CHRISTIAN GAP YEAR PROGRAM
World Race: Gap Year
Discover more of God, yourself, and your calling
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.
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!
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!
Looking for what’s next? Check out these upcoming 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:
Launch into young adulthood through a cross-cultural experience.
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.
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.
Get $500 Off your fundraising Goal and $350 of Merch when you apply.
Take advantage of this limited time offer to get $500 off your fundraising goal and $350 worth of sweet World Race merchandise!
There’s never been a better time to apply for the World Race, sign up and get your merch today!
” The World Race Gap Year held some of the most challenging months of my life but also some of the most life giving! Before I went on Gap Year I thought I knew Jesus, but after living as a missionary for 7 months, I quickly realized that there was so much more to learn! Gap Year gave me a safe community to ask hard questions about my faith. Questions that I had been “given” the answers to all my life, but never actually sought out truth for myself! We were able to sit down and read scripture about the Lord’s character and the way he loves but then everyday we’d go out and get to experience it for ourselves! Not only did we get to see some beautiful places and go on some crazy adventures, we also got to build some long lasting relationships with some really special people overseas. Gap Year taught me that anywhere and everywhere is a ministry opportunity and some of what seemed like the smallest, most mundane moments ended up becoming some of my favorite memories! I know the Race meant a lot to me because coming home was one of the hardest parts, but i’m thankful that my “Race friends” have become real life friends, and that the “Race” didn’t have to end when I got home, but instead I get to continue living for the Kingdom for the rest of my life! “
” I loved my time on the Race! Doing World Race Gap Year opened my eyes and heart to more of who Jesus is. There were endless opportunities to see Him move through and in me over my time on the field! I became more confident in who He has called me to be and experienced a deeper hunger for Jesus. I was surrounded by such an encouraging squad and built so many beautiful relationships. I am beyond thankful for the Race and how it provided a strong foundation for my faith for the rest of my life. “
” On the Race I learned what it looked like to have consistent character through refinement by the holy spirit and the community around me. I was pushed to greater dependence on the father through living out ministry as a lifestyle, not simply a mission trip. It is a season where acts 2:42 wasn’t merely a scripture to look up to, but was lived out every single day in everything we did. A place of genuine intimacy and connection with the father that will act as a catalyst for the rest of my life and into eternity. “
As Seen On
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
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 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
UNDERSTANDING CULTURAL DIFFERENCES
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.
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!
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?
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.
What Racers are saying:
93% OF PARTICIPANTS SAY THEY GREW IN INTIMACY WITH GOD
100% GREW IN THEIR CONFIDENCE TO SHARE THEIR FAITH
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.