Catawba College offering national youth program

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 26, 2016

SALISBURY — Area youth who have completed grades six through the first year of college will have an opportunity this summer to participate in a program being offered by Catawba College as part of a national program of the Lilly Endowment.

The program, for which there is no cost to the participants, is designed to enable youth to discover who they are as children of God, to come to understand key components and concepts of the Christian faith and be able to apply these concepts to decisions about their life’s work (their vocation), and to become good citizens, serving others and growing spiritually. The program is named DISCOVER due to its mission to help youth discover important things about themselves and their role in our world.

DISCOVER will utilize week-long residential retreat or conference type experiences, such as whitewater rafting and visiting a zoo, to teach youth about God, faith and how to be spiritual leaders. This program is not intended to replace local church confirmation programs, church schools, or youth programs, but is meant to augment programs of the local church and provide opportunities for those youth who might not be responding to traditional programs.

The interactive and engaging learning content will be nondenominational but reflect mainline Christian thought taught by faculty from Catawba and Hood Seminary under the supervision of Catawba chaplain and senior vie president, the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Clapp.

The DISCOVER session for persons who have completed grades 10, 11 and 12 and the first year of college will take place June 19 to 25. Students having completed grades six, seven, eight and nine will attend the July 31 to August 6 session. Sessions begin at 5 p.m. on Sunday afternoons and conclude at 9 a.m. on Saturday mornings. Both week-long sessions will include field trips to the North Carolina Zoo, U.S. National Whitewater Center and a high-tech educational center in Salisbury, as well as the opportunity to participate in a service project that will benefit others.

“I sincerely believe that this program has more potential than anything else in the pipeline for revitalizing the church and starting the process that will provide leadership for the church in the future,” said Chris Gratton, the director of the Theology Institute and Volunteer Catawba.

DISCOVER offers a great opportunity for youth to grow in their faith and to look seriously at who they are and what they will choose to do with their lives. For more information or for forms and applications, visit or contact Chris Gratton at 704-637-4725 or or Penny Rice at 704-637-4488 or