Duke Youth Academy Expands Program

Printer-friendly version
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Duke Youth Academy for Christian Formation (DYA) has announced its expansion to a year-long program that combines a week of summer residency at Duke University with a year of ongoing engagement and practice. The new format will allow high school students to build upon the intensive summer residency experience to engage in Christian practice and theological study in their own communities, with the support and guidance of the DYA community and a local mentor.

DYA, which started in 2000, was originally established as a two-week summer program designed to immerse high school students in intensive Christian practices, theological reflection, and the life of the church. The redesigned program continues this mission while giving participants support to expand DYA beyond a summer experience.

“In order to help young people develop sustainable faith practices, we want to move toward a program that walks with students when they’re in their home communities—their churches, their schools, their workplaces—and helps them think about God’s presence in those places,” said DYA Director Alaina Kleinbeck. “We want to make the formational experiences from DYA accessible in their everyday lives.”

The 2014 Youth Academy will begin with a residency June 22-28, 2014, at Duke University in Durham, N.C., and will conclude in July 2015. High school students who are currently sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply. Applications for students and staff will open in January 2014.

The residency will include worship, lectures from Duke Divinity School faculty, and workshops with community leaders, artists, athletes, and others active in the faith community. After the residency, students will have the opportunity to partner with pastors, youth workers, and other adults who will empower them to lead in a variety of Christian practices in their home congregations and communities over the course of the year. At the same time, they’ll explore important aspects of Christian life through a monthly video lecture by Duke Divinity School faculty, short and accessible theological readings, private online forums, web chats, and more.

Youth who complete all of the program milestones, including a self-directed project engaging their congregation and peers in their personal practice of the Christian faith, will be awarded the Youth in Christian Leadership Certificate.

Former DYA staff, students, parents, pastors, and youth workers contributed to the program redesign, which was led by Kleinbeck.

Learn more about Duke Youth Academy »