Young Adult Engagement


Theology on Tap: The Beginning

The concept of Theology on Tap began in St. James Parish in Arlington Heights, IL, with a conversation in 1981 between Fr. Jack Wall and then college student Tim Leeming. Like so many others in their 20s and 30s, Tim was struggling to find life’s meaning. He said, “Father, I know what I’m doing. I just don’t know why I’m doing it. Can our church help me with the ‘why’ questions?” Fr. Wall, working with their youth minister, Mr. Tom James, began laying out a forum for addressing those “why” questions. By the time Tim and his peers returned home from college that summer, there was a six-week speaker and discussion series in place for them at St. James. They called it “Theology on Tap,” and it was a success. Based on this successful outreach, the Archdiocese of Chicago established its Office of Young Adult Ministry. Fr. John Cusick, a diocesan priest, and Ms. Kate DeVries, a spirited lay minister, became the director and associate director of this office, and spread Theology on Tap throughout the archdiocese and beyond. 

Theology on Tap: Now

Theology on Tap has spread to more than 180 parishes and dioceses and at least six other countries, including Canada, Italy, Taiwan, the Philippines, Ireland, Australia and Hong Kong. In Chicago, the Department of Parish Vitality and Mission is proud to continue the tradition of Theology on Tap throughout the Archdiocese. With a wonderful group of speakers and presenters covering dozens of topics, we are excited for a busy summer and to celebrate our youth and our faith with young adults across the Chicagoland area. We continue the traditions of drinks, food, fun, and fellowship for both young adults involved and engaged in their faith as well as those searching for answers to important life questions. We hope you can join us for one or more of our wonderful speaker sessions and connect to a community near you.