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Called to the Common Good

Called to the Common Good

High School Youth Theology Institute

July 5-12 2020






Do you ever ask yourself these questions and wonder how you can use your gifts to make an impact? Are you concerned about the problems facing our society but not sure how one person can make a difference? Do you want to focus on your Christian faith as a resource for making the world a better place?


If you are currently a high school student and answered “yes” to any of these questions, consider applying to Called to the Common Good: High School Youth Theology Institute. An online application can be found here.



High school students currently in 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade.



July 5 - 12, 2020



Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina.  This is a residential institute; students will live away from home throughout the eight-day program, which includes a three-day off-site retreat.



  • Engage in hands-on activities, spiritual inquiry and fellowship with other high school students
  • Thoughtfully reflect on your beliefs about God, self and community
  • Learn how to create positive change in the communities and causes that are important to you
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Enjoy a three-day off-site retreat where you will plan how to take what you have learned back to your home church and community
  • Learn from Newberry College professors and undergraduate students
  • Live in campus housing at Newberry College with undergraduate students trained to serve as academy counselors and peer mentors



$300 enrollment fee. 

The one-time enrollment fee covers all meals, lodging (including a three-day off-site retreat), instruction, activities and materials. You are responsible for travel expenses to and from Newberry College. Check with your home church for possible assistance covering your enrollment fee and other costs. Limited scholarships are available. 

Apply for the Program

Candidates for the program can be nominated by a mentor or apply directly. Ask your faith leader, pastor, church youth minister/director, school principal, teacher or guidance counselor to submit a nomination or agree to be a mentor.






Mentors are welcome to submit multiple nominations for candidates they believe would benefit from participating in Called to the Common Good: High School Youth Theology Institute. 

Why Should I Attend?

“You will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once, but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have, because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”

– Michelle Obama


The opportunity!

Called to the Common Good offers a unique introduction to the college experience and the chance for you to actively address critical social problems such as food insecurity, mass violence and environmental destruction. The program also promotes diversity, teamwork and leadership. You will gain pre-professional experience from completing the program along with a deeper understanding of faith and the role that religious study can play in defining life goals.


The value!

Residential summer programs similar to Called to the Common Good typically cost $3,500 per student. Thanks to a generous grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc., Newberry College is able to cover all but the $300 enrollment fee.


The Community!

Part of Called to the Common Good's magic is the unique community that emerges every summer. We intentionally welcome high school students from different cultural and denominational backgrounds, who come together to learn, worship, and grow with one another and in the process start seeing the world through many eyes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Called to the Common Good?

Called to the Common Good is an eight-day residential youth theology institute that brings together a cohort of high school students who will work together with Newberry College professors and undergraduates to learn about how the Christian theological tradition can be a resource for looking at moral and ethical challenges facing the world.


Who can participate?

Any student who is currently in grade 9,  10, 11 or 12 may apply or be nominated. Called to the Common Good will accept up to 24 candidates who demonstrate church and community involvement, thoughtful reflection on social issues, and interest in community service, religious study and leadership.


When and where is the institute?

The High School Youth Theology Institute will be held July 5 through July 12, 2020, on the Newberry College campus in Newberry, South Carolina. This is a residential program. Students will live away from home for the duration of the eight-day program in a Newberry College residence hall for the on-campus portion and in housing arranged by the Institute for the off-site retreat. 


How much will it cost to attend?

The enrollment fee is $300. This one-time fee covers five days of on-campus housing at Newberry College, a three-day off-site retreat, instruction, activities and materials, and all meals for the entire eight day program. Attendees are responsible for travel expenses to and from Newberry College. Home congregations of accepted candidates are encouraged to assist with the enrollment fee and other costs. Limited scholarships available.

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