Integrating Faith in Running Programs



Pope John Paul II had this to say about the value of sport:

"Athletic competition develops some of the noblest qualities and talents in people. They must learn the secret of their own bodies, their strengths and weaknesses, their struggles and breaking points. They must develop the capacity to concentrate and the habit of self-discipline through long hours of exercise and fatigue as they learn to take account of their own strength. They must also learn how to preserve energy for the final moment when victory will depend upon a burst of speed or a last push of strength."          

Participating in sports can be more than just a fun activity. When done correctly, sports can help develop essential qualities such as self-discipline, perseverance, and endurance. Additionally, sports can play a crucial role in building and maintaining faith.

Every parent has the inherent and exclusive right to educate their children on their religious and moral beliefs. Parents are the first teachers and educators. 

However, it's not always easy to do it alone. That's where faith-based sports programs come in. Solid and authentic programs that align with parent values can provide a valuable opportunity for parents to supplement their children's education with guidance from knowledgeable and experienced coaches.     

By enrolling your child in a proven faith-based sports program, you can be sure that they are receiving top-notch athletic training and valuable life lessons that will help them grow into well-rounded and responsible adults.

Sports can effectively teach critical life skills to student-athletes since they are often kinesthetic learners who learn by doing.      

Integrating Faith 

Running, in particular, is an exceptional sport that imparts valuable lessons and can strengthen one's faith.

Running shares many similarities with spiritual life, making it a good sport for enhancing physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.                                                                        

Corinthians 9: 24-27 comes to mind as one verse when comparing running to the spiritual life.

24 Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. 25 Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. 26 Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. 27 No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.

So does Hebrews 12:1:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us.”

Galatians 5: 7 says, “You were running well; who hindered you from following [the] truth?

Using sports as a teaching tool, in this case running, as Pope John Paul II said, “…develops some of the noblest qualities and talents in people”.

Why Use Running To Teach Spiritual Principles In High Schools?

Did you know that between 60 and 70 percent of college students tend to lose faith during college? That's a staggering number, but if we look closely at education, there are more solutions available to help change this trend.

Why not formally integrate faith-building activities into athletic programs?

By integrating faith into sports, we can create a unique learning experience. This approach allows individuals to apply scriptural principles to their sports journey, leading to a deeper level of learning that transcends mere theory.

Through active engagement with our faith, like playing sports, we can better understand and internalize its teachings, making our spiritual life more tangible when we are young.

By encouraging students to integrate their faith into their sports activities, we can help them stay connected to their beliefs during their college years and in the future.

In today's fast-paced social media world, it is crucial to provide our students with ample new opportunities to develop their faith and reach their full potential. This is where Christ-centered, results-oriented, and people-focused sports programs come into play.                                                                         

Studies have shown that students who participate in faith-building activities in high school are more likely to maintain their commitment to faith in college and beyond.

Therefore, implementing such programs in schools is not just an option but a necessity for ensuring the holistic development of our children.

At JPII, running, faith-building, and teaching other critical life lessons are the main reasons we exist. We want to keep reaching for and improving to the following levels to help students achieve their God-given potential in the most critical aspects of their lives.


Coach Weber

Philippians 4:13


After winning their fourth consecutive state cross-country championship at Pasco, Washington, the JPII girls expressed their heartfelt faith a few moments after finishing their state championship race: - Videos - Pope John Paul II Girls 1B/2B Champions - Washington WIAA Cross Country State Championships 2023 (