In the summer of 2022, our oldest son, Ezra (16) got to do something new and exciting when he attended a Summit Ministries Christian Student Conference in Colorado. He went with one of my dearest friend’s sons (who is one of his closest friends as well), and the two of them proceeded to have an absolute blast at Summit’s two-week-long conference full of classes, activities, and lots of opportunities for getting to know likeminded teens.
(Here he is with the good friend he traveled there from Texas with…who also happens to be the son of one of my dear friends)
Summit’s mission is to provide students with a biblical framework with which to approach the toughest questions of culture and Christianity that they encounter in today’s constantly-changing and ever-more-anti-biblical social climate. And while many of the topics they address–including challenges to the existence of God, “hot topic” social issues like abortion and transgenderism, faith and politics, and being able to give a reasoned and gentle answer for your Christian beliefs–are all things we discuss frequently at home, Ezra said that both the classes and the discussions with peers were helpful in forcing him to better elucidate why he believes what he believes.
Summit has a particular emphasis on logic and Christian apologetics with multiple classes that help students understand how to recognize logical fallacies and ad hominem attacks but also formulate responses that are full of truth, grace, and clear biblical thinking.
(Ezra enjoyed getting to know the guys in his specific Bible study group)
Ezra said he appreciated the challenges to his ability to articulate out loud what he thinks–something which every young man or woman needs in this day and age of questioning even the most basic tenets of what it means to be human, what it means to be “good,” and how we should treat others in light of what we conclude about both of those issues.
Ezra also said that he loved how passionate and knowledgeable the instructors were in each session. “You could tell they were really believed what they taught!”
Beyond the stellar classes, Ezra participated in curated activities (Summit coordinate opportunities for things like rock-climbing, laser tag, and more), epic ping pong matches (he was pleasantly surprised to find a few who could match his considerable skill!), and hang-out sessions (as an avid Lord of the Rings fan, he was especially stoked by a LOTR watch night complete with homemade milk shakes).
(Pretty sure deep philosophical truths were learned by climbing this pole)
Ezra also appreciates that Summit provides follow-up support by inviting students to participate in ongoing chats + periodic scheduled online discussions. He emphasized to me that he felt like both the instructors and the staff really cared about the students and wanted them to learn and grow and be confident in their faith upon leaving the conference.
Of course, the best possible endorsement you can get is when your 16-year-old son immediately declares his intention to go back the next year (“if that’s okay with you, Mama”) and take his younger brother with him!
Summit is now registering students for next year’s sessions, and you can save an extra $100 off of the early bird registration discount by using the code MAMA23.
Summit Ministries has already been a blessing to our family, and I would heartily recommend it to any Christian families seeking to bolster their young adults in their faith, grow their knowlege of current events (and how to respond), and connect them with encouraging and Christ-loving friends.