Year-of-your-life programmes through SATS
“So Jabu, what are you going to do when you finish high school in November?”
Mom, I am not sure. I can’t seem to make up my mind. So what I have decided to do is to take a year off next year, you know, a gap year, so that I can just relax and spend some time thinking about what I should do as a career”.
This is a familiar scenario that plays itself out in many homes each year. For whatever reason, school-leavers often simply want to take a year off!
This of course leads one to ask whether a year doing absolutely nothing is healthy, but it also led ministries with vision to seize the opportunity and come up with programmes giving school-leavers the opportunity to do something really valuable for the Kingdom during those 12 months. Various models have been developed since the concept was first introduced several years ago, but it soon became clear that parents were not very keen on paying a large fee without getting something worthwhile in return and for them, one of the most important was an accredited qualification, or at least some courses towards such a qualification.
Several groups have approached the South African Theological Seminary over the years and the following options are already running successfully:
- Full time gap year focussing on, for example, worship training for leaders. Victory Masters Commission (VMC) in Jeffrey’s Bay http://www.victorygapyear.co.za/. They also include spiritual growth, leadership development and adventure challenges in their programme. Students can take some subjects through the South African Theological Seminary while participating in the VMC programme, which means they will end the year with some credits under their belt towards their further studies. Other similar programmes include Ambassadors in Sport, who are based in Cape Town http://www.charitysa.co.za/ambassadors-in-sport.html, 29 Degrees South in Bloemfontein www.fountainheadchurch.com, J-life in Hedelberg www.jlife.org.za and Wild Coast Gap Year email@example.com.
- A three-year version of this model, although with different options, exists at Wellington through Timothy Ministry Team www.timothyteam.co.za or Pneumatix in Somerset West www.pnxglobal.com .
The South African Theological Seminary assist such groups by custom designing models based on the needs of each group. If you would like your church or ministry to consider such an option, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.