STAND IN THE GAP
Going to college should not be the default decision in today's world. But if you are called to go to university for a specific degree, going directly after high school often leads to disastrous and costly consequences. Most Ivy League universities are either recommending or else actually requiring incoming students to take a gap year before their freshman year in order to increase their chances of success in academics. For Christians, this gap year is even more critical.
War of Ideologies
For Christians, university can be a very hostile and dangerous place as the vast majority of them indoctrinate young people into a secular, atheistic, and materialistic worldview. In fact, of children raised in a Christian household, over 60% leave the church during college never to return. Furthermore, a recent Barna study has shown that less than half of one percent of college age students in America now hold a Biblical worldview. This doesn't mean that Christians shouldn't attend university, but it does mean that we should prepare and equip our students with a solid Biblical foundation and arm them with information before sending them into a war zone of ideologies.
A Discipleship Training School is the perfect gap year program to equip you for your next step, whether your call is to the mission field or to the marketplace. Not only will it provide a biblical worldview, but it will establish spiritual disciplines in your life and form habits that will aid your Christian walk for the rest of your life. A gap year is also the best time to explore your gifts and calling so that if you do go on to university, you have a better idea of who you are, and what you want to do with your life. The average college student changes their major three times without a gap year, which delays graduation and costs tens of thousands of dollars. This is the best time for you to travel and experience missions as well before you commit to a full-time career, get locked into an academic schedule, get married, or become restricted by the burden of student debt or a home mortgage. In short, a DTS as a gap year is one of the best decisions you can make for your future and will be one of the most memorable seasons of your life.
College is Not for Everyone
Only about 33% of Americans graduate from college, and currently that number is inflated by degrees which lack any kind of marketplace opportunity. In fact, only 27% of total college graduates find a job in their field of study with only 62% even ending up in a job which required a college education at all. At the same time, college tuition is skyrocketing at an unprecedented rate, producing degrees which saddle students with an average of $37,000 in debt and few job opportunities to repay it. Meanwhile, a huge number of well-paying jobs are available in the US with no one to fill them as they require trade skills or vocational training that universities do not provide.
Often students and parents justify college despite the economic and marketplace realities by viewing it as an investment into higher education. College is viewed as a default, like high school. The problem with this is that college is actually educating less and less these days. Recent studies have shown that 40% of students who graduate from college actually gain no demonstrable knowledge compared to high school graduates. Studies also show that college students spend twice as much time shopping and partying as they do in any academic activity while in college and test scores across the US are in massive decline despite GPA's at record highs. This means that students are learning less, but getting better grades. In fact, most college graduates fall below both verbal and quantitative literacy standards with only about 31% able to read and understand a complex book.
So before you spend four to six years at a university and a lifetime in debt, consider what you actually want to do with your life. The Heroes DTS gap year helps explore your options, develop your gifts and character, form spiritual disciplines, and see the world from God's perspective. It is truly the best investment you can make in your life, whether you go on to university, the marketplace or ministry.