The Best Week Ever.

Registration for the 2016 Experience Christendom Summer Programs will open on December 1, 2015. Dates for next summer's programs will be posted at that time.

Students who will be entering their senior year of high school in the fall of 2016 are welcome to register for the Summer 2016 programs. Summer 2016 will mark the 18th year of this wildly popular program, which boasts over 1600 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 4.78 out of 5 on a survey.

christendomEach of the 6 sessions will have approximately 45-50 students in them. (The past three years have had waiting lists, so do not delay). TENTATIVE WEEKLY SCHEDULE

Session 1: TBA
Session 2: TBA
Session 3: TBA
Session 4: TBA
Session 5: TBA
Session 6: TBA

ecspThis 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 200 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 discern whether an education at Christendom is in their future, quite often, aiding them in their understanding of the benefits of a liberal arts education, taught from a Catholic worldview, encompassed by a vibrant Catholic culture.

Sometimes, up to half of the participants are hesitant about spending a week "in school" during the summer, 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 those one or two people who just like to be the Eeyore of the group:)

christendomStudents 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, making smores over a bonfire, bowling, participating in a talent show, and attending an Irish barn dance. These activities are absolutely amazing and show the participants that you can still have good old fashioned fun in a safe, moral, and Catholic environment!

christendomOne 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.



While on campus, the summer program participants are led by eight current Christendom College students, called Counselors. Many of the counselors have themselves participated in the summer program while in high school and are eager to show others how much Christendom has to offer. Christendom's director of admissions Sam Phillips directs all of these exciting programs.

Peter Tapsak — Head Counselor

I hail from Northeastern Pennsylvania. When not sitting on my porch picking a banjo, or reading a good work of philosophy, I am working in the garage on jeeps and suits of replica medieval armor. At school, however, this persona tends to give way to a bowtie-wearing, tuxedo-clad, refined gentleman. Having attended the ECSP back in the summer of 2011, and visiting a number of times the following year, I realized that I wanted to pursue truth, beauty, and goodness at a small, Catholic liberal arts institution — specifically and exclusively Christendom College. I have been rather involved at Christendom (which seems the norm around here), working in the student life office, working as a resident assistant, playing intramural volleyball and frisbee, volunteering at Student Activities Council (SAC) events, setting up for and running debates in Regina Coeli Hall as the Prefect of Secret Rites of the Chester-Belloc Debate Society, discussing classic works in Cincinnatus League, writing and editing for the student magazine The Rambler, and starting an undergraduate peer-reviewed journal, the Chester-Belloc Review

I look forward to meeting all of you this summer! We have a fantastic team of counselors and there is always such an excellent group of students at each session. 

Hannah Gordon

I was born and raised in Winchester, VA. I heard about Christendom when my parents told me about it and encouraged me to look into the school. I was hesitant at first, but ultimately decided to join my older sister here.  I am a rising junior now, and am planning on going to Rome this fall!  I just declared a Philosophy Major, with a minor in History.  Both of those departments have such strong, interesting teachers and I have learned so much already just from the Core Curriculum. I like involving myself in the school activities; I am on the Student Activities Council (SAC), am a sidewalk counselor for the Shield of Roses Program, and played softball this last spring.  I like running, training my horses, swimming, drawing & painting, taking pictures, and going on random adventures with friends! 

This will be my second summer as a counselor, and look forward to meeting everyone soon!

Joe McMahon

I grew up here in Front Royal, Virginia, with my six siblings, three of whom have gone to Christendom. I am a transfer Junior, having attended a Catholic university in Florida for two years. I played football and rugby while in Florida, and transferred to Christendom last fall. I had never really considered coming here until my younger brother decided to come to Christendom, which was a major factor in my decision to transfer. The faculty and staff of Christendom have been amazing, and it has been surreal being here for an entire school year already. I enjoy serving both the Extraordinary and the Novus Ordo mass and going to pray with the pro-life club every Saturday in D.C. My non-curricular enjoyments (besides sports) include great literature, classical music, and riverside bonfires on a summer night.

Elisabeth Willson

Hello! I am the second eldest of twelve children from Staunton, Virginia.  I will be a senior at Christendom College this upcoming fall, and I am majoring in Classics.  Last semester, I traveled to Rome with my classmates for the Christendom’s study abroad program, which was an amazing experience —  one which I think is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  I like to do a myriad of things, especially playing sports, being outside, and talking to people.  I am on Christendom’s women’s varsity basketball team and am in the choir. 

I never attended an ECSP as a student, but I was a counselor last summer and had an incredibly fun time. 

