A Special Announcement regarding City On The Hill 2020

Dear Friend,

We have truly been looking forward to our 20th anniversary City On The Hill Youth Leadership and Worldview Conference, and to hosting a great group of teens from across Pennsylvania.  A lineup of excellent speakers was set, an enthusiastic base of returning students was expressing excitement to be back, and we embarked on our most systematic promotion efforts ever to spread the word about the life-changing impact of City On The Hill. 

And then… COVID-19.

After much prayer and consideration, and in view of a range of concerns and circumstances, we are very sad to announce that we will not be holding City On The Hill in person this summer.  Here are some of the factors that brought us to this decision:

  • In light of the pandemic, neither City On The Hill venue (Lancaster Bible College or the State Capitol Building) could confirm to us the availability and use of their facilities.
  • As of the date of this decision, government restrictions and guidelines were in place at both locations – guidelines that would not permit the size gathering we would have at City On The Hill.  While those restrictions and guidelines might be somewhat relaxed by late July, we don’t know that they will; indeed, they could grow more restrictive.
  • Current health and safety recommendations from the CDC regarding overnight camps are very challenging, especially considering the close quarters and ongoing personal interactions that are part of what make City On The Hill such a wonderful experience.  Even so, we thoughtfully considered ways we hoped we could make it work.  We LOVE City On The Hill and were so looking forward to it!  But ultimately – out of concerns for the safety and health and that of all the campers and staff – we regretfully concluded that City On The Hill 2020 must be canceled. 

So, now what?  First, we are honored and humbled by the dozens that already applied to attend City On The Hill 2020, going through the effort to fill out and send in an application.  We don’t take that lightly at all; to us,  it’s an indication of God’s special calling on the lives of those young people, and the plans He has to use them to change the world, bless others and glorify Him.  We are offering a full refund to all that applied, or the opportunity to apply any fees for attendance at COTH 2021.

Third, for City On The Hill 2021, we will make a special exception to allow those who graduated high school this year (2020) to attend City On The Hill 2021; so that this year’s seniors won’t miss out on that last year of eligibility.  It’s been an especially challenging season for 2020 seniors, and we recognize that.

Lastly, we are in the process of planning some online content with some of our world-class worldview teachers, as well as online student “reunions” to keep the City On The Hill vibe and special relationships and friendships going.   It’s certainly no replacement for gathering in person, but we really do want to stay in contact and serve you as best we can.  Keep watch in your email inbox, our website, and the City On The Hill Facebook page for upcoming announcements.

We share this news with sadness, and yet, with hopefulness.  Though it is disappointing we won’t be having City On The Hill this year, we trust that God will use this circumstance in the lives of those who planned to attend, and in all our lives, to hone and refine us into the persons He wants us to be, in a world that desperately needs ambassadors of reconciliation to lead a hurting people and society to the message of Christ and His Gospel.


Michael Geer
Pennsylvania Family Institute