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What is Youth MWLS?

Midwest Leadership School is a weeklong intensive experience designed to engage participants in all aspects of leadership in a Unitarian Universalist faith community. Since 2009, we are pleased to offer Midwest Leadership School for Youth (ages 14-18) in tandem with our Adult School. It will challenge and train Unitarian Universalist youth in three areas:

  • Leadership Skills Development
  • Worship
  • Religious Values & Heritage

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This is an intentional community and learning experience. It equips young UUs with a foundation that deepens their religious development and expands their ability to contribute, both in their Unitarian Universalist community and beyond.

Youth Leadership School is designed to be an intensive learning experience. The days will be long, varied and demanding, with little free time. The community we create together will be safe, supportive and fun—aiming to give each participant as full a sense of his or her own developing leadership skills as is possible in one short week.

This is not a setting for anyone who might be dealing with personal life crises and it is not a "Con." Students should be mature and able to manage their time and emotional needs in this intense context.

Days are highly structured and participation in all aspects of the school is required. The adult to youth ratio is about 1:4, so there will be ample adult support for students.

Students stay in the dorms on the campus of Illinois Wesleyan University with adult chaperones who have extensive experience with youth. They will have access to 3 meals a day in the college cafeteria that provides a wide and varied food selection. Tuition includes food, lodging, adult chaperones, teaching staff, all materials and transportation to and from our midweek social justice project.

WHO Should Attend Youth MWLS?

Students should be motivated to learn and engage. They should be able to manage their time and needs in an environment that includes long days filled with group and individual learning opportunities along with theological reflection. Youth entering grades 9-12 may attend; youth grades 10-11 are especially encouraged.

Congregations sending adult students would especially benefit from sending youth!