Christian Gap Year Program

World Race: Gap Year

Discover more of God, yourself, and your calling
Age Range: 17 — 20
Length: 9 months
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Mission Trips & Covid-19
World Race: Gap Year
What is Gap Year?
World Race: Gap Year is a 9-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.

Gap Year gives you an opportunity to work alongside experienced leaders who are sharing the hope of Jesus and meeting the tangible needs of their communities every day. Along the way, you’ll discover more of God, yourself, and your calling.

Gap Year is not a year off. It’s the launching pad for seeking first the Kingdom of God for the rest of your life.
Train.
To start your Gap Year journey, you’ll spend about 6 weeks at our Adventures in Missions headquarters in Gainesville, GA. You will grow in leading yourself and others while getting equipped to be effective cross-cultural missionaries. You’ll learn from experienced leaders as you dive into community living with your team. Then, you’ll get the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned with our domestic partners before you launch internationally to serve with one of our base teams or strategic ministry partners.
Girls teaching kids
Serve
You will travel to 3 countries to serve alongside our international base teams and other strategic ministry partners who are spreading the Gospel while meeting the tangible needs of their communities.

You will have the opportunity to live out what you have learned and use the gifts God has given you to serve the ongoing work of experienced leaders. As you and your team join what God is doing in these communities, you will continue to grow in your own faith as well!
worshiping around a campfire
Activate
Return to the place it all began, the Adventures in Missions campus, to start your re-entry process with clear purpose. You will have the unique opportunity to face the challenges of re-entry with the close community you’ve built throughout your gap year. You’ll also be able to apply what you’ve learned in a more familiar context and understand how missions isn’t just for overseas. This is the launching pad for seeking the Kingdom of God through whatever you decide to pursue next, whether it’s college, a career, your family, or full-time ministry. The journey doesn’t end here; it’s just the beginning!

Upcoming Trips

Looking for what’s next? Check out these upcoming trips!
Due to COVID-19 all routes are subject to change

NEW Gap Year 2022 routes are now available!

View All Upcoming Trips Compare Trips

What will I experience on World Race: Gap Year?

You will start your journey at our headquarters in Gainesville, GA being trained to be effective cross-cultural missionaries and generally awesome human beings. Then you’ll get out into the world and walk it out. Your journey will include:

Adventure

Launch into young adulthood through a cross-cultural experience.

Leadership

Learn to lead yourself and others. Take ownership of your life and the decisions you make. Be an example to others along the way.

Grow with God

Encounter Jesus in a real and radical way, establish a Biblical foundation, and be discipled by top notch leaders.

Love Others

Learn what it looks like to be the hands and feet of the church while making lifelong friends through Christ-centered community.

Make a Difference

Discover your calling and how you can impact the world’s needs. Live out the Great Commission to “make disciples of all nations.”

Live on Mission

World Race Gap Year Alumni transition to colleges, communities, businesses, and ministries prepared to thrive in both work and life.

Check out the incredible opportunities available to you after World Race Gap Year

DID YOU KNOW WE HAVE OUR OWN STORE?
Whether you want to grab some swag for yourself, a thank you gift for your supporters, or are still looking for a hammock to take on the Race, we've got you covered!

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Train

Get equipped.
Start your Christian gap year journey at our Adventures in Missions in Gainesville, GA. You’ll set up camp at our headquarters, creating a healthy Christian community with your team. You’ll learn to lead yourself and others as well as practical training for cross-cultural missions before you join our international base teams and strategic ministry partners on the field.

Gap Year Training Topics

Identity in Christ
Hearing God's Voice
The Power of the Holy Spirit
A History of Missions
Understanding Cultural Differences
Sharing the Gospel
Living in Christian Community
Leadership Tools
Praying together
Apply what you've learned
Apply what you’ve learned with one of our domestic partners before you launch internationally to serve with Adventures in Missions base teams and strategic ministry partners.

Serve

Serve and learn from experienced leaders.
Serve others alongside experienced, long-term missionaries who are spreading the Gospel and meeting the tangible needs of their communities. You will immerse yourself in another culture as you partner with what God is doing in each country. You’ll become the hands and feet of Jesus to a world desperate for His love.

