Summer Institute Vision Statement

Our vision is Unitarian Universalist (UU) community built with a sense of belonging and acceptance that gathers, learns from each other, worships together, and is inspired.

Summer Institute Covenant Statement

We value the “Summer Institute Magic” that we co-create for one week every year, so we promise to:

  • Treat each individual and their gifts with gratitude.
  • Make space for the creative and unexpected delights we might share with the community.
  • Offer a generosity of spirit to each other as we make mistakes or are disappointed.

We value the expectation of mutuality, so we promise to:

  • Model and respect healthy boundaries, so that our diverse community is safe for all.
  • Develop and maintain a heart of service by generously contributing our gifts to the many ministries that make up the whole of SI.
  • Treat our host space and community with respect.
  • Be open to the changes that we need to make to live into this covenant and our vision for the future.

We value the need for equity so that our community can be more intentionally inclusive, so we promise to:

  • Continually be attentive and respond to our various needs (financial, physical, mental) so that SI is accessible to all who want to join this special community
  • Create a culture of radical hospitality.
  • Create systems to ensure that we follow through on the changes that will make our community more inclusive.

We value the call for justice, so we promise to:

  • Create opportunities for service to the wider community as part of the week’s activities.
  • Question barriers to inclusion within our SI community (that we may not yet recognize).

We value compassion, so we promise that when any of us are out of covenant we will provide and participate in reconciliation processes so we can make our way back into covenant


Sunday Monday through Friday Saturday
Hurray! You arrived. Now what’s next?

2 p.m.-5 p.m. Complete your registration (watch for the signs on campus directing you to the Science Center). Unload the car, settle into your room, and engage in reunification rituals with SI friends.

4 p.m. – 5 p.m. RE Open Houses

5 p.m. Dinner in the dining hall

7 p.m. Opening ceremonies (bring your church banner)

Mandatory meeting for youth and sponsors of youth immediately following opening ceremonies.

9 p.m. Dorm-specific intergenerational Ice Breakers; Youth Program Ice Breaker

Breakfast (7 a.m.-8:30 a.m.)

8:30 a.m. Family-friendly Morning Worship

9:15 a.m. Children’s Program begins

9:45 a.m. Youth morning programming begins

9:30 a.m. Adult Theme Talk

10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Adult Morning Seminars

Lunch (12 p.m. adults, YAs, children; 12:30 p.m. youth)

1:30 –p.m. – 3 p.m. Early Afternoon Intergenerational Workshops

3:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Late Afternoon Age-Specific Workshops

Dinner (5 p.m. -6:30 p.m.)

6:30 p.m. Early Evening Intergenerational Activities

8:30 p.m. Evening Vespers

9:30 Late Evening Adult Activities

Clean your room


Pack up the car.

10 a.m. Closing Ceremony

Return your room key

Say good-bye to friends and plan for next year’s SI magic!

Golf Carts and Headsets

Please indicate during registration if you will need any of these services.

  • For those needing assistance in getting between the dining hall, dorms, and various activities, expanded golf cart service will be available between key campus locations before and after meals and scheduled events. A phone number will be published at Summer Institute to allow you to access these services as needed.
  • For those with hearing difficulties, a limited number of headsets will be available for use in First Church only.

The SI Bookstore

The headquarters for SI T-shirts, Skinner House & Beacon Press books, works by SI artists, and the SI scholarship raffle is located just off the Pierce Dining Hall. Stop in after lunch or dinner with your cash, check, or major credit card. Profits go to the Melanie Pescan scholarship fund. Artists or congregations wishing to sell items should contact Beth Straubhaar at  for more details.

The Details

You’ll register for Summer Institute online. The sooner you register the better so you can get first dibs on workshops. Plus, if you register by June 1, you get a $75 discount and receive all kinds of handy information before you arrive!

Please note:

  • Dates for Summer Institute will always be at
  • On-campus check in takes place between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. (staff check in is from noon to 1 p.m.)
  • Helpers will be available to assist you carrying your luggage up to your room if you need help.
  • Dinner begins at 5 p.m. and the dining hall closes at 6:30 p.m.
  • Summer Institute ends on Saturday after breakfast and closing ceremonies.

To be compliant with state and local laws:

  • We may not bring our own alcohol to the Pub
  • Wear helmets at all times when riding bicycles
  • Please reserve golf cart usage for those that need a ride.

We value compassion, so we promise that so we promise that when any of us are out of covenant we will provide and participate in reconciliation processes so we can make our way back into covenant. Please see our Right Relations policy at for more information.

Insurance Disclaimer

If you’re a Summer Institute attendee and you leave campus for any reason except for specifically scheduled Summer Institute activities, the UUA’s Liability Insurance will not cover you if you are hurt or in an accident. Summer Institute’s liability insurance covers only ON CAMPUS events. If you leave campus, you must rely on your own insurance. Also, if you come for even a tiny part of the week, you must register.

Getting Around

Almost all of Summer Institute’s activities take place across California University’s campus. Housing, worship, theme talks and workshops are scheduled in various buildings and there may be location changes and official communications channels will be used to keep you in the loop.

Most of us walk or ride our bikes between locations, but SI provides golf cart transportation for those who with mobility challenges.

Official Communications Channels at SI

If you have a web-enabled cell phone, like an I-Phone or a Android phone you can download the Slack App from your application store. You can also follow Summer Institute on Twitter at @uuomdsi and on Facebook at

The Slack App and social media will be used at Summer Institute to disseminate information. We also make announcements each morning and evening at Vespers for the whole community, post signage and have a daily print newsletter called the Osiris that can help you stay up to speed.

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Most dorms are not air conditioned and people often bring fans from home (as well as lamps, clocks, stereos, bicycles and, occasionally, lap top computers). Window air conditioners are NOT allowed. All bathrooms look like those on college campuses and our meals taste a lot like cafeteria food, but substantially better, with recognition of the needs of our vegetarian and vegan UUs. Please note: Bring your own linens (towels, pillowcases, sheets). Linens are not available through California University.

How to find out more

For questions about registration, contact our registration team

For scholarship information, contact the scholarship coordinator.

Contact the Summer Institute Planning Committee Chair.

California University also has a web page at