Facing Your Future


A Brief Overview

  • The program has a four-fold goal for participants: theological, vocational, spiritual, and relational growth!
  • The program runs for 3 weeks from July 8 – July 29, 2015. The first 10 days are spent on the campus of Calvin Theological Seminary.
  • The second 10 days students and leaders will travel to one of three excursion sites where they will participate in ministry there. These sites have been uniquely developed for FYF in partnership with Youth Unlimited.
  • Students and Leaders will then return back to Grand Rapids for wrap-up and closure.

The program will stretch and challenge students to reflect theologically on many different modern issues concerning world affairs, the church, and Christian discipleship. They will engage in group discussions on various readings from Neal Plantinga, John Ortberg, Richard Mouw, and others, films, worship, and excursion experiences. They will also experience a community that seeks to know God more and follow his will and be challenged to think about how God is calling them to serve Him as they transition into the next phase of your life and into the future.

The Facing Your Future program is an imaginative exploration of ministry and life’s biggest issues with outstanding high school students and leading seminary and college professors. Read about what participants experience below.

Grand Rapids Segment

Students arrive on the beautiful Calvin Theological Seminary campus on July 9, where the lodging, dining, learning, and recreational resources will support their stay.

The program begins the next day. With Calvin Theological Seminary faculty and other invited guests, students will probe the Bible for what it has to say about modern issues such as:

  • How does the image of God contribute to healthy self-esteem?
  • Is peace on earth possible? What about peace in the church?
  • Can racial reconciliation occur in urban ministry?
  • How does a good God let Hurricane Sandy take place?
  • Can truth be found in Islam?

These will stretch the mind and reach the heart. The schedule is fast-paced, including group discussions, readings from Plantinga and Mouw, films, excursions, and worship.

Built into the program are recreational opportunities on campus and off campus. Getting to know one another and relaxing together are important features of the program.

When the first 9 days in Grand Rapids are completed, young people will be deeply impressed with the cultural and civic importance of solid, biblical thinking for life and ministry. Such an approach to our modern age is not only exciting and challenging but also deeply fulfilling and essential for the health of our church and community.

Excursion Experience

Students will participate in one of three Excursion Sites. The excursion reinforces the correlation between theological reflection and ministry. These sites have been uniquely developed for FYF in partnership with Youth Unlimited’s ENCOUNTERS Program.


On July 28, all students will return to Grand Rapids. There, each of the groups from the three excursion sites will present their experiences to their colleagues. Students will share what they did, whom they worked with and what they learned at their place of ministry. Before heading back home, the students will have time to begin processing their studies and excursion experiences together. On July 30, all students will return home.


All participating students and their nominators (or designated alternates) must agree to establish a mentoring relationship that extends through the college years. The purpose of this relationship is to sustain the student’s interest in theological reflection, face issues related to ministry that may arise, and seek the holistic wellbeing of the student. Suggested guidelines for mentoring are available from the FYF office. In short, the main tasks of the mentor are to support, challenge and provide vision for the student. An effective mentor is a good, active listener, and is both intentional and committed to maintaining a relationship with the student. Calvin Theological Seminary also maintains contact with both mentors and students following the completion of the program.

Austin, TX

Austin, TX is one of the fastest-growing, leading-edge urban centers in the United States. This liberal, artsy, college town is home to one of the most unique churches in the CRC, as well – Sunrise Community Church. Students will get a chance to learn from a multi-ethnic, multi-class, urban church based on the missional community model.

Students will get a chance to walk side-by-side in ministry for ten days with Sunrise’s Lead Pastor Mark Hilbelink, work with Sunrise’s interns, be part of a mentoring tree, work with the homeless, live in a house all to themselves and compare Sunrise with The Austin Stone, a large multi-site megachurch built on similar principles.

While they’ll be able to experience Austin’s vibrant culture in all sorts of amazing ways, the real value of the Austin FYF experience is rubbing up against some innovative and challenging perspectives on church, culture, leadership and contextualization. Students will immediately love some of the approaches being taken in Austin and be uncomfortable with others. But over the course of 10 days, the theological reflection guided by Sunrise’s staff and FYF leaders will lead to goldmines of thinking about the church to guide these future leaders.


Roseland, IL

Roseland is a community located on the far South Side of Chicago. Dutch, Christian Reformed immigrants established this community in the mid-19th century. For years, these immigrants made their living as farmers. In the late 19th Roseland became an industrial city, bringing in skilled workers from all over Europe. Businesses flourished and the area became very cosmopolitan. In the mid-20th century, however, the economy began to decline and the make-up of the community in Roseland shifted quite rapidly. Now, Roseland is a predominately African American community.

Roseland Christian Ministries is a ministry rooted in the Reformed tradition that has attempted to share the love of God during and after the time of tremendous racial and social change in the community of Roseland. They are a community that proclaims Christ’s reign in their work, worship, and word. Their worshipping community has several programs that focus on service and training. Roseland is excited about what God is doing in and through these programs. The experience in Roseland can be shaped in four overlapping pieces:

1. Training: Local leaders and community residents who have thought long and hard about issues of race, history, socio-economic studies, justice, and theology in Roseland’s particular context will lead in discussion.
2. Worship: Roseland is part of a special gathering of people who confess and praise Jesus Christ as Lord through gospel music and liturgical dance, as well as a different preaching tradition and style. Different worship styles will be shared and celebrated together.
3. Service: At Roseland, there may be a family that needs some repair work done on their house, a children’s program that needs some extra support that day, or clothes in the thrift store that need to be folded. Part of the call to discipleship is service and Roseland needs help in serving God’s people.
4. Community/Fellowship: The people at Roseland do everything they can to build community together, like sharing meals and stories.



Facing Your Future is very excited to be partnering with a new excursion site, more information to come!

Students who would like to participate must have the following qualifications:

  • Program is open to students who are in grades 11 or 12 at the time of nomination.
  • Students must be a baptized or professing member of a Christian Church.
  • Students must be nominated by a pastor, youth leader, high school administrator, or Bible teacher.
  • The participation fee for the program is $330 USD, due at the time of acceptance into the program. The student is also responsible for travel costs to and from their home to Grand Rapids. The fee can be paid on-line here.
  • Nominees must:
    • Have a demonstrated involvement in the life and ministry of the church.
    • Possess the character and qualities for Christian leadership
    • Demonstrate a well-rounded involvement in their community.
    • Have a GPA of 3.25 (85%) or higher.

Important Dates for FYF 2014:

Jan 31: Nomination, application, and transcript due
Feb 28: Notification of final decision sent to
all applicants by e-mail
July 9 – July 30: FYF Program
July 9: Arrive in Grand Rapids, MI at Calvin Theological Seminary
July 9 – July 19: Grand Rapids Segment
July 19 – 28: Excursion Segment
July 28 – 29: Wrap-Up in Grand Rapids
July 30: Depart for home

Have a question?

Call 616-957-7154 or 800-388-6034. You could also drop by for a visit at: 3233 Burton Street S.E.  Grand Rapids, MI 49546.
Fax: 616-957-8621

Jessica Driesenga is the Program Coordinator and can be emailed here.

FYF alumni can update their contact information here.