Student Worship Retreat

March 24-26, 2023

We will be partnering with Joel Weldon as our host and clinician along with Likewise Worship as our band and clinicians! Bring your youth worship teams and aspiring musicians up for a weekend worship experience like no other. These three days will enrich their leadership, and build the depth, breadth, and health of your student’s abilities. Many Breakout sessions presented through the weekend will target every band and tech team member. Experience powerful times of worship that you can take back down the mountain to your churches!

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT! Hume is moving the '23 ASCEND retreat to Hume SoCal's campus in the San Bernardino Mountains.

*We are moving locations to make the ASCEND retreat more accessible to Arizona and Southern California Churches.*

Retreat Host

Joel Weldon

A prolific singer/songwriter/composer, Joel Weldon has written a diverse collection in his life’s work, now spanning more than 2 decades. Mainstream Christian rock; moving story ballads; passionate songs of worship; even composing music for 5 PBS documentaries and jingles for corporations such as Caterpillar. His music has been featured on CMT ( Country Music Television), Promise Keepers, Harvest Crusades with Greg Laurie, Franklin Graham Crusades, Young Life International, and churches have used his worship songs across the USA and around the world, including songs licensed to WORD Records, Maranatha Music, Vineyard Music, Willow Creek Association, and many others.

Keynote Speaker

Jonny Ardavanis

Jonny Ardavanis is the Dean of Campus Life at The Master’s University and the Host of the Dial In podcast. Jonny is passionate about people growing in their love for Jesus Christ as they grow in their love and obedience to God’s Word. Jonny is married to Caity and they have one daughter named Lily.

House Band

Likewise Worship exists for the purpose of discipling worship leaders that God is calling to shepherd His people. We aim to equip and develop followers of Jesus and gifted musicians to lead humbly and creatively in their contexts for the purpose of unifying the local church through music and worship.

Presenters/Clinic Instructors

Brad Davis

Vocalist, guitarist

Hailey Mitsui-Davis


Luke Floeter

Bassist, guitarist, keyboarist

Spencer Kim


Joel Weldon


Josh James


Songwriting Competition

Deadline: 11:59pm February 28, 2023

Contest Rules

  1. Each attendee of the ASCEND: Student Worship Retreat is eligible and invited to submit an original worship song they have written which their youth group or congregations sings. Simply email the song to or uploading it directly to ASCEND Worship Song Contest Submission (open to other email suggestions) by February 28, 2019. There is no need for the song to be professionally produced.
  2. Include back history of each song submitted (the story of how your song came to be written).
  3. Include a signed contract (available here) with each song submitted.
  4. All songs will be reviewed by 2019 ASCEND clinicians on the basis of correct theology & singability. All genres will be considered. These clinicians will narrow the pool of entries to the 2 by listening to the submitted recordings

Contest Winners

  • The top song submitted from among all song submissions will be announced at the final meeting of the ASCEND: Student Worship Retreat on March 24, 2019.
  • The contest winner will be offered a free return trip to the next ASCEND: Student Worship Retreat in 2019. They will also have a live recording of their song made available to them after the culmination of the retreat.

ASCEND Student Worship Retreat attendees are invited to submit their original worship songs for consideration and evaluation. From all the submissions, a panel of varied worship leaders and industry professionals will select the top song based off of singability, theological soundness, and musical coherency.

Email a lead sheet and MP3 or download link to

We are only looking for “congregational worship” songs that churches can use during a worship service, not “artist” or “performance” songs.

One song per attendee, please.

Whatever you can do is fine! We’ve accepted and selected song demos ranging from just guitar and vocal, to mixes straight off the sound board on Sunday morning, to fully produced demos.

We can only accept MP3 recordings.

Once the deadline passes on February 28th, the selection process takes a week or two. When the songs are chosen, we notify the writers immediately. Unfortunately, due to the large volume of submissions, we can only notify the selected writers. So, if you don’t hear from us within two weeks of February 28th, your song was not selected. (But thank you in advance for your submission, and keep trying! Some writers submitted several years in a row before their songs were selected!)

No way! The writer retains all rights to the song.

11:59 pm on February 28th is our absolute cutoff. To be fair to all, we will not accept any submissions that come in after that time!

Retreat Daily Schedule


3:00 PM
 Arrival and check–in

5:30–7:15 PM Dinner; Sign-ups and announcements for Saturday Breakouts

7:30—9:00 PM Opening Session I

9:30—11:00 PM Open Mic and Snacks



8:00–9:00 am

9:10—9:55 am Breakouts #1

9:55—10:00 am Break

10:00—11:15 am Main Session II

11:15—11:25 am Break

11:25 am—12:20 pm Breakouts #2

12:30—1:30 pm Lunch

1:30—4:30 pm Recording sessions in Hume Studio

2:00—5:00 pm Free Time

4:30—5:15 pm Optional Q&A with leadership team (Meadow Ranch Chapel)

5:30—7:15 pm Dinner

7:15—9:15 pm Main Session III

9:30—10:30 pm Songwriting Panel, Song Submissions Judging (optional)

10:30—11:30 pm Open Mic and Snacks




—9:00 am Breakfast

9:30—10:45 am Breakouts #3

11:00—11:45 am Main Session IV with Communion

10:30 am Meeting

12:00 pm Lunch — Goodbye!

*Schedule subject to change without notice.


Youth Student

Ages 14-17

A Chaperone must be provided for every Student or Single Gender Student Group.


Adult Student

Ages 18-24



Over 18

Chaperones act as counselors for any youth student in the cabin