“I came to the week with rather high expectations, as it was advertised as ‘the best week ever.’ The program not only met my expectations, but surpassed them by a landslide.”
– G.B. San Jose, CA, ECSP 2016 participant
Students who will be entering their senior year of high school in the fall of 2018 (current high school juniors) are welcome to register for the Summer 2018 programs. Summer 2018 will mark the 20th year of this wildly popular program, which boasts close to 3,000 alumni since 1999. Each year, hundreds of high school students spend a week on campus and describe the week as one of the best weeks of their lives, ranking it on average 4.75 out of 5 on a survey.
N.B. At this time we are accepting male rising juniors as well as seniors for Session 6.
This is the most-popular, well-attended, and highly-ranked pre-college summer program of its kind. It’s just that good.
Each of the 6 sessions will have approximately 45-50 students in them. (Some sessions already have waiting lists. So, do not delay!). TENTATIVE WEEKLY SCHEDULE
2018 ECSP Session Dates
Session 1: June 10-16
Session 2: June 17-23
Session 3: June 24-June 30
Session 4: July 8-14
Session 5: July 15-21
Session 6: July 22-28
This highly acclaimed program, designed for rising high school seniors, offers participants a unique educational, cultural, spiritual, and amazingly fun experience, all for the incredibly low cost of $500.
Each year, over 280 rising high school seniors take part in the program, and leave campus with a new appreciation for the liberal arts, Catholic culture, true friendship, and the beauty of God’s creation evidenced in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
With a waiting list each year, the program helps students better understand the benefits of a liberal arts education, taught from a Catholic worldview, encompassed by a vibrant Catholic culture.
A number of the participants each year are somewhat hesitant to “go to school” during the summer, even if just for one week, but the vast majority of them — 99% — end up being blown away by what they experienced during the program (We wish we could say 100%, but there’s always one or two people who like to be the Eeyore of the group).
Students spend their mornings taking a variety of liberal arts classes (Philosophy, English, History, and Theology), then, after Mass and lunch, students spend their afternoons and evenings enjoying a number of recreational and social events. Activities generally include: canoeing on the Shenandoah River, hike and cookout on Skyline Drive, swing and contra dancing, singing/talking over a bonfire, bowling, participating in a talent show, and attending a debate and an Irish barn dance. These activities are absolutely amazing and show the participants that you can still have good old fashioned fun in a moral and Catholic environment!
One of the highlights of the program is the opportunity the students have to meet other young Catholics like themselves who are trying to live good, Catholic, well-balanced lives. Through this program, they make friends for life, and learn more about all that Christendom has to offer. In fact, students continually say that they feel closer to their new friends whom they only knew for a week, than with their life-long friends from back home. Why? Find out for yourself by attending one of these programs next summer. There is no real way to explain it – you just need to experience it (or read the testimonies of past participants)
All courses are 50 minutes long and are taught by full-time faculty of Christendom College.
- Scripture Study/Theology
The professor leads the students in a thorough study of one of the four Gospels, giving great insights into deep theological questions, or focuses on different important aspects of the faith, giving explanations into deep theological questions.
This class will try and answer some of life’s greatest questions. What is happiness? Friendship? Why study philosophy and what effect can it have on our lives?
- The Moral Imagination in Literature
This course will focus on the theme of men and women faced with the need to make moral choices, often in difficult and agonizing situations. The students will read and discuss a series of short poems and stories which dramatize this theme in various contexts and settings: ancient and modern; political and social; scientific and religious.
Depending on which session they attend, students will either be introduced to the glorious achievements of the West, and to the role of Christianity therein or learn some fascinating details about the ins and outs of World War I.
- Financial assistance is available to anyone who requests it on the online registration form – you will then be sent instructions about how to pay via credit card online.
- For those not requesting financial assistance, please note that registration is not considered complete until payment in full has been made.
- Refunds will be given if requested at least a month prior to the start of the session.
- Payment must be made at time of registration via Paypal.
