The Dig Program

Program Overview

Dig: Uncover Your Future

Dig is a summer program that helps youth uncover their future by exploring their callings while enriching and deepening their faith. By the end of the program, each student will leave with a clearer sense of their gifts and skills and an understanding of how God can use them to meet the needs of the world.

Program Components

What Dig Looks Like

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, Calvin Seminary has decided not to offer Dig for the summer of 2020. Given the public health concerns regarding travel and group gatherings for the foreseeable future, we are not in a position to be able to plan a long term residential program. Though we are disappointed, we also believe this is the most responsible course of action. If you have any questions about Dig, you can reach out to the Calvin Seminary Admissions Office at

Program Distinctives:

  • Program Length: This 3 week program (2020 dates are July 11 - 31) is long enough to be immersive, but short enough to not take up your whole summer.
  • Specific Age Range: Dig is for students finishing their 11th or 12th grade years. Come learn and grow with similarly aged and engaged peers.
  • Seminary Resources: The first-half of Dig involves an on-campus components where students engage with world -class seminary faculty and students. This time is spent exploring various areas of gifts and calling, whether that be for a career in professional ministry or a career where work and ministry aren't as obvious.
  • Excursion Experience: The second-half of the program is spent on Excursion - an offsite program experience. During this portion of the program, participants observe ministry and calling in action within a unique city and setting. The 2020 excursion site will be taking place in the Motor City - Detroit, Michigan.
  • Affordable: Besides travel costs to and from Grand Rapids, program participants only pay $500 (US$) for this three week program. Your costs is supplemented by a variety of sources, making Dig very affordable!
  • Not Just for Future Pastors: Don't be fooled: just because this program is hosted at Calvin Seminary doesn't mean all participants are headed to a career in ministry. Traditionally, Dig students have various dreams and goals for their future, some that involve a career in the church, others that don't. What binds the students together, though, is a deep interest in how God's calling and their interests collide.

Program Details:

  • Program Housing: For the first few days of the program, students live in the dorms located on the campus of Calvin University. During the Excursion portion, housing is provided.
  • Mentoring and Supervision: In addition to the program director and coordinator, Dig will hire a number of Dig Coaches to serve as mentors, counselors, and chaperones during the program. Dig also works with onsite leadership for the Excursion sites.
  • Personality and Gifts Inventory: Upon arrival to Calvin Seminary in Grand Rapids, students will complete a personality, gifts, and career inventory called jobzology. A session with a career counselor will help students to interpret their results.
  • Daily Routine On Campus: Each day at Dig consists of worship, presentations by seminary professors, reflection activities, and small group discussion. Several days include “field trips” to ministry sites throughout Grand Rapids. Through a range of topics – interfaith dialogue, missions, evangelism, theology, reading and interpreting the Bible – students form a strong sense of community where they can safely explore questions of faith and purpose. There’s plenty of down time for hanging out; playing games, visiting local art museums, Lake Michigan.
  • Excursion Routine: Excursions are designed to introduce students to people who are serving in a range of ministry settings. Previous excursions have included visits to, affordable housing agency, bi-lingual church plant, social action think tank, urban farm, community development café, community kitchen, and thriving churches.
  • Wrap Up: Students return to Grand Rapids, Michigan for a final debrief at the end of Excursion.
  • After Dig: Dig helps students to better understand their own gifting, and how they can plug back into ministry right after finishing the program. After the program ends, participants meet with an adult mentor of their choosing for four months to continue the learning and reflection as participants return home or leave for university or college. Both the participant and the mentor will be provided with materials to help guide their mentor/mentee meetings.


What Dig Students Said About the Program

  • “Dig is the best thing I’ve ever done with my life in terms of my faith.”
  • “I learned about my gifts and passions, like my interest in justice and urban ministry. I learned about some of my strengths and how I relate to people. I gained deeper insight into things I’ve been surrounded with growing up but never fully understood.”
  • “I learned that I have a tendency to want to know everything and to know right now, but that I don’t know and maybe never will. It’s okay to enjoy the journey, as long as I keep asking questions and wrestling with my faith.”
  • “Dig really changed how I think about mission work, the church, what it means to even be a church (not the Church, but individual churches), and so much more. I made incredible friends and memories and we did so many cool things. I’ll never forget it.”
  • “Dig is an amazing opportunity to grow in your faith. The people who I met encouraged me think outside the box of what being a follower of Christ should look like. I learned ministry can happen anywhere at anytime as I listen to the spirit’s guiding. I think anyone could benefit from an experience like Dig because there is always room to grow in our relationships with God.”

Important Dates

Preparing for Dig 2020

Final Application Deadline – April 30, 2020

Program Begins – Monday evening, July 11, 2020

Program Ends – Saturday morning, July 31, 2020


This Valuable Program has a Low Price Tag

2020 Program Cost: $500

Due to the generosity of our supporters, we are able to offer Dig to students at a fraction of the actual cost that it takes to run the program. The total expenses of the program per student are about $4,000. However, students are only required to pay a $500 program fee. Additionally, we ask that each student have a supporting church that provides at least $200 in support. The remaining costs are covered by Calvin Seminary and generous donors who care deeply about raising up the next generation of Christian leaders in our churches and broader society.

Contact the Team

Let us Help You Learn About Dig

The Dig team is available to help you as a student or as nominater learn more about the program

The Team

  • Aaron Einfeld, Program Director
  • Javonna Allen, Program Coordinator

Contact Information

Contact Dig at...

or call at 616-957-7035.

Nominate a Student

Encourage a Student to Consider Dig

Is there a high school student in your life who you see God has blessed with the gifts to be a great leader? Do you want to encourage that student to make the most of that potential? Then nominate them to take part in Dig!