Trailhead Seeking God's Call

I had an amazing time discovering how I'm shaped, exploring how my faith and career could intersect, making friends from around the country and spending time with God. –Riley Johnson

read more about Riley's experience at Trailhead

[Trailhead] helped me realize how much I still have to learn about the world, but in a way that made me feel excited rather than overwhelmed by all that I didn't know. –Kristie Phillips

read more about Kristie's experience at Trailhead


High School Students: Request More Information

  Pastors and Teachers: Refer a Student

Applications are closed for summer 2022. If you have any questions about the program, or are interested in attending next summer, please email us at, or call our assistant at (805) 565-6230.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Embark on a Life of Significance

At Trailhead, you’ll explore how faith can guide your future as you attend college, pursue a career, and seek to make a difference in the world. In an on-campus summer residency and yearlong mentorship, discover some of the ways that faith, education, and work can be united in a life of significance.

Choose one residency session:

Session 1: June 11-16, 2023

Session 2: June 18-23, 2023

Session 3: June 25-30, 2023

Year of Mentorship:

July 2023-May 2024


Rising high school sophomores through graduating seniors, age 18 or younger on July 2, 2023.**

**Space for graduating seniors is limited. Please inquire at

Our Vision

We sometimes feel alone. But we can journey together.

Our culture encourages us to think about life as solitary and competitive. But God’s call is to the church, and not just to individuals. At Trailhead, we can be ourselves in community as we discover, worship and serve together.

Life can seem like a treadmill. We see it as a trail.

College preparation often feels like a process of hoop-jumping that leaves us exhausted and unfulfilled. But the future can be a journey of exploration. At Trailhead, we chart the territory ahead with curiosity, creativity, and openness to God’s surprising and delightful call on our lives.

We often feel lost and unprepared. But we have guides and equipment for living.

The future’s a place we’ve never been—it can be intimidating. But as we seek God’s call, we grow in knowledge and gain mentors who are further along the trail. At Trailhead, we acquire the tools, experiences, and relationships we’ll need to persevere in pursuit of God’s call.

The Program


Experience an intensive time of learning, reflection, and service at Westmont College and in the Santa Barbara area.

  • Discover new ways of thinking about faith, school, and career as you consider how the Christian message might be relevant to your academic interests and concerns for the world.
  • Engage world-class faculty from Westmont College.
  • Visit sites in the Santa Barbara area that reveal pressing needs in our social and natural world.
  • Be inspired by entrepreneurs, non-profit professionals, pastors and other community partners—faithful disciples living out their callings to combat poverty, end environmental degradation, promote social justice, and more.
  • Be empowered to discern and follow God's call, gaining practical tools for understanding yourself and your vocation.


Through two mentoring relationships—one with Trailhead faculty and one with an adult in your church or school—begin building a community of support as you embark on your journey.

  • In online small-group gatherings, enjoy a year of ongoing interaction with Trailhead faculty, who will help you think through how the program can inform your next steps. Reconnect with your friends as you resume conversations, check in, and continue to tune in to God’s call.
  • In regular meetings with an adult mentor from your church or school, consider how the lessons of the Trailhead experience are playing out in your church and community.

For Churches and Schools

Westmont College and the Lilly Endowment are committed to cultivating a new generation of Christian servant leaders by partnering with churches and schools to support and extend your work with youth.

Find out more about how your organization can be involved

We're proud to be part of the Youth Theology Network, a community of more than 100 colleges, universities, and seminaries helping young people discern what's next for them. Learn more about YTN's work here.