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FaithActs Summer Youth Theology Institute
June 17-21, 2024 at Loyola University New Orleans

FaithActs is a fun and inspiring way for rising high school juniors and seniors to engage with the relevant sciences and explore Christianity's rich biblical and theological traditions about the goodness of creation. Stay on Loyola's beautiful uptown campus as you consider how your faith can help you become a leader in support of creation and environmental justice.


FaithActs will help you

  • explore faith's implications for creation

  • practice social analysis and theological reflection

  • collaborate with other high school students from across South Louisiana

  • earn 3 college credits

  • contribute 20 service hours

  • think theologically and consider questions such as:

    • What does faith require of me & others with regard to creation and environmental justice?

    • What is God's will with and for me?

    • What am I called to create?

We invite you to share in the great work of strengthening your faith, asking big questions, and being a leader for social and environmental justice!


How It Works

Participants will engage in on-campus activites, gathering together three times a day for presentations and large-group activities and then will split up to undertake small-group and individual projects, engage in small conversation circles, and have time for prayer, worship, and individual reflection.  Those who participate will

  • interact in person with fellow participants, Loyola mentors, staff, faculty, and the local Louisiana environment

  • stay in Loyola dorms

  • eat all meals on campus

  • receive personal copy of Laudato Si, a FaithActs t-shirt, and all program supplies

Tuition is $200 per student. This covers all expenses for the student during FaithActs: meals, activities, excursions, materials, student's dorm room residence, Laudato Si publication, and FaithActs t-shirt. Payment is not due until after a student completes the application, is accepted into the program, and all administrative tasks at Loyola have been completed.  Scholarships are available; to inquire about receiving an application form for a need-based scholarship, please contact Judy Fontenot Lavergne  or  (504) 865-3399.  

Program Details

How To Apply

Click here to complete an online application to take part in the program. Payment is not due until after a student completes the application, is accepted into the program, and all administrative tasks at Loyola have been completed.  Deadline to apply is June 11, 2024.

More Information for Students, Parents, and Religious Educators

For Students and Parents
  • Current high school sophomores and juniors may apply. (During the summer, students must be rising juniors and seniors.)
  • Students can choose to earn 3 college credits through additional work with Loyola faculty online.
  • Earn 20 service hours
  • Students will receive instruction from Loyola faculty and reflect in small groups led by Loyola undergraduate student mentors.
  • Work with Loyola undergraduates who are committed to faith and the environment and collaborate online with students from the program
  • Explore questions about God, your faith, and its implications for how you live
  • Discover God's call for your life
  • Delight in the wonder of creation
  • Pray and reflect with small groups
  • Draw on the wisdom of Pope Francis
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  • All Loyola faculty, staff, and undergraduate student mentors follow Loyola's Minors on Campus Policy and are cleared through background checks to work with minors.
  • Participants will follow guidelines established by Loyola and informed by national health standards.
  • Partial need-based scholarships may be available; contact Judy Fontenot Lavergne if needed.

For Religious Educators
  • We invite you to nominate participants who are ready to explore questions about creation, their faith, purpose, and call to faith leadership in the Church and world.
  • FaithActs is informed by Loyola expertise and national best practices in religious education and in youth and young adult ministry.
  • Students can earn 3 college credits by participating in the FaithActs Institute.
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  • To schedule a FaithActs representative to visit your school, please contact FaithActs Coordinator Judy Fontenot Lavergne / 504-865-3399

Typical Day

Monday starts at 11:30; every other day starts at 9:00 AM and ends around 9:00 PM. Each day involves sessions for the whole group followed by projects, small-group activities, movies, prayer and reflection. Below are the kinds of activities involved.

  • Breakfast
  • Morning prayer
  • Large-group, small-group project or activity
  • Lunch and break
  • Afternoon instruction and reflection on theology and ecology
  • Reflection in small groups
  • Spiritual formation activity
  • Dinner
  • Evening programming
  • Evening prayer and journaling

Typical Activities

Activities include

  • guided local investigations of flora, fauna, bioregions, and watersheds and relating them to others at a global level
  • studying the implications of social justice for ensuring all members of the earth community flourish
  • dialoguing with peers, Loyola student mentors, and Loyola faculty
  • sharing faith in small group conversations led by Loyola student mentors
  • practicing finding God in all things.
  • joining with others in worship informed by Ignatian spirituality and environmental justice
  • journaling on what God is calling you to do with your life

Program Goals

The goals of FaithActs are for participants to

  • engage the Christian biblical and theological tradition as a resource that is compelling personally and communally, with an emphasis on Pope Francis and his Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home.
  • discern ways to live out that faith in an increasingly complex, globalized, and polluted world.
  • see their baptism as a call to ministry and religious leadership, whether in the Church or in the world.
  • develop their own faith-based project for environmental sustainability that can be implemented in their local high school or church parish.
  • gain a greater appreciation for God’s creatures in support of solidarity.
  • embody the mission of Loyola University New Orleans, especially as it aims at a more just world and places an emphasis on students being men and women with and for others.