Interview with AYTI Program Assistant Marty Wyatt, former participant and mentor

Group of students and staff in the chapel, Marty Wyatt is in the middleAYTI Ambassador Ian Heseltine interviewed Marty Wyatt, AYTI Program Assistant, to learn more about the impact of Marty’s participation in Augsburg’s Youth Theology Institute. In 2007, Marty was a youth participant, and he was a mentor in 2008 and 2009. In addition to his role at Augsburg, Marty is pursuing a masters of divinity at Luther Seminary.

Here is Marty’s response: 

Honestly, the week [of Youth Theology Institute] made me want to come to Augsburg for my undergrad. Looking back this is the biggest impact because of how going to Augsburg impacted my life. I would have never met the people I did or experienced the city if I didn’t go to Augsburg, and that started with the Theology Institute. The Institute introduced me to Augsburg’s campus, professors, students, and staff. They seemed to genuinely care about people and the community. It made me want to get to know them better and be a part of this community that cared so deeply for each other.

I think during the week my faith was renewed. High school can be a hard and isolating time for some and the Institute reignited my faith in a powerful way. I learned (or re-learned?) to look for God in everything, from the mundane to the exceptional. The Institute opened a way of thinking about faith differently than I had before. I began to think critically about what I believe and why, which over time led to a deepening of my faith that I wouldn’t have if I didn’t critically examine it first.  Continue reading “Interview with AYTI Program Assistant Marty Wyatt, former participant and mentor”

Meet Morgan – 2019 AYTI Mentor

Morgan BaumbachMy name is Morgan Baumbach. I’m from Farmington, Minnesota and going into my third year of college. I absolutely love Augsburg because of its location. It’s right down in the heart of the Twin Cities, and I love being a part of it all! I also love Augsburg because of its choice of Majors!! I was able to transfer and then double Major and Minor in my two dream Majors/Careers: Theatrical Design and Technology AND Theology and Public Leadership, with a Youth Studies Minor. When I graduate, I want to tour with a band/music group or theatre production nationally and internationally and travel the world. Then once I settle down I want to go into youth ministry. Last summer I worked at Camp Wapo as a Camp Counselor and absolutely loved it. I am SO excited to be able to be a mentor at AYTI this summer and bring a little bit of that camp feel to the big city!!

Learn more about this summer’s Augsburg Youth Theology Institute at https://www.augsburg.edu/ayti/

Meet Grace P- 2019 AYTI Mentor

Grace PorterHi! My name is Grace Porter and I am from Eden Prairie, MN and a first year here at Augsburg University. I am majoring in Theology and Public Leadership with a concentration in Youth Studies and a minor in Music. My favorite thing about Augsburg is the people-I have created so many new relationships I know I will value for a long time! When I graduate, I want to work with kids in the church, and hopefully direct a youth choir as well. I attended AYTI a few years ago and it was one of the best weeks of my life! I grew so much in faith and friendships and had so many wonderful experiences that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. Attending the program is also one of the big reasons I chose to attend Augsburg, and I love it here just as much as I thought I would!

 

Learn more about this summer’s Augsburg Youth Theology Institute at https://www.augsburg.edu/ayti/

Meet Mallory – 2019 AYTI Mentor

Mallory HarrisMy name is Mallory Harris. I’m from the south side of Chicago. I am a junior at Augsburg, majoring in communication studies. My future goals include being a director of photography and a motivational speaker. My favorite thing about being an Auggie is the commitment and foundation built on helping others. I’m excited to engage with students and get to be a part of something larger than myself.

Meet Lizzy – 2019 AYTI Mentor

Lizzy HoverstenHello! My name is Lizzy Hoversten, and I am from Viroqua, Wisconsin. I just finished my first year at Augsburg University, studying Management with a minor in Communication Studies.

At Augsburg I have enjoyed finding myself in new settings and getting to know new people. There are a number of paths I could pursue, and I have very specific hopes for my Management degree, but if those do not pan out I will hopefully go to law school. I am incredibly enthusiastic for this summer’s AYTI theme of Stewarding Creation in our Neighborhoods: Science and Theology in Action. I will be taking a week break from working at a summer camp to come back to Augsburg and engage with youth who are passionate about theology and want to learn how we are called to be faithful stewards to our habitat.

