TLC - Clarks Summit University

Teen Leadership Conference

Get ready for Teen Leadership Conference 2019!

Teen Leadership Conference (TLC) is entering its 50th year at Clarks Summit University. The leadership conference was started with one purpose—equipping students to be leaders in their communities. Individuals who attend TLC receive biblically saturated teaching, interactive workshops and worship; along with activities and games. The programming of TLC has been designed to provide an outlet for students and their youth leaders to engage, edify, encourage and push one-another to become biblical leaders. TLC has existed because of God’s faithfulness. It’s never been about one person, it’s about the God-honoring program we provide. Save the Date for TLC 2019! More information to come in the coming weeks. 

July 15 — 19, 2019


Contact Information

Clarks Summit University
Attn: TLC Office
538 Venard Road
Clarks Summit, PA 18411
Phone: 570.585.9354
Fax: 570.585.9359
Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m.

TLC Secretary, Kristen Miller

Forms & Important Information


Health Forms

Each student must have a Medical History Release Form. Please use only the “Official” Clarks Summit University TLC Medical History/Release Form. Students will not be allowed to attend TLC without the official health forms. Forms must be received by July 5.

Liability Waivers

  1. CSU Rock Wall Waiver – Students and adults who would like to participate with the Crag at Clarks Summit University must fill out a Participant Agreement Waiver. If you are under the age of 18, please have a parent or guardian sign.
  2. Event Waiver – for transportation purposes
  3. CSU Liability Waiver – For students who don’t hold insurance, please read and sign (if under 18, please have a parent or guardian sign)



TLC Mission

TLC exists to train godly students to influence their church and community for Christ.


3–6 p.m. on Monday in the Recreation Center. Please plan to arrive between those hours.
Registration changes/substitutions may not be made after July 2, 2018.


TLC concludes on Saturday at 9 a.m.
Because we design the entire week to build to a climax on Friday evening, please do not make plans to leave until after the final wrap-up in the dorms that evening. In order to prepare our campus for the next week’s events, we ask that you be on your way home by 9 a.m. on Saturday morning.


Pray before you get to TLC and ask God to do something unbelievably amazing in your hearts this week. This is a week to focus on God, His Word and spiritual growth. Please do not bring anything on campus that could be distracting to what God might want to do in your hearts during the week.

What To Bring

Bible, notebook, pen/pencil, sleeping bag, pillow, towels, toiletries and other personal items, fan, recreational clothing. Spending money for the Underground Cafe, Byrdies, TLC apparel and other snacks.


Clarks Summit University desires students to dress in a manner consistent with biblical principles of modesty.  The specific guidelines included below are shaped by those biblical principles, community preferences and cultural expectations and personal safety.  There is a subjective element to these principles and our staff reserves the right to assist students in appropriately applying these principles for Teen Leadership Conference.

  • Clothing should modest – and must not be short, tight, or revealing.
  • The following list is a non-exhaustive set of examples to guide students as they consider appropriate dress at TLC:
    • Tops should not be low-cut or tight-fitting
    • Midriff, underwear, and buttocks should not show
    • Sweatpants should not be tight-fitting or revealing
    • Shorts should be fingertip length or longer
    • Skirts and dresses should be to the top of the knee
    • Clothing with holes should not reveal skin that is normally covered by shorts
  • Clothing should be gender appropriate.
  • Clothing should not have slogans that are inconsistent with CSU values.
  • Students wearing Spandex for exercise should have loose-fitting shirts and shorts over top (spandex should only be worn for exercise).
  • Pajama pants are only to be worn in the dorms.
  • Shoes must always be worn in buildings (except inside dorms).

Information Table

The TLC Information Table in the Recreation Center is staffed each day during the conference from 8 a.m.–11 p.m. The TLC Information Table number is 570.585.9354.

Contact Security

In case of emergency, Clarks Summit University Security may be contacted from 11 p.m.–8 a.m. at 570.585.9200.

Frequently Asked Questions

How old do I have to be to attend TLC?
TLC is designed for high school students entering ninth through twelfth grades.

Do Week One and Week Two of TLC have different programs?
No, programs and scheduling for each week is identical. Speakers may vary from week to week.

