A Gap Year program can last from just a few months up to one year. It is a way for you to get away and experience something new for the first time. A gap year is a time to learn more about yourself, desires for your future, and going deeper into the Word of God.
Why consider a Gap Year Program?
If I could go back in time to when I was coming out of high school, I would say only one thing to my younger self . . . “Press pause on everything.” Pause the decisions, stress, family, friends, college. Stop the overwhelming cycle of questions: Where will I live? What will I do? Will I be successful?
Infact, I would tell everyone to press pause in order to move forward with your pursuit of God! You never know what could happen if you set aside three, six or nine months to do the unthinkable. There is nothing to lose when you take a season to intentionally follow after God. You win either way! Taking a gap year helps eliminate the “what ifs” and lay a solid foundation for what lies ahead. It prepares you for the next years of your life by opening the door to a season of clarity.
Perhaps the best reason to take a gap year is to reshape your life as you grow more confident in your relationship with God. Nothing prepares you better for the future than getting your heart right with Him.
What to Look For in a Gap Year Program?
Even though the programs may look different, there are several values that everyone should look for when thinking about gap year programs. These are my top four:
- Mission to Understand the Word of God: Look for programs that will focus on equipping you in the Word of God with faculty committed to mentoring you through the process.
- A Community-Based Learning Environment: Find a place where you will be surrounded by a community of people who love Jesus and love to have conversations about Him.
- Desire to Grow in Prayer: Search for a program that will teach you to talk to God with more confidence and to agree with His purposes for the world.
- Commitment to Know the Father’s Heart: Choose a program that will teach you to have a deeper understanding of just how much God loves you and how to share that love with others.
Gap Year Programs to Compare
So, are you ready to press pause and move forward with a gap year program? Here are five great options to consider:
One Thing Internship
Location: International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO
Description: The One Thing Internship is a six-month experiential program preparing young adults “as intercessors, messengers, singers, and musicians for the growing prayer and missions movement throughout the earth.” This experience gives the opportunity to grow in confidence in God’s love, go deeper in the Word, and grow in prayer.
Youth With a Mission DTS
Cost: $9,500 is the average cost for most Discipleship Training Schools
Location: Options for the first three months (lecture phase) are available in centers around the globe. Locations for the outreach phase depend on the timing and location of your lecture phase.
Description: The YWAM DTS is a six-month program that blends classroom learning, community living and practical service and “gives you an opportunity to discover your passions and your part in God’s purposes for the world”
World Race: Gap Year
Location: Varies; usually three months in each of three different countries
Description: World Race: Gap Year is a “nine-month Christian gap year program created for recent high school graduates to serve others, dive into Christian community, and grow in your identity and faith.”
Fire In The Night
Length: 3-or-6 months
Cost: $3,300 or $5,650
Location: International House of Prayer Kansas City, MO
Description: Fire in the Night is joined to the NightWatch, a company of people who pray and worship the Lord from midnight to 6am. Interns cry out in prayer through the night for justice and revival to break in on the earth and are involved in building a fiery community, outreaches to the lost, and ministry to others in the power of the Holy Spirit.
CRU Gap Year
Location: Training begins in Orlando and then moves over two to four continents over the nine months.
Description: Cru offers a nine-month “adventure that will transform your life, give you opportunities to trust God in greater ways and share the Gospel with high school students across the globe.”