World Race: Gap Year

Christian Gap Year for highschool graduates ages 17-20.

Discover more of God, yourself, and your calling
Age Range: 17 — 20
Length: 9 months
Are you a parent?
World Race: Gap Year
You’re at a pivotal point in your journey. You want to discover who God created you to be and how that will impact the choices you’re about to make for the rest of your life. You’re not alone.

That’s why we created World Race: Gap Year. We’ve led thousands into this journey to help them begin to discover the calling God has for them as they serve the world’s needs. There is so much more to life!
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What Racers are saying:


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Why Go?

We’ve been where you are, hungry for more, but not sure where to find it. Wanting to live like Jesus, but not knowing what that really means. That’s why we created the World Race.


We live in a noisy culture -- our lives are so full that it’s hard to hear God’s voice or to prioritize relationship with Him on a daily basis. The Race provides you an opportunity to step away from it all and go deep with Him.


We partner with a variety of ministries that address the tangible needs of God’s children around the planet. And as you serve and love them, you will also learn from them. Both your life and theirs will never be the same!


People are waiting for someone to show up and display the love of Jesus through actions and words. Jesus called us to “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:18). You can join us and our partners in living out that calling.


Not just a place you go on Sunday, but rather the family of God using gifts and talents to serve each other and spread His love everywhere they go. On the World Race, you’ll learn how to dive into authentic community and realize there’s more there than you ever imagined!


When you settle some foundational questions with the Lord about why He created you and why He loves you, it changes everything. We’ve walked that journey with thousands of others, and we’d like to walk it with you too!

How do I prepare for a Christian gap year program?

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.
Create a team to support your World Race Gap Year program. 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.
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!

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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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 training 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
due at Launch registration in September
due October 15
due November 15
due December 15
100% fundraising goal met January 15

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 route I want fills up?

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

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Now we want to ask you a question!

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.

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Just for Parents

How World Race Gap Year prepares your child for the future

We’ve all heard the bad news. How expensive college is. How many people choose a degree they don’t use and have challenges finding work. How many young Christians are losing their faith after they leave the home.

This doesn’t have to be your story.

World Race Gap Year exists to prepare your child to own their faith and thrive in what’s next. Here’s what your child will experience on World Race: Gap Year:

1. Deep relationship with God

Your child is about to head out into a world often hostile to the things of God. We help them experience the power and love of God in a transformative way so that their faith becomes their own.

2. Christ-Centered Community

The friends and community formed on World Race Gap Year continue on after the race and create a powerful support system as your child navigates the challenging moral and life choices ahead.

3. Clarity on their calling

Through training in leadership and creating a life plan, we help your child choose a path for what's next that aligns with who God created them to be.

The World Race is a journey for parents too.
Parent Connect

We have full-time staff dedicated to serving you as parents and walking alongside you on this journey. Our staff are available to meet in person, over the phone or through email. We can also set up a conversation between you and the parent of an alumni Racer.

Parent Launch

A two-day Launch is held in Georgia at the same time Racers arrive for training. Racers have the option to invite you to a Parent Launch where you can ask questions, hear from leadership, meet current and alumni parents, learn more about your Racer's journey and the parent journey, and pray and worship together as a community.

Parent Facebook Group

Before training camp, you will be invited to a private Facebook group with other parents where you can receive information, ask questions and discuss your journey with other parents.