Parents

Why send your child to Light the World?

Light the World! provides a unique experience for your child to explore the connection of faith and culture and apply it to vocational discernment. Your teenager will have the unique experience of living on a University campus while growing in relationship with peers in small groups, bus rides, dorm rooms, and mentors in their undergraduate counselors.

What they Learn

They will utilize close reading of theological text, listen to interactive lectures, and discuss deep intellectual ideals in a way that begins to prepare them for academics in college. Most importantly though, your son/ daughter will come into contact with their faith in a way that expands their understanding of who Christ is.

Gaining Deeper Spiritual Understanding

Their spirituality is shown to have joyful ramifications on their college decisions, their friendships, their self-image, and their future career. We firmly believe that the Domestic Church is of primary importance and our hope with Light the World! is to help equip your child for dialogue of who they are in light of who God is and how He loves them.

My son was never the spiritual type and was hesitant to attend the session.  Light the World! totally changed his perception about his faith.  After Light the World!, he now has a better understanding of what his faith means to him and has deepened his relationship with God. – Maria, Parent of a High School Junior

Invitation to Participate in the Institute

We welcome parents and families to the opening and closing Masses and the closing brunch to help facilitate conversation of Light the World! and how your son/ daughter plans to use their lives to provide that light to their home, their school, their parish, and indeed, the world.  

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Safety and Supervision

About the Staff

Your Child will be under the care and guidance of the Light the World! leadership team, which includes the  Coordinator, Faculty Supervisor, Program Assistant, and the 14 CUA students who serve the program as both support staff and counselors. We want you to know that your child is in good hands.

Click here to learn more about us, and how we are preparing to host your child at The Catholic University of America this summer.

Summer Institute Safety Measures

The Catholic University of America is located in the great metropolitan city of Washington, D.C. Below are just a few of the features of Light the World! and the CUA summer community life in which you may be interested:

  • Single Sex Dorming: Light the World! residence halls are single-sex: men are never allowed in the women’s hall, and vice versa. Their programed key card alone will provide access to their residence hall and to their hallway which is separated by gender.
  • Supervision: A hall staff employed by the Office of Conference and Pryzbyla Management supervises their residence hall. Light the World! Counselors live in the dorms with participants and serve as resident counselors.
  • Staff Training: All Light the World! staff members complete the United Educators “Protecting Children from Sexual Misconduct” Training, in addition to passing Criminal Background checks.
  • Cell Phone Policy: We ask that your child have a charged cell phone on them at all times for easy contact. The Program Coordinator’s cell phone number will be distributed to both parents and participants at the start of the week to ensure contact while off campus.
  • Public Safety at CUA: The CUA Department of Public Safety serves the campus community 24 hours a day. For more information on the safety policies of the University click here. 

Daily Schedule

Wondering what your son/ daughter will be doing each day with Light the World?

Sample Schedule


Contact Information

You are invited to contact the Program Coordinator with any needs, be they financial, health, safety, travel, or otherwise. Rylee Kenney can be reached via phone: (202) 319-6524 or email: kenney@cua.edu

You can also reference our Light the World! 2017 Participant and Guardian Handbook for any of your logistical questions.


Support the Growth of this Program

We are able to provide this Summer Institute for high school students from across the country through the generosity of others. Originally funded entirely by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., we are asking for your support as we continue to grow in numbers of teens we reach and services we can provide.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can support our mission at Light the World! Please follow this link.

Support Light the World!


Light the World! was an awesome week for our daughter, in so many areas of her life. First, she met amazing people (campers, leaders, speakers) that challenged her to not settle. She had an opportunity to visit places in Washington DC (and Catholic U!) which she enjoyed. I think the week gave her confidence in herself and that she could see herself going on to college. – Chuck and Marie, Parents of a High School Junior