Established in 1999 by a grant from the Eli Lilly Corporation, Theological Foundations for Youth (TFY) is a joint effort of the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary (RPTS) and the Youth Ministries Committee of the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA).  The goal of the program is to equip young people for a life of ministry to Jesus in the Reformed Presbyterian Church by providing intensive theological instruction, practical ministry experiences, and an increased awareness of opportunities to serve Christ within the RPCNA.

TFY in the Classroom

Students attending this ‘theological boot camp’ spend two weeks diving deep into church history, the distinctives of the denomination, apologetics, evangelism, missions, Biblical interpretation, and an understanding the calling of God for ministry and vocation.  These classroom sessions are intertwined with practical opportunities to practice newly learned skills such as conducting apologetic encounters on a local university campus and ministering to the saints at the Reformed Presbyterian Home.

TFY participants at the University of Pittsburgh ready to do Apologetic encounters

In addition to studying the sacraments, covenant theology, worship and Sabbath keeping, students enjoy the blessing of fellowship with like-minded Christian youth and an opportunity to personally reflect upon their walk with Jesus Christ.

A third week of the program sends participants to local RP churches around Pittsburgh where many youth get to assist with VBS programs, do door-to-door evangelism, go whitewater rafting, take in a baseball game, and enjoy the blessings of church life.

Rising high school seniors are recommended by their Sessions to participate in the program which has a very limited number of participants each year.  Several Presbyteries offer shorter weekend courses modeled after TFY and there is also a very popular TFB (a back packing, high adventure option) taking place each summer in the Rockies.

Videos of testimonies and more details on the program can be found at: https://vimeo.com/album/4551376

Mark Sampson

34 high schoolers bring a lot of luggage!