All about Summer Institute

Summer Institute Covenant

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 […]

Summer Institute Right Relations Policy

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. SI Covenant, adopted July 19,  2016 Background Summer Institute is an intergenerational community of Unitarian Universalists who gather together one week each summer for fellowship, fun, and spiritual growth. Many attendees find that SI is a transformative experience; however, conflicts and breaches of covenant will inevitably arise on occasion. The SI Committee on […]

A typical day at SI

Your day begins when you want it to.  No one is forcing you to get out of bed.  SI’s day begins as early as 7am, when the dining hall opens for breakfast. At 8:15, our morning service begins.  Services are performed by ministers and lay leaders from around the district, giving you a chance to see techniques and hear sermons that you’ve never heard before.  Music is supplied by our SI Chorus, which, if you like, you can join. It’s from the morning services that […] Continue reading →

An Intentional Community

Summer Institute is an intentional intergenerational community that gets created and re-created each summer as we come together to live fully as Unitarian Universalists. It is a vacation week to grow, relax, play, and connect. It is a time to experience workshops and new ideas. It is a place for relaxed conversations with old friends and friends you do not yet know. It is a time to recharge and live fully. Continue reading →


After the adult theme talk, it’s time to head off to morning workshops. These vary year to year, depending upon proposals. Anything from theological discussion, making art, dancing, yoga, or watching film clips. If the mood strikes you, you can also just sit under a tree and read a good book. Specific morning workshops are always detailed in the online brochure, shortly before registration opens.

Campus map

Using this map, you can familiarize yourself with the layout of the Oberlin campus. As the committee makes decisions regarding which spaces will be used for which events, we will make updates. Continue reading →

What to bring to Summer Institute

For Registration Your Confirmation Letter Your church/society’s banner For Your Room Extra-long sized twin sheets, pillow cases and towels (NO LINENS FROM OBERLIN) – pillow and blanket provided Continue reading →

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 Dining Hall. Continue reading →

Getting Around

Almost all of Summer Institute’s activities take place a short walk from where our main housing is located. Worship, theme talks and workshops are scheduled in various buildings around the main quad. Most attendees walk or ride bikes between those locations, but SI provides golf cart transportation for those with limited mobility challenges.  For those who will benefit from building-to-building transportation, please see our information about bringing or renting personal mobility devices.

Free time activities

While there is lots of programming at SI, there are also ample opportunities for relaxing self-paced activities. Continue reading →

Childcare co-op

There is a cooperative childcare arrangement for those parents who wish to share nighttime supervision of their children throughout the week of Summer Institute. The co-op makes it easier for parents to enjoy all the late evening activities that SI has to offer. Continue reading →

Hearing Assistance

Hearing assistance will be available at Summer Institute again this year.  Hearing loops will be installed in First Church (UCC) for morning worship and the theme talk, and vespers.  Those with t-coil equipped hearing aids or cochlear implants need only switch their devices to T mode to access the sound.  Receivers and headsets will be available for those without t coil equipped hearing aids.  Please use the contact form below for any questions.

The pub

From 9:30 PM onward, adults gather at the Pub to socialize, share a pub beverage, make music, play games and make new friends while reconnecting with old ones. It’s a great place to relax and hang out when the day’s events are over. This is a great time for families to utilize the Childcare Co-op. In compliance with state laws, no alcohol is permitted to be brought into the Pub or removed from the space.  

Who to contact

You might have some questions about Summer Institute. If so, please feel free to contact us at the addresses below: Continue reading →