ISAS Program Components
- Leadership Education – 3 credit hours
- Small Group and Interpersonal Communication – 3 credit hours
- Cross-Cultural Ministry – 3 credit hours
- Spiritual Formation – 3 credit hours
- Outdoor Physical Education – 4 credit hours
This is the opportunity of a lifetime. Serve in a developing nation, climb to 19,000’ in the Andes, backpack and ski in Yosemite National Park, all the while learning about each experience from a Christian academic perspective. When you’re not having classes in Ecuador, living with an Ecuadorian family, or exploring Yosemite, you’ll get to live in Summit Adventure’s Basecamp, a rustic cabin heated by a wood-burning stove. This semester is rigorous in its demands, academically, physically, and spiritually. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Orientation, Syllabi and Academic Explanation, Classes 4 days a week, Weekend Mini-Expeditions, Community Service with Boys & Girls Club Oakhurst and local churches, Living in Community at Base
6 weeks in and around Quito, Ecuador
Two, 1-week Homestays with Ecuadorian Families, Service at Remanso de Amor and the Happiness Foundation, Exploring Quito and Surrounding Cities, High Altitude Hiking, Backpacking and Mountaineering, Periodic Concentrated Class times, Spanish School, Leadership Internships
3 weeks Expedition-Style
1 week Expedition Planning, 14-18 days Sierra Expedition – backpacking, rock climbing, backcountry navigation, outdoor living skills
1 week of Transition and Semester Culmination before Re-entering “Home”
Immersion programs, service learning, and outdoor adventure are state of the art pedagogical tools that attract and develop today’s college student. In the hands of skilled experiential educators, these approaches to interpersonal and academic growth are unparalleled. Since the fall of 2007, Summit Adventure has woven service learning and outdoor adventure into an off-campus college program designed to develop relationship-building Christian young adults. We call this innovative Christ-centered program ISAS – Immersion Service and Adventure Semester. ISAS will be based in California’s High Sierra and the cities and mountains surrounding Quito, Ecuador.
Thousands of students over the years have come to Summit Adventure demonstrating a glaring lack of proficiency in leadership, interpersonal communication, cross-cultural awareness, spiritual growth and physical fitness. As a result, we are focusing ISAS on these five competencies through the courses listed below. We call these 3-credit courses “pillars” because they are foundational to a student’s ability to build relationships in ministry and life.
ISAS Program Academic Pillars:
This course will allow each student to develop a coherent personal philosophy of leadership and explore first-hand the challenges of implementing that philosophy in real situations. Critical exploration of a variety of leadership models will be integrated with practical application. Each student will be challenged to think through and develop a distinctly Christian model of leadership. A semester’s worth of expeditions, service, cross-cultural ministry and close knit communal living will help forge a personal philosophy of leadership that corresponds to a Christian worldview and effectively advances the Kingdom of God.
In this course, you will study small group behavior and interpersonal communication within the contexts of current theory, praxis, and Christian community. Course content includes the study of group dynamics, small group leadership, conflict resolution, non-violent communication, and the application of interpersonal interaction theories. Learning occurs in small group travel in mountains, rural settings, and international venues via class discussion, practical experiences, and communal living.
During this course, students will interact with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. These interactions will help broaden their perspectives on people and cultures different from their own. Students will become more effective witnesses for the Gospel because they have successfully transferred learning about others in different cultures back to home and school. They will see firsthand that the Kingdom of God is not only American and ministry must be undertaken with this global perspective. Language acquisition and home stay weeks in Ecuador are included to broaden the cultural immersion experience.
This course provides a hands-on framework for spiritual growth during ISAS. It will draw heavily on the spiritual disciplines to complement the cross-cultural, service, and adventure learning the students will experience during the semester. Students will have many opportunities to deepen their faith in a variety of individual and corporate settings. This course is intended to be highly practical because walking closely with Jesus Christ involves much more than engaging the intellect- we must involve our hearts and “hands” as well.
This course will focus on physical education skills including rock climbing, mountaineering, backpacking, back country navigation, and wilderness camping. Students will be challenged both physically and mentally as they learn the various skill sets enabling them to become comfortable in the outdoors. The course will take place in the beautiful and rugged high country of the Sierra Nevada, California and the high altitude peaks of the Andes in Ecuador.