An alarming number of Christians stumble while in college and around half will renounce their faith because they simply do not have a defense for what they believe. David Noebel, founder and former president of Summit Ministries, almost joined those statistics while he was a philosophy student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Noebel founded Summit in 1962 to help ground Christians in their faith, thereby enabling them to face the barrage of challenges on college campuses.
The home of Summit Ministries is a turn-of-the-century hotel (formerly known as The Grandview), luxurious by early 20th century standards. Around this hotel, Summit has built its home in a complex of buildings dubbed the Summit Village. This, our home base, is located in Manitou Springs, CO at the foot of Pike’s Peak.
From 1962 until 1988, Summit Ministries was a small series of camp-style conferences, hosting an average of 350 students each year. After sending his own son Ryan through our program, Dr. James Dobson featured Summit on the Focus on the Family radio program in 1989, which quickly grew Summit’s attendance exponentially. Summit hosts ten two-week Student Conferences every summer at two locations including their headquarters in Manitou Springs CO, and Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA. Other programs include the Basecamp Conferences for parents, youth pastors, pastors, and educators and Summit Semester, a gap year program for college students. Currently, about 2,000 students attend a Summit program each year.
In 1991, the Publishing Department of Summit launched a year-long program named Understanding the Times for Christian High School students with the goal to teach Christians how to analyze competing worldviews and to defend their faith. That curriculum has since been expanded to include a complete line of K-12 Bible curriculum for Christian schools and homeschool families. Each year more than 50,000 students use a Summit course day in the classroom. In 2015, Summit’s resources grew to include church and individual materials, including the first church and small group curriculum from Summit, The Secret Battle of Ideas about God.
In 2020, the Summit Virtual platform was built for online events and they have continued to grow in the online sphere as well as keeping up with in-person events.
Today, with its world-renowned Faculty and under the direction of President Dr. Jeff Myers, Summit is viewed as one of the foremost leaders in training Christians in apologetics, worldview analysis, and social engagement.