Frequently Asked Questions


People have all kinds of questions about the World Race.  Here are a few commonly asked questions:

What qualities are you looking for in World Race participants?

We are looking for followers of Jesus. We are looking for participants who are emotionally healthy, flexible in unpredictable situations, and adventurous. Our participants need to focus on the purpose of the World Race: to establish the Kingdom of God in the world.

Check out expectations of a Racer for more details.

What is the application process for the World Race?

We have an online application process for all our World Race programs. Once you’ve submitted your application and paid your $39 app fee (the application fee will increase to $49 on Jan. 1, 2019), you can select your route or trip preference and scheduled a phone interview. We prayerfully review applications and look forward to learning more about you.

By completing an interview, you are not committing to participate in a World Race program. Completing these steps will help you gain a better understanding along the way if the Race is for you.

If accepted, your spot is secured with your deposit, which also serves as your first donation.

After commitment, you’ll be connected with an Admissions Advisor. All of our Advisors on staff are alumni racers, and their job is to help you with the planning, fundraising, and logistical information you need to prepare.

What happens if a route or trip fills up? What does ‘waitlist’ mean?

Every route and trip has a limited capacity. Once a route or trip is filled we move additional participants to a waitlist, as some Racers may drop out. Applicants can choose to be put on the waitlist of their preferred route or trip, or commit to a spot on another route or trip in the same launch window.

If you choose to waitlist and a spot doesn’t open up on your preferred route or trip, you are still guaranteed to launch in that window, but we will then assign you to an open route or trip. These changes happen in the weeks leading up to training camp.

When is my spot reserved on the route or trip I want?

Your spot is reserved once you pay your initial deposit of $150 (the deposit needed will increase to $200 on Jan. 1, 2019). This is different than your application fee. Applying for a route or trip does not guarantee there will be available spots by the time you pay your deposit.

How old do you have to be to go on the World Race?

  • World Race – 21-35
  • World Race: Gap Year – 18-20
  • World Race: Semesters – 18-22

Do you accept married couples?

Yes! Married couple need to apply and interview separately, but the Race is a great way to experience God together. Because new marriages are a time of great change and transformation, we require couples to be married for at least two years before they launch. We will not accept individuals in a marriage without their spouse.

Can a non-US citizen apply for the World Race?

Yes! We do accept international applicants. However, due to the many obstacles including increased cost and complex, varying visa requirements, non-US applicants must coordinate additional logistics, including travel to and from training camp, and visas for each destination country.

All trip fees and charges must be paid in US dollars and tax deductions are only available for US residents. Non-US applicants must be fluent in English. Contact us for more details and to determine if you are eligible to apply.

How are teams and leaders organized and selected?

Our staff follows an intentional process to organize Racers into teams. Teams are smaller groups within the squad and are created with prayerful guidance to ensure the gifts and passions of each member work well together.

Squads are the larger group of about 50 Racers who travel together on the same route or trip. Squads are made up of teams. For each team, there will be one team leader.

Team leaders are selected by their squad leadership at training camp. Team leaders are peers who we ask to have an extra level of responsibility.

There are other team leadership roles. These include finance, storytelling, logistics, and other ministry specific roles.

Squad Leaders are World Race alumni.

For 11-month World Race squads, Squad Leaders will travel with your squad for the first few months, training team leaders and helping your squad learn the ropes. Then, these alumni Squad Leaders raise up new Squad Leaders from the Racers on the squad.

While alumni Squad Leaders continue to lead remotely, the raised up Squad Leaders have a chance to grow as they provide field leadership.

For World Race: Gap Year and World Race: Semesters, alumni Squad Leaders are with you for the duration of your trip.

In addition to Squad Leaders, we have another group of staff leadership for each squad.

Admissions Advisors help you get everything together you need to actually get on the field. This includes passport and visa needs, fundraising help, answering your questions, and so much more.

Squad Mentors lead your squad from a mentorship position. The Squad Mentor leads the squad remotely throughout the year and is in constant communication with the leadership on the field. A Squad Mentor will join the squad on the field for various lengths of time throughout duration of the trip.

Squad Administrators handle the logistic components for your squad and will occasionally join the squad on the field.

