Gap Year Missions Program

Gap Year
Apply NowAt Austin Bible Institute, our Gap Year Missions Program focuses on training students in missions both in the U.S. and overseas. Instead of rushing to serve in a foreign country without any previous training or experience, join us for about 10 months in Austin, TX as we minister to the city and then travel to Africa for a 2 week short-term mission trip once you are prepared and equipped to serve well.

Our Gap Year Missions Program has 4 major elements that make it transformative and memorable: Self-Discovery, Study, Service, and Discipleship. This 10 month Gap Year Missions Program enables students to intentionally take the time they need to develop spiritually, mentally, and socially all while living Kingdom-focused. Participants will learn what it means to be a true disciple of God through study and practice of spiritual disciplines, fellowship with other believers, outreach ministries, and an overseas mission trip. Although our Gap Year Missions Program is a break from the students norm, it is not a break from the “real world”. This year is a challenging commitment that will stretch each participant, teach practical and spiritual disciplines, and inspire courage for their future endeavors as a disciple of Christ.

Self-Discovery:

By participating in our Gap Year Missions Program students are joining in with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to advance the Kingdom, grow in relationship, and learn more about themselves and their God-given calling. Throughout the 10 month, they will build friendships with others, both in and out of the program, that will last their entire life. Outside of planned activities, students are welcome to use their free time exploring the beautiful city and natural landscape of Austin. We find that the closest bonds and moments of self-discovery not only occur during prayer meetings and study sessions, but also during camping trips and canoeing adventures.

Study:

During the 10 months of our Gap Year Missions Program students are enrolled in online curriculum through ABI that is designed to root the student in God’s Word and help develop each student more into the image of Christ. We begin with basic spiritual disciplines that help students form a solid foundation in their relationship with God and learn how Biblical principles apply to all areas of life. We then dive into proper understanding of scripture; how we should observe, interpret and apply it. After students are able to responsibly study and apply the Bible we turn to missions and disciplemaking. We will examine different methods of approaching people and presenting the gospel all while challenging students to consider their responsibility to rely on the Holy Spirit to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Students should walk away with a defining sense of who they are in Christ and a better worldview from a Biblical perspective.Gap Year 8

Gap Year Courses:

THEO 206 Spiritual Formation
THEO 208 Experiencing the God of the Bible
THEO 220 Life & Godliness
MINS 209 Christ & the Mission of Peacemaking & Reconciliation
BIBL 101 Hermeneutics (Bible Study Methods)
BIBL 104 Old Testament Survey
BIBL 105 New Testament Survey
MISS 205 Following the Holy Spirit into Disciplemaking
MINS 460 Missions Practicum

**Students in this program will receive the Gap Year Missions Scholarship from Austin Bible Institute in addition to the Institutional Scholarship.

Service:

Throughout the 10 months students will be actively putting what they learn through their courses into practice. There will be regular volunteer opportunities for them to participate in whether that is with local churches, nonprofits, or outreach ministries. Our courses are designed to be practical, experiential, and relational — not only evident in the student’s spiritual life, but also in the way they actively reach out a helping hand to others.

Discipleship:

Discipleship is a big part of this whole experience. Each piece of the Gap Year Missions Program is created for the edification and growth of the student as a disciple of Christ. Students will participate in prayer meetings, church activities, and mentorship relationships. These activities and relationships help them examine the content of their life and develop habits of a disciple of Christ while walking alongside a mature Christian brother or sister.

FAQ

Who can apply?

Citizens of the U.S. or Canada only. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. Those who have a desire to discover their gifts, talents, and passions, grow spiritually, and participate in discipleship and/or missions are encouraged to apply.

Am I guaranteed a place in the Gap Year Missions Program when I apply?

No one is guaranteed a place in the Program. After prayerful consideration, we will notify you via email regarding your acceptance or denial.

How long is the Gap Year?

The Gap Year runs from August to June each year. Students arrive early August and begin settling in, meeting other students/staff, and building relationships. Classes start towards the end of August and continue through mid-May, with short breaks around the holidays. The  mission trip will typically take place during the last few weeks of the program.

What is the tuition cost of the Gap Year Missions Program?

The tuition cost is $1,900. Students are receiving the Gap Year Missions Scholarship from Austin Bible Institute in addition to the Institutional Scholarship so their tuition rate is severely reduced from the true value of the education.

What other expenses should I plan for?

Food, transportation, textbooks*, living accommodations, extra spending money, and the 2 week mission trip.
*You will have a number of text books to read for classes. Each book will cost approximately $15 or less.

Where do I live during the Gap Year?

Students are responsible for finding their own housing arrangements. This could be done through friends or family members who live in Austin, online searches, apartment rentals, room shares, etc. We are happy to do whatever possible to help you secure a safe and affordable living situation. If you find something online and are unsure about it’s legitimacy we can go and inspect the place or take pictures to help you feel more comfortable.
It is possible that ABI may have some rooms available, but space is limited. Please contact us for further details.

Does the mission trip cost extra?

Yes. The mission trip will come at the end of the Gap Year and will cost extra. The exact amount and location will be discussed the first week of the program. It is optional, but encouraged as a way to broaden your worldview and experience what God is doing in other parts of the world. Training in fundraising will be included to assist students who request help.

What is a typical week’s schedule?

Online studies are convenient to your schedule and preferences and leave plenty of free time if schedules are managed well. Students typically spend Mon-Fri focusing on their classwork with evenings and weekends open to other activities. Although most of the course training is given online, there will be weekly class times when students interact, discuss, watch some lessons, and fellowship together.

 

Monday & Wednesday
3-5pm: Lectures and Open Discussion Together

Thursday
6-8pm: The Bridge (weekly prayer meetings/volunteer outreaches)

Saturday/Sunday
6-9pm: Family/Community Time – movie night, Bible study, team building activities, etc.

*Schedules are very flexible and vary depending on student preferences. This Gap Year is designed to be an opportunity for students to make friends, grow in their relationship with the Lord, and explore different venues of interest. Weekly activities may include, but are not limited to, meeting with a mentor, volunteering at teen centers or homeless shelters, joining all night prayer, evangelism, service projects, etc.

If I am accepted, can I work an outside job?

Due to a heavy schedule, working an outside job is highly discouraged during the duration of the Gap Year. We want students to focus on learning and growing during this time.