Why a GAP Year?
The GAP program concept is exploding. A growing pool of potential college students exits high school looking to answer big questions as to direction and looking to develop foundational life skills before they invest in a college education that will work for them. It's a great investment, particularly when a student can also get a jump-start on college credit in the process.
Faith-based ministries have begun to answer that call with opportunities to learn and serve in intensive, directed, mentored environments. Programmatically, they help students begin to discern their gifts and calling, they lay theological foundations and they develop essential skill sets.
They also provide a range of both service opportunities and experiences within which to gain context, competence, and confidence. When academic disciplines are deeply integrated, GAP programs provide a highly effective launch pad for a high-impact college career.
3D GAP launches past the proprietary single-program approach and uses ACU's integrated academic delivery process in partnership with the unique dynamics of a growing pool of exceptional faith-based GAP programs.
3D | Discover. Develop. Deploy.
The 3D program framework is a conceptual approach for GAP program development built around three sequenced phases. Not all partner programs will incorporate these elements in the same way. Nor will all partner programs use these terms. But when evaluating potential GAP options, we highly recommend students (and parents) look for a philosophical and practical approach that targets their development similarly. It's what we look for before partnering. It's what we work from when consulting on GAP program design.
1 | Discover
Objective: Participants will discover who they are in relation to God as His unique creations with a specific purpose for His glory and Kingdom.
Jesus connects with us first at the ground level. That is why Anchor brings every student - regardless of prior ministry experience - to this first step. Here, you will engage with God’s agenda for your life, see what God is doing, and prepare to respond and change in a way that produces growth.
Participant Outcome: Personal preparedness to follow God’s direction for you.
The Discover Phase is a personal discipleship phase that recognizes the fact that we must first be individual growers in our relationship with God before we can expect to make any impact on others.
The Discover Phase is laid out in the Life-Work: Discover course.
2 | Develop
Objective: Participants will develop skill sets and base experiences that will strategically prepare them to engage others and life events with who they are in God.
We do not exist for our own pleasure and pursuit. God created us for relationships and community. This critical phase equips participants with the skill sets and experiences necessary for strong spiritual influence. Here, they will understand how they are intentionally positioned for spiritual influence, gain tools for generating meaningful relationships and conversations with others, learn to recognize experiences as God’s leading in other people’s lives, and help others grow spiritually.
Participant Outcome: Practical skills to have meaningful conversations and deeper relationships to help others in their spiritual growth.
The Develop Phase recognizes that every experience put before us by the hand of God is intended to prepare us for His ultimate plan for our lives and bring Him glory. These experiences can range from kitchen staff to small group counselor and His ultimate plan may be today or 10 years from now. The purpose of the Develop Phase is to recognize that no experience is wasted as He redeems them for His glory and to build His Kingdom.
The Develop Phase is best experienced in the programming already adopted by each organization and within its vision and objectives for its participants.
3 | Deploy
Objective: Participants will deploy as servant-leaders with grounded life patterns that facilitate wise choices throughout a life of ministry in the Great Commission.
God gives each of us a degree of authority and roles for the purpose of leading others toward Christlikeness. Pursuing our purpose requires us to apply learning. Here, the participant will become a model who inspires others to connect with biblical truth and follow it, recognize God’s agenda for a group and learn how to lead from their role and build approaches to produce discipleship-oriented growth.
Participant Outcome: Powerful strategies to foster communities of growers who continually provoke others to love and good works.
The Deploy Phase launches people into active roles that minister to the needs of people. This is the point where the skill sets, experiences, and truth are now applied to a life of servant-leadership and discipleship.
The Deploy Phase is laid out in the Life-Work: Deploy course.