Gap Year Courses

The faculty and staff of Summit’s Gap Year program deliver a curriculum designed to develop a life wisely fixed on the triune God. The courses are highly discussion-oriented, combining clear and concise lectures with significant professor/student interaction. Each class will quicken the student’s thinking and clarify their communication skills.

Through this method of teaching, students learn to take seriously words thought and spoken. They learn how to defend their position while also gaining humility. Our alumni often say that Summit’s Gap Year program taught them how much they didn’t know.

Summit’s Gap Year program is academically rigorous and personally transformational. Students find time and space to read and reflect while receiving personal attention from faculty and staff. Outside of class, staff-led small groups deepen understanding of core Christian teachings and expand students’ relationship with God the Father. Classwork includes reading, writing, tests, and quizzes. Students use afternoon hours to study or participate in scheduled work crews and physical activity.

College Credit

Summit Gap Year partners with Bryan College (PDF) in Dayton, TN to offer each of the major courses below as an option to receive 3 hours of credit for each one. Each course is an extra fee of $300.

Fall Courses

Bib 115: Biblical Foundations 

No other book in human history has been more influential in determining the direction of persons and cultures than the Bible. What is this book and why is it so significant? This course will explore the Bible and its role in shaping a Christian worldview by examining concepts of authority and revelation; the Bible as a revelation; the metanarrative (or “Big Story”) that the Bible provides of life and the world; the flow and the general content of the Bible; the Biblical foundations of various disciplines; and principles for Bible study and application.

CT 110: History of Christian Thought

In this course, students wrestle through the most significant theological debates as they arose historically in the Church. Students examine their own beliefs on such topics as Jesus’ humanity and divinity, the inspiration of scripture, the Trinity, and ecclesiology. In the process, faculty will explore Church history from its Hebrew background through the Reformation and beyond.

ENG 115: English Literature 

This course is a platform for asking and answering the deepest and most important questions about life, death, love, and the human being. To aid in the quest for truth, students will read and discuss some of the great works of verbal art in the English language, starting with Beowulf and Sir Gawain, moving to other works, including Chaucer, Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Pope, Wordsworth, Hopkins, and others.

CT 114: Christian Apologetics 

This is an introductory course in philosophy and Christian apologetics that will introduce and examine issues of faith and reason and their impact on beliefs about man and God. How do we know anything at all? What is Truth? What is the relationship between science and faith? Different ways to defend beliefs from a Christian perspective will be examined and some cultural analysis and its influence on beliefs will be included.

Spring Courses

SGS 110: Christianity and Politics

This course surveys the confluence of Christianity and politics. It aims to help students gain their bearings to be “salt and light” more effectively in vocation, ministry, and citizenship. The professor always attempts to communicate that ideas have consequences, and for the Christian, ideology, while extremely important, should remain subservient to Scripture.

Phil 111: Worldview Survey

This course is an exploration of the assumptions of contemporary approaches to issues in society. Includes the study of New Age, Marxism, Naturalism, and Theism. The objectives of this course: Students will be able to articulate a factual foundation for their chosen worldview and understand several influential worldviews. The class is team-taught by professors with expertise in the following areas: theology, philosophy, ethics, science, psychology, sociology, political science, history, economics, and law.

CM 122: Principles of Evangelism

Provides a study of the biblical basis for evangelism and a survey of the modern expressions of evangelistic practice in the Church for the purpose of beginning the development of a personal plan of evangelism. Students will also examine the beliefs of other major religious groups, especially Mormonism. Students will spend one week on an intensive theological/evangelistic mission trip to Salt Lake City.

CT 215 – Christian Thought & the Marketplace

This course focuses on the intersection of the Christian worldview with contemporary vocations through the combination of field experience with classroom lectures and Socratic discussion. Students explore a variety of topics, including applied Christian ethics, theologies of culture, and scriptural reflections on the marketplace. Students will participate in an individually tailored job-shadowing opportunity and be coached by a mentor in the field of study or occupation chosen by the student and his/her Summit mentor.

Minor Courses

Directing Our Affections

In this course we will read and discuss C. S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man, along with selections from MiraclesMere Christianity, and Pilgrim’s Regress, focusing on themes such as the reality of moral knowledge, the relationship between emotions and rationality, and the true purposes of education. In addition to these works by Lewis, we will read short selections from authors who profoundly influenced Lewis, such as J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, George MacDonald, and Boethius.

Philosophy, Ethics

One week of the program focus is on the discipline of Philosophy under the guidance of Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Dr. Gary Hartenburg. Students will learn to think biblically about epistemology and metaphysics and how these truths should apply to everyday physical life, what they do with their bodies, and how they treat others.

Art, Theology and the Church 

Art is prolific, powerful, and often a source of confusion (if not disgust) for Christians. Students learn to define art and beauty while becoming conversant with the ways by which art—both visual and performing—can be judged good or bad.

Cultural Apologetics

Throughout the program, specific class time will be devoted to particular apologetic topics that arise from group interest or current social issues and events. Students will be trained to think clearly about these matters with an emphasis on how to engage our culture with truth and love.


At least one week of the program will be dedicated to Biblical leadership. The students will survey various leadership styles and evaluate them against a Christian worldview. The class will discuss what it means to lead out of the identity and position God has granted them. They will also be given practical steps and advice on how to be cultural influencers for the sake of the Kingdom as they leave the program and re-engage the world.

Faith, Creativity, & the Writing Life

This class examines an essential element of God’s character–his creativity– and explores what it means for us to live as creative beings ourselves who bear God’s image. Though a range of art forms will be considered, the primary focus will be the literary arts including classics, contemporary works, and student pieces. Students will be asked to engage the creative process themselves through writing exercises designed to unlock their unique gifts and perspectives. In this class, the process of creativity, rather than just its final product, will be valued as a spiritual discipline. Students are encouraged to bring two or three of their favorite works of literature and any of their own personal creative writing.

Full Gap Year Tuition: $23,350

This covers all classes, food, and lodging. A $500 non-refundable deposit is due upon acceptance to secure a spot and will be applied to the total balance.

Financial assistance is available.

Please note: Due to IRS regulations and institutional eligibility requirements, Summit Gap Year cannot provide 1098-T Tuition Statements for any tuition or fees paid.

Additional expenses include:

  • $30 non-refundable application fee
  • Travel to and from Tarryall River Ranch
  • Incidentals ($400 per semester is plenty if used wisely, and usually this will allow for a ski trip at the end of the fall semester).

Please complete the Gap Year form to begin the application process. Once we receive your application, we will be in communication for the remainder of the process.

Gap Year Refund Policy:

Cancellation requests need to be sent to No refunds will be offered after the starting date.

  • The $30 application fee is non-refundable. If accepted, the $500 deposit is also non-refundable. A full refund (including deposit) will be provided for cancellation due to extenuating circumstances (severe illness, death in the family, etc.), though documentation will be required.
  • If a cancellation request is received within 90 days of the starting date, then a 75% refund is offered for all funds paid to-date, excepting the deposit.
  • If a cancellation request is received within 60 days of the starting date, then a 50% refund is offered for all funds paid to-date, excepting the deposit.
  • If a cancellation request is received within 30 days of the starting date, then a 25% refund is offered for all funds paid to-date, excepting the deposit.