The fifth annual The Well: Summer Faith Experience at the University of Findlay has just concluded for 38 rising 10-12th grade students. This free, Christian-based program focuses on teaching students more about their faith and the many ways it impacts their lives.
This year, The Well looked a little different for students due to the effects of COVID-19. To ensure proper health and safety of all involved, students were housed at a local hotel and bussed to and from campus each day.
With many camps and events canceled around the country, and life being altered in so many ways, this year those involved in The Well were more passionate about the experience than ever. Matt Ginter, director of Christian ministries at UF, said, “So many of the high school students in attendance came in with a deep desire for meaningful human interaction, and we were so blessed to be able to still offer as much.” Ginter explained, “cut off from so much, The Well helped to highlight for us just how important it is to seek out and maintain connections with both community and your faith.”
Funded entirely by a grant provided by the Lilly Endowment Inc.’s High School Youth Theology Institutes Initiative, The Well offers students an opportunity to safely explore their options in an open and non-denominational environment. While The Well is Christian-based, students of all faiths and traditions are welcome to participate.
Modeled after the University of Findlay’s core mission of preparing students for meaningful lives and 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 consider:
- 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?
Daily activities include an evening worship led by the University’s Revive student-led worship service, breakout sessions where students are encouraged to share experiences, strengths, weaknesses, and personal barriers, volunteer work for local charities, and personal testimonies from guest speakers. Ginter commented, “We weren’t able to travel as much as in years past, but it may be that slowing our pace down a bit and staying on-campus more throughout the day worked well given the circumstances this year, providing everyone an opportunity to take a breath and dive into some formative discussion and relationship.”