If our youth group is coming, do we need to register as a group, or can each student register individually?
It would be in your best interest to register as a group. You may add individuals later, but at the initial time of registration, please do so as one group.

When is it too late to register to be assured the week of my choice?
We have no way of knowing when the weeks of TLC will be full. However, typically our weeks do not fill up before June 1. As always, register as soon as possible!

What do I do if a student has a special medical condition?
Please note this on the Medical History Release Form and contact the TLC Office at or 570.585.9354.

When are forms due?
The Medical History Release Form must be returned to TLC no later than July 5.

When is the remaining balance due?
The remaining balance is due when you arrive at TLC. You may pay by credit card, cash or check (made out to Clarks Summit University—TLC).

Can I reserve spots without registering any attendees?
No, we must have registration forms.

Can I make attendee substitutions?
Please contact the TLC Office at or 570.585.9354 with all substitutions. Please note, due to limited space in the dorms, guys may be substituted with other guys, and girls with other girls. Girls may not be substituted with guys or vice versa. Until July 5, deposits and conference fees are transferable. After July 5, no substitutions are permitted, and fees are nontransferable. Registration for both weeks will close on July 5.

Will students be housed with their youth group?
Yes, students will be housed with their church and a Clarks Summit University student counselor. Youth workers are housed in separate residence halls.

Are churches traveling from great distances allowed to arrive early and/or stay late?
No, we have no way of accommodating groups or individuals due to the CSU’s full summer camp schedule.

Do youth workers need to bring a medical history form?

If you have questions, please contact 570.585.9354 or



Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson is lead pastor at Grace Church in Powell, Ohio. Before coming to the Buckeye state, he served primarily as student ministries pastor in New York, West Virginia and Kentucky. A Clarks Summit University alum (and two-time national soccer champion as a Defender), he’s wrapping up a master’s degree in leadership. Raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, he married his wife Carrie in 1995, and they now have four children. Stimpson brings a practical and down-to-earth message when he regularly speaks at camps and retreats. His desire is to impact teens with the gospel, so they not only grow as disciples of Jesus, but so they also become passionate disciple-makers.

Andy Geissman

Andy Giessman holds advanced degrees in theology and philosophy and is a Doctor of Ministry Philosophy candidate at Talbot School of Theology of Biola University. With 20 years of ministry experience, he is a sought-after speaker for youth groups throughout the United States, delivering radical messages that challenge students to think through the claims of Jesus Christ. He teaches philosophy and theology at the University of Scranton. He lives with his wife, Becky, and their children in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Mel Walker

Mel Walker is passionate about serving students at TLC; after all, he’s been a part of the life-changing conference for more than 30 years! An experienced university administrator and educator, he is also the co-founder of Vision For Youth, an international network of youth ministries. Walker, a former youth pastor and editor of church youth materials, is a frequent speaker at youth, family, church leadership and parenting conferences. He is the author of seven books, most recently “Inter-Generational Youth Ministry: Why a Balanced View of Connecting the Generations is Essential for the Church.” He and his wife, Peggy, have three grown children (all of whom are in vocational ministry) and seven grandchildren. With a heart for young people, they lead the college-age ministry at Heritage Baptist Church in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania.

Kristi Walker

Kristi Walker is a missionary and youth worker in Berlin, Germany. She has served at CrossWay International Church since 2004 in a variety of capacities ministering to children, youth and in women’s ministries. Kristi is a graduate of Clarks Summit University and is a Starbucks enthusiast, where she wrote most of her recent book Disappointment: A Subtle Path Away From Christ in cafes around the worldShe is the proud aunt of four nieces and four nephews, and misses them greatly when she is in Germany. She is a member at Heritage Baptist Church in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania—her sending church.

Dan White

Dan White serves at Parker Hill Church as a campus pastor and communicator. Dan is convinced every person was created on purpose for a purpose. He is passionate about helping people connect the dots between their Creator and their calling through compelling biblical teaching. Dan has spoken at conferences, retreats, workshops and churches around the world. Dan holds a B.S. in Bible from Clarks Summit University.


