STUDENT LIFE

We give our students an incredible, holistic learning experience.

At CreatEd, we believe learning happens best in the context of authentic community. Our students live, eat, study, and recreate together, doing life with one another throughout the duration of the CreatEd program.

WHERE WE LIVE

Students live in cottages on the campus of the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly, a Christian conference center in Black Mountain, North Carolina. The cottages have a kitchen, living room, bathrooms, and house up to 12 students. On warm evenings, students are often found studying in rocking chairs on the quiet, covered front porch of the cottages.

The cottages are fully furnished, and linens are provided, if desired. Students may also bring their own linens. Laundry facilities are available off-campus.

In the summer for four weeks, the CreatEd students experience the adventure of a lake house in an attractive setting in the region. This month-long retreat provides opportunities for exploration, and for students to connect in new ways as they study and do life together alongside faculty in a different setting.

At the close of Phase One, students travel to Italy to study the fine arts for four weeks as their final educational experience, which includes living in a 14th-century Italian villa in Florence. Click here to learn more.

WHERE WE EAT

Some of the most meaningful conversations happen when breaking bread together. At CreatEd, our students cook and eat together in their cottage kitchens, which are fully equipped for preparing and cooking meals. Not only is cooking and eating together another way to build connection, but it is often healthier and more cost-effective than other dining options.

WHERE WE EXPLORE

One of the reasons we chose Western North Carolina as the home of the CreatEd Institute is the serene beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Waterfalls, rhododendron–filled forests, and expansive mountain vistas surround the CreatEd campus. Here our students can retreat from distraction and explore God’s creation right out their back door.

We are located in Black Mountain, a charming mountain town boasting multiple coffee shops, restaurants, and local retailers. Also, our campus is within 15 minutes of thriving, eclectic Asheville, a city known for its music, food, and mountain culture, sought out by artists and adventure-seekers alike.

“Living at CreatEd in the beautiful town of Black Mountain has been a huge blessing. As an outdoor lover, waking up every day surrounded by mountains and forests and hiking trails and waterfalls nearby is a dream come true. It is also a gift to live life with a group of girls. Living in a community has been a big change but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know God ordained my experience here at CreatEd from the place to the people and I am forever grateful.”

Mallory Sweet, Class of 2018

“I love how we are constantly learning about nature and its complexity while living in an amazing part of it. Being able to go on gorgeous hikes that take no more than 10 minutes to get to is one of my favorite things about being here. We constantly get to see all God has blessed us with on this earth. It gives us the ability to get away from the city, or the busyness of people in general, and just soak in stillness and the beauty of all God’s creations.”

Jason Hoffman, Class of 2018

“From sunrise hikes and breakfast parties to bonfires by the lake and jam sessions on the porch, at CreatEd there was always an opportunity for adventure.”

Larissa Duprey, Class of 2017

“One of my favorite ‘perks’ of being at Created is the school’s desire to improve the living environment for students. In the Fall of 2017, we had 10 guys living in one cabin and with a lot of guys you’re gonna need space for their food. But the problem was we only had one fridge! Created stepped in and supplied an additional fridge for us to accommodate our need. Whether it be adding appliances or furniture, Created understands it’s sometimes the small gestures that have the greatest impact.”

Xavier Thomas,  Class of 2017

CAMPUS SAFETY

The safety of our students is extremely important to us. We follow these policies to provide a safe, healthy environment for our students.

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Vidar (Lee) was born in Chicago but raised in South America as well as his parents’ native Norway. Lee moved to Minnesota in 1982 after graduating from high school in Norway and attended the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, where he achieved his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (1987) and Master of Business Administration (1990). Lee was employed by Life-Science Innovations & Affiliated Companies (LSI) since 1996 through 2014 and served in multiple leadership roles with affiliated companies. LSI is a privately held company headquartered in Wilmar, Minnesota, and employs 1,500 people in Minnesota, Ohio, Virginia, Kansas and Missouri. LSI serves in the industries of agriculture, engineering and bio-science. Lee has a variety of experience managing and leading companies. His experience includes being the Senior Economic Internal Consultant for Phillips Petroleum Company (where he was responsible for the economics of a $300 million water injection project) to being the Vice President of Operations of Life-Science Innovations in Wilmar, MN, to being the President of Epitopix (R&D of vaccines for food safety in field of livestock) and CEO of Syntiron (a human R&D company focused on the development of a vaccine against Staphylococcus and other community-acquired infections). Lee has since 2014 served as CEO of Rivendell Education Company, LLC, a company based in Minnesota focused on developing and licensing curriculum and critical thinking software for customers in the field of education.

