When I first heard about Summit I wasn’t quite certain of what to expect. However, when I decided to attend Summit and looked more into what it was, I was encouraged to know that it would help and equip me more in being able to share my faith on my university campus, as well as give me the opportunity to discover and build new relationships with fellow Christians on the other side of the world.
Summit is a starry Tennessee evening that captivates my soul at first glance. It is a mountain range hidden by a soft cloak of mist that echoes an enigma.
It is something bigger than myself — something that sings of depth, of delight, and of discovery. Like the heavens above, this profound beauty gently calls my gaze higher, and as lofty peaks in the distance, it serves as a reminder to reach out. Summit is a sonnet that kindly slows my racing heart, teaching me to listen.
Coming from a background where questions were perceived to be a hindrance to faith, Summit opened my eyes to the fact that Christians aren’t lacking in the intellectual marketplace of ideas. A blind faith in something that lacks comprehension ultimately leads to a disastrous or perhaps even harmful outcome. This type of faith described my personal situation coming into Summit as a student, but a transformative change definitely took place as a result of attending.
I just graduated from college and am at Summit for the first time. I have been wanting to come to Summit for many years and God opened the door this year. The classes have been excellent, I have been impressed by the brilliance of many of the speakers, it has been like a luxury banquet for my brain. From theology to science to economics, I have learned how a Christian should view the world. I am already feeling better prepared to face the world and shine for truth.
I finished my degrees in May but my walk with God really started to crumble the past few years of college. Not for a lack of support, but a lack of purpose and meaning. I have had a hard time valuing myself as a person and especially as a child of God. So of course, I would be hesitant to go. But I knew my heart and mind needed the challenge and the chance to start again.
When I was a student, I looked up to my small group leader and wished that one day I could be as cool as she was. Now I realize that, as awesome as all the staffers are, it’s really not about being cool, it’s about relying on God to give you the strength and wisdom to pour His love into the students you interact with on a daily basis.
[S]pending time here at Summit has been the most effective investment in my faith. Nowhere else will you find such a place to grow close to God and receive such an abundance of Christian educational resources. This is truly a safe place, where anyone is free to be objective and disagree. We are taught to question Christianity and find answers which lead to truth. You will find Truth here!
My wife and I come to Summit because Summit has a history of loving 2 things: students and ideas. In fact, it is said that Summit speakers need to love the students more than the ideas on which they speak. This is highly important in our deeply broken world. When it comes to education, we must seek to redeem and restore image-bearers before we expect teaching and growth to happen. It’s the two sides of Dr. Myer’s DNA double helix: Truth and Relationship.
I can’t imagine life without my small group women. I met a spectacular group of girls and a phenomenal small group leader that I consider to be my friends. I really do hope and pray to continue to cultivate our friendships after we leave Summit. I thank God for Summit Ministries. I don’t know anywhere else where I could have had the opportunity to grow and be challenged intellectually, relationally, and spiritually…
What spurred my desire to go to Summit wasn’t the allure of two weeks up in the mountains, though that did sound exciting. Instead, it was the tangible difference I could see in the lives of my siblings and friends who had gone to Summit. They weren’t perfect, but they had a desire to know God better, paired with convictions that the gospel was true.
I enjoy summer. I also enjoy school. The idea of the two mixed? Not a fan. Which meant I also wasn’t a fan of the idea of Summit. Two weeks of lectures on worldviews and ideologies meant half a month that I didn’t even choose to give up! “What the crap, Mom?!?” That was my entire attitude coming in, and with the two weeks almost over the question still remains. “What?! You didn’t tell me it would be incredible!” How was I supposed to know that worldview lectures are fascinating? How was I supposed to know that the friends I would make would be wonderful?
My staffing experience has changed my perspective on life. Learning to pour myself out to students in a real and authentic manner is one of the most useful skills I have learned here. As most freshman college students, I definitely struggled with being myself and finding solid friendships. Coming to Summit as a staffer allowed me to form solid, foundational friendships with serious Christians from around the country! How cool is that?