Ministry Focus Areas

Children's Ministry
Orphan Care
Evangelism
Sports Ministry
Teaching English
Community Outreach
Improvement Projects

Activate

worshiping around a campfire
Re-enter with purpose.
In the past, alumni have shared that they struggled with loneliness during their first year after the World Race. Other challenges that missionaries often experience upon re-entry include: anxiety, depression, discouragement, feeling stuck, feeling misunderstood, feeling like a hypocrite, and feeling far from God.

We don’t want that to be your story. We want to help you take this incredible experience with God and turn it into a launching pad for the rest of your life. That’s why we will help you transition home by walking through an extended phase of re-entry with your Gap Year squad at the end of your gap year experience.
Partner
In the last few weeks of Gap Year, you will spend your last 2-3 weeks of ministry working with our partners in the United States. Having these last few weeks of ministry in the United States will help you navigate culture shock as a team. It will also give you an opportunity to experience life as a missionary in the United States. Missions can be done anywhere, not just overseas!
men's bible study
Debrief
Throughout the 9 months of World Race: Gap Year, you will have regular debriefs. You will meet with your leaders and teammates to rest and refresh as well as process your experience.

As Gap Year comes to a close, you’ll have your final debrief on our Adventures in Missions campus.

How do I prepare for a Christian gap year?

FIND YOUR CHRISTIAN GAP YEAR
Apply for our World Race Gap Year program and choose a route. The application process only takes 30 minutes. A member of our team will follow up with you and help answer any questions you have along the way.
FUNDRAISE FOR YOUR CHRISTIAN GAP YEAR
Create a team to support your World Race Gap Year trip. Our admissions advisors have fundraised for their own mission trips. With their experience and advice from experts, they will help you through the process of fundraising for your own mission trip.
TRAIN FOR YOUR CHRISTIAN GAP YEAR
World Race: Gap Year Boot Camp will give you a taste of what we're all about -- leadership, discipleship, teamwork, and seeing God's Kingdom come to Earth. You'll experience worship like you've never experienced before, meet leaders who are excited to pour into you, and begin to bond with your squadmates as the body of Christ. It will be fun. It will be hard. You will be challenged to step outside your comfort zone. This is where the adventure begins!

What Racers are saying:

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93% OF PARTICIPANTS SAY THEY GREW IN INTIMACY WITH GOD
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100% GREW IN THEIR CONFIDENCE TO SHARE THEIR FAITH
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100% SAY THEY MADE AN IMPACT ON THE KINGDOM OF GOD THROUGH MINISTRY

Gap Year Commitment

By participating in the World Race, I commit to the following expectations and understand that I will be held accountable to them by my leadership team:

Kingdom mindset. As a result of my relationship with Jesus, I commit to spreading the kingdom of God with my words and actions. As I go, I will proclaim this message: “The kingdom of heaven has come near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, and drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.“(Matthew 10:7-8).

Abandonment. I commit to putting my expectations, entitlement, comfort, friends, and family second to following Jesus. “Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters—yes, even one’s own self!—can’t be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26).

Willingness to grow. I am committed to becoming more like Jesus by running my Race with a “yes” in my spirit. I’m ready to move forward from my current sin and past wounds by renewing my inner thought life and outward choices. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Positive attitude. I will believe and hope for the best in every situation, even when it gets tough. I will leave negativity behind and live without complaining or arguing. (Philippians 2:14-15).

Self-governance. I will take responsibility for my behavior, which includes but is not limited to: time management, financial stewardship, personal hygiene, and honoring those around me (including my authority.) I will abstain from all use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco (including hookah) for the duration of my Race. “I have the right to do anything,” you say — but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” — but not everything is constructive. (1 Corinthians 10:23).

Community. I will serve and submit to my squad-mates and squad leadership as the body of Christ. By loving my brothers and sisters, I will be an example to the world around me. (John 13:35) I will form relationships that are emotionally safe and vulnerable. I will disciple others according to 2 Timothy 2:2, helping others to grow in faith while speaking truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16).

Relationships. Unless I was in a committed dating relationship before being accepted to the World Race, I will refrain from pursuing or giving the appearance of a romantic relationship with other Racers, ministry contacts, locals, or people at home from the time of my acceptance through the completion of the World Race. This includes no cuddling, lying on each other, holding hands, long hugs, sharing hammocks/sleeping bags/beds, or giving massages. No late night one-on-ones or extended time together. This is to create an atmosphere of focus in order for me to “set [my] eyes on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2).

