Mission Statement

In a noisy world, we offer youth space to listen because everyone deserves to hear God’s call.

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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.

Why

At the Summit, we believe God wants to be personally involved in our daily lives and activities, but there are so many distractions! We are busy! Life is noisy! We are bombarded with unrealistic expectations and we wonder how we can be all things to all people at all times.

The Summit offers space to stop and listen. We provide helpful ways for you to discover God’s peace, assurance, and hope. We will help you learn how to tell the difference between God’s voice and the other voices fighting for your attention.

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.  Since its beginning in 2017, the Summit has grown to include several retreats for Summit disciples during the school year.

More information can be found on the Summit website.

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Leadership

Rev. Wendy Mohler-Seib serves as the Summit Director. She recruits top high school students from churches in the region to attend the Summit and plans the week.

Professors from the Visiting Scholars program will be back on campus to provide expertise on multiple aspects of the Wesleyan tradition. Members of Southwestern’s own community will also provide leadership and support to the Summit.

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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