Brescia University has received a grant of $432,227 to establish “Living and Leading with Love.” It is part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s High School Youth Theology Institutes initiative, which seeks to encourage young people to explore theological traditions, ask questions about the moral dimensions of contemporary issues and examine how their faith calls them to lives of service.
The program will provide high school students with a combination of theological reflection, online learning experiences, service opportunities, and social functions for the duration of one academic year. The culmination will be a 10-day, intensive on-ground experience at Brescia University.
The key objective of “Living and Leading with Love,” (LLL), will be to extend the college experience, in an age-appropriate way, to interested high school students using this same “theology of charity” with the specific goals of helping young people to: discover the vocation to love; explore the meaning of love; and identify practical ways of putting that love into action.
“We are grateful to Lilly Endowment for its significant gift and look forward to implementing the “Living and Leading with Love” program,” stated Father Larry Hostetter, President of Brescia University. “As the only Catholic institution of higher education in the Diocese of Owensboro and western Kentucky, the program will be a natural extension of the Ursuline tradition and dedication to education that drives Brescia University’s mission. Through the development and implementation, we hope to continue our tradition of being an outstanding partner in education and service in our community. A special thank you to all the staff and faculty members involved in the process and for their dedication to making a difference.”
The focus of the program was chosen because of the great need to develop Catholic leaders who operate from a firm foundation of a personal sense of vocation and who are shaped by the values, beliefs, and intellectual heritage of the Catholic tradition. Using the threefold dynamic of identity, knowledge, and action, Brescia hopes to help these students discover their potential to live and lead with love.
Brescia University is one of 82 schools participating in the initiative. The schools are located in 29 states and the District of Columbia. Although some schools are independent, many reflect the religious heritage of their founding traditions. These traditions include Baptist, Brethren, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Reformed churches, as well as Roman Catholic, non-denominational, Pentecostal and historic African-American Christian communities.
“These colleges and universities are well-positioned to reach out to high school students in this way,” said Dr. Christopher L. Coble, vice president for religion at the Endowment. “They have outstanding faculty in theology and religion who know how to help young people explore the wisdom of religious traditions and apply these insights to contemporary challenges.”
The Endowment is giving $44.5 million in grants to help a select group of private four-year colleges and universities around the nation to create the institutes. The grants are part of the Endowment’s commitment to identify and cultivate a cadre of theologically minded youth who will become leaders in church and society.
An additional grant to the Forum for Theological Exploration will establish a program that will bring together leaders of the high school youth theology institutes to foster mutual learning and support.
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