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Accepting Applications 1/1/22

equipping young adults for true success

STEWARDSHIP

GAP is rooted in the Word of God, preparing students to be faithful stewards of all God has given them.

STAMINA

An alternative to the first year of college, GAP cultivates grit and courage needed to face an ever-changing culture.

SKILLS

The program develops strong young men through a purposeful curriculum of the Word, biblical manhood, and life skills.

COLLEGE

Prepare for college with a tested, Christian worldview that can thrive in a secular school.

CAREER

Learn successful strategies to work hard, work smart and glorify God in your career.

FAMILY

Learn to be a man of God, find a godly spouse and build a faithful household.

LIFE

Acquire the skills to live an enriched, purposeful, and serving life of salt and light.

vision

GOD'S ALTERNATIVE PROGRAM

Started in 2019 by Drew Anderson and Tom Nelson, GAP is 9-months of life-leadership training to holistically prepare and equip young adults for a life of TRUE SUCCESS in college, career, family, and life.

This intensive discipleship program specifically targets graduating high school seniors who will be 18 years of age by September 1, and serves as an alternative to heading straight to college or career from high school. GAP is seeking applicants with:

  • hunger (a desire to learn)
  • humility (teachability & flexibility)
  • honor (a desire to do what is moral, right & good)

EXPECTED GROWTH...CRAWL, WALK, RUN

In 2019, GAP began at Denton Bible Church as 6 young men were accepted into the program, and GAP Leadership finalized the curriculum and coordinated events for the year. Our “crawl” year had begun! In May of 2021, the second class of 7 GAP Guys from around the country completed the program, and our “walk” year provided the ministry additional valuable insight on how to grow and enrich the program. In the fall of 2021, GAP Guys was ready to "run" with the arrival of 15 young men, and a new, parallel program for young women was also launched.

GAP’s vision is to holistically engage students by: challenging them with knowledge (head), cultivating life-skills (hands), and exposing them to authentic relationships with peers, host families, diverse instructors, and the DBC family (heart). The GAP Ministry Team is excited to welcome the dozens of young adults who will join the program in the coming years!

Class of 2021 Reflections

“...and He continued in subjection to them [Jesus’ earthly parents]; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” (Luke 2:51-52)

GAP Class of 2019-20: Gratitude & Good Times

This student-created video shares highlights and memories from the 2019-2020 GAP year.

The Program

The foundation of God’s Alternative Program (GAP) is the Bible. All teaching will be from the foundation of a biblical worldview that establishes true identity and humility within each student. Today’s culture is making every effort to define the identity of young adults apart from the Bible, and GAP is taking it back!

Each student will be equipped in the following areas:

  • Life & Personal Leadership
  • Bible
  • Worldview
  • Apologetics
  • Church History
  • Systematic Theology
  • Biblical Theology
  • The Home
  • The Church
  • The Workplace
  • The Culture
  • Creation Care
  • Craftsmanship

To put it another way, GAP will teach: true biblical theology, personal finances, healthy family life, care for God’s creation, essential life skills, effective communication, leadership skills for the church, work and family, healthy church life, work ethics, physical health and fitness, various trades, and ministry service.

GAP MISSION

Equipping young adults to build a life of TRUE SUCCESS.

WHY GAP?

GAP offers students a unique opportunity to learn skills that will help them navigate all areas of life in a way that is counter to today’s culture. If you are disenchanted with what the world offers as true success, then you will want to discover God’s Alternative Program for your life! In 9 short months, students can change the trajectory of their lives as they learn to cultivate a true identity in Christ which leads to a walk of true humility with others.

WHO CAN APPLY?

Any 2021 high school graduate who is 18 years of age by September 1st may apply starting January 1, 2022. Space is limited.

GAP PREREQUISITES

  • Graduate of high school
  • 18 years of age by September 1st
  • Strong candidates will exhibit:
    • Hunger for God’s Word
    • Teachability
    • Flexibility
    • Understanding of moral boundaries
  • See FAQ “What are requirement for GAP admission”

GAP TUITION

$3,500 per student. Here’s what your investment includes:

  • 12 Books
  • 9 Month Leadership Curriculum
  • Excursions (eg. deer hunting trip)
  • Retreats (leadership experiences & development)
  • Career/Life Coaching (focusing on teaching self-awareness)
  • Intentional Mentorship/Discipleship
  • The Heart & Life of Denton Bible Church

GAP GUYS LOGO

God’s Alternative Program’s logo is symbolic of a warrior. The “G” uses the negative space to create a warrior’s helmet.  It  also has a visible gap in the bottom, which forms the warrior’s shoulders and a literal gap in the letter.

The logo is sharp and striking, like a warrior prepared for battle and reminds the observer that this program will help those who go through it to put on the full armor of God.

Instructors & Leaders

DREW ANDERSON

Program Director

Drew oversees GAP and is the Marriage and Family Pastor at Denton Bible Church.

TOM NELSON

Instructor

Tom is the head pastor of Denton Bible Church and is a key instructor in DBC's discipleship programs.

CHARLES STOLFUS

Instructor

Charles is the executive pastor of Denton Bible Church and is the head of our Lay Institute.

FAQs

What makes GAP unique?

  • Exposure to a diverse team of teachers.
  • Engagement in experiential learning: trades, craftsmanship, outdoors, home management, parenting, marriage, budgets, discipleship, evangelism, ministry—church investment and fit, career coaching, basic etiquette, communication (spoken, written, body language, etc.), growing, processing, and harvesting food, farming, hobbies, and much more. Activities vary within each program.
  • Immersion into the life and heart of Denton Bible Church
  • Support and guidance from Denton Bible Church members and leaders

If my child gets accepted into college, will they be able to delay their acceptance?

