ENCOUNTER brings together collegiate Navigators from Michigan and Ohio for a weekend focused on growing closer to God and closer to each other. Whether you're exploring your faith for the first time, revisiting questions that you have, or you feel like you've known God for a long time, this weekend is sure to challenge you in discovering how God sees you, and how you can respond to him in faith. 

The weekend's format includes three major messages from New York Time's best selling author, Nathan Pyle.  Originally from Ohio, Nathan lives in New York where he is an illustrator.  Take a look at his twitter @nathanwpyle for some of his work!  In addition to hearing from Nathan, you'll get to choose two of the 10 distinct workshops put on by staff from across the region.  

This three-day (two-night) experience is built to be an escape from the pressures of school, but we also know the value of keeping up with studies! Saturday afternoon's schedule is simply free time for games, sports, a nap, or time to devote to homework and studying – whatever strikes your fancy and enables you to enjoy your time away from campus. 


Quick Facts

October 5-7, 2018
3 days / 2 nights / 1 weekend
1 speaker
150+ students
10 workshop choices
Beulah Beach Retreat Center
Cost: $140 (scholarships available)

Suggested packing list:

  • Pillow and sleeping bag (bunk bed and mattress provided)
  • Bible, notebook, pen
  • phone & charger
  • towel
  • toiletries & shower sandals
  • frisbees, basketballs, soccer balls, other sports equipment


  • clothing & shoes for 3 days, 2 nights (check the weather!) reppin’ your school, including sports clothes/shoes
  • warm clothes and a jacket (it can get chilly by the lake!)
  • water bottle
  • umbrella & flashlight
  • cash to buy an Encounter or Great Lakes Navs t-shirt

Check out what students like you are saying about Encounter.
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Meet our worship leader

Aaron Morgan

of Seabird

A native of Independence, Kentucky and now living in Cincinnati, Ohio, we are thrilled to have Aaron lead us in worship this weekend.  If you're curious about his band, take a listen:

Workshop Options

Forgive Your Way to Freedom 
Charly Sommers, University of Cincinnati 
Everyone needs forgiveness; withholding forgiveness from ourselves and others keeps us from experiencing the freedom and joy God intended.  This workshop will explore God’s forgiveness and our need to forgive those who have hurt or wronged us. 

Faith and Reason
Buck Wilson, Kent State University
What does it mean to live by faith? What do we do when our friends start questioning life and we don’t have answers? What if we have the same questions too? This workshop is about how you can’t have faith without reason and a lack of faith might just be a lack of thinking.  

Fearing Man OR Fearing God 
Travis Parks, Michigan State University
Do you think about others' opinions of you? Are you scared to share the gospel or a truthful word with someone because of how they might respond?  Fearing others can control our lives. In fact, Proverbs 29:25 says, "The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted."  So how does God bring us freedom from people pleasing?  Come and find out! 

Stories Jesus Told 
Taylor Scott, Miami University
"So one time there was this guy..."  "A bunch of people were headed to a party..."  "Then he said, 'No seriously, I put it in the ground!" Did you know that Jesus told all these stories and more? He literally spent whole afternoons just sitting around with his disciples and telling them stories. Why?! We'll explore why and consider how to tell some stories of our own. 

Sexual Health and Wholeness 
Kent & Jill Schellhause, Nav20s in Cincinnati
Exploring “The More Beautiful Song”: the health, freedom and wholeness of Biblical sexuality. This workshop will be a combination of interaction and teaching on God’s design and intent for creating human sexuality, the effects of the Fall on our sexuality and our hope for a redeemed and restored sexuality as we receive the identity Christ gives us. 


Watching Movies with Discernment
Patrick Kottmann, Kent State University
Despite what we may like to believe, films are not merely mindless entertainment; they have the power to change the way we think about the world.  What kinds of lessons are you being taught when you sit in the movie theater?  Are you aware of the messages you are consuming?  This workshop is designed to help you become a less passive movie-viewer and learn how to discover the worldview behind the movie. 

Reaching International Students
Ward Ballard, Navigators' International Student Ministries (ISM) Director
Greg Bryan, ISM at Kent State
Today there are 1.2 Million International Students from every nation on earth studying in the USA. Even Miami University (which used to have about 50 International Students) now has close to 3,000. They live in your residence halls and are in your classes. Learn how you can take small steps to meet them, befriend them, and lovingly introduce them to Jesus. 

Conflict Resolution 
Hannah Neely, University of Cincinnati
Logan Buck, 
University of Cincinnati
Jacob De Bellis,
University of Cincinnati
We're firm believers that healthy conflict is an opportunity to deepen and enrich relationships; for us, learning to "fight" well has been one of our biggest tools in growing and serving! Come learn a few Biblical principles about conflict management, and then we'll discuss some easy, practical ways you can incorporate healthy conflict into your regular life. 

Sharing Your Faith - An Experience in Soul-Winning!
Mike Havenstein, Ohio State University
The time is short and we have the most amazing Message!  We can be a fruitful witness. We can be a redemptive neighbor to the people around us by proclaiming the work of Christ.  Come learn about your opportunity to fulfill the Great Commission and receive tools to multiply the life of Christ in others.  The fields are ripe for harvest!

Born to Reproduce (Discipleship)
Todd Graham, Akron University
One day people will line up at your funeral because of how you poured into their lives and loved them, not because of how much money you made or how successful you were in your career.  Come engage in some discipleship exercises, discuss what discipleship is, and find out how to make disciples.

Check out our new location at Beulah Beach!