Youth in Theology and Ministry is the recipient of the NRVC Mustard Seed Award.

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November 6, 2018

Pictured is Donelle Poling, Associate Director of Youth in Theology and Ministry with S. Stephanie Spandl, SSND and Greg Darr, Maryknoll missionaries who nominated YTM and presented the award.Every summer, teenagers arrive at Saint John’s for the Youth in Theology and Ministry Summer Institute. For two weeks, they will participate in service-leadership projects, attend theology courses, worship together, and even do a little canoeing.

On November 4, 2018, Youth in Theology and Ministry (YTM) was the recipient of the NRVC Mustard Seed Award. YTM was established in 1999 with the aid of a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment. Since 2000, YTM has been working to develop high school youth and their mentors to flourish as leaders in their communities.

At the annual YTM Summer Institute high school youth, their adult mentors, and students at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University come together to learn about theology, serve the community, pray, and discern vocation.

The Mustard Seed Award is given by the National Religious Vocation Conference, which is a professional organization that seeks to advance awareness of vocation, invitation, and discernment to life as a religious sister, brother, or priest. The NRVC provides educational opportunities, resources, and other supportive services for spiritual, professional, and personal growth.

YTM was nominated for the award by Mr. Gregory Darr, who is the Upper Midwest Member Area Coordinator for the National Religious Vocation Conference. “Vocational discernment is a key component of YTM”, wrote Mr. Darr. “Grounded in the universal call to holiness, YTM integrates in-depth theological education with a variety of service and pastoral experiences to help young people to discern God’s voice in their life.”

“YTM partners with 25 religious communities to help foster vocational discernment and discipleship in young people” writes YTM Associate Director Donelle Poling. “Vocation partner communities help us cultivate young leaders for church and society through discussion, discernment and relationship building. The vocation partner program is an integral part of the success of YTM and has been for the last 19 years. We value our relationship with our Vocation Partners and look forward to collaborating for many more years.”

For a long time, the community of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, has been deeply enriched by the service of YTM—it is fitting that they be awarded for it.