Trey Dusseault — Head Counselor
First off, when I attended the ECSP back in the summer of 2014, I looked up to counselors so much, and never dreamed that I would get the chance to serve as a counselor myself. I’m more than excited to share those feelings and experiences with future campers and to be a role model for them during their college search. Coming to the Experience Christendom Summer Program was the main reason for my attendance at Christendom. It wasn’t just that fact that meant I had a marvelous time during the camp, or that I met friends that would last a lifetime, or that the classes were stupendous, but that the atmosphere here, even during the summer, was one of peace and truth. I know that sounds sappy, but during my college hunt a few years ago, everything was so hectic. Christendom gave me a sense of security and it was where I knew I could be happy. Back home in Atlanta, Georgia, I enjoy strumming my guitar at coffee shops, playing pick-up soccer at the neighborhood park, and juggling downtown. Although I’ve been to boarding high schools in Pennsylvania and Southern California, Atlanta is still my stomping ground. Although I just finished my junior year, I have been involved in many activities and projects around campus. I enjoy singing in the barbershop quartet, dominating at intramural Frisbee and volleyball, playing rugby, acting and performing with the theater troupe, and jamming with my buddies on the assortment of musical instruments the students bring to campus.
Hello! My name is Annie Speer. I am 21 years old and have just completed my junior year at Christendom College—including an incredible semester studying in Rome—majoring in Philosophy. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is the place I am proud to call home. I am the 2nd girl out of 4 girls and the 4th of 8 children whom my wonderful parents gave life to! That being said, I am also the 4th to attend Christendom. In fact, it was for that reason I didn’t want to go — however, after attending the ECSP, I saw what Christendom had to offer spiritually, academically, and socially. So here I am! Among the things I enjoy doing are learning (especially philosophy), playing and watching sports (gooo Penguins!!!…Pirates and Steelers), being outdoors, hanging out with family and friends, and meeting new people. I am looking forward to getting to meet you and show you what this beautiful college in the Shenandoah Valley has to offer!
My name is Carlos Pardo, I’m 20 years old and I’m from Mexico City. I came here to find a college where I could practice my faith and have friends with the same Catholic values. Christendom is a great place for everyone! I love our professors — they are a great example to every one of us. My favorite classes right now are political science and history, and I’m majoring in political science. I love this place because you can learn something new every day from everyone. Everyone here is different but at the same time we are all united by our same Catholic faith. I really like soccer, and here I was able to join the soccer varsity team and play intramural soccer with my friends. I really like playing the guitar as well and participating in all the events Christendom hosts to let their students show their musical skills. When I came to Christendom, I didn’t like dancing at all, but now I love it thanks to our several dances each year. Finally, one of my favorite things about Christendom is our campus! It’s beautiful, and the Shenandoah River is always a great place to go kayaking with your friends and have bonfire nights! I cannot wait to share my love for Christendom with you all this summer!
My first year at Christendom has been an adventure, to say the least. As the year has progressed, I’ve met incredible people with diverse talents and interests, but all with the common goal of becoming better people. In high school, I rarely ventured outside of my comfort zone, but the atmosphere here has encouraged me to try new things and expand my horizons. As my freshman year is coming to a close, I’ve had the privilege of joining the chamber orchestra and swim clubs, playing intramurals, serving at various events, and constantly playing music with friends. Christendom has allowed me to continue doing the things I love, like playing music and being active, while encouraging me to strive for excellence. I can’t wait to continue the adventure this summer with all of you!
When I was a junior in high school, I was like other college-bound kids: on the fence about Christendom. That all changed the summer before senior year, when I came to ECSP. Everything I liked about the college was confirmed firsthand, and every doubt was erased. It really was the best week of my life (surpassed only by weeks here at school!). In high school, my favorite things to do were a mix of varsity sports, plays and musicals, and making my own music with guitar and ukulele. Here at Christendom, I get to continue my passion for all of these thing, and find new loves, like leading the Swing Dance Society, attending Chester-Belloc Debates, and helping the pro-life cause at Shield of Roses. The best part is that I get to share all my favorite things and so much more that Christendom has to offer with all the participants this summer at ECSP! I can’t wait to meet everyone, and show you our amazing school, all during the best week ever.
