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Gap Year Program

41.2266° N, 75.2676° W

Introducing our gap year program, RENEW!

Dive deeper into your faith with nine months of learning and three months of hands-on ministry! 

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  • $9,000 per student with credits.
  • $5,400 per student without credits.
  • Food and housing are valued at $180 per week; 18 hours of work per week will automatically go toward room and board.
Program Costs.
Accreditation Information.


Classes will be taken through Anchor Christian University with teachers from Spruce Lake staff. Transfer is guaranteed to these universities: Cairn, Cedarville, Clarks Summit, Liberty, Southeastern, and Lancaster Bible College. There’s the potential for transferability to other colleges.


There are three types of days: work days, class days, and off-site days. Students will have two class days per week and will complete four three-credit classes each semester for a total of eight classes and twenty-four credits in the year. The material and assignments from these classes will be applied within their other work as they look to integrate their learning in day-to-day life.

Go to our resources section to download a sample copy of a weekly schedule.

Schedule Breakdown.
Community Engagement.


Students will have an opportunity to serve within a church or ministry in our community. Twice per month they will serve and work under a leader of this ministry. This will provide another way of shaping students, a practical place to apply their skills, and more insight into the type of job that students may desire after the program’s completion.


A ten-day international trip to Costa Rica through “VidaNet” is anticipated to be a key part of the program as students are given the opportunity to engage with another culture. All costs will be covered by the tuition fee. This trip consists of three days of training at the disciple base, five days of service, and concludes with an adventure day.

Each month, students will participate in two local “adventure days” with the goal of building and uniting them as a team. Trips will include activities like rock climbing, mountain biking, canoeing, escape rooms, apple picking, and more.


Trip Variety.
Housing Options.


Students will be provided bunk-style sleeping accommodations at Pinebrook campus and should expect to have a roommate. A communal lounge space will be available as a mixed gender “hangout” space. Separate sleeping facilities will be provided for each gender. All meals are provided.


Jonathan Tice.

Jonathan (Jonny) Tice is the Spruce Lake Director. He graduated from Nyack College with a degree in Music Education. Jonny first served at Spruce Lake as a counselor on summer staff where he met his wife, Nikah. They have three kids: Cadence, Coda, and Dorian. Jonny has been serving year round at Spruce Lake since 2019.

Prior to working year-round at Spruce Lake, he taught middle and high school music at a bilingual Christian School in Honduras for three years. Outside of his work at camp, Jonny enjoys spending time with his family, being in the outdoors, and listening to and singing Broadway musicals at the top of his lungs.


Moraya Tellado.

Moraya has been serving with Spruce Lake in many different capacities since 2015. She has taught in Spruce Lake’s outdoor education program, leadership training program, and day camp.

Moraya went to college in Virginia at Liberty University and graduated with a degree in Education in 2018. She worked in the public school system for two years prior to working year-round at Spruce Lake. Outside of work, she loves to read, explore outdoors, and paint happy little trees with Bob Ross.

Connie Wismer.

Connie has assumed many roles at Spruce Lake including Outdoor Education Teacher and Director, Summer Ministries Program Assistant, Day Camp Program Assistant, Adventure Program Facilitator and Trainer, and manager of the summer leadership training program. Her current role is the Education Director at Spruce Lake. She has a degree in Biology Education from Messiah College.

Connie loves being outside, camping, kayaking, and cooking over a fire. She is an avid Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles fan and enjoys reading and listening to music.


Simeon Paulson.

Simeon is a Gap Year Program houseparent. He attended seven colleges in seven years and graduated with a biology degree. He has worked on several teams at Spruce Lake, including Adult & Family Ministries, Wilderness Camp, and Outdoor Education. He is married to Rebekah and they have three children.
With Simeon taking off work, the past year has marked a time of Sabbath for his entire family to grow in God and have adventures. Simeon loves being in nature, scuba diving, snorkeling, spending time with his family, having Kingdom conversations, and reading.
What’s included?

Your tuition covers college classes (24 credits), textbooks and course materials, all costs for the 10-day missions trip (excluding passport costs and any spending money students may want to bring), trainings and conferences, individual coaching and discipleship, and day trips. Laundry facilities are also provided. 

How academic is Renew?

There are two days of the week set aside for classes. When possible, assignments will be integrated into hands-on ministry. 

Do I need health insurance?

Yes, you will need to provide proof of insurance in order to be accepted into the program. If you do not currently have health insurance, we may be able to work with you to find an affordable plan that covers you through your time in Renew.

Is there a minimum age?

There is no minimum age. However, to be eligible for our program, you must have your high school diploma or GED. If you are under the age of 18 during the application process, a parent or legal guardian must co-sign your documents.

Is financial aid available?

No, Renew students are not eligible for federal/state financial aid or student loans.

Will I get paid during the program?

Yes, Renew students at Pinebrook or Spruce Lake’s ministries will be compensated at $10 per hour for their work. Room and board are automatically deducted (valued at $180 per week) from pay.

How much spending money will I need?

Your need for spending money would be to cover personal hygiene items, clothing purchases, or bills such as car insurance. Additionally, you may choose to bring spending money for activities in your free time, extra snacks, or souvenirs on the international/day trips.

What are the program dates?

Fall Semester 2024: Wednesday, August 28th to Tuesday, December 17th.

Spring Semester 2025: Thursday, January 2nd to Wednesday, May 15th. 

Summer Work Experience 2025: Friday, May 23rd to Saturday, August 23rd. 

Do I get a break between semesters?

Yes! You will coordinate your time off with Renew staff within the following windows of time:


Thanksgiving 2024: Wednesday, November 27th to Sunday, December 1st. 

Christmas Break 2024: Wednesday, December 18th to Thursday, December 26th. 

Spring Break 2025: Wednesday, March 12th to Sunday, March 16th.

Semester Break: Friday, May 16th to Thursday, May 22nd. 

What will I need to bring with me?

You will need a valid U.S. passport (or documents to get one) as well as other things such as toiletries, school supplies, and your Bible. For a detailed packing list, please see the resources section below.

Can my family come and visit?

Your family is welcome to book a room(s) at the staff rate at either our Pinebrook or Spruce Lake location. Because every aspect of our program is thoughtfully planned to maximize the time you’re studying, serving, or engaging in community, it’s important to plan their visit around any required activities.

Do I need to bring my vehicle?

No, it is not required for you to have a car to participate in the program. It may be helpful if you do have a car due to the fact that there are two campuses. Not having a car may limit your weekend work hours.