Covenant

Covenant

We gather initially as a company of strangers, coming together from a rich diversity of perspectives for a common purpose. Our ability to live and learn from one another depends upon our covenant of cooperation and mutual respect. To be in covenant means affirming that we are bound together, not necessarily by similar faith convictions but by shared expectations and daily activities. To be in covenant means nurturing bonds of trust, honesty, and forgiveness among ourselves. When covenantal bonds are strong, we can argue and disagree with one another without jeopardizing our relationships. Throughout our time together, we will engage in ongoing reflection about the quality of our covenant as a community. Some of this reflection will occur in community discussions; some will occur in informal discussions among community members. A formal avenue for such covenantal reflection and attentiveness is the Covenant Group, in which each scholar participates. Covenant Groups consist of eight to ten scholars and two staff members. You will be in the same Covenant Group throughout the program.

This group is intended to provide a mutually supportive and caring context for you to discuss what you are learning, how this is affecting your participation in the community and your understanding of theology, religion, and culture. As a spiritual discipline and integrative practice, you will write pensées, “thought experiments,” capturing your experiments with new questions and new ways of addressing familiar questions. Covenant Group leaders respond to your pensées as a means of ongoing dialogue. We hope this dialogue helps you bring together the various ideas, lessons, and insights gained in your experience in the context of a covenantal community.

"Before YTI I had never been out of the Southern Baptist community. Never heard a woman preach. Never met people from different backgrounds. YTI Opened up a world I had never seen before."
-Amy Lin '93