Meet the Leadership Team


Mel Walker, TLC DirectorMel Walker
Walker is passionate about serving students at TLC; after all, he’s been a part of the life-changing conference for more than 30 years! An experienced university administrator and educator, he is also the co-founder of Vision For Youth, an international network of youth ministries. Walker, a former youth pastor and editor of church youth materials, is a frequent speaker at youth, family, church leadership and parenting conferences. He is the author of seven books, most recently “Inter-Generational Youth Ministry: Why a Balanced View of Connecting the Generations is Essential for the Church.”

He and his wife, Peggy, have three grown children (all of whom are in vocational ministry) and seven grandchildren. With a heart for youth they lead the college-age ministry at Heritage Baptist Church in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania.

Fred Defendorf, TLC Planning Team MemberFred Defendorf
Defendorf is a 2003 graduate of Clarks Summit University. He served for five years at Skyview Ranch in Millersburg, Ohio and became CSU’s campus life coordinator in 2013. Defendorf works closely with the Student Leadership Council, planning student events and fostering their leadership development. He and his wife, Hannah, have four children, Clark, Bryce, Gage and Hudson.

Ted Boykin, TLC Planning Team MemberTed Boykin
Assistant Director
Boykin enjoys his many roles at CSU. He has completed more than 20 years of teaching in the Bible department as well as several years in the counseling department. He and his wife, Sherry, also enjoy a very full ministry of being the resident hall director for more than 50 male undergraduate students in Loescher Hall. Their daughter Katherine, known as Kaki, enjoys having lots of older brothers to spoil her. Boykin has seen God work in amazing ways in the lives of teens at TLC. He loves being part of impacting young lives for Christ and discipleship!

Charity Smith, TLC Planning Team MemberCharity Smith
Assistant Director
Charity is the Senior Admissions Counselor for Clarks Summit University. She loves people and coffee (put them together, and her day is made). She is thankful for God’s work in her life and counts it a privilege to watch Him ignite teens’ passions to glorify their God and Savior. One of her favorite things about her job and role with TLC is the interaction with students as they ask questions and dive into the Word of God on their own.

The more she spends time in the Word, the more she recognizes the power of Hebrews 4:12. “For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Kristen Miller, TLC Planning Team MemberKristen Miller
TLC Secretary
TLC secretary, academic administrative assistant, tea enthusiast, book hoarder, inventor of teleportation (Just kidding on the last one, but maybe someday!)—Miller has plenty of roles to fill at CSU.

This is her second year working with TLC, and she’s delighted to interact with high school students who are passionate about serving the Lord. She graduated from CSU with a Business degree in 2016 and works for the Vice President for Academics (he’s a pretty cool guy). Miller loves helping others be more efficient with the resources God has given them, so they can be more effective in their ministries.

Other Important TLC Roles

Clarks Summit University students serve as our TLC Counselors. They are energetic and fun, and they desire to counsel teens towards pursuing Christ in their daily walk.

TLC Band
The TLC band seeks to bring gospel-centered worship to our daily sessions. The team is made up of students of Clarks Summit University.
RiSE worship band

Child Care Workers
Our TLC child care workers seek to provide quality care and fun for children of youth workers attending TLC. The team is made up of students and alumni of Clarks Summit University.

The TLC Nurse is available each day from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.

At TLC, we are dedicated to ensuring the safety of our students. Our Safety and Security Department serves the campus by maintaining a safe and peaceful environment. The director, Ken Morris, brings over 25 years of experience to his role as Clarks Summit University’s director of safety and security.

A Note for Parents

So, your teen wants to come to TLC, and you’re wondering what we are all about?

We’re glad you checked in with us!

History and Purpose of Teen Leadership Conference

Teen Leadership Conference began at Clarks Summit University in 1969 and was the vision of Coach Jim Huckaby. Rather than a sports camp, he developed a plan for a week-long leadership conference for high school students and youth leaders.

TLC is not camp; it is not church, and it is not a spiritual life conference for students. It is a week focused on challenging students to become leaders in their churches, schools and communities. Our speakers will communicate God’s Word in a relevant, thought-provoking and interactive way that is intended to produce heart change and a ministry mindset.

