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In 1993, the Lilly Endowment launched an initiative for seminaries and divinity schools to host high school theology programs (HSTPs) with two goals: to engage youth in theological learning and to foster a generation of youth interested in vocations in Christian ministry. This initiative was then extended in 2015 to include colleges and universities. This paper examines one such program, the Be the Light Youth Theology Institute (BTLI) at Canisius College, as a case study to illustrate the synergy between these programs and the Society of Jesus’ four Universal Apostolic Preferences. By considering well-established research about high school theology programs in general, as well as reflecting on the specific aims, structure, and outcomes of the BTLI itself, we claim that programs such as BTLI and its sister institutes are particularly potent means to help accomplish one of the Jesuits’ four Universal Apostolic Preferences: specifically, to “journey with youth” and, in so doing, address the other three Preferences in a meaningful way.



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