Lutherans in Minnesota

Youth jazzed to talk faith, science

High school students or recent graduates attend Augsburg College's Youth Theology Institute. Metro Lutheran photo: Bob Hulteen

Students in Augsburg College’s annual Youth Theology Institute (ACYTI) jumped at the chance to discuss the compatibility of religious belief and scientific method during a class session on June 19. The 2013 theme, “Navigating the Intersection of Science and Theology,” seemed to address deep questions for many of these current or recently-graduated high school students, who opened each day with devotions, before attending seminars, panels, and field trips.

Nate Hallanger, Augsburg’s vice president of academic affairs, explained, “This is a stretch for these students who are moving from concrete to abstract thinking as they prepare for college.” The students seemed to understand that, taking the first 70 minutes of the Wednesday session debating ethical topics raised in earlier classes or in readings.

Emma Blom, Immanuel Lutheran Church in Brookston, Minnesota, said, “It is good to be with people who share a similar faith but aren’t afraid to raise hard questions and listen to others.” Blom will be a first-year student at Augsburg this fall, majoring in biopsychology.

Religion professor Jeremy Myers coordinates the ACYTI.

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