Youth and Ecumenical Encounters

Richter, Don C. "Youth and Ecumenical Encounters." Unpublished paper. Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education. Chicago: November 1994.

Richter focuses on what The Youth Theology Institute at Emory University has been learning about seventeen-year-olds as they encounter the perspectives and practices of other faith traditions. The primary question guiding this inquiry is: "How might we portray the spiritual life of adolescents who have engaged in ecumenical encounters at YTI?" The essay advances seven theses: 1. Youth are eager for tangible ecumenical encounters; 2. Residential learning environments provide an optimal context for sharing faith experience; 3. Youth camps and conferences, such as YTI, function structurally as rites of passage; 4. Youth are more likely to view religious iconography as a choice rather than a given; 5. Youth long to speak and envision, not just watch and listen; 6. Youth are eager for vocational guidance that is more than career counseling; 7. Youth are willing partners in the ecumenical encounter between the local and translocal church.