Loyola University Chicago

THEA Institute

Program Overview

Summer Institute

The THEA Summer Institute is for rising juniors and seniors in high school. The Theology of Healing Earth in Action Institute takes place at Loyola University Chicago in the summer with classes focused on the theme of earth's sacred water. Courses revolve around exploring scriptures, theological traditions, social justice and scholarship, with opportunities for service and field work around the city. The e-textbook, Healing Earth, is be used extensively. Loyola faculty from the School of Environmental Sustainability and Campus Ministry teach the courses.

Sacred Water

The theme of the Institute is Sacred Water. Students will spend 3 hours a day looking at sacred water from a scientific, ethical, and spiritual perspective.  Specifically, they will look at the scientific and cleansing properties of water, how the Great Lakes were formed, and examine who has a right to water. Throughout the week we will take the students off campus as part of our action component. Throughout the week we will participate in a service activity as well as a field trip in the city.

Community Project

During the course of the week high school students will develop a Community Project on some aspect of ethics, environmental science, and theology. These projects might include anything from an original composition of poetry to spoken word to music. It could be a fact sheet that outlines the factors that brought about the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan or a fact sheet about the Dakota Access Pipeline.  It could be a short prayer service or a small faith sharing guide. It could be a plan to ban plastic water bottles on your high school's campus. It could even be a short film. Students will present their Community Projects on the final day of the THEA Institute in front of their families and THEA Staff. This is also an opportunity for students to share what they’ve learned throughout the week with their communities back home. 

For additional information, please email thea@luc.edu.