Pete Lackey, M.A. M.Div., received a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies as well as a master’s degree in Theology and History from Criswell College (Dallas, TX) before receiving a second master’s degree in Philosophy of Religion from Yale Divinity School (New Haven, CT). He has also completed a number of additional studies in the areas of language, culture, and religion from the University of Georgia, the University of Minnesota, and Luther Seminary (to name a few), and is currently pursuing two doctoral degrees in Theology, Art, and Culture and the Great Books respectively. With a heart for the community at large, Pete has filled a number of academic, administrative, and ministry posts with various organizations such as the T.A.Patterson World Mission Center (Dallas, TX), the Overseas Ministries Study Center (New Haven, CT), InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and the MacLaurin Institute (a Christian study center serving the University of Minnesota). and served as Resident Scholar of the Rivendell 5 Pursuits Honors Program. He has also worked with developmentally disabled inner-city children at a St. Paul charter school. His overseas experience includes humanitarian relief efforts with theological instruction in Sri Lanka, Chad, Brazil, and Chile

Jeff Ingle (M.A.) earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biblical and Theological Studies from Crown College (St. Bonifacius, MN). He did his graduate studies in Systematic Theology at Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL), and has completed studies from Moody Bible Institute (Chicago, IL) and the University of Northwestern St. Paul (MN). He and his wife Lauren were married in 2012. Beyond his academic interests in the intersection of theology and the liberal arts, Jeff has a passion for “traveling on a shoestring.” He values the opportunities it affords for adventuring and especially for seeking new ways to love and learn from people around the world. In addition to broad travel through North America, he has embarked on several hitch-hiking journeys through the British Isles and Eastern Europe. He has also explored central locales of the Old and New Testaments in parts of the Middle East, Turkey, and Greece.

For over 25 years, Jean Norment has been teaching in churches and schools around the world. Her passion is to see Christians released into the joy of experiencing intimacy with God through a fresh revelation of the power and glory of the cross. Seeing the enormous scope of Christ’s finished work from God’s perspective is one of the main keys to helping people discover their true identity and destiny in Christ. Jean’s call into the ministry came in 1975 when God spoke clearly to her, saying, ‘I will send you to the nations of the world and you will teach My Word.’ She spent many years alone with God in careful preparation for that calling. At that time, she and her husband, Bobby, lived in Montgomery, Alabama where Bobby was President and CEO of Norment Industries. In 1994, God called Jean and Bobby to Kona, Hawaii, where they joined the staff of the University of the Nations-Kona, which is part of the family of ministries of Youth with a Mission. Both Jean and Bobby served on the leadership team of the University of the Nations for 10 years. Jean continues to teach in YWAM Discipleship Training Schools and Counseling Schools around the world. In 2009, Bobby and Jean moved to Bloomington, Minnesota where they are helping to pioneer CreatEd. God has gifted and anointed Jean as a counselor. She enjoys training and equipping other Christians to minister to the broken-hearted through the power of the Holy Spirit, and she loves mentoring young people. Jean and Bobby have two sons and three grandchildren who are the joys of their lives.

