Encounter Retreat

Encounter is a three day retreat that aims to connect incoming freshmen with other Christians and churches at the University of Oklahoma. Through dozens of activities and experiences, such as worship time, small group interactions, faith fairs, and competitive games, we hope to build a community of faith that can support students throughout their college careers.

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General Information

The Horizon Retreat is a 3 day retreat that connects incoming freshmen at The University of South Carolina and Midlands Tech to Christ-centered community in Columbia, South Carolina. 

The Horizon Retreat will create relationships between freshmen and UofSC students who are already established in local churches and ministries. Our desire is to provide freshmen at UofSC the opportunity to develop deep relationships with other incoming freshmen who are passionate about growing in their spiritual journey. We will elevate the engagement between freshmen and the churches surrounding Columbia. Our intention is to magnify the importance of intimacy between freshmen and Jesus Christ while giving them the encouragement and support they need to grow in their spiritual journey during their time at UofSC. 

During the retreat, there will be speaker sessions, worship, small group time, and fun games and activities. This retreat will launch students into their time at UofSC by introducing them to friends and equipping them with foundational tools that will help them grow spiritually for the rest of their lives. We will have a ministry fair which will provide students an opportunity to interact face to face with staff and pastors from the local churches and campus ministries in Columbia. Our hope is that campers will get a glimpse at how God is moving both on the campus and the city of Columbia. 

Our retreat is scheduled for August 27-29, 2021. 

The Horizon Retreat is open for any incoming students at the University of South Carolina or Midlands Technical College. 

The Horizon Retreat will be hosted at Look Up Lodge in Traveler’s Rest, South Carolina which is about 2 hours from Columbia.

Our Beliefs


We believe that the Bible is the Word of God. We believe it is the final authority for our Christian faith and how we should live our lives. [2 Timothy 3:16, Matthew 5:18, Hebrews 1:1-3] We believe that there is One True God who is existing in three persons…Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. [Genesis 1:26, Matthew 3:16-17, Psalm 139] We believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that he was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, and died on the cross to provide for man’s redemption. We believe in His bodily resurrection and ascension to heaven, His present ministry of interceding for us, and His return to earth in power and glory. [2 Corinthians 12:13, John 1:1, 14, 20:28] We believe that Christ died on the cross as a substitute for sinners. Christ, in our place, bore the punishment that we deserve. This was a full payment for sins so that we can have the opportunity know God. [Ephesians 2:8-9, Isaiah 53:6, Romans 2:24-26, Hebrews 10:1-4]

Testimonials

"Going into college, my biggest priority was finding a Christian community... Encounter immediately connected me with a great group of students that I could go to for anything."

Emily, 2018 Camper

"Encounter was an amazing experience that got me connected with friends I still have to this day. I was able to see what all the churches in the area had to offer and found the best fit for me."

Matt, 2017 Camper

"Encounter gave me friends that not only helped me with the new beginnings of college, but that helped me continue to grow in Christ."

Gracie, 2018 Camper

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a church or individual that needs more info on The Horizon Retreat? No problem! Here are some materials that you can download.

Staff FAQs

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Freshmen FAQs

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Freshmen FAQs

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Ministry Fair

The Horizon Retreat's main goal is to connect incoming freshmen with the community of faith on UofSC's campus and in the city of Columbia.

Our main avenue through which we accomplish this goal is our faith fair which is held during the retreat. Below are our church and ministry partners who participated in this year's fair. Read a little bit about them and if they interest you, visit their website!

OU FCA is an on-campus ministry where athletes AND non-athletes are able to come and be in fellowship with their fellow athletes and peers in pursuit of growing a relationship in Christ. Our mission is to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of athletes on our campus. Although we are a ministry geared towards athletes, we welcome and encourage ALL OU STUDENTS TO ATTEND!

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RUF at OU is a community of students centered on the story of God's love for the world in the person of Jesus. As we are being shaped by the love of Jesus, we are growing in our love for God, our neighbors, and the world as we seek to serve our campus and community. Although we are a Christian ministry (specifically a ministry of the Presbyterian Church in America), students from all religious (or non-religious) backgrounds are processing together who Jesus is and what he means for their lives.

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Wildwood College Life is for students following Jesus together for the glory of God. We help to accomplish this by connecting college students to the multi-generational church, teaching the Truth of God's Word, and doing life together in small groups.

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Our desire is for you to worship the Lord, fellowship with others in the Body of Christ, be challenged from God's Word and leave CHANGED! We pray you feel welcomed and loved, and that you will see the unity in the fellowship of this great church. FBCN is a church that loves the Lord and His Word and desires to reach people with the Good News of Jesus Christ. At FBCN, we take the Great Commission very serious and desire to make disciples and not just converts. So, if you want to grow in Christ and reach others with the glorious Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, we invite you to come join the excitement at FBCN. We look forward to visiting with you and getting to know you more in the coming days. May God richly bless you as you faithfully serve Him! Service times: Sunday: 8:15am, 11am, 6pm Sunday School: 9:45 - 10:45

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We are a Christian sorority whose focus is on glorifying God and making His name great on campus. We are big into sisterhood and involvement on campus.

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Frontline Church exists to multiply gospel communities that love God, love people, and push back darkness.

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InterVarsity is a vibrant campus ministry that establishes and advances witnessing communities of students and faculty.

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As we strive to Change Lives That Change the World, we want to provide a great place for college aged students (18-25) to grow in faith as well as face questions they may have.

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The Wesley’s mission is to be and make disciples of Jesus on OU’s campus. We are a diverse ministry that offers a wide variety of opportunities for students to grow in their faith. Our hope and prayer is to empower and equip students daily to be committed followers of Jesus. We provide a warm and welcoming community for students to find a home away from home. Our weekly worship service is on Tuesday nights at 8:00 pm with a free dinner before at 7:30.

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Beta Upsilon Chi’s purpose is establishing brotherhood and unity among outstanding college men, who have a shared connection through Jesus Christ. We work to create a strong community and give members a place in OU's community, where they have the opportunity to get involved in campus activities such as USing, Homecoming, Scandals, Soonerthon, and The Big Event, as well as connect with other members of the Greek system (sororities and fraternities).

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We are a local church that gathers on Sunday mornings (10:30am) and throughout the week in Missional Communities. We seek to glorify God by leading others to find freedom and joy in Jesus.

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Our mission is to lead each generation to be and make disciples of Jesus Christ.

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Life.Church wants to make a lasting difference in your life, in our community, and in the world. Our mission is to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ. That's how we're able to make a difference, and it's the driving force behind everything we do.

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We are a traditional southern baptist church that exists to love God, love people, and make disciples.

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We desire to see college students growing in Christ, involved in community, and living life on purpose with the Lord! Come join us on Sunday mornings and for lifegroups throughout the week! We would love to have you.

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Interested in Joining?

Email us to sign up for a booth at our faith fair!

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Support Encounter Retreat

We would ask that your first and foremost contribution would be prayer for the retreat and the leadership team who are devoting their time and effort to starting Encounter Retreat. In addition, spreading the word to incoming freshmen and your local church is a great help to us!

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