Tag Archives: Sean McDowell

Saturday Snapshot

College-age students from as far away as California attended an apologetics seminar last weekend, led by Sean McDowell, in which they learned about the truth and evidence behind Christianity.

Many of those in attendance are currently in college, or college is in their near future, so this time of digging into God’s Word and understanding why they believe what they believe was very helpful as they head off to school in the Fall.

Not only did the participants enjoy solid Biblical teaching, but they enjoyed fellowship with one another and lots of good food!

Following are a few pictures to give you a glimpse of their time here.

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Sean McDowell teaching on how to defend your faith in college.
There was no shortage of food over the weekend and the desserts were divine!
fellowship with the girls
Charades and board games during free time.
girls walking to the overlook small
A perfect day for a hike to the overlook.
view from the overlook July 2015
Every step up the mountain was worth this spectacular view.

Click here to see a current schedule of seminars at The Cove.

What’s Happening at The Cove – July 2015

COMING TO(1)“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,  and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2

During the month of July, the sun shines down through the miles of trees that cover the grounds at The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove.  Come grow closer to the Lord and bask in His goodness and beauty while attending one of our events in July.

Check out our schedule for the month of July below.


Click on the link below for July dates or call 1-800-950-2092.
July Personal Spiritual Retreats


The Book of Zechariah and the Coming of The Lord

with Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.,  July  6-10, 2015

The Cause: Strengthen Your Faith for College!

with Sean McDowell, July  10-12, 2015
(Free lodging seminar—pay program fee only—meals included! Student pastors/pastors attend for free with 4 student registrations.)

An Evening at The Cove
Join us for dinner, concert and meet & greet.

with Michael Card,  July 12, 2015

Hesed: A Portrait of God

with Michael Card,  July  13-17, 2015

SeniorCelebration— From Faith-lite to Faith-full: How God Can Transform Ordinary You
Lon Allison with Steve Amerson,  July 20-22, 2015

Encountering Jesus
with John Munro,  July  24-26, 2015

WOMEN’S  SEMINAR—Choose Love: How Three Simple Choices Can Alter the Course of Your Life
with Stormie Omartian,  July 31-August 1, 2015

90_Cove Sunset 2
Sunset at the Cove

Want to get away with God, but can't(2)

Click here to visit our resources page.

Free Lodging at The Cove in 2015

One of our lovely rooms inn rooms.
Plan to stay for FREE in one of our cozy inn rooms for 2015! We are offering six 3-day seminars with free lodging  at The Cove this year.

Just register and pay the program fee of $284 per person (meals included) and your two nights of lodging are completely free.

Take a look at the seminars listed below to decide which you would like to attend, give us a call at 1-800-950-2092 to register.  We look forward to serving you on your visit to The Cove in 2015! 

Jonah: The Prophet Who Hated Success (Lodging for this seminar is full at time of publishing this post.)
with Larry Crabb, February 27- March 1, 2015
When God’s instructions make no sense, either we tremble and trust or resist and run.

Believing Big- God’s Blueprint for Supernatural Outcomes
with Ron Hutchcraft, March 16-18, 2015
The little-traveled book of Ezra is a mirror of our times— Come and discover this often overlooked but powerful road map of how God moves in our lives including divine interventions, standing when others are retreating and reigniting your passion for Jesus.

The Cause: Strengthen Your Faith for College!
with Sean McDowell, July 10-12, 2015
Come learn how to defend your faith confidently, yet respectfully, with biblical truth supported by scientific facts and historical evidence.

When People Whine, a Prophet Prays, and God Speaks
with Will Graham, August 7-9, 2015
Better understand why we often lose our focus on Him when the future looks uncertain and take confidence in how He always provides a way for our return to the safety of His provision.

Finding Power for Life
with Jonathan Falwell, August 11-13, 2015
Come take a life-changing look at the power of God’s presence, the power of prayer, the power of God’s purpose, and the power of the Gospel’s proclamation. Surrender to His Lordship and live victoriously in His Spirit.