Daniel Snyman

I come from a family of six kids and I am the third. My father has been in the military for my whole life, so I have done quite a bit of moving about. I have lived all throughout the midwest and always out in the country. I was homeschooled until I was fifteen, when I received the privilege of attending St. Gregory’s Academy — an all boys boarding school. There, I got a passion for the liberal arts and also for my favorite sport, rugby, which I love being able to continue to play here at Christendom. I took a few years off and worked on motorcycles before I decided to come to Christendom, because I wanted to make sure I knew what I wanted in a college. I have found just that here at Christendom. There is so much that Christendom has to offer if you put your heart into it.

I can’t wait to share some great experiences here at Christendom with everyone this summer. Looking forward to meeting everyone this summer!

Sylvia Messing

I am from Michigan, more specifically the thumb (for those of you who recognize the mitten shape). I attended the Experience Christendom Summer Program in 2013 and boy, what a life changing experience! My week at Christendom was so enjoyable and, from then on, I knew Christendom was where God wanted me to be — it felt like another home. Taking advantage of the beautiful campus at Christendom, I enjoy outdoor activities such as: hiking, biking, canoeing, stargazing, having bonfires, and watching the sun rise over the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains. But, my most cherished activity by far is whistling. And, if you participate in the choir when you come to Christendom’s Summer Program, you will get to sing with me! The Catholic faith is intertwined in all aspects of the community life at Christendom, especially in the class material and daily opportunities to do some personal devotion. There is such a strong sense of common faith here, even in the conversations you have.

As I prepare for another year full of blessings and learning experiences, I am looking forward to an unforgettable summer as I hope you are too!

Mark Mergner

I come from the land down under and slightly east of Baltimore, Southern Maryland. Do you know about Old Bay? Well if yes, you’re welcome. If no, we’ll work on that when you get here. If I were to offer you a brief summary of the "Mark Mergner," I would say energizing, fun loving, and always ready for action. I am particularly fond of craftsmanship; whether is it construction, writing, or simply just putting on an event, I love to see what I imagine become reality. I like to keep busy, though I always try to make time for fun. I spend much of my personal time with friends playing board games, ultimate Frisbee, swimming in the river, or having an epic snowflakes-making competition. After Christendom, I would like to begin a youth center in my home town dedicated to St. John Bosco, where youth can be introduced to a Catholic culture that I never saw as a child.

Danielle Corcoran

I am from a small town that you've most likely never heard of, in Northern Illinois. I am 19 years old, and I am an incoming sophomore at Christendom. I come in second in a family of six, where there are two boys following four girls. Along with spending time with my family, I enjoy sports, drawing, laughing, running in the rain, running in the sun, running when its cloudy, and the color green. Pretty much I enjoy life in general, and I think the trick is not to sweat the little things. At Christendom, I am involved in volleyball, basketball, and cross-country (which is coming next fall). I also enjoy being on the intramural sports teams and I am privileged with the opportunity to work at Crusader Gymnasium as a gym attendant. I am a member of the Student Activities Council (SAC), where I am able to help with the planning, preparation, and set up of dances, and the million other events that SAC hosts. I also get involved in groups like the Shield of Roses, which is a pro-life group that travels to DC on Saturdays to pray for the unborn in front of Planned Parenthood. Needless to say, it is never hard to find something to do at Christendom.

I did not get the opportunity to experience Christendom through the summer program when I was in high school, so I am super excited to have the opportunity to share the experience with you all in being a counselor this year!

Want to see the Counselors in Action? Watch the Video below!

All courses are 50 mins 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.

  • christendomPhilosophy
    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.

  • The West and Christianity
    Students will be introduced to the glorious achievements of the West, and to the role of Christianity therein. From the Greeks and Romans, who laid the foundations for Christian culture, to the Franks, Byzantines, and Crusaders who defended it, students will come to understand the triumphs of their cultural and religious forbearers, while deepening their own Christian identity.


The all inclusive fee of $500 includes tuition, room and board, books and activity fees. Financial assistance is available to anyone who requests it on the online registration form - ask for financial assistance, then pay via telephone with Miss Klarissa Blank. 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 a least a month prior to the start of the session. Payment must be made at time of registration via Paypal.

christendomChristendom College is located outside the town of Front Royal in the beautiful and historically rich Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. It is the site of the north entrance to the famed Skyline Drive—a spectacular scenic trip through the Blue Ridge Mountains—and lies only 65 miles west of Washington, DC.

Students can fly in to Dulles Airport (IAD) and the College will pick them up. Additionally, students may fly in to Reagan National 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.

Find out more about our campus here.


Registration Information

Students who will be entering their senior year of high school in the fall of 2016 are invited to register. Current high school sophomores are also welcome to register to be placed on a waiting list. As the sessions draw closer, if room is still available, these 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. Otherwise, please assume that there is space. Once you register, you will receive an email from Klarissa Blank, with more information and some paperwork to be filled in and returned to us. Any questions should be directed to Klarissa Blank ( TENTATIVE WEEKLY SCHEDULE

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