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Simpson Youth Academy

Campus Ministry

The Simpson Youth Academy is a unique program on campus that allows rising high school juniors and seniors to explore their faith and prepare for college.

At the Simpson Youth Academy we believe that young people have power and gifts that are essential for the healing of the world, not just in the distant future, but now. Grounded in the Christian tradition and utilizing resources from the United Methodist Church, we are an ecumenical community of youth and adult mentors who explore deep faith-related questions and take action, in order to equip youth to live into their callings as agents of peace and justice in the church and world.

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Nominate Someone for the Simpson Youth Academy

Do you know someone that would be great for Simpson’s Youth Academy? Nominate them!

Simpson Youth Academy’s three components

From June 17-25, 2023 SYA will gather a diverse group of rising high school juniors and seniors for a nine-day community experience to explore the Christian faith. Through worship, service and reflection, we want to help you explore deeper questions about God in order to grow in your faith and service to the world. The Residency will give you a taste of college life – forming community with young people and learning from current Simpson College students as well as pastors, nonprofit leaders and college professors. 


Am I right for this program?

Do you want to CHALLENGE yourself to analyze theological topics with college students & professors and relate them to public issues?

Do you want to SHAPE an intentional community with adults and peers committed to honest conversation?

Do you want to LEARN contextually by serving in the city of Des Moines, exploring issues like criminal justice, poverty and creation-care?

Do you want to EXPERIENCE different forms of worship at the Residency and in inter-faith excursions to other communities?

Do you want to DEVELOP your own beliefs and gifts to heal your community?

Then this may be the right place for you. If you want more information about the Academy, or would like to receive updates about the application process, please contact program director Eric Rucker at 515-961-1406 or eric.rucker@simpson.edu

Simpson Youth Academy

Apply now for the Simpson Youth Academy

The application for the Youth Academy consists of contact information, letters of reference, and a few short essay questions that help us get to know you. Download student application and recommendation forms.

The priority deadline to submit applications is February 1, 2024

SYA guarantees all participants financial support. The Academy and Simpson College generously pay $4,145 for tuition per student to run this year-long program. We ask only that participants themselves pay a $500 “remaining tuition” fee. Through additional scholarships, we work to ensure the program’s accessibility to all.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact program director Eric Rucker at eric.rucker@simpson.edu or 515-961-1610. We look forward to receiving your application!