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Latest Blogs from Gap Year Racers

FAQs

Why take a Gap Year?

It’s important to bring God to the center of your life while making big decisions. Taking an intentional year off from school can actually propel you into making the most of your college experience, or whatever you may decide to do.

We’ve seen the fruit of students making wise decisions and doing great things, in college and afterwards, because they took a season to seek after God’s heart while serving His people.

World Race: Gap Year gives you a chance to discover what passions, gifts, and talents God has given you to pursue for the Kingdom of God.

What makes World Race: Gap Year different?

The World Race currently serves in dozens of countries and focuses on three main areas: mission, discipleship, and adventure. The World Race is different because it allows you to go to more countries than the average gap year program. And you’ll learn by doing.

Jesus taught His disciples by having them pray for the sick, evangelize, and numerous other things they didn’t study for. They were just normal people, who stepped out in boldness, allowing God to use them for extraordinary things.

What do we actually "do" on the Race?

Every day on the World Race: Gap Year looks a little different. Some days will be packed full with construction, leading VBS for children, or praying for the sick at a hospital.

Some days could be slower shopping for groceries at the market, cooking for your team, and spending time praying for the community you walk through. Much depends on our ministry partners needs in each country. Regardless of the pace or the activity, every day will be focused on being a part of God’s Kingdom work.

Do I have what it takes?

We are looking for Racers with good attitudes and a willingness to grow. We are looking for people who are passionate about seeing God’s Kingdom come to life in the world. While ministry and travel experience are helpful, they’re not a requirement for World Race: Gap Year.

How old do you have to be to go?

World Race: Gap Year encompasses ages 17 to 20. Age range is based on the launch window. For example, a Racer launching in September 2020 must turn 17 by September 1, 2020.

If you are over age 20 and want to go on the World Race, visit this page for details..

Can I afford it?

We understand raising money can be intimidating, which is why we pair you with an admissions advisor who will guide you through the support raising process. And we only require a portion of the money to be raised before you leave; the rest can be raised while you’re on the field. If you’re worried about finances, don’t be. Over the years, we’ve learned time and time again that when God calls, He provides.

Here's a closer look at the numbers:

Only 4.6% of participants who start the Race have raised 100% of their funds by boot camp, 20.8% typically raise their funds by the launch.

You will need to meet the following deadlines for your trip:

due 4 weeks prior to Launch
$5,000
due at Launch registration in September
$7,500
due October 15
$10,000
due November 15
$12,000
due December 15
$14,000
100% fundraising goal met January 15
FULL GOAL

The trip fundraising amount now includes an estimated $800 to cover the cost of a required MissionSafe medical insurance plan, and $300 to cover your entrance to Project Searchlight, a post-race debrief for your squad. It takes place at our headquarters 6-8 weeks after you arrive home from the Race.

When you look at the trip’s fundraising amount, the amount needed for the World Race averages to less than $62 a day – and you’ll be fundraising that money! The average cost of living in the U.S. is $65 a day.

We have a plan, a process, and tools to help you fundraise. We take every Racer through our fundraising process built around relationship-building. We give each Racer a fundraising coach who will equip you with practical tools to help you set and achieve your fundraising goals.

What if the trip I want fills up?

Because we offer a variety of routes for each launch window, these trips will fill up unevenly. We can only launch a limited number of Racers on each trip. Although we will allow trips to exceed capacity, we do expect some people to drop before boot camp. If trips remain unbalanced, we may ask some Racers to switch routes within the same launch window prior to boot camp.

What happens when the route fills up while I'm in the middle of applying?

Your route reservation is determined by the date you pay your $200 trip deposit.

This happens when your application is completed, you’ve had your interview, your acceptance has been confirmed by admissions, and your first deposit of $200 has been made.

Applying for a route does not guarantee there are or will be available spots by the time you pay your deposit.

Routes will be marked “Join Waitlist” when we reach capacity but are still accepting applications in lieu of anticipated drops. If you are accepted after the route is full, you will still have a spot on a route leaving the same month.
Routes will be marked “Full” when we are no longer accepting applications.

 

Will you regret not pursuing this opportunity?

Only you can answer that.

Here’s what we know: We’ll be here to guide you through every step. You will never be alone on this journey.

View Trips

 

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