Annie Slocum: Annie was born and raised in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. In 2012, she graduated summa cum laude with Rivendell Sanctuary’s inaugural cohort (CreatEd Institute’s beta program). She transferred to Belhaven University in Jackson, MS and to earn her BFA in Creative Writing. During the summer of 2013, Annie studied abroad for five weeks at the University of Oxford. When she graduated from Belhaven in 2014, Annie was invited to return to Rivendell Sanctuary for a sixteen-month faculty internship. During that time, she served as resident advisor, building authentic mentoring relationships with students while supervising residence hall life. She also developed and taught advanced composition workshops, provided coaching for academic essay writing, assisted in administration and grading, and aided professors in the facilitation of cohort discussions. On the side, Annie discovered a passion for minimalism and began conducting personal decluttering sessions, coaching individuals through a process of self-examination, elimination of excess, and delight in signature staples—habits that foster internal transformation and empower individuals to live with greater peace and effectiveness within their spheres of influence. In 2016, Annie began her graduate work in strategic leadership at North Central University in Minneapolis, MN, which she will complete online. In addition to working for CreatEd Institute, Annie plans to apply her knowledge, skills, and passions to the field of entrepreneurship.

Davis Norment received his undergraduate degree in Christian Ministries from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. He went on to complete additional post-graduate work in Biblical Studies from the University of the Nations where he spent fourteen years as an accomplished teacher and curriculum developer. At the UofN-Kona, Mr. Norment shared leadership and teaching duties in a 36 credit-hour master’s level Biblical Studies course, and a 20 credit-hour Discipleship Training Course. During this time, Mr. Norment began to identify a core set of unanswered questions that is leaving a void in the lives of many young Christians today. Mr. Norment realized that this void is the result of students being taught “what” to believe without the context for “why” to believe it. Burdened to solve this issue, Mr. Norment developed a 12 credit-hour Biblical Worldview curriculum focused on answering life’s most fundamental questions. The course quickly became one of the most popular classes at the UofN-Kona. Mr. Norment partly attributes its success to his own personal frustration and struggles in learning. As a student, the institution’s forms, methods and curriculums left him bored and uninspired. Yet, these early struggles and frustrations with learning were the experiences that made Mr. Norment a successful teacher and curriculum writer. He understands today’s culture and student body and knows how to build curriculums that can inspire this generation to excel. His strength lies in his ability to take the underachiever—young men and women who never excelled academically—and generate within them a passion for God and learning. As a result, Mr. Norment has seen numbers of his students, many of whom gave little thought to continuing their college education, go on to excel in their studies, with a significant number completing their masters or doctorate degrees, including one at Harvard University. This experience profoundly impacted Mr. Norment’s life and is the springboard to his being one of the founders of the CreatEd Institute.

Before joining the CreatEd Life & Learning team, Charity graduated from the Rivendell Sanctuary Honors Program (CreatEd’s beta program in Minnesota). As a student, she became passionate about pursuing the examined life and discovered the communal potential of sharing that life with others. In addition to her socratic studies, she began learning the arts of administration, marketing, and professional hospitality while she worked as an admissions assistant for the program. Throughout her time at Rivendell, she was also introduced to the joys of art, theatre, fine dining, and etiquette — all of which have been lasting loves. Having begun the journey of discovering life’s wonders and curiosities, her search for meaning continued as she furthered her pursuits in western Pennsylvania, earning a B.A. in English and Literature at Grove City College. While there, she thrived academically and eventually served as a Resident Assistant, which provided the opportunity for her to grow in discipleship, event planning, and cultivating team flourishing.

After graduating, Charity spent the latter half of 2016 in Sydney, Australia, where she became a personal tutor for families throughout the city. In her free time, she ventured into Sydney’s live theatres and pursued opportunities to see Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, an off-Broadway show of Disney’s Aladdin, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Othello, as well as multiple trips to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. She also invested her time in feeding her love for literature, exploring methods of discipleship, and engaging in cross-cultural relationships with native Australians and other travelers from a variety of different countries. Upon returning home to New York, her love for writing and editing led her to accept a project editor position at an ERA Real Estate company while she substitute taught and invested in ministering to inner-city youth. She’s pursued her interests in culture, missions, and education throughout the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, West Africa, Italy, Australia, and Thailand. Passionate about transforming lives for Christ, she’s come back to serve as a Life & Learning Coach at CreatEd Institute. To supplement her role in the classroom, she has begun pursuing her M.A. in the area of Christian and Classical Studies at Knox Theological Seminary.

