburg, Major/Minor

Sarah Runck, She/Her/Hers, 2nd year, Music Therapy Major

What should people know about Augsburg?

I really enjoy the community at Augsburg. It is so welcoming and I feel at home here. Everyone is so nice and open and because of this there are meaningful connections and more opportunities to connect and engage with others around you.

What excites you most about being an AYTI Mentor?

I am really excited for AYTI! This is my first year being a part of AYTI and when I heard about it, I was really curious and wanted to find out more. I am excited to meet others and to learn more about AYTI as the year progresses.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I love to play instruments, listen to music, go on walks, watch movies, explore new places and foods and even do some embroidery.

Favorite bible story and why

One of my favorite bible stories is Genesis 17-22, ‘Abraham The Man of Faith’. I heard this story when I was younger in a bible camp and it stuck with me. I really enjoy this story because it has so much meaning about faith, being faithful and how God provides.

Mentor: Aaron Puent
Mentor: Aaron Puent

AARON PUENT (he/him)

Name, Pronouns, Year at Augsburg, Major/Minor

Aaron Puent, he/him/his, Junior, Religion Major w/ Concentration in Global Religions and Interfaith Studies.

What should people know about Augsburg?

Augsburg is a place to make connections and build both professional and personal relationships.  The people who work here are interested in students’ success in both the classroom and beyond.

What excites you most about being an AYTI Mentor?

Learning is one of the most rewarding experiences for me, and my time as a mentor has been filled with plenty of opportunities to grow.  I was never an AYTI participant, but I still find that I can learn alongside everyone, even as a mentor.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I enjoy spending time outside, usually through running and tennis (and the occasional game of pickleball).  I have recently gotten into recreational reading again, as well as drawing, so that’s how I typically spend my evenings.

Favorite bible story and why?

I always liked the stories of Abraham, especially surrounding his covenants with God.  Their relationship is complex, to put it simply.  I also appreciate his role as a father in faith to multiple traditions; he becomes a point of connection.

Mentor: Renee Christensen
Mentor: Renee Christensen

RENEE CHRISTENSEN (she/her)

Name, Pronouns, Year at Augsburg, Major/Minor

Renee Christensen, she/her, 3rd year, Theology and Public Leadership with a minor in Psychology

What should people know about Augsburg?

One thing for me that makes Augsburg stand out is the community. From professors and staff, to the people you meet in classes, the sense of community is exceptionally strong.

What excites you most about being an AYTI Mentor?

I am super excited to be in person this year! When I was a participant, one of the things I loved most about the week was being in the city, learning more about Augsburg and why so many of the mentors call Augsburg a second home!

How do you like to spend your free time?

In my free time, I love to read, listen to music, take walks, and hang out with my cats!

Favorite bible story and why?

A bible story that excites and intrigues me is Acts 8:26-40 “The Ethiopian Eunuch”. I came across this story last year and anytime I reread this story, I am able to see it from a different perspective each time!


Do you know a high school student who would make a great participant at the Augsburg Youth Theology Institute? We encourage you to tell them about it and nominate them today! Check out more on our website here!