Seasons of the Soul: Overcoming Trials and Dealing with Tension
with Pedro Garcia, August 21-23, 2015
Come find lasting comfort in God’s Word through the wisdom of His prophets and the stories of His kings. Gain perspective-changing insight into hardship and how God uses it for your good and His glory.

Pilgrim inn

View of Pilgrims Inn


The Billy Graham Training Center at Dusk

Not able to make it?  Tell a friend or family member.  This would be a nice opportunity to introduce The Cove to your loved ones!

Visit our website here for a complete listing of all 2015 events.


Three-Day Summer Event Will Help Prepare Students For College

World Medical Mission, 2013 Prescription for Renewal, BGTC at The Cove

By Kristy Etheridge

Matthew Cook is a high school senior from Greensboro, N.C., who’s getting ready to make a big decision: where to go to college. His top choices are Appalachian State, Gardner-Webb and Campbell. His mother, Elizabeth, jokes about acquiring more gray hair every day her son doesn’t decide.

But Matthew will soon face bigger choices than figuring out which college has the best courses, scholarships and all-important dining hall food.

“Our kids are under fire,” Elizabeth said. “The statistics are so high—not only do they fall away from church when they go to college, but they fall away from Christ.”

That’s why the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove is hosting Christian apologist and youth worker Sean McDowell for a three-day seminar called The Cause: Strengthen Your Faith for College.

Listen here as Sean McDowell tells you what you can expect at this seminar.

Elizabeth spotted the event on the BGEA Facebook page and immediately signed up Matthew and one of his friends.

Matthew already has a solid faith foundation, thanks to his church emphasizing apologetics, especially among its youth. He’s excited to expand his knowledge before he heads to college—a known battleground where some professors and students push a humanist agenda on often-impressionable freshmen.

“There are people who are definitely gunning for us as Christians,” Matthew said. “They’re seeking to demolish the foundation that God has laid for us. I don’t see how you couldn’t be interested in apologetics. As Christians, we’re called to defend our faith.”

Sean McDowell says students, parents and pastors who attend July’s seminar will explore some of the toughest questions facing college students.

“Questions like, how do you know the Bible is true? How do you know God exists? Why would God allow such evil?” Sean said. “So if you’re a young person, come out. We will hang out and we’ll go deep and help prepare you.”

Will Graham, Executive Director at The Cove, says this seminar is a first for the Asheville, N.C. Bible training and retreat center.

“This will give college students a foundation on biblical truth, so they have a little bit of ammunition to defend themselves,” he said. “It’s good to be challenged in our faith, but we don’t want to discourage them, where they give up and say, ‘I don’t have an answer for this, so I’m leaving the church.’”

To make the seminar as affordable as possible, The Cove is offering free overnight lodging for all participants. They just need to pay the seminar fee of $229 per student or $279 per adult (including all teaching and meals). Pastors or youth leaders who bring four or more students are eligible to attend the seminar at no cost.

“When you’re a parent sending a kid off to college, finances are a concern,” Elizabeth said. “So the free lodging made it affordable.”

It was just a matter of carving out the time. With family, friends, church, basketball coaching and internships, Matthew’s schedule is packed. But he and his mom agreed the seminar was a priority.

“My children are mine,” Elizabeth said. “God gave them to me alone to instruct. When my kids go off to school, I want them to know who they are in Christ.”

While students who attend the event will be learning a lot, there will also be time to enjoy The Cove’s mountain views and 10 miles of hiking trails.

Matthew may be torn over which college to attend, but he knows a weekend at The Cove will prepare him for wherever he lands. And he hopes many more students will join him this summer.

“This one weekend could possibly make or break your college career.”

Click here to sign up or learn more about July’s seminar, The Cause: Strengthen Your Faith for College. The seminar is geared towards high school juniors and seniors and college freshmen. However, it is open to parents, youth leaders and anyone interested in strengthening and defending their faith.

SAVING A SEAT FOR YOU: Strengthen Your Faith

The Cause Seminar 

We’ve got something near and dear to Billy Graham’s heart planned for this year — training students in God’s word to win others to Christ. 