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

Who is a prime candidate for GAP?

The GAP program is for any graduating high school senior who is driven, hungry, and exhausted with what the world defines and offers as true success, and instead wants to discover God’s Alternative Program for life (i.e. stewardship, faithfulness, and honor lived out in every sphere of their influence). Students who believe in follow-through, can handle schedule pressures, and are eager to learn and be challenged are prime candidates for the GAP Program.

Who teaches GAP?

The primary instructors are: Drew Anderson (Life), Tommy Nelson (Bible), and Charles Stolfus (Worldview). 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.

What will GAP use as its curriculum?

We will use the DBC curriculum for the following areas: Bible, Worldview, Apologetics, Church History & Systematic Theology.

What are the requirements for GAP admission?

Admission requirements include:

  1. Believing faith in Christ
  2. High school diploma or equivalent
  3. Students must be 18 years of age by the start of GAP.
  4. Involvement in a church family for at least six months (does not have to be Denton Bible).
  5. Insured, reliable vehicle for everyday transportation. You and/or your parents must be in a position to deal with any mechanical issues promptly so program participation is not hindered.
  6. Funds to cover personal living and travel expenses of at least $300 per month.
  7. Medical insurance
  8. A positive attitude that is willing to learn, be challenged, and submit to authority.
  9. A commitment to participate in 100% of the GAP activities.
  10. Mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual hunger to commit to the GAP life-leadership training standards (fitness, reading assignments, and punctuality).
  11. Refrain periodically from dating during the 9-month GAP timeframe.
  12. Refrain periodically from the internet, social media, and video games.

What does the admissions process look like?

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:

  • Step 1: Complete the on-line application (allow at least 1 hour to complete). Once you submit the application, you will receive an email with instructions for step 2.
  • Step 2: Personal Interview- Allow 2 weeks for GAP staff to schedule a personal interview. Once the interview is completed, the Admissions Team will make a final decision regarding your status (acceptance/denial) into the program and communicate this information to you.
Once you are accepted, you will be asked to sign a Letter of Commitment. Additionally, you will be provided a list of action items that will need to be completed before your arrival.

How much does the program cost?

The tuition fee for the 9-month program is $3,500.

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.”

Are scholarships available?

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.

What are student housing options?

GAP offers three options for student housing:

  1. Gap Host Families
    • By application only once there is program acceptance
    • Priority will be given to out of state students OR students with burdensome commute times
    • Very limited slot availability
    • Students would be placed with Host Families based upon need and selection
    • Room and board would be covered by the Host Family
  2. Living at Home
    • The parent(s) of the student would agree to be part of the monthly Host Family meetings
    • The student would also have a DBC Host Family Sponsor, and they would agree to meet once/week over a meal and once/month over a fun activity together
  3. Other Rental Housing
    • The student would have a Host Family Sponsor, and they would agree to meet once/week over a meal and once/month over a fun activity together
    • Room and board would be covered by the student
    • Arrangements made by student

Are students able to work in addition to their GAP responsibilities?

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.

Is GAP accredited?

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.

Can I take college classes while a student in GAP?

Yes, students may take 1 online class per semester.

How will GAP students be involved in and around Denton Bible Church?

The following is a link to the doctrinal statement of Denton Bible. The applicant should have substantial agreement with the doctrines and statements expressed:

https://dentonbible.org/about-us/what-we-believe/

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.

Where will the retreats and excursions be located?

Students should expect to have 2 retreats per semester as well as a few other outing opportunities as they become available. After completion of orientation week, students will go on their first “Welcome Retreat” that will focus on helping students get acquainted with the director, mentors, as well as each other. In November, GAP Guys will take an extended hunting trip with a focus on how to ethically harvest an animal. GAP Girls will also have an extended retreat that focuses on various aspects of True Success.

Second-semester retreats will focus on life leadership and wilderness/survival skills. While some retreat locations will be known by orientation, unique opportunities may become available as the academic year progresses. As locations and specific dates become known, it will be communicated to students as soon as possible. Students will incur some travel expenses for gas and food to/from event locations. This is calculated into the required $300 per month income requirement.

Is there a standard of fitness I need to be in prior to starting GAP?

No, though it is a good idea to begin training your pushups, pullups, and one-mile run prior to arrival.

What is the purpose of GAP fitness, and what should I expect?

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.

Will I see and increase in my physical fitness?

Each student will undergo a general fitness assessment at the entry and exit of each semester. The assessment consists of max pushups, pullups, and one mile run for time. A students fitness level is mostly determined by what the effort a student puts into their fitness program

I have a pre-existing condition or injury.  Will that prevent me from acceptance?

No. An assessment will be made based on your GAP application and interview. Accommodations will be made for pre-existing conditions, health issues, and prior injuries. Instructors will modify fitness goals to help you succeed while in the program as well as help develop behaviors that will translate into a real lifestyle pattern!

Will I be required to workout regularly?

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.

What does a typical GAP week look like?

The primary instructors are: Drew Anderson (Life), Tommy Nelson (Bible), and Charles Stolfus (Worldview). 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. Physical Fitness training is a key component of the life skills curriculum. Guys and girls will have independent training sessions designed to cultivate a healthier lifestyle.

The life skills teaching team includes Denton Bible Church staff, marketplace leaders, and ministry and life experts from a variety of fields.

Students will have the opportunity for time away from the program to work or pursue course work for a college class.

Below is the ideal week framework (subject to change):

Apply

Applications will be considered in the order they are received. We value quality over quantity, and as such, at this point in the GAP Program’s development, there are a limited number of slots of acceptance. Once your application is submitted, please allow a 2-week turn around for us to review and process our decision for your acceptance or denial to the GAP Program.

For more information call
Drew Anderson //

Apply Now!