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January 03, 2012

Research about the success of Summit Ministries

In my column for the January Journal I had the pleasure of revealing some of the research about the success of Summit Ministries with young people over the years. All glory to God for this. I can’t imagine any parent looking at this and saying, “Nah, that’s not for our family.” Together let’s make 2012 a year of invigorating efforts to prepare godly leaders.

The problem with America today is not that we have so many atheists. It’s that we have so many Christians who function as atheists because they either don’t know or don’t care that the Bible alone tells the whole truth about God, human nature, and the world around us.

For 50 years Summit has prepared the rising generation to resolutely champion a biblical worldview in every area of life.  But does Summit’s approach really work? To find out we recently launched a massive research proj­ect that involved administering a 126-question survey to 1,500 Summit graduates.

Our staff believes whole­heartedly in Summit, but even we were caught off guard by how powerful Summit’s 12-day course has proven to be in the lives of its graduates.

Take biblical worldview knowledge, for example.  As you can see from the chart, only a tiny percentage of Americans possesses a biblical worldview. Those who claim to be born-again Christians score only slightly higher. But Summit grads are almost off the charts.

We also asked our graduates what spe­cific difference Summit made in their lives. They told us that Summit had a statistically significant impact on their:

• Level of Christian commitment,
• Feeling of closeness to God,
• Devotional life,
• Prayer life,
• Sharing of faith,
• Understanding of Christian world­view,
• Understanding of other worldviews,
• Ability to explain beliefs,
• Ability to defend faith under chal­lenge,  and
• General preparation for higher educa­tion.

But does what these young adults believe really affect the way they live? Yes! Respondents to the survey told us they are intentional or very intentional in applying their Christian world­view to:

• Political convictions,
• Conversations,
• Finances,
• Entertainment choices,
• Vocation,
• Life purpose,
• Friendships, and
• Family relationships.

God is using Summit to prepare a generation of biblically-sound, culturally-engaged leaders!

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