About Sampler

Interested in learning more about Summer Seminary Sampler? Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the program.

What is a Samplarian?

Anyone who has participated in the Summer Seminary Sampler during their high school years. So someone who participated in the June session of Sampler from 1999 is still a Samplarian in our records.

How much does Summer Sampler cost?

Sampler is paid for by grants and donors, so it’s free, AND Samplarians get paid! Each student can receive a stipend of up to $400 at the end of the session. Trinity provides $100 and encourages students to raise $300 which they will receive in addition to what Trinity provides.

Why do Samplarians get a stipend?

The Summer Seminary Sampler is essentially an internship experience for young people to discern calls to vocations in social services and ministry. We realize many young people need to work in the summer to pay for their car, save for college, etc. Paying the participants a stipend tells the student, the church, and the world that their time in the program is truly a valuable experience that will continue to impact them throughout their vocational life.

Where do the Samplarians live?

Trinity Lutheran Seminary has provided the Summer Seminary Sampler with apartments in their student housing. The apartments are set up in youth hostel fashion with multiple beds in the front room for the Samplarians and one bed in the back for the counselor. One of the apartments is used as the dining room as well. The apartments are located on the second and third floors, and there is not elevator access.

What does a typical day look like during the program?

During the week, we have a pretty set routine:

  • Devotions
  • Breakfast
  • Service Activity
  • Lunch
  • Class or Mentor Time
  • Dinner
  • Evening programming
  • Debriefing/Devotions
  • Sleep

(The weekends consist of fun activities and worship around the city of Columbus.)

Can my family and friends visit me during Sampler?

Saturday afternoons from 12-5p.m. are times when family and friends can visit if they choose. Alternative, fun activities are held for Samplarians who don’t have visitors.

Can I drive anywhere during Sampler on my free time if I already have my license?

No-Trinity is responsible for getting all participants to and from each event the entire session. If you need to drive yourself to Sampler, you may give your keys to the director who will hold them until the last day so you can drive home. (The only exception is if your family comes to visit, and they need you to drive during their visit.)

What should I pack?

During the week, we have a pretty set routine:

  • Phone and charger
  • Sheets, blanket, and a pillow (unless you’re flying, then we’ll provide those things for you)
  • Old clothes for working outside
  • Sturdy, closed toed shoes for factories and warehouses (toe-shoes and Toms are not sufficient, but traditional tennis shoes are fine)
  • Sandals or flip flops for casual times
  • Dress clothes for church and formal events (1 or 2 dress outfits should be enough)
  • Modest, casual summer clothing for class and mentors (Remember, you are representing your church and Trinity when you are meeting with people around Columbus; please dress appropriately.)
  • Snacks are optional (but we have plenty of food everyday)
  • Swimsuit
  • Towel (may want a washcloth too—again, if you’re flying, we’ll provide this for you)
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Hair Dryer
  • Laundry bag and small box of detergent
  • Watch
  • Notebook
  • Bible and Devotional Materials
  • Stationary
  • Musical Instruments
  • Roll of quarters for laundry
  • Small amount of money for souvenirs (optional)
  • Participant Handbook (sent to you upon admission to program)

Can I attend the Summer Seminary Sampler more than one year?

Yes - if you’ve been a participant after the 2014 summer. Each session has enough variation so Samplarians can apply for a different session each year during high school.

How old do I have to be to participate in Sampler?

You can apply for Sampler during your freshman, sophomore, junior or senior year of high school. Even if you’ve just graduated high school, you are still eligible for Sampler.

What if I have special dietary needs?

Sampler prepares most of the food from scratch each day. We work hard to meet each person’s dietary restrictions, and no one has gone hungry yet.

Is Columbus safe?

Trinity Lutheran Seminary is located near the downtown of Columbus in the very safe neighborhood of Bexley next to Capital University. We are located one block away from the police station, and we have a strict policy that Samplarians travel everywhere in pairs with counselor permission. While Bexley is safe, we teach students to be street savvy as we’ll work in a variety of contexts around Columbus. (Trinity Lutheran Seminary is not responsible for any damaged or lost property such as phones, ipods, wallets, etc.)

Is there a theme for each session?

  • July 26-August 8th - The Church and the World: Being Christian in an interfaith world.