For more than a decade, Perkins School of Theology has invested in the lives of youth through the Perkins Youth School of Theology (PYST) and Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA). These programs were designed to foster an interest in young people for theological learning and inquiry, and nurture Christian youth in their vocational discernment and leadership development. The success of these programs laid a foundation for theological education with youth at Perkins, and in fall 2013 Perkins launched “Faith Calls: Theological Programs for Young People,” merging the work of PYST and HYLA into a single initiative. With the creation of this new initiative Perkins expands its work in theological education with young people.
The objectives of Faith Calls, operating under the aegis of the SMU Perkins Office of External Programs, are four-pronged:
• Faith Exploration – Offer youth and college-age young
people opportunities to deeply explore their faith questions and
theological curiosities through study, dialogue, and reflection.
• Faithful Practices – Invite youth and college-age young
people to participate in faith practices of theological study, discernment, prayer, worship and service to nurture and connect them to God’s presence and activity
in the world.
• Faithful Witness – Encourage youth and college-age young
people to seek out opportunities for service and leadership where they discover and
utilize their gifts for ministry and become grounded in an identity
which expresses their Christian witness.
• Faithful Leaders – Partner with church and community leaders and organizations that support young leaders as they use their gifts, skills and passions to meet the world's needs.