Squad Coaches offer spiritual guidance and prayer support for your squad. Coaches are usually a married couple with wisdom to offer and a desire to pour into the next generation. They travel to the field multiple times throughout the trip to help debrief with the squad in person.

In addition, each squad has a member of our senior leadership team who oversees the activity of that squad.

When and what is Training Camp?

For World Race and World Race: Gap Year, Training Camp takes place approximately six to eight weeks before your Race begins. At Training Camp you will join your squad, leaders, and World Race training staff for an eleven-day camp to get you ready for your trip. Topics covered include: evangelism, cross-cultural ministry training, personal mental/emotional health, how to share your stories, living in close community, and adapting to the unknown.

There are a few routes that do not have a Training Camp, but instead have training during the first weeks of their Race. World Race: Semesters has Training Camp and Launch together, right at the beginning of their trip.

Check out Training Camp dates for each trip on the routes page..

Click here for a deeper look at Training Camp.

What are the fitness requirements?

The World Race can be physically demanding.

World Race and World Race: Gap Year requirements:
At training camp, you will be required to hike 2.2 miles in 38 minutes with all of your gear in pack. Men will take part in our "Man Hike" at training camp, hiking roughly 12-15 miles in a day. This is in addition to the normal fitness requirement. Our man hike is focused on discipleship and bonding. Women will also have additional training during this time.

World Race Expedition requirements:
Training Camp will include a slightly more strenuous hike with all of your gear. You should be able to hike 3.3 miles in 50 minutes with a modified pack and up to 12-15 miles in a day. Keep in mind, these routes are more physically demanding than traditional routes.

While your World Race experience may also be physically demanding, we do not have any physical requirements for World Race: Semesters at Training Camp.

What do we actually “do” on the Race?

Each day on the World Race looks a little different. Some days will be packed full with construction, VBS, evangelism outreach, relationship building, or praying for the sick. Some days could be slower — shopping for groceries at the market or spending time in prayer for the community and ministry.

Regardless of the pace or the activity, every day will be focused on being a part of God's Kingdom work. Just Contact Us and we'd be happy to share our stories about life on the Race!

How much does it cost to participate in The World Race?

Each World Race program is priced separately according to the route or trip; you can find the price of each trip by visiting the "Routes" tab.

We encourage Racers to connect with a community of supporters for both prayer and financial support. We understand raising money can be intimidating, so we have Admissions Advisors committed to help you through the support raising process. (For more information, Fundraising 101.)

If you're worried about finances, don't be. Over the years, we've learned time and time again when God calls, He provides. Still concerned? Check out this blog for some encouragement: A Perspective Shift of Fundraising.

What is covered in this cost?

The funds you raise cover all team costs once the trip begins. This includes food, lodging, travel and medical insurance. It also covers set up, coaching, debrief, training, and administrative costs prior to and throughout your Race. You can learn more about the travel insurance plan here.

It does not include vaccinations, personal spending money, travel to and from training camp, travel to the launch location, and travel home from a major U.S. city at the conclusion of the Race.

Money on the field
Your team will have a treasurer who is assigned to handle the team finances. Your team will have a budget for each month, based on cost of living in that country, and will be expected to operate within that budget.

Personal money
The money you raise will cover all of your vital necessities on the Race. However, there will be multiple times that you will want something that is not covered in your team budget. Personal items, souvenirs, and fun adventures are not covered within the team budget. To access personal money on the field, we suggest a checking account with a Visa Debit Card.

How much personal money you will want depends entirely on your personal spending habits and financial situation. A moderate amount would be approximately $100 - $200 per month. Keep in mind that you are choosing a lifestyle of abandonment. We would encourage you to keep personal spending to a minimum.

When I fundraise, is the money actually mine?

The short answer is no. While we do credit donations toward your specific fundraising goal, it’s technically donated to Adventures in Missions.

The long, official answer is that Adventures in Missions is a 501(c)(3) organization and is bound by IRS regulations and ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) guidelines. These regulations require donations to be non-refundable and non-transferable. Tax deductible donations must be made to an organization, not an individual, and funds are managed under the full “control and discretion” of the organization. To see a copy of our donation policies, click here.

