10/31/22 to 5/31/23
GAP is a holistic discipleship initiative that prepares young adults to build a life of true success by teaching the Bible, Christian worldview, leadership, and life skills in the context of mentoring relationships within the local church. The vision is to connect students with committed believers to develop their spiritual lives, and launch them with a biblical vision for vocation and the next steps toward accomplishing their long-term goals.
GAP connects students to God’s Word, Community, the local church, trained mentors, and hands-on learning inside and outside the classroom.
Connection is the first step in the GAP discipleship journey. We cultivate authentic fellowship for students of diverse backgrounds to connect with God’s Word, the community, the local church, trained mentors, and creation. Trained instructors, DBC staff members, and skilled volunteers seek to invest their lives in the next generation.
This is the plumbline to which we hold each student as they enter this gap year discipleship program. It is the foundation of truth upon which we desire each student to build their life and serves as the lens through which they view the world.
Rightly, King Solomon said, “A man who isolates himself rages against sound wisdom.” We desire to see students flourish where they belong. GAP cultivates a diverse community of believers, spurring one another to love and good deeds.
GAP is committed to discipleship within the local church. Denton Bible Church members invest their time, treasure, and talents into GAP students, and the GAP students support the local church. We believe the local church is the lighthouse of truth and the venue for equipping the next generation to face the challenges of our day.
Trained mentors are hand-picked to sharpen, encourage, and prepare each GAP student for life. They understand discipleship isn’t merely the transfer of information, but the by-product of life-on-life ministry. Therefore, GAP mentors come alongside GAP students to help them reach their goals and hold them accountable to maintain a biblical standard.
GAP teaches students to recognize God’s invisible attributes, divine nature, and eternal power through the observation, cultivation, and stewardship of creation. We camp, hike, survive, hunt, fish, and work outdoors.
GAP prepares each student for their journey through dynamic teaching, hands-on life skills training, and a student-created life leadership plan. Teaching content establishes best practices for time management, budgeting, and goal achievement. We focus on developing character, competency, convictions, and calling. Students grow in knowledge and godly character, forming convictions that are founded upon Scripture and translate into missional living.
GAP develops students’ to be men and women of integrity and exemplary character, equipping students to shape the character of others.
GAP equips students to know biblical exposition, biblical theology, Bible study methods, cultural engagement, Christian worldview, communication, apologetics, systematic theology, biblical manhood and womanhood, and leadership.
GAP forms students to feel connections between truth and experience. God’s Word is applied to life so that each student understands how to see the world as God intended.
GAP establishes students to do according to their beliefs and convictions, aligning living with intellectual assent.
Jesus sent His disciples into the world to replicate all they were taught. GAP follows the example of Christ. By the end of GAP’s discipleship journey, each student is equipped with tools to build a life of true success and embrace Paul’s instruction to Timothy, “Entrust to the faithful…who will be able to teach others.”
Students set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals tied to GAP learning outcomes that provide accountability to incremental improvement. Goals encompass fitness, budget, relationships, spiritual growth, and everyday disciplines including personal attire and making beds.
Principles drawn from the development and realization of short-term goals propel students toward attaining their long term life leadership goals. Students are taught to plan, plan, plan, and entrust to God every detail of their life.
The explicit intent of discipleship is that equipped students humbly and creatively give to others the gift they have been entrusted.
Students explore their unique spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences in preparation for the next step toward college, trade, military, or entrepreneurship. Ultimately, this intentional pursuit is to serve God’s greater mission of expanding His kingdom on earth.
Drew oversees GAP at Denton Bible Church.
Tom is the head pastor of Denton Bible Church.
Charles is the head of our Lay Institute.
Christie serves GAP Girls at Denton Bible Church.
Each college or university will have different policies as it pertains to delayed or deferred acceptance. It will be up to the students and parents to determine if their college or university of choice is willing to delay or defer acceptance or admittance. Generally, there are fewer universities that will allow a student to defer acceptance, which means that a GAP Year student will more than likely need to reapply to their college or university of choice DURING completion of the 9-month program.