Meet Ian – 2019 AYTI Mentor

Ian HeseltineHello!

My name is Ian Heseltine. I’m a second year at Augsburg University. I am majoring in Music, Media & Management with a minor in Religion. My hometown is Alexandria, MN, two hours west of Minneapolis. In the future I hope to be managing artists or their tours.

My favorite thing about Augsburg is how connected you are to your friends, faculty, staff, and administration. Our average class size is 16, so you really get to build a relationship with professors and in return they become invested in your education.

I’m so excited to be returning this summer to be an AYTI mentor again! Which is such an incredible and indescribable week that I believe all youth should experience! I can’t wait to have all of our 2019 AYTI students here at Augsburg to learn more about God, reflect on God, and serve their communities through God.

Learn more about this summer’s Augsburg Youth Theology Institute at https://www.augsburg.edu/ayti/

Meet Grace- 2019 AYTI Mentor

Hey everyone!Grace Koch Muchahary

My name is Grace Koch Muchahary. I’m from India. I am a first year student at Augsburg University majoring in Sociology. I am really glad to be called an Auggie, and I love the surroundings over here. My favorite thing is the people who are really very good and help each other with every need. My future goals are to become a greater youth leader and a social worker as a missionary. I am really excited for the AYTI program, to meet new people, and get to learn many new things.

 

Learn more about this summer’s Augsburg Youth Theology Institute at https://www.augsburg.edu/ayti/

Meet Kali – 2019 AYTI Mentor

Kali Kadelbach

Hi! My name is Kali Kadelbach. I’m from Cloquet, Minnesota. I’m in my third year of college but first semester at Augsburg. I’m majoring in Theology and Public Leadership with a concentration in Youth Studies. My favorite thing about being an Auggie is the community we have around and within campus and the way that all students and staff come together to help each individual be successful and happy. My future goal is to work alongside others to share the Word of Christ through outdoor ministry and youth. I would like to be a leader in faith–not just in the United States but all over the World. I’m looking forward to getting to know all the students and to see the growth this week has within myself, other staff and students.

Learn more about AYTI and this summer’s theme at http://www.augsburg.edu/ayti/

AYTI Mentor Reflection – Destyn Land

The Day I Learned to Walk the Two-Way Street

by Destyn Land, 2018 Augsburg Youth Theology Institute Mentor

As a small group leader, I always saw it as my obligation to set the tone with transparency for all of our discussions and time together. Before I entered the small group space, I attempted to make a mental script and plan every single thing that would happen from the beginning until the end. To make a long story short, my script absolutely never worked (and I mean never). But even in those moments I thought to myself that maybe this was God’s way of showing me that flexibility is truly a virtue.

Destyn Land with small group of students
Destyn and small group at the 2018 AYTI closing brunch.

After our very first small group meeting I left feeling content with how things went, however, in the back of my mind I still desired our group to become more open with each other. To debrief and process my thoughts I began to journal about what I wanted to do differently and things that I thought went well. After writing for just a few minutes, I came to this conclusion: It is completely arbitrary and irrational to expect my small group to open up to me, if I could not open up to them. During the the time of the theology institute I was facing some challenges in my life that were worth sharing, but the tempting desire within me to be perfect made me silence myself. Continue reading “AYTI Mentor Reflection – Destyn Land”

Meet Our AYTI Ambassadors-Lizzy

Hello, my name is Lizzy. I am a first year at Augsburg University. I am majoring in Communication Studies and maybe double majoring in Business Management. To me, theology is incredibly fun because there is a theoretical aspect which enables the participant to ask difficult questions through a different lens. AYTI is incredibly important because being a young adult intrigued by faith and theology can be isolating, and AYTI has given me a community of peers who are equally curious about faith. I am thrilled to be an ambassador for AYTI this year; I have only been here a little while but love the campus and love this program. I cannot wait to guide others into this community I love so much.

Lizzy sitting at a table with other AYTI participants