The University of Findlay will again host The Well, a free, Christian-based, weeklong summer theology institute for rising 10-12th grade students who are interested in learning more about their faith, and how it intersects with and informs other aspects of their lives, including career choice. It will be held July 9-14.
This will be the institute’s second consecutive year of operation. It is being funded with a $400,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc.’s High School Youth Theology Institutes initiative, which seeks to encourage young people to explore theological traditions, ask questions about moral dimensions of contemporary issues and examine how their faith calls them to lives of service.
Like last year, The Well will have a non-denominational, Christian-focused context. Activities involving on-campus education and trips throughout the region will incorporate numerous opportunities to learn about and discuss other religions while strengthening participants’ belief in their own faith. In the spirit of Christian hospitality, The Well gladly welcomes students of all faith traditions to participate. The institute is not a proselytizing effort.
Shawn Graves, Ph.D., assistant professor of philosophy and one of the institute’s organizers, said last year’s effort was a success. Students from various church backgrounds gathered and “were challenged to think more clearly and carefully about their faith,” he said. “Especially enriching was the formation of vibrant communities of smaller groups,” which enabled bonding and additional collaborative learning. Students treated each other with compassion, sincerity and honesty, Graves added. “The opportunity to engage in conversations with people from other faith traditions was especially helpful,” he said.
Modeled after the University of Findlay’s core mission of helping students live meaningful lives and have productive careers, the institute’s curriculum is designed to walk participants through five tough questions, each building on the last to help individuals identify the role of faith in life and vocation. They will contemplate:
- Who am I, and how can I live a meaningful life?
- What is most important to me?
- Are there causes larger than me that drive my decision-making?
- What am I being called to do?
- How will I serve humanity?
Participants will be provided with on-campus lodging, daily meals, snacks and all materials they need for faith exploration.
For more information about The Well, including a list of daily activities, and to register, visit www.findlay.edu/academics/well/