World Race: Gap Year

Discover more of God, yourself, and your calling

A 9-month Christian Gap Year for highschool graduates ages 18-20.
Age Range: 18 — 20
Length: 9 months
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Are you a parent?
Why 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 should 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 set the trajectory of their lives and help them begin to discover the calling God has for them.

We help prepare you for a Kingdom way of life

After your Race, you’ll be invited to join our Global Kingdom Network where World Race Alumni are planting and joining missional communities, churches, businesses, and ministries that are making a difference around the world.

Awaken

Our coaches, mentors, and leaders help you discover your identity and calling as a Son/Daughter of God and walk in authority by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Activate

We guide you in leaving your comfort zone and learning more about God’s work around the world.

Lead

Leadership training on the race prepares you to thrive in college or whatever comes next.

Make a Difference

Our in-country partners will help you participate in bringing home what you learned on Gap Year and applying it wherever God calls you next.

Prepare

Our staff helps you transform your experience into a Kingdom Life Plan and choose a next step that aligns with your unique purpose.

Live

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

Interested In Gaining College Credit?
Apply now for college credit through Truett McConnell University. You can earn up to nine credits through three courses that reflect Gap Year teachings and core values. Access the application and all the details below.
Racer Reviews
One of the greatest pieces of my spiritual journey yet
Kate Campbell
Truly life-changing year abroad...we grew immensely.
Brian Corder
A year full of adventure, dying to self, messing up, redemption, laughter, tears, heartache, joy, and love.
Julia Bird
God used The World Race to bring about an abundance of transformation and freedom to my life.
Ryan Bentch

Just for Parents

How World Race Gap Year prepares your child

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.

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 of Christians to stay connected with as your child navigates the challenging moral and life choices ahead.

3. Clarity on their calling

Through training in leadership and planning tools, as well as creating a Kingdom 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 Atlanta right before Racers leave for their first country. 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.

What will I learn on gap year?

Months 1-6, your leaders will equip you with spiritual disciplines and leadership skills.

Focus on Spiritual Disciplines (1 per month):
Scripture, Prayer, Sabbath, Generosity, Gratitude, Serving, Fasting, Confession, and Worship.

Develop your leadership skills with these tools:

Here/There path
Play video
Freedom V
Play video
PMC
Play video
Victim Circle
Play video
Gratitude
Iceberg
Play video
System 123 Thinking
Play video
Smart Goals
Play video
Months 7-9, you will be empowered to put your training into action.

You will lead team times, initiate one-on-ones, teach sessions, give feedback, and more!

The leadership tools, communication skills, and Biblical truth you will learn will equip you to step into who God has called you to be — long after Gap Year is over.

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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World Race Open House
Explore ALL World Race programs!

An Open House is the chance for you and your family to join us at the World Race Headquarters in Gainesville, Ga. You will hear from our leadership, meet the staff and alumni, and learn all about the World Race, World Race: Gap Year, World Race: Semesters, and Global U.

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, spanning from the tip of South America to the vast wild of Mongolia, and focuses on three main areas: mission, discipleship, and adventure. The World Race is different because it’s the only mission program that allows you to go to more countries than the average gap year program covering 3 continents in 9 months. 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, VBS, building relationships with orphans, 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 partnerÂ’s needs in each country, and specifically during your team’s month with them! 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. In fact, any lack of ministry experience, or your experiences / struggles do not disqualify you from becoming a Racer.

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 2019 must turn 17 by September 1, 2019.

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:

4 weeks prior
to training camp

$5000
3 weeks prior
to launch

$10,000
end of 2 months
on the field

$13,000
end of 4 months
on the field

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 month 10 debrief for your squad. It focuses on re-entry and will take place at our headquarters one month after you return home.

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.

 

If you have these questions and still aren’t satisfied, could we 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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