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COVID-19: Fall 2020 plans and student resources ›

Meet You Mentor-Morgan

Morgan Baumbach, He, Him, His

Junior, 2021

BA: Theology and Public Leadership

BA: Theatrical Design and Technology

Minor: Youth StudiesMorgan smiling in front of blue ocean background


Anything about your hometown or where you’re from that you want to share: Farmington, MN. Yes there are farms and the high school football team plays for the Tractor Trophy every year. 


What you are most excited about for AYTI: I am super excited to find new ways to dive into theology virtually and also make meaningful intentional connections virtually. It will be hard work but I am so excited for it. 


Favorite place you’ve been: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico


Favorite Bible verse: Genesis 1:31

Meet Your Mentor-Ian

Hi! My name is Ian Heseltine, I use he, him, his pronouns. I’m a third year at Augsburg graduating in the spring of 2021. I’m a double major in Religion and Ian smiling in front of a green background with waterfall in the distanceMusic Business. My hometown is Alexandria, MN, two hours west of the metro area. This will be my third summer as a mentor for AYTI and I can’t wait to connect with all the students this summer, especially in this strange time we’re living through. AYTI is always a highlight of my summer because I get to connect with highschoolers and also show them how great Augsburg is. Over winter break I went on an Augsburg Study Abroad trip to London, England & Edinburgh, Scotland. That trip has been my all time favorite, and was the first time I had ever been overseas. We spent a large amount of time talking about Harry Potter which is one of my favorites so the trip made a lasting impact on me!


Meet Your Mentor-Grace


Grace smiling in front of a white fence with tall sunflowers behind herHi, my name is Grace Koch Muchahary, I am originally from Northeast, India. I am pursuing my Bachelor’s degree at Augsburg University. Currently, I am a Sophomore going to be Junior next year, and I will be graduating in 2022. I am majoring in Sociology and planning on minoring in Gender-Sexuality and Women’s studies. The reason I got this beautiful opportunity to study in the United States is because I received a scholarship from ELCA, IWL(International Women Leadership) program. Before coming to Augsburg, I could never have dreamed of getting to engage with so many different communities here around me. One of my favorite experiences and community is this program AYTI (Augsburg Youth Theology Institute). I couldn’t stop myself from being a part of AYTI again this summer. I love this program, and this year I am hoping to see new activities, new learning and especially to meet new amazing people. My favorite place I have been so far would be Chicago, and Iowa (because it is peaceful).

Favorite Bible Verse: John 14:14: Jesus says, If you ask anything in my name I will do it.


Meet Your Mentor-Tre

Name: Tre TellorTre smiling and tending a camp stove.

Pronouns: he/him

Majors: sociology and religion

Hometown: Bloomington, MN

What I’m excited about: Helping students ask the tough questions about faith

Favorite place: the Superior Hiking trail

Favorite Bible verse: Isaiah 1:17


Meet Your Mentor- Lizzy

Photo of Lizzy standing outside holding cotton candy and smiling

My Name is Elizabeth Hoversten but I go by Lizzy and use the pronouns she, her, hers. I am from a little rural town called Viroqua located around the lowest pinky knuckle of Wisconsin. At Augsburg, I am Majoring in Communication Studies and Minoring in Business Administration with the end goal of goodness knows what. I am very excited to be returning to AYTI for the 3rd time, second as a mentor. It is incredible getting to watch these youth gather from across the states to explore how their faith can influence their leadership. My favorite place I’ve been has been a mountain road outside of Yellowstone, my family and I drove it at dusk about four years ago and it was awe striking.  Unfortunately, I do not have a favorite Bible verse but I do have a least favorite book of the Bible so I will lead with that. My least favorite book of the Bible is the book of Job, let’s talk about it some time.