TLC has grown so much, we have had to add a second week. Your students can choose either week and will receive the same great messages, workshops, counseling and fun! Students enjoy hanging out and getting to know new friends who believe in Christ and face the same challenges and struggles they do. We are confident your student will come home with a different spirit and attitude than when he or she left.

Leadership and Staff

Our conference is staffed by experienced Clarks Summit University personnel and college-age counselors. All of our counselors have gone through a careful selection process and comprehensive training program led by former youth pastors, directors and current conference director Mel Walker. You can also count on a safe and secure campus environment carefully supervised by our TLC staff and Clarks Summit University security force.

Student Experience

Your son or daughter will be housed in our residence halls and eat in our cafeteria. You can be sure that they’ll get plenty to eat and will have very comfortable housing. And by the way, there are no camp shower houses on our campus! All youth workers who attend will stay in separate accommodations on our campus.

Contact TLC

We hope you’ll browse our site and take the opportunity to learn all you can about TLC. We want you to be comfortable and confident before you send your student to Teen Leadership Conference.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact the TLC Office at 570.585.9354 or

Youth Leaders

Clarks Summit University’s Teen Leadership Conference has had a profound impact on thousands of lives over the years.

Your youth group will…

  • Get to know teens from across America
  • Attend workshop and sessions that will challenge them to think biblically in leadership responsibilities
  • Experience Dorm Life


You probably already noticed that we have lowered the price of CSU’s “Teen Leadeship Conference” for adult youth workers! That is part of our renewed effort this year to add value to the week for all pastors, youth pastors, volunteer youth workers, and other church leaders. TLC ‘18 will also feature an expanded schedule of workshops for adult leaders. I am looking forward to facilitating the discussion in these highly-interactive sessions around the topic of my new book, “Going On For God: Encouraging the Next Generation to Grow Up and Go On For God”. In fact, just announced – TLC will give each youth worker couple a free copy of that book during our meetings together!

You’ve heard the statistics about young adults leaving the church following high school graduation – and you’ve undoubtedly seen that many are blaming church youth ministry for that exodus. Meanwhile, so many parents are making the decision to keep their kids out of church programming events in lieu of community sports or other extra-curricular activities. Plus, even a cursory look at the demographics in our communities reveals the trend toward more and more dysfunctional households. So, what can church leaders and Christian parents do to encourage our kids to grow toward lasting spiritual maturity in a culture that seems to be stacked against us?


We’ll discuss these issues and some possible solutions this year during the youth workers’ workshops at TLC. There’s still time to join us. Check out the details at:



If you are bringing your own children…

Optional child care is available during the main sessions and workshops (additional fee). Because of limited housing, we are not able to accommodate youth worker’s children older than age 10. If you have children ages 11-13 that you would like to bring along, please contact us and we will consider your situation and space available. Thank you for understanding.

What you need to know…


  • Early Registration Deadline – June 1.
  • $100 non-refundable deposit for each student and youth worker.
  • Please register your students as a group.

Mission of TLC

Teen Leadership Conference exists to train student leaders to influence their church and community for Christ. We will assume that the students and youth workers who attend are committed and authentic Christ-followers who want to pursue a passionate relationship with God and want to lead others to that same kind of relationship with Him. Our program is designed with this purpose in mind!

Health Forms
Please read carefully for new information about bringing prescription medicines on the Medical History Release Form.

Student Housing
Your students will be housed as a group with our trained counselors in separate dorms from the youth workers.


Download the Medical History Release Form here.

Recommended books on Leadership

  • Found: God’s Will – Find the Direction and Purpose God Wants for Your Life by John MacArthur, Jr
  • The Best Question Ever – A Revolutionary Approach to Decision Making by Andy Stanley
  • Iron Sharpens Iron by Howard Hendricks
  • Spiritual Leadership by Henry Blackaby
  • Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels
  • Seven Steps to Transforming Your Church by Bill Hull
  • Wooden on Leadership by John Wooden
  • Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome by Ken Hughes
  • Dying for Change by Leith Anderson
  • Radical by David Platt
  • Prodigal God by Timothy Keller
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