Gap Year Testimonials

What Our Gap Year Students Have to Say

I hail from an environment where all things go at full speed more often than not, and Gap Year has left me free to inhale fresher and longer breaths. Consistent practice of liturgy and peace-filled rhythms have stabilized my otherwise weary and full-sprint thought life…

There is beauty in those choices here because we are gifted the chance to practice with our head, heart, and hands. I am confident that my time spent here will be etched into the framework of my life forever, and these simple, truth-filled choices are not mere “tasks,” but beautiful glimpses of eternity.

– Ava Murphy

Here we’ve been presented with things that will prepare us to face the world when we return home. The 20 hours or so of classes every week led us to truth. We wrestled through new perspectives and were reawakened to beauty and goodness. The community here has shown us what true intentional friends look like and how to cultivate such friendships.

 – Stephen Esmond

The classes were sometimes confusing and sometimes profound, but there was always something new to learn. I was continually in awe of the complexity of creation and the sovereignty of God. We were shown a renewed perspective of God’s beauty, goodness, and grace. I was not given all the answers, but I was given the confidence to pursue the truth independently.

– Grace Matson

We have learned to live with and support each other in a way that is harder to cultivate in the outside world. We have learned how to bear with one another in a consistent way that is not dependent on our feelings alone. Over these few months, loving one another has been consistently chosen through daily intentionality. – Anna Owen

2024-2025 Dates
September 20 – March 29

Semester 1
Tarryall River Ranch | Lake George, CO
September 20—December 14, 2024

Semester 2
Summit campus | Manitou Springs Colorado
January 3—March 29, 2025

Gap Year is like a little piece of heaven, a place where you can share your deepest thoughts, questions, or doubts. It is a place where you laugh with each other over a meal, swing dance in the rain, and where growing from strangers into a family is expected…

The Gap Year community has been one of the most influential factors in my life. Every hardship was met with a communal outburst of love. Gap Year shifted my view on community from a possibility to a necessity.

– Connor O’Rourke

I was challenged throughout Dr. William’s lectures by his explanation that Christ calls us to study. One of his points that stuck with me was when he articulated that no one can be a serious and obedient disciple of Jesus without giving a significant place to study in his life.

– Benson Smoker

The environment of small groups is a small depiction of what the Body of Christ should look like. I could be completely open and vulnerable with this group of girls, and throughout every conversation, I felt heard, loved, and encouraged through my struggles.

– Sarah Lewis

The hike up to the dunes was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, but I can definitely say it was worth it. The night on the dunes was picture-perfect, just like a work of art. The stars were so bright that we did not always need to use flashlights. My favorite part was running down the dunes at night. The moon was gleaming down on us so brightly that it almost looked like the sun was out.

– Cole Weber

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That night at the campsite was just so fun and meaningful. We talked, laughed, and sang hymns around the campfire. The hike itself was very hard, but everyone was so encouraging, which made it a lot easier. It also helped me see what a community should look like through all of the encouraging words.

– Emily Dice

I would not trade my experiences with Dr. Spanjer’s class for anything! I can confidently say I am more grateful for the history of Christian thought because of Dr. Spanjer… and by God’s grace, a little wiser too!

– Cassidy Bronson

Dr Myers teaching has allowed me to be the better version of “Eden“ than I thought possible. I feel more willing to put things into practice: I know my story has a purpose, but I need to face my fears. I know that even in the dark times, I can look forward to the light at the end of the tunnel, because “the path to healing isn’t around the pain, but through it.“ I have gone through many things, but Dr. Jeff Myers proves that healing comes through the pain, and I need to face my fears head on.

– Eden Elaine Tague

Dr. Watts proposed a question, and then patiently waited for answers from the class. He almost never told the class the answer. As a result, I learned that the gift of asking a difficult question is not only in the answer, but in the searching and finding of the answer using one’s logic skills.

– Caleb Kauffman

2024-2025 Dates
September 20 – March 29

Semester 1
Tarryall River Ranch | Lake George, CO
September 20—December 14, 2024

Semester 2
Summit campus | Manitou Springs Colorado
January 3—March 29, 2025

The security I feel in my faith after hearing Jay Watts talk is unparalleled to any other time in my life. I have answers to questions that I haven’t even asked yet. Even now as I’m writing this, I am thinking of more questions, and I can use logic and my reason to discern an answer. This is a security I’ve never dreamed of.

– Tomas McNeill

I am a “woman in STEM”, and as such, I am very comfortable in the realm of empirical data, field work, and numerical measurements. If you had asked me to list some of these objective truths, I would likely have mentioned things like gravity, the mechanism by which the human body digests food, or great white shark migration patterns. I would not likely have mentioned beauty as one of these objective features of the world. Now, after listening to Dr. Paul Gould’s lectures, I realize I should.

– Pari Cribbins

Work crews have been a huge blessing for me. It’s helped me grow in my teamwork, and it has shown me how blessings come in moments you don’t expect. Blessings upon blessings, I’m loving Gap Year more and more every day.

– Oscar Paulino

Mr. Katz took time answering our questions and permitted us to go on rabbit-trails to help us learn the most from his time here. He gave us real examples from his life to show us how he is not solely lecturing us but that he practices what he preaches. He encouraged us to question and respectfully disagree and debate with his statements.

– Emmanuel Lizardo

We are here at Gap Year to spend three months away from the distractions of the world, to recharge and spend time dedicated to relationships with others and our relationship with God. It’s harder to focus on that purpose in the midst of our loud world, so we dedicate this time to these goals. However, we do not stay here forever: after our three months of seclusion, we will re-enter the world. We do not stay there forever; we come back renewed.

– Selah Grannis

Here at Gap Year, I have learned to embrace the serenity of solitude without fear of my idle mind leading me astray. Learning how to do this, however, has been a long and occasionally painful process of embracing humility, employing patience, and accepting grace.

– Abby Hicks

Eric Smith took us seriously, treating us not like teens who needed to be babied, but he regarded us as adults. You could tell he truly cared for us and our questions.

– Micah Evans

Through all of this, what has most impacted me in the days since is not any new understanding or deeper knowledge that I have gained about the book of Galatians specifically, but a wonderful example of how we as Christians should approach Scripture. In a way, Bywater’s lectures were a great summation and example of a common question explored by many of the professors in my time here at Semester: how should Christians approach Scripture?

– Isaac Arabie

From the start, it was very clear that Bywater was an extremely intelligent person and cared so much about us. This was very easy to tell because he was real with us. He did not try to cover the truth, yet he used the truth to show how God always has a plan and that it will all end with Christ being glorified. Bywater was honest with us, and he did not care if we were offended by his sermons. Rather, he encouraged us to talk to him after class to discuss the problem. I respected Bywater because he was real and honest.

– Jack McClearn

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