Meet Your Mentor-Renee

Hi! My name is Renee Christensen (she/her/hers) and I am a first year here at Augsburg! I am double majoring in Clinical Psychology and Theology Picture of Renee facing the camera and smilingand Public Leadership. I am from Shafer, MN, which is about 45 minutes North East of Minneapolis! One of the many things I am excited about this year is seeing how participants grow in their faith and gain friends and memories that last forever! In highschool, I was a participant in AYTI and it changed my life! In fact, that is the reason that I’m a student at Augsburg! My favorite place I have ever been has to be the Boundary Waters up near Ely, MN. My favorite Bible verse is Joshua 1:9


Meet Your Mentor-Grace P

Grace Porter smiling and standing in a field in the fallHi! I’m Grace Porter (she/her/hers), and I am finishing my 2nd year at Augsburg. I am majoring in Theology and Public Leadership with a concentration in youth studies and a minor in music (which is a very long-winded way to say that I want to work with kids in the church and I love music)! I am from Eden Prairie, MN, so Minneapolis wasn’t too scary, and now it has become my home! I’m excited to be a mentor again this year; I loved getting to grow in my faith and help high school students do the same. AYTI changed my life as a high schooler, and I couldn’t be more excited to help give others that experience. I’ve been to a lot of really cool places, but my favorites have been NYC, San Francisco, Seattle, Disney World, and Winnipeg. My favorite Bible verse (which I got tattooed on my arm at the beginning of this year!) is Psalm 46:5.

Learn more about this summer’s Augsburg Youth Theology Institute.

2019-20 Christensen Scholars Profiles

Group photo of 2019-20 Christensen Scholars with Professor Mark Tranvik

Learn more about this year’s Christensen Scholars

Joaquin I. Delgado-Ortiz ‘20

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Major: Psychology

Augsburg has shown me how to engage with my community in a way that is productive, engaging, and meaningful to its members. I choose to be a Christensen Scholar to explore my vocation through discussions revolving around academia, service, and the world.

Eh Soe Dwe ‘20

Hometown: Maplewood, Minnesota
Major: Psychology (Clinical)
Minors: Religion and Gender, Sexuality, Women’s Studies

Augsburg has challenged me to step out of my comfort zone by serving surrounding communities near Augsburg. Not only did I gain new leadership skills, but I’ve also built meaningful relationships that I can reflect on years from now. My connections with community members, students, faculty members, advisors, and staff members have taught me how to interact with people from all walks of life. Being a Christensen Scholar provides me with an opportunity to explore my faith and my vocation, two things that are constantly changing and growing.

Zoe Huebner ‘21

Hometown: Neenah, Wisconsin
Majors: Philosophy and Urban Studies
Minors: Religion and Sociology

The most important thing that I have learned at Augsburg is to put your heart into everything that you do. Not only will you get more enjoyment from the classes and activities you participate in, but so many more doors will also open to you. From doing this I have created so many connections outside of Augsburg and have surrounded myself with people with goals and aspirations that are like my own. I chose to be a Christensen Scholar because of the opportunity to discuss religious topics in a small group setting. In this setting, everyone is able to share their ideas and a true discussion can be had.

Kali Kadelbach ‘20

Hometown: Cloquet, Minnesota
Major: Theology and Public Leadership with a Concentration in Youth Studies

I’ve now been at Augsburg for three semesters and I’ve learned so much about myself, and about others.  At Augsburg, I have learned what it means to live in a community. I’ve also learned so much about different cultures and their beliefs. It also has got me thinking more about my own culture, too. I chose to become a Christensen Scholar to learn how I can help be a leader on campus and be a good role model in my community. Another reason why I chose to become a Christensen Scholar is meeting other people that are also passionate about their faith too.

Christa Kelly ‘22

Hometown: South St. Paul, MN
Major: Technical Theater Major and Directing, Dramaturgy, and Playwriting Major

I have learned a great deal about the world around us at Augsburg. Some of the most fascinating things that I have learned are about religion. Augsburg has given me insight into the religious practices and beliefs of different groups of people. Having an informed understanding of the world and the people in it helps build relationships and communities. I wanted to participate in this program to keep learning and growing both in my faith and as a person. Faith has always been a large part of my life, but as an LGBT person, it’s also been something that I’ve struggled with. It took me years to come to terms with my identity both as a Christian and a lesbian. Even now I’m bombarded with messages from the media and even family members saying that I have to choose between identifying as one or the other. This hasn’t driven me away from Christianity but has instead furthered my resolve to learn more about my religion. The Christensen Scholars Program was an opportunity for me to continue doing this.

Paul McCoyer ‘22

Hometown: Washington, DC
Major: Music Performance (B.M.)

