Gap Program

The CRISTA Camps Gap Year program exists to develop the next generation of Christ-centered leaders through transformational experiences, vocational discovery and discernment of calling.

Submit your application for the 2020-2021 Gap year by August 1st! We have 15 openings for GAP students; late applicants will be considered if spots are available.

Apply Today!

The Program

This 9-month work/study program is highly experiential and challenges recent high school graduates to own and apply their faith, while furthering their education and gaining workplace skills. We accomplish this through our four program distinctives: discipleship, hands-on learning, vocational training, and adventure.


We desire that each and everyone of our Gap year participants to live a life surrendered to Jesus Christ. Discipleship is infused in every part of the Gap year program. Additionally, we have consecrated specific times, intentional relationships, and disciplines for the purpose of drawing near to God. Gap year students engage in weekly bible studies and a local church. CRISTA Camps staff members and their spouses forge an ongoing mentor relationship with program participants. We also practice spiritual disciplines like fasting from technology, journaling, and Scripture study.

Hands-on Learning

The Gap year will be a definite break from traditional education. We believe that one of the best ways to learn is through experience. Gap year students are active participants in their learning whether the team is joining up with CRISTA’s seven ministries, serving with our community partners, or touring colleges and tech schools. Tuesday classes cover a wide range of subjects from team building, emotional intelligence, personal finance, resume writing, and many more.

Vocational Training

Here we put the “work” in work/study. CRISTA Camps Gap year students make up a portion of our guest services team. Four days a week are set aside for housekeeping and facilitating guest group activities like archery, boating, field games, high ropes, dirt bikes, and paint ball. Our supervisors offer individualized performance feedback to keep Gap year participants on track with their vocational goals. This vocational training model keeps program costs low while Gap year students gain valuable certifications and customer service experience.


We use adventure and challenge as a tool for team bonding and personal growth. Gap year students start and end their experience with overnight wilderness trips and halfway through the year we go on a  missions trip with one of our sister ministries, World Concern or Christian Veterinary Mission. In addition, they’ll have time to plan their own excursions. It takes between 2-3 hours to find beaches or mountains or even Canada.

Gap Year FAQs

What is exceptional about a CRISTA Camps Gap Year?

  • Our Gap year students connect with all 7 of CRISTA’s Ministries spanning numerous career fields and even countries
  • The CRISTA Camps work/study Gap year model allows us to keep program fees at $4,500 when other programs charge $10,000 or more.
  • Gap years with moderate equine experience can perform their work/study in the barn gaining exposure to our therapeutic riding, and horsemanship programs.
  • The CRISTA Camps dirt bike program is the largest program of its kind in the country, exposing Gap year students to extreme sports ministry, trail riding, and dirt bike maintenance.
  • CRISTA Camps are sandwiched between the Olympic and Cascade Mountain ranges, with the Puget Sound as our back yard. It’s time to explore!

What are some important program dates?

Event Dates
Application Deadline Aug 1st, 2020
Arrival Day 12:00pm Monday, Sept 14th, 2020 at Miracle Ranch
Thanksgiving Break Nov 22nd to 29th, 2020
Christmas Break Dec 20th, 2020 to Jan 3rd, 2021
Graduation Ceremony TBD
Departure Day June 6th, 2021

What are the fees?

Program Cost

A $4,500 program fee covers excursions, trip expenses, class materials, room & board, etc. Partial scholarships are available based on need and availability on a first come basis. *It is suggested that GAP students have an additional $100 per month for personal spending needs.

Missions Trip Cost

The cost of our spring missions trip is between $1,500-$4,000 depending on location. The location will be determined by the end of September, early October. Individual participants are responsible for raising all of their trip costs, and may fund raise or use personal funds to cover trip costs. Our staff provide training and resources to help participants raise support.

Payment Details

Due Date Amount Due Expense
Aug 1st, 2020 $100 Refundable Housing Security Deposit
Aug 1st, 2020 $2,250 Fall Semester Program Fees
Jan 1st, 2020 $2,250 Spring Semester Program Fees

Optional: Gap year participants can apply for a summer staff position where they can earn up to $2,250 the summer before or after their gap year.

What can I expect on a weekly basis?

AM Church Off Class Staff Meeting Housekeeping Guest Group Activities Guest Group Activities
PM Off Off Class or Excursion Housekeeping Housekeeping Guest Group Activities Guest Group Activities
EVE Off Off Class or Excursion Family Dinner & Bible Study Off Guest Group Activities Guest Group Activities

What can I expect in terms of housing and meals?