Sean McDowell will be leading a seminar July 11-13, 2014 that will be geared toward helping students learn how to defend and share their faith as they are preparing or are currently attending college. 

Youth pastors, parents and grandparents—Who do you know that would benefit from this seminar?  Youth pastors who bring four or more students come for free!

Watch here as Cove program manager, Darren Thomas, tells you a little bit more about what this program will entail.

For more information click here.  To register call 1-800-950-2092.

Stay at The Cove for Free

Shepherds Inn roomThis year we are delighted to offer free lodging for several of our three-day seminars!

That means all you have to do is register and pay the program fee of $279 per person (meals included) and your two nights of lodging are completely free.   

Take a look at the seminars listed below to decide which you would like to attend, give us a call at 1-800-950-2092 to register and get the dog sitter lined up.  We look forward to serving you on your visit to The Cove! 

Pursuing Holiness in a Broken World with Jonathan Falwell on February 25-27

From Fear to Faith with Jim Henry on March 25-27

The Peace of God: Experiencing Mental and Emotional Freedom with Neil Anderson on March 28-30

Last Days Living with Ron Hutchcraft on April 28-30

The Cause: Strengthen Your Faith for College with Sean McDowell on July 11-13 Note: Pastors or leaders bringing four or more students are eligible to attend at no cost.  Student rate also available with this seminar.

The Overcoming Life: How to Thrive Instead of Survive with Herb Reavis, Jr. on August 25-27

Not able to make it?  Tell a friend or family member.  This would be a nice opportunity to introduce The Cove to your loved ones!

Visit our website here for a complete listing of all 2014 events.

Guest Post: What Does It Mean to Have Faith in God?

By Sean McDowell

Sean McDowell, Bible teacher, author, and educator in San Juan Capistrano, CA, will be teaching on “The Faith” Is Not Blind at The Cove on July 12-14, 2013.

Sean McDowellWhat Does It Mean to Have Faith in God?

A few summers ago I spoke at a camp in Northern California. Topics for the week included intelligent design, the reliability of Scripture, and the historical resurrection of Jesus. On the last day of camp, a young Christian woman complained that if I proved the existence of God then there would be no room for faith.

Although she meant well, she was deeply confused about the nature of faith. She had a view similar to Mark Twain, who famously defined faith as “believing something you know ain’t so.” Many people today understand faith as a blind act of the will regardless of the evidence. But the Bible has a very different understanding of faith. Biblical faith is a trust in God because He has shown Himself to be trustworthy and dependable.

Understood this way, we see that faith in God is not unlike the faith we put in other people. The more evidence we find that someone is truly kind, honest, and dependable, the more likely we are to trust him or her. I did not put my “faith” in my wife when I first met her. Rather, I spent time getting to know her, learning about her passions in life, and examining her character. After spending much time with her I was convinced that she was (and still is!) a trustworthy person who I want to be with for the rest of my life.

The same is true with faith in God. He wants us to get to know Him so we can see that He is trustworthy. In fact, God expects faith from us because He’s given us good evidence of His dependable character, as when He showered Egypt with miracles before inviting Israel to follow Him into the wilderness (Ex 7–14). Rather than asking Israel for blind allegiance, God performed miracles through Moses so they could have a reasonable faith in Him. Miracles were done so the people would believe in God and His servant Moses (Ex 14:31).

God frequently performed miracles in the Bible so people would have confidence in His character. Before healing the paralytic, Jesus said, “But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (Mk 2). Jesus healed the man so people would know He spoke with authority from above. Jesus did miracles because He was good, but also as confirmation of His identity. John says Jesus’ miracles were recorded “so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name” (Jn 20:31).

Faith isn’t something we exercise just once. We need faith daily. It is a mistake to trust God for the “big” things of heaven (like salvation) but not the “little” things on earth (like daily guidance). God invites us to trust him moment by moment for all of our concerns. He is a well-seasoned guide who never leads us astray. We can follow God’s Son Jesus because He is the smartest, most powerful person around, and He loves us beyond all measure.

To register for “The Faith” Is Not Blind seminar with Sean McDowell on July 12-14, call 1-800-950-2092 or click here.