Isaiah was a middle child, born and raised in Northeastern Kansas. Isaiah naturally has a very curious mind and as a child could always be found with a number of books at his side, but the traditional school never quite fit him. An extroverted person, Isaiah excelled in high school finding favor with his teachers and peers socially, but never taking the initiative to challenge himself academically. His natural born leadership ability propelled him to positions in his student body serving as class vice president and captain of the basketball team. However, it wasn’t until enrolling in the CreatEd C-2 class that he at last found what it means to pursue an education. The CreatEd classroom provided a proper channel for his curiosity and unleashed a drive to discover that he had never before experienced. “Prior to CreatEd my education had consisted of formulas, vocabulary, names, and dates – all helpful information – but what I found in CreatEd was more than information. This was a way to live.” Isaiah graduated from CreatEd in 2018 with Virtus Cum Scientia honors and felt called to begin giving back to the program that had given him so much.
As the Networking Coordinator for the CreatEd institute Isaiah is able to use his natural networking abilities to challenge potential students to take the leap of faith and prayerfully consider CreatEd as he did when he was lacking direction. Re-engaging with the community, Isaiah seems to always find himself back in the classroom engaging the current students in dialogue and continuing the conversation that he began in the program. Isaiah also serves as an R.A., listening to the lives of the students and doing his best to lead by serving them. Isaiah’s other interests include, hiking, swimming, guitar and reading. An outdoors man, a musician, a scholar, but first and foremost a friend, Isaiah couldn’t be more thrilled to be serving at CreatEd.

Danielle grew up in Hastings, Minnesota and has one younger brother. Passionate about the outdoors, activities such as camping, fishing, and exploring have become a tradition in her family. Her eagerness to be more involved in extracurriculars lead to becoming a four season athlete where she competitively engaged in Volleyball, gymnastics, track, and ultimate frisbee.

Along with being heavily involved in the athletic community in high school, she invested her time in choir, band, and show choir. While this took up a large portion of her time, serving at Young Life and Overflow gave her the opportunity to take on many different leadership positions. After spending time in the Dominican Republic, Danielle became a sucker for adventure and now loves to immerse herself into new cultures. When she graduated high school, Danielle moved on to attend CreatEd Institute in Black Mountain, North Carolina where she completed CreatEd’s beta program with the C1 cohort. Along with being a recreational gymnastics coach, she functions as the event coordinator, organizes the Re:creatEd series, and facilitates personal visits for prospective students. She is passionate about bringing people together in community and sharing conversation over a good cup of coffee. In addition to her current vocations, Danielle plans to study medicine and bring healing to impoverished communities by applying her skills, passions, and knowledge. Some of Danielle’s favorite things include spending time with friends, playing cards, listening to music, jet-skiing, jogging, and swing dancing.

Katie Platson grew up in Hastings, Minnesota and is the youngest of eight children. Katie loves the outdoors and being active, and will always seize an opportunity to go hiking, camping, or anything that involves being outside. In highschool, outside of academics, she spent much of her time playing soccer and ultimate frisbee, leading with YoungLife at her high school, and attending multiple bible studies and worship nights through her church. She loves spending time with people and Jesus whenever she gets the chance. She was a part of CreatEd’s first cohort, C1, and continued with the pilot Phase II program. She is now a leader for middle schoolers with YoungLife in Black Mountain and alongside her role as Lead cultivation Coordinator, serves as a residential assistant with CreatEd.

Vidar (Lee) Byberg was born in Chicago, but raised in South America as well as his parents’ native Norway. Lee moved to Minnesota in 1982 after graduating from high school in Norway and attended the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (1987) and Master of Business Administration (1990).

Lee has a variety of experience managing and leading companies, including serving as the senior economic internal consultant for Phillips Petroleum Company, vice president of operations of Life-Science Innovations, general manager of Willmar Poultry Company, president of Epitopix (R&D of vaccines for food safety in field of livestock), and CEO of Syntiron (a human R&D company focused on the development of a vaccine against Staphylococcus and other community-acquired infections).

Lee has served as CEO of Rivendell Education Company, LLC, since 2014, a company based in Minnesota focused on developing curriculum and critical thinking software for customers in the field of higher education. He is the co-founder of CreatEd Institute, currently serves as president, and is a faculty member.