Equipping Young Christians To Defend Their Faith
Allied ministry prepares students for academic challenges to Christianity
It’s been most of 50 years since Dr. David Noebel enrolled as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. It was a decision that changed his life – and almost destroyed his soul.
“I nearly lost my faith,” he remembers. “It was very close, when I think about it.”
Like countless other college students every semester, Dr. Noebel fell among professors who mocked his faith and cast intellectual scorn on his biblical convictions. In the end, he shook off their influence and found his spiritual footing … but the experience convinced him that too many Christian young people just aren’t ready to run the academic gauntlet they’ll face at a university.
"Talking to young people – that's my passion."
His solution: Summit Ministries, an intensive training program that essentially “tears down” the entrenched (and often skin-deep) beliefs of college-bound students, then rebuilds those beliefs on firmer intellectual and theological ground – equipping these students, in the process, to rationally defend a Christian world view against attacks from academics and popular culture.
Because many in the program show a particular interest in studying law, Alliance Defense Fund attorneys are often featured speakers during Summit sessions. The implications of that influence are enormous – some 30,000 young people have come through Summit in the last four decades. A growing number of Summit graduates are finding their way into the ADF Blackstone Legal Fellowship, and many have moved into positions of significant influence in state and federal government.
Though long past retirement age, Dr. Noebel is still thoroughly involved in all aspects of Summit Ministries. “Talking to young people – that’s my passion,” he says. “They know I’m in their corner.” And besides, just because you’ve reached the summit … doesn’t mean you’re over the hill.