• dynamic prayer
  • excellent learning
  • build community
  • build community

Missionary Disciples Institute
June 22-27, 2020

About MDI

saint francisMarian University is excited to welcome high school students for a youth theological institute called Missionary Disciples Institute (MDI). MDI will be held on June 22-27, 2020 on the campus of Marian University in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • MDI will accept up to 60 high school students who have an openness and desire to take on leadership roles as young missionaries to serve and impact their communities and world through the local church.
  • Applying for MDI:
    • Students may apply as individuals or as part of a group.
    • All students will be required to be sponsored by his/her Pastor.
    • Students will rank the five tracks and be given their top choice when at all possible.
    • All applicants will be notified of their acceptance into the MDI soon after completing the application.
  • The cost for MDI will be $450 for each participating student. Payment will be collected through the participants sponsoring church, high school, or other supporting organization. Scholarships are available for students in most need.
  • All students and adults coming for MDI will be housed in the Marian University residence halls.
  • All meals will be provided by Marian University dining services.
  • Please direct any and all questions to mdi@marian.edu or Patrick at (317) 955-6459.

Sacraments and Prayer

The way we pray is the way we believe (lex orandi, lex crendidi). The Missionary Disciples Institute is grounded in the sacraments and bathed in dynamic prayer opportunities, so much so that even our keynote presentations will take place during morning and evening prayer. The knowledge and skills you acquire at MDI will likewise be fueled by prayer, because at MDI we will:

  • Begin and end with daily prayer.
  • Celebrate Mass and have opportunities for confession.
  • Have opportunities to adore the blessed sacrament.
  • Celebrate the rite of penance.
  • Pray at the many religious/devotional sites on the Marian University campus, such as the Mother Mary Shrine and Rosary Walk.


Every day you will:

  • Hear from national and local speakers about being a missionary disciple through - Encounter, Accompany, Community, Sent and the Franciscan Mission
  • Participate in dynamic worship and prayer experiences.
  • Celebrate Mass and have opportunities for confession.
  • Have time to play, relax, and grow in a community of other teens passionate about their faith.
  • Listen to nationally known keynote speakers.
  • Learn from Marian University faculty in one of five tracks.
  • Be mentored by current Marian University students, such as our San Damiano Scholars.

At MDI you will move from just learning about ministry to becoming a missionary disciple ready to minister to your home community. Here are some highlights of the schedule:

Monday-Tuesday: ENCOUNTER
  • "I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least openness to letting him encounter them..." – Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 3
  • Encounter each other, encounter Christ, and encounter theology
  • Discover the Catholic theological understanding of your track’s focus
  • Celebrate the Opening Mass with your new found community of peers
  • Hear keynotes on The Joy of the Gospel, encounter, and accompany
Wednesday: ACCOMPANY
  • "The Church will have to initiate everyone—priests, religious, and laity—into this 'art of accompaniment' which teaches us to remove our sandals before the sacred ground of the other." – Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 169
  • Learn to walk with others in this journey of faith by meeting others where they are
  • Take a pilgrimage to the Franciscan Motherhouse in Oldenburg
  • Hear a keynote on the Franciscan vision of mission
  • "Jesus leaves us the Eucharist as the Church's daily remembrance of, and deeper sharing in, the event of his Passover." – Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 13
  • Discover community through the immersion experiences in the local Indianapolis community by meeting with a local minister who is an expert in the area of focus
  • Explore the focus of your track in reference to the local community and the issues it faces, and use the skills you have developed in service to others
  • Hear keynote on local, regional, national, and global community
Friday-Saturday: SENT
  • "To be evangelizers of souls, we need to develop a spiritual taste for being close to people's lives and to discover that this is itself a source of greater joy. Mission is at once a passion for Jesus and a passion for his people." – Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 268
  • Preparing to be sent as missionary disciples back into the world by writing a mission plan to bring back to your church
  • Be commissioned as missionaries for service to the community and ready to make an impact in the world through the Church
  • Hear keynote on being sent


Koinonia Track

The Koinonia (partner) Track will explore our communion with God and our union with each other in the body of Christ. Koinonia, a communion of persons gathered by the Holy Spirit, is the central experience of wholeness, unity & Union. This ministry focuses on listening, accepting responsibility to lead and leading people into greater unity with others and God.

Question: What are at least 3 situations that led to your belonging to the church where you are now a member?

Encouragement from MU Mentor:  "Donna Proctor truly partners with you as a student every step of the way while challenging you to see things from a new perspective. She is a wonderful teacher and will surely become a great mentor and friend for you as she has been for me." – Emily Garrett '16

Donna Proctor, A.B.D. came to Marian University in 1992 and has taught a variety of theology courses. Her current interests include Peace and Justice issues through the Catholic Social Teaching lens, Women's issues and the marginalized citizens throughout the world especially those in war torn countries, the American prison system and those struggling with poverty.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why should my child attend MDI?
    At Marian University we pride ourselves on providing an excellent education in a mentoring community, and at the MDI your son/daughter will learn to be a leader through the attentive and caring mentorship of Marian University faculty, staff, and current students. The MDI is a fantastic educational experience as your son/daughter will get college-preparatory type instruction from Marian faculty, and hear talks from nationally known speakers. For additional information, including safety protocol, please view our camp policy.
  • Why should my student attend MDI?
    The focus of the MDI is to prepare students to lead in your church/high school as missionary disciples who have discovered the richness of the Catholic theological tradition by digging into the Joy of the Gospel, Acts of the Apostles, and writings of Ss. Francis and Clare. Students at the MDI will develop real skills, and learn how to apply them in a variety of settings. After the MDI students will be able to help you carry out your own ministry in your church/school. For additional information, including safety protocol, please view our camp policy .
  • Why is the MDI at Marian University?
    Marian University is a great Catholic university in a great American city. The vision of Marian University is to provide an education distinguished in its ability to prepare transformative leaders for service to the world. The MDI builds upon this by preparing high school students to lead in their churches/schools as missionary disciples in order to impact their communities. We will utilize all our resources to make the MDI an outstanding experience: exceptional theology faculty, beautiful campus, rich Franciscan heritage, and proximity to downtown Indianapolis to name only a few.
  • What are the accommodations like?
    All MDI participants will stay on our beautiful campus and be within walking distance to all activities. Guest will stay in our two upperclassmen residence halls—Drew Hall and University Hall. Both are suite-style rooms, with a shared bathroom, have kitchenettes on each floor, and LCD TVs in each lounge. All MDI participants will have access to the MU Wi-Fi network.
  • How do I get to Marian University?
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