The year begins in late August, usually the week before Labor Day. The year ends after the summer intensives, usually the last week of May or first week of June. We have a substantial Christmas break of around four weeks, in addition to Spring Break, which is taken at the same time as our local school districts, and a week off at Thanksgiving. We also take the following holidays off, and have a make up day on the following Thursday: Labor Day, Presidents’ Day, Easter Monday.
Some students will have international trips that run in the summer, but otherwise we do not run summer or winter break courses. However it is suggested that students work on their General Education credits during breaks if they want to graduate with their degree at the end of their fourth year.
We recognize that most of our students need to work a part-time job throughout the program. So we aim to plan a schedule that allows for regular rhythms in which there is space to do this. For this reason we try to limit our regular schedule to Sunday to Wednesday.
Sunday is a ministry day in which all students serve, normally at two gatherings (though this can vary depending on their apprenticeship area). This leaves some time on Sundays for a job and completing homework. We have classes scheduled on Mondays to Wednesdays, though students will rarely have classes all day. This leaves more room for completing homework, and occasional afternoons to leave early for a job. Thursdays to Saturdays are left open (however some students may choose to undertake some apprentice responsibilities on these days depending on their area).
But this does not necessarily mean that there are three days to work a job! Remember that you will have a substantial amounts of reading, online classwork and homework to complete. In addition you will have some apprenticeship hours to schedule in your week, and occasional meetings with your mentor to schedule – and at some point you should be taking some sabbath rest.
As much as we have tried to make a schedule that can work for students, this is going to be a full four years! It will require making some sacrifices, being well organized, and a whole lot of effort. But having a time of preparation and training for ministry and Kingdom leadership that is super challenging and involves some hardships is not a bad thing (actually it’s quite a Biblical thing - just ask Moses!). We would encourage you to plan your schedule well, and to talk to your mentor and staff if you are anticipating a problem.