The Summit offers space for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors to stop and listen. We provide helpful ways for them to discover God’s peace, assurance, and hope, and help them learn how to tell the difference between God’s voice and the other voices fighting for their attention.

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Key Characteristics

Present: We believe being present creates space to enjoy God and one another.

Intentional: We believe we grow in awareness of God’s presence through guidance and practice.

Joyful: We believe time in God’s presence and Christian community cultivates joy.

  1. We pray: We pray because God moves when we pray.
  2. We study: We study God’s word because God’s word changes how we think, speak, and act.
  3. We share: We share in worship and small groups because God gave us a place to belong.


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Summit History

Supported by a grant from the Lilly Endowment through the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE), the goal of the Summit Youth Academy is to increase students’ theological understanding and ability to hear God’s voice. The Summit aims to empower students who attend by connecting them with a network of religious leaders and scholars as well as college students and peers who share a deep desire for faithful discipleship to Jesus Christ.

All of these competing voices can lead to confusion, anxiety, fear of failure, pressure to perform, isolation, and more. It might cause us to wonder, “Where is God?” and “God, why can’t I hear you?”

Throughout the week, students (or ‘disciples’) practice spiritual disciplines, attend lectures on the Wesleyan understanding of sacraments and grace, participate in elective classes, and take a gifts and interests inventory to learn how they can put their skills and passions into service to others.  They also hear from adults who live out their call outside of formal ministry settings.

Each summer, over thirty high school students from a 350 mile radius of Southwestern College gather on campus for the annual event.

More information can be found on the Summit website.

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We have a great team of college student leaders and ministry professionals working together. The team prays and plans together for the Summit to get you away from the noisy world and give you space to hear God’s call on your life. The leadership team believes that “listening-calling” is a lifelong practice of Christian discipleship — so we’re in it with you.

The continuation of this program depends on building a base of financial support apart from the Lilly Endowment’s funds.  If promoting a Wesleyan theological perspective among young people is near to your heart, we’d value your support. Become a Friend of the Institute and learn how you can help.

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