City on the Hill is an experience like no other. Expert speakers. Over a dozen training sessions. Sworn in as a student Senator. Debate issues on the Senate floor at the Harrisburg State Capitol.

All this and more is packed into one week for dozens of high-school teens and staffed by the Pennsylvania Family Institute. That’s what City on the Hill is all about.

Here is how three students described their experience this year at City on the Hill:

“City on the Hill has transformed the trajectory of my life.”

Our students were challenged by several guest speakers in a variety of ways. Pastor Bill Devlin called for the need to live out your faith (“The world is looking for radical, reckless and raw men and women of faith…to give a reason for the hope that is in you.”) while JoJo Ruba (Faith Beyond Belief) gave several talks on how to engage in conversation regarding matters of truth and cultural issues (“You have the opportunity to talk with people you rub shoulders with everyday – to share truth and help shape the culture we live in.”).

Our “Christians in the Public Square” panel, which has included local police officers, state representatives, former prosecutors, legislative staff, and others, looks at how those in public service live out their faith. Our goal throughout the week is that each student takes their gifts and talents to boldly proclaim Christ wherever God calls them to be.

“The lessons instilled in my life are monumental.”

The theme of the week was “Stand Your Ground” – taken from several biblical references including Ephesians 6. Examples were shared of those that stood by their beliefs in the face of trials, ranging from the life of William Wilberforce to Daniel and other heroes of the faith.

What was encouraging this year was an email we received from a past City on the Hill student which read in part, “I continue to observe the durable impact of this initiative among my peers, many years after!”

“City on the Hill was priceless.”

Creating an environment where high school students engage critically with today’s pressing issues, and where they can grow both spiritually and intellectually, is truly priceless.

This conference is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Family Institute (PFI). It is a blessing to have the financial support given that in part provides PFI staff the capacity to engage in such an undertaking. It is a highlight of the summer for many, for good reason as we witness so many students equipped and encouraged to be salt and light to the world around them.



July 22-28, 2018 is the next City on the Hill Youth Leadership and Worldview conference. If you are interested, contact us for more information at For more details, see our brochure at