Summer Projects: Intellectual Formation

Curriculum Overview

The mission of FOCUS is ­­­­to know Christ Jesus and to fulfill His great commission. FOCUS pursues this mission by promoting divine intimacy, authentic friendship and spiritual multiplication. It’s important that we understand these three things.

Divine intimacy lies at the heart of FOCUS’ culture and charism. We have to know Christ before we can share Him with others. How do we become intimate with Christ? This intimacy with Jesus parallels the sort of intimacy we experience with other people, especially our friends. Just like ordinary friendships, it’s important that we spend time with Jesus in prayer and the sacraments.

Authentic friendships are friendships of integrity in which we experience God’s love and through which we’re drawn more deeply into that love. Good friendships help cultivate one’s relationship with God.

Finally, spiritual multiplication is the method by which we imitate Jesus, who invested in a few and commissioned them to do the same. FOCUS sees a deep connection between spiritual multiplication and everything else that it promotes. 

These three things — divine intimacy, authentic friendship and spiritual multiplication — serve as the cornerstones for the entire Summer Projects experience.


Accompanied (discipled) by missionaries and their peers, students at Summer Projects will participate in daily Mass, regular spiritual direction and confession. Finally, students will complete a spiritual and intellectual curriculum which includes three elements: (1) an individual reading plan, (2) a speaker series and (3) a ten-week Bible study. 

  1.   Individual Reading. The Summer Projects curriculum involves an individual reading plan carried out in the context of discipleship. The reading plan is simple: Students will read the Gospel of John twice, during both the first and last week of the program; throughout the interim weeks, students will read assigned portions of other works.

  2. Speaker Series. Students will hear two lectures each week. Topics for these lectures range from Trinitarian theology to gender theory to spiritual multiplication.

  3. Bible Study. Each student will participate in a Bible study small group. Students will take turns leading the small group so they can better lead their own Bible studies back on campus. Students are encouraged to use FOCUS’ “Story of Salvation” study, discussing one chapter each week.  

The schedule for the 2020 Summer Projects will resemble curriculum from previous years. For a sample of a previous curriculum schedule and speaker series, check out the link below.