Hi! As a rising sophomore at Christendom, I cannot believe it has already been 2 years since I went to the Experience Christendom Summer Program. It feels like just yesterday that I was rolling onto campus for what everyone kept calling the “Best Week Ever.” Little did I know that week would bring me to where I am today as a proud Christendom student and a summer counselor for you all! Before the summer camp, I did not think a college campus could have such an enriching community, education, and spiritual life. Suddenly, I fell in love with how Christendom pursues truth with honor and dignity, through its phenomenal classes, passionate professors, and strong Catholic Faith. Needless to say, I drank it all in with relish and next thing you know, here I am in Christendom’s Class of 2021. Even though I am all the way in Virginia for college, my heart and home belong to Alexandria, Louisiana. I am the second youngest of seven kids in a family raised on energy, competitive board games, music, dancing, and good food (it is Louisiana after all). If I’m miraculously done with homework, I’m most likely reading with coffee, laughing with friends, attempting some art, dancing with anyone, or singing showtunes! Here at Christendom, I like to get involved with lots of events from untangling lights for SAC events, baking brownies with RA’s, to volunteering at the coffee shop, and selling tickets for the school play. I work as a Student Admissions Counselor during the year, but I am so honored and excited to be a summer program counselor. I can’t wait to show you what I love about Christendom. This summer is going to be a blast!
Unlike most students, I didn’t come to Christendom because my parents sent me, or because I fell in love with it after the summer program, but because I have lived around the college all my life and I was always in love with the Catholic atmosphere that is present on campus. Now that I’m actually a freshman at this school, it is still a dream come true. I did, however, attend the summer program in the summer of 2017. It was an amazing experience and made me want to be at the school even more. One of the many goals I would like to achieve this summer is to hand on to this summer’s attendees the incredible experience I had when attending the program myself. Outside of academics at Christendom, I have a passion for music, playing instruments, juggling, playing football and going on adventures. Since being here on campus as a freshman, I have been elected as freshman class president, as well as a member of the student activities council and food service committee. I also enjoy performing in the many musical events on campus, as well as acting in the spring Mystery Dinner Theater and swing dancing. I am very excited to be a summer program counselor and can’t wait to meet you all.
Mary Margaret Heisler
Hello everyone! I was born and raised in Front Royal and have spent a large portion of my life around Christendom. Now that I have finished my sophomore year, I feel like I have an even deeper appreciation of what it is that the school has to offer. Not only have I enjoyed the beauty and truth which are found in the classrooms, but I have been challenged to mature as an individual through the friendships which I have formed with those at school around me. I can’t wait to share this love for Christendom with you as a counselor!
Now a little about me: Playing sports was an essential part of my childhood and it meant a lot to me that I could continue to play in college. At Christendom I have enjoyed playing on both the basketball and volleyball teams, captaining our basketball team this past season. Additionally, I work in the gym, play several intramural sports, and take every opportunity I can to hang out with friends. When I’m not doing something at school, I enjoy spending time with my eight siblings, playing or following practically any sport, hiking in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, and occasionally trying to remember some piano lessons. I can’t wait to be a counselor this summer and look forward to meeting you! I am so grateful for what Christendom has given to me and my family and look forward to sharing it with you!
Christendom College is located outside the town of Front Royal in the beautiful and historically rich Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Front Royal is the site of the north entrance to the famed Skyline Drive—a spectacular scenic trip through the Blue Ridge Mountains—and lies only 75 miles west of Washington, DC.
- Students can fly in to Dulles Airport (IAD) and the College will pick them up.
- Students may also fly in to Reagan National Airport in DC, but they would then have to take the metro to the Vienna Metro Station (Orange Line) where the College would pick them up.
- In any case, do not make any flight arrangements until you have spoken with ECSP coordinator Clare McDermott to ensure that the flight times are in accord with the College’s pick-up policies.
Find out more about our campus here.
The program is geared toward students who will be entering their senior year of high school in the fall of 2018. Current high school sophomores are also welcome to register, but they will be placed on a waiting list. As the sessions draw closer, if room is still available, these sophomore students will be notified in the order in which they registered. As spaces fill up, the registration site will indicate where a session is closed or not. Once you register, you will receive an email from Clare McDermott, with more information and some paperwork to be filled in and returned to us. Any questions should be directed to Clare McDermott (email@example.com).