For Parents

GoNow Information for Parents

Dear Parents,

We are thrilled that your student is considering or has chosen to be a part of the GoNow Initiative! In response to the gospel, we are all called to be a part of what God is doing among the nations. Like you, we are grateful your student has responded in obedience to this call and wants to leverage their life for the gospel, and we truly ask for your partnership in this initiative. However, we understand that you may have questions or concerns that have not yet been answered. Below you'll find a summary of our philosophy of students relating with parents about summer projects along with a description of how we approach the need to keep you informed. We hope this will offer you understanding as we work together with you to facilitate a healthy and impactful summer project for your student! We have done these projects for almost a decade now and have very clear systems in place for providing a quality experience for your student as well as effectively mobilizing them to the nations for the glory of God! Feel free to contact us anytime with any questions by sending an email to

Thanks again for your partnership!

Do we see college students as adults or kids?

We recognize that college students are in a season of life when it is more difficult to define the child-parent relationship than others. Are college students grown-ups who are responsible to make decisions independent of parental authority? Or should college students always make the decisions about their summers that their parents want them to make? In most cases, students find themselves somewhere between the two extremes of making decisions with complete freedom from parental authority on the one hand, and strict adherence to parental authority on the other. In light of the complexity in this season of life known as “emerging adulthood,” how does Summit College understand the student-parent relationship?

We believe that God has created the family to be the first and most influential environment for students to become disciples of Jesus and trained in the faith. Our hope is that every Summit College students is walking with the Lord because of the direct and faithful training that parents have poured into them over the years! So we understand that the role of the local church is to come alongside families to disciple their kids.

We also recognize that college students are in a unique season of life! Most of our students come to RDU to attend a school where their parents are not located. This makes it difficult for us to have an ongoing relationship with most of our students’ parents on a regular basis. We also know that college is a crucial time for students to begin owning and growing in their faith in a way that is independent of parents. That is, because following Jesus is personal, students must decide for themselves if they will follow Jesus or not. Believing parents would agree that the gospel calls students to follow Jesus personally rather than piggy-backing off their parents’ faith. It’s been said that “God does not have grandchildren. He only has children.” This means that conversion and discipleship cannot be purely inherited from family. Parents cannot repent and believe on behalf of their children. Students must repent and believe the gospel themselves. So our goal in Summit College and our GoNow projects is to help college students fulfill the best dream a parent could have for their child—to be converted to the faith and become disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus.

Finally, the Bible clearly teaches that the Lord commands his disciples to honor their parents (no matter the age!). So we try our best to counsel students to always obey the commandment to honor their parents, including in the decision about how to use their summer. Should they go overseas for two months? Or should they get an internship? The outcomes of students’ choices will vary widely in this manner, and the way students keep the commandment to honor mom and dad will vary from situation to situation. But we hope that each student will follow Jesus with their summer, which includes honoring parents in their decision along with the manner of their decision-making process.

Communication Before and During the Project

How much communication can you expect to receive from Summit College staff? We love partnering with parents, so at any time you want to talk about the summer initiative your student is exploring, feel free to contact us at We are glad to explain more about our programs and answer any questions we can. We will also send you a parent letter before the summer and invite you to a pre-summer kickoff meeting where you can ask our college staff any question you’d like. And our email account is live throughout the summer. We will regularly check it, so please do not hesitate to contact us when needed.

While we invite open communication at all times, we do put the responsibility on your student to make sure you have the information you want, especially when it comes to purely logistical matters. We tend toward the assumption that college students are responsible adults who can take the initiative to provide you with the information you need. We make summer program information, including costs, schedules, summer policies, and flight itineraries, very accessible to your student. So at any time if you have a question about the project they are participating in, your student should have the answer! Your student is going to be the best source of information about their summer project, and it is ultimately up to them to get you the information you need. We believe this creates a wonderful opportunity for you to discover more about how your student is growing in their faith in college!

Communication While Traveling Internationally

Once we have secured an itinerary for your student, and they have met all financial requirements for participation in their international trip, we will make your student’s travel itinerary available to them online. Two Summit College staff members will accompany them during their travels. Our Summit College staff members who are not traveling will do the best we can to track each team’s progress through their itinerary. However, please know that international travel itineraries are prone to change quickly, both before and during travel. Although Summit College keeps track of changes the best we can, changes that happen during travel are often both outside of our control and beyond our ability to track in a timely manner. When changes like this happen, we cannot guarantee that we have the ability to communicate all changes of itinerary for your student because the team leader may not have time or ability to communicate to us. Therefore, if you desire to track your student as they travel internationally, we highly recommend that you and your student agree upon a communication plan during their international travel. That will provide the parents peace of mind and help the student understand why it is important for them to communicate to parents during travel and upon arrival.

A Note About the Closing Banquet

We invite you to come to our closing banquet to get a taste of what your student experienced during their summer! These are times of thanksgiving, celebration, and fun as we reflect on the summer together. During the summer, we will give your student information about location, time, and how to RSVP. We hope to see you there!

Project Links

We invite you to learn more about GoNow and the project your student is choosing to participate in by using the following links.

GoNow 2021 Timeline

Feb. 1: GoNow Summer Project Applications Due
March–May: Students Raise Support
May 19: Second City Move-in Day for Orientation; Parents Meeting in RDU
May 20: City Project Move-in Day for Orientation; Parents Meeting in RDU
May 19–July 15: GoNow Summer Projects (City Project, Second City, City Life)
July 15: Closing Banquet in RDU (Parents invited!)

We are thrilled for what God wants to do through GoNow, 2021 and are glad your student is considering participating! We look forward to getting to know you and watching God do amazing things for his glory in and through your students.


College Director Team
Wes Smith

Summit College Pastor

Josh Ferguson

College Discipleship Pastor

Elizabeth Hughes

College Womens Director

Charles Holmes

Summit College HBCU Director