Candler School of Theology’s Youth Theological Initiative (YTI) has been named one of the first three projects to benefit from Momentum, Emory University’s new crowdfunding platform. YTI’s thirty-day crowdfunding campaign, which began on July 1, will benefit the YTI Summer Academy. Donations are fully tax-deductible. Learn more and give to YTI through Momentum.

During the month of July, YTI originally aimed to raise $3,000 towards scholarships for its annual Summer Academy, which brings forty rising high school juniors and seniors to the Emory campus for three weeks of Christian theological education. But YTI surpassed that goal in just the first week, raising $3,430. With three weeks remaining in the campaign, a new goal of $6,000 has been set. Once the $6,000 has been raised, two matching gifts of $3,000 each will bring the total to $12,000.

Established in 1993, YTI has now enrolled more than 1,000 youth from across the U.S. and around the world. During the Summer Academy, participants wrestle with deep theological questions in a supportive community of peers and are taught by seminary students and faculty at Candler. Diversity abounds, as participants are drawn from different theological and socioeconomic backgrounds. Nearly half are students of color.

Nurturing that diversity is the reason YTI is dedicating the proceeds from this crowdfunding effort to scholarships, says the program’s director, Elizabeth Corrie. “The beauty of YTI is its diversity, and we cannot maintain that diversity unless we can make it economically accessible to everyone.”