Augsburg has taught me to be a more independent and critical thinker. I chose to be a Christensen Scholar because I wanted to discuss social and ethical issues while expanding my understanding of the world through the lens of faith and vocation.

Michael Olderr ‘20

Hometown: Honolulu Hawai’i
Majors: Computer Science and Film Production
Minor: Religion

At Augsburg, I have learned to be a well-rounded scholar as well as an individual. It has been essential in my ever-changing journey to become a better person. I became a Christensen Scholar to challenge myself to not only become a better scholar but a better Christian. So that I can better serve and guide my community.

Matt Svestka ‘20

Hometown: Northfield, Minnesota
Major: Theology and Public Leadership with a concentration in Youth Studies

I have learned the importance of creating and executing ideas for change and ministry with many diverse people at Augsburg. I am a Christensen Scholar because it allows for a place of dynamic conversation regarding theology in literature, history, the arts, and really enhances the way that I perceive God in the context that Augsburg is in.

Sadie Werlein ‘20

Hometown: Cambridge, MN
Major: Social Work

I’ve learned a lot about myself and my place in this world while being at Augsburg. I chose to be a Christensen Scholar because I wanted to make some more meaningful connections on campus and having a small group of people to have serious conversations with was something I wanted to seek out.

Amanda William ‘20

Home country: Malaysia
Major: Psychology
Minor: Gender, sexuality and women’s studies

I have learned a lot throughout the years at Augsburg. I have become more aware of my values and goals as an individual, and with the experiences and skills I have developed I would like to bring that back to my community and my people back home in Malaysia. I have initially chosen to be a part of the Christensen Scholars because it was suggested by one of my closest friends. But as I was going through the application and getting more information about it, I realized that it is a great way for me to engage in my faith and spirituality and also being critical of the current issues that are going on around Christianity in a more global context.

Public Leadership Scholar Opportunity for 2020-21

3 previous scholars with Christensen Symposium speaker

Apply to be in one of Augsburg’s three Public Leadership Scholar Programs:

Christensen Scholars – student leaders who are interested in engaging in an academic and theological exploration of vocation. New in 2020, the Christensen Scholars will engage with big questions of faith and vocation both in seminars and also through paid internships with faith-based organizations.

Interfaith Scholars –  student leaders who are interested in exploring the religious diversity of the Augsburg student body, the wider Twin Cities community, and the United States through interreligious dialogue and action. We invite religious believers from a variety of traditions as well as the non-religious to apply in order to converse respectfully with other about what you believe, why it matters, and how it propels us to action in the world.

Sabo Scholars – student leaders who have interest in engaging in civic life, studying the political process, working on public policy, and exploring careers in public service.

In these programs you will:

  • Participate in a yearlong academic seminar on Thursday nights with a cohort of your peers
  • Contribute to public leadership on campus and in the wider community in either the Christian tradition, interfaith engagement, or civic life.
  • Earn 4 upper division semester credits in the Religion or Political Science
  • Receive a $2,000 scholarship.

Who is Eligible?

  • Christensen Scholars & Interfaith Scholars – Current sophomores and juniors who plan to study on campus all of the 2020-21 academic year.
  • Sabo Scholars – Current students (any level) who plan to study on campus all of the 2020-21 academic year.

How to apply

  1. Submit the public leadership school application, indicating the program(s) for which you wish to be considered.    Public Leadership Scholars Application
  2. Request a letter of recommendation from a faculty or staff member who knows you well    Faculty or Staff Recommendation

What is the Deadline?

The application deadline has been extended to Thursday, March 12, 2020.


Contact either

Introducing Renee – AYTI Ambassador

Photo of Renee Christensen smiling.Hi! My name is Renee Christensen, and I am from Shafer, MN. I am a first year at Augsburg University, planning to double major in Clinical Psychology and Theology and Public Leadership. I was an AYTI participant in 2018 and fell in love with Augsburg! What I like most about Augsburg is the community that we have here on campus. The amazing and supportive staff and students have made this community feel like home. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to be surrounded with each day! I am currently involved with Riverside Singers and Student Ministries. When I’m home, you’ll usually find me curled up with a good book, being outdoors, or snuggling with my cats. I am so grateful for this opportunity and excited to see where it takes me!