This resource may be helpful, but not exhaustive: https://gapyearassociation.org/fav-colleges.php
The primary instructors are: Drew Anderson (Leadership), Tommy Nelson (Bible), and Charles Stolfus (Worldview). In addition, there are a variety of instructors including subject-matter experts, trained professionals, and experienced volunteers. GAP Guys and Girls will be taught together for worldview & Bible classes while life sessions will be more program-specific and taught separately. Some life skills may be taught together depending on the topic. The life skills teaching team includes Denton Bible Church staff, marketplace leaders, and ministry and life experts from a variety of fields.
Students should be flexible and willing to learn from a variety of instructors utilizing different instructional methods.
We will use instructor designed curriculum as well as outside resources.
Admission requirements include:
Applications will be considered in the order in which they are received. We value quality over quantity, and as such, at this point in the program’s development, there are a limited number of slots available. Follow the steps below to begin your journey toward acceptance in Denton Bible’s GAP Life-Leadership Program:
The tuition fee for the 9-month program is $3,500 and includes:
Additionally, students are required to have access to a minimum of $300 per month. This money can be earned through part-time work (see cautionary answer to FAQ below), or the funds can be provided by parents or supporters. Parents/supporters are encouraged to set up a personal account for the student that they are expected to manage. Some budgetary training will be covered in the context of the program, but funds management is a skill that is highly encouraged.
Students must also have a dependable, insured vehicle as well as health insurance. There may be some small clothing expenses that relate to the various outings, however, the monthly $300 should be enough to cover these expenses.
See also the question on “housing options.”
Currently, there are no scholarships available for the program. Prospective students and parents need to prayerfully consider the financial requirements of GAP. In addition to having an insured, reliable vehicle, students will need to have a minimum of $300 per month to cover miscellaneous living and program expenses. These funds can be earned by the student while working a part-time job that is flexible and willing to accommodate program activities. If at any point working begins to interfere with program participation, students will be expected to cut back on their work schedule to prioritize the program. Tuition is $3,500 per student.
Students are encouraged to use this opportunity of paying for tuition to seek financial support from friends and family. The reason we make this recommendation is to invite your friends and family to invest in your discipleship journey.
Students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week. However, work can not interfere with program attendance and requirements. Students may use part-time employment to offset the $300 monthly requirement, however, if the student can not successfully balance work along with the rigorous program requirements, the student will be asked to step away from employment, but the requirement to have access to $300 in monthly funds remains in place. NOTE: Because of the vibrant and heavy GAP schedule, finding part-time work may be a challenge especially during the first months of transition away from home.
GAP is not accredited and is not intended to replace a college degree. It is an intense discipleship and educational experience designed to accelerate student life-leadership development. At the conclusion of the year, GAP students will have a certificate of completion, letters of recommendation, godly relationships, depth of character, a holistic life plan, and life philosophies, and confidence in their next life steps.
Yes, students may take 1 online class per semester.
The following is a link to the doctrinal statement of Denton Bible. The applicant should have substantial agreement with the doctrines and statements expressed:
GAP students will be highly involved in the life of Denton Bible. They will experience church life on a very real and practical level as they attend: Sunday services, church-wide gatherings/events, meals with DBC families, and serve in various ministries that give a glimpse into the life of a church. Additionally, GAP students will actively engage in community-oriented ministries. Placement in various service opportunities will be another facet of the program intended to grow students in life experiences. We will seek to understand each GAP student’s spiritual gifting and temperament, and subsequently provide correlating opportunities for them to invest those gifts in a DBC ministry. At other times, students will be challenged to grow and serve outside of their comfort zone.
Students will experience various off-site retreats which include outdoors, adventure, and leadership challenges.
GAP fitness teaches general facts, behaviors, and benefits of healthy living for the purpose of creating a lifestyle that leads to a longer duration of impact wherever God leads the student in their unique sphere of influence. GAP fitness covers a spectrum of physical fitness philosophies. These consist of but are not limited to, pushups, pullups, sprints, distant runs, kettlebells, plyometrics, weight training, and calisthenics.
Yes, with accommodations as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Yes, every GAP student is required to workout together during scheduled fitness days and on their own. Attendance is taken for all GAP scheduled sessions/events including group fitness training days. GAP has a code of conduct that students are expected to uphold therefore passive or non-participation is not an option.