Gap year and intern participants live together in separate male and female housing. Free laundry facilities are available at both properties.

Males share a cabin at Miracle Ranch. The cabin comes equipped with 1 shower, 1 toilet, 3 sinks, twin bunk beds, couches, dressers, and under bed storage. Cabins are heated in the winter but do not have air conditioning. While at Island Lake, males will stay in the 3 bedroom (twin beds), 2 bath staff house with kitchen, washer and dryer, winter heating, and no air conditioner.

Females live in Sweetwater at Miracle Ranch, a dorm style housing unit. Interns and gap year participants will have at least one roommate. Rooms come equipped with twin bunk beds, dressers, and hanging storage. The community bathrooms and lounge are shared spaces. Sweetwater lounge includes a freezer/fridge, coffee maker, sink, and sitting area. Dorms are heated in the winter but do not have air conditioning. While at Island Lake, females will stay in the 3 bedroom (twin beds), 2 bath staff house with kitchen, washer and dryer, winter heating, and no air conditioner.

Food & Meals

Food is provided for Gap year participants year round. We do our best to accommodate food allergies and intolerances. Meals will be in the dining hall while guest groups are in session. Access to leftovers and special Gap year food is available when guest groups are not in session. Gap year students can also cook food in the camp kitchen

How do I apply?

The CRISTA Camps Gap Year is not for everyone. It’s not for people who want a vacation. It’s not an escape from reality. It’s not for people who want to be spoon-fed. It’s not about you.

The CRISTA Camps Gap Year is for servant leaders. It is for people who want to push themselves to do hard things. It’s for those who want to face challenges head on. It’s for people who embody our core values. It’s about sacrifice. Are you up for it?

Application Process

  1. Submit an initial application by August 1st. Late applications only considered if any spots remain.
  2. Complete first interview with the Assistant Gap Year Director.
  3. Submit 3 references (professional, personal, spiritual).
  4. Complete final interview with the Gap Year Director.
  5. After program acceptance, submit a $100 refundable housing security deposit to reserve spot.

What is the CRISTA Ministries Doctrinal Statement?

CRISTA Ministries is a nondenominational para-church ministry.

  • We believe in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as verbally inspired by God, and inerrant in the original writings, and that they are of supreme and final authority in faith and life.
  • We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  •  We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, and is true God and true man.
  • We believe that man was created in the image of God; that he sinned, and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also that spiritual death which is separation from God; and that all human beings are born with a sinful nature.
  • We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative sacrifice; and all that truly repent of their sins and believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood.
  • We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  • We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, and His ascension into heaven and in His present life there for us, as High Priest and Advocate.
  • We believe in that blessed hope, the personal, bodily return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

What is the CRISTA Camps Community Covenant?

The CRISTA CAMPS Community Covenant is an outline of some community principles we as a community are committed to adhering to in order to cultivate a Christ-Centered, Highly Professional, and Service-Driven environment. In an effort to represent Christ to the world and live in a way that is above the reproach of believers and non-believers, we ask Gap year students to commit to

  • Abstaining from the use of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis products, and illegal narcotics, on or off property for the entire nine month commitment.
  • Embracing and embodying the traits of a CRISTA leader: Christ-centered, highly professional, and service driven.
  • Joining a local church community and attending services when possible.
  • Maintaining the CRISTA Camp’s Rule of Three, which prohibits members of the opposite gender from spending alone time together. The Rule of Three also applies to all camp staff when interacting with campers regardless of gender.
  • Pausing the development of any new or pre-established romantic relationships (e.g. refrain from moving from single to dating, dating to engaged, etc.) throughout the course of the year.
  • Using phones and technology in ways that include and edify the community. Gap Years will participate in a mandatory 30-day tech fast (abstaining from phones, computers, televisions, video games, etc.) We will keep each other accountable to refrain from escapism, addiction, and exclusion.
  • Maintaining CRISTA Camps cleanliness standards in their own living spaces. Living spaces are inspected on a regular basis. Everyone is required to participate in regularly cleaning their living space. Any damages will result in the loss of one’s $100 housing security deposit.

Breaches in covenant will result in disciplinary action by the Gap Year Program Team. CRISTA Camps reserves the right to terminate Gap year program participation without refund if a participant intentionally or repeatedly violates the community covenant.