If you are not able to launch for some reason, you may be offered the opportunity to defer to a later launch. In this case, funds raised – minus anything already expensed (e.g., for training camp or plane tickets) – can typically transfer to your new fundraising goal with the understanding there may be both time and program restrictions.

Can I defer my student loans while on the World Race?

Many participants have successfully deferred student loan repayment while participating in mission trips with Adventures in Missions. For specific information relating to your student loan, please contact your loan provider. If your loan provider requests a letter regarding your participation the World Race, please let your Admissions Advisor know, and they can help you with that request.

Is the World Race affiliated with any particular denomination or organization?

The World Race is a program of the interdenominational mission organization Adventures in Missions (Adventures).

Our staff and leaders come from a wide range of Christian churches and denominations. Read our statement of beliefs for a deeper look at what we believe.

With the different backgrounds of staff, Racers, and ministry partners brought into the experience of the World Race, you will most likely experience worship styles, Bible teachings, and Christian community different than you’ve previously experienced. We encourage you to dig into scripture and have ongoing conversations about these things. We love this picture of the body of Christ coming together, united in purpose to bring Jesus to the nations.

Racers often blog about “Listening Prayer” and “Ask The Lord,” what does this mean?

These are two phrases we often use in our ministry referencing the act of listening to God. We believe God has spoken throughout time and continues to speak to His people today (Hebrews 13:8). We ask, listen, and obey — asking God for guidance, listening for His response, and obeying Him to the best of our ability.

Listening Prayer is the term we use when we listen to God, as opposed to prayer only being when we speak to God. Listening is a hard discipline, but we believe prayer is a two-way conversation and that, typically, people need more practice on the listening side.

Ask The Lord, often referenced in the acronym form “ATL,” is simply a time to practice listening to God, and let ministry be a direct overflow of what He says. Jesus taught that if we belong to God we “hear what God says” (John 8:47).

On the Race, sometimes Racers will spend time asking God what He wants them to do, then doing it. A day of “Ask the Lord” ministry might look like staying in a local village, eating breakfast with your team, then spending time in worship and prayer asking God for direction. Then, Racers will go out in teams, walking in obedience to what Jesus said to do for that day.

While we believe God speaks in a variety of ways, we also believe in testing things against the authority of scripture. We are deeply committed to both scripture and the need for a personal relationship with Jesus. Many Racers would tell you this is one of the most challenging and fulfilling times in their journey on the Race.

What if my parents have concerns?

We have a ministry specifically for parents of World Racers – including a parent liaison. We are all about helping parents understand us as an organization and would love to answer any of their questions.

If your parents do have questions, we suggest they start by checking out the Parent Guide. The contact information for Betty Means – the head of our Parent Ministry – can be found in the Parent Guide and she is always happy to talk with parents about the World Race.

How safe is the World Race?

We recognize travel brings risk. We have worked hard to put extensive safety protocols in place. But, all racers need to consider things happen that we can’t predict. People get sick and accidents happen. It is likely you will meet people suffering from a variety of diseases.

To address the issues we face, we have an experienced risk management team. They monitor political, health, weather, and other risks in the regions that we minister. This information includes the U.S. State Department travel warnings. All Racers are covered by a strong travel insurance policy. The insurance company works closely with us to ensure you will receive the care you need. For more information about the insurance policy, click here.

We have external consultants who assist us in designing and managing our training and field implementation for safety protocols. Our internal risk management team creates contingency plans as needed so we are ready to move teams quickly if the need arises. We also have an extensive network of ministry partners and ministry connections worldwide who provide us with “eyes on the ground” as we assess situations.

World Race: Gap Year and World Race: Semesters operates with lower risk margins than the World Race routes. Expedition routes have a higher risk margin due to their work in closed countries and more remote locations.

For more information, please see our Safety and Communication Protocols Video, prepared by our external risk management team for parents and loved ones.

I have kids, can I go on the World Race?

The World Race isn't designed for people with children. We highly value parent-child relationships, and 11 months is a very long time to be away from your child. If you're interested in a shorter mission opportunity, visit adventures.org.


Still have questions?  Just click here to Contact Us and World Race alumni will get back with you as quickly as possible to help get them answered!