Exponential - Gap Year

For high school graduates ages 18-25

One of the most difficult times in life is the transition after high school. It's a time when you're trying to discover what you want to do with the rest of your life. You're seeking to discover your gifts, passions, and direction in life. Perhaps you find yourself in the all-too-familiar position of not knowing which way to turn. If this sounds like you, then we invite you to explore Exponential.
Exponential is a one-year gap year program between high school and college to build a firm foundation in God’s Word and to equip for a life of personal success and impact. Through experiential education, mentoring, classroom instruction, small group interactions, and community living, students will develop valuable disciplines and servant-leadership skills.
  • "The internship allowed me to take a step back from school, from my job, from the pressures of the outside world. It grounded me in the Lord and firmly in Christ Jesus."
    - Josh
  • "I don’t even know how to put to words how much of a blessing Doe River and Exponential has been to me. I have grown with my fellow interns and we’ve just become a huge family. God has really grown me and taught me a lot of things about Himself."
    - Hailey
  • "The way that Jesus taught was through discipleship: living life with one another, teaching, and mentoring with multiple people - iron sharpening iron - to make them an effective weapon for Christ. In this day and age, there’s nowhere that I’ve seen, that I’ve found, that I’ve even been offered, to do discipleship like it’s done here at Doe River."
    - Peyton
Spiritual Growth
Experience spiritual growth through worship, prayer, and Bible study. Growth through the Word of God is cultivated through scripture memorization, group discussions, and daily devotions. Teaching by the Doe River Gorge staff as well as outside instructors will build and challenge you in your walk with Christ. Through the teaching, ministry experiences, and personal mentoring, you will begin to discover your gifts, abilities, and passions.
Skill Development
You will develop practical skills to be used the rest of your life. Skills in ministry, team-building, administration, carpentry, outdoor education, working with the public, finance, and a host of other opportunities will equip you to handle needs that arise in daily life.
Personal Relationships
Living in a community of other like-minded believers, you will have the opportunity to develop valuable friendships. You will learn how to keep short accounts, forgive and accept forgiveness. Whether you are having a conversation over coffee or strumming a guitar, you will develop friendships that will last a lifetime.
Physical and Mental Discipline
You want your life to count. The choices you make daily have eternal results. Through personal coaching, you will begin to develop disciplines to become what you want to be so that you can do what you want to do. Disciplines as simple as getting out of bed, personal devotions, Scripture memory, and being on time for appointments all have significant impact. Working with teammates, you will learn to push yourself beyond what you thought was possible.
Fun and Adventure
You will not only have the opportunity to work hard but also to play hard. You’ll be around some of the most active people in your generation and have plenty of free time to relax and enjoy life. Exponential offers a combination of fun, adventure activities, social activities, and day-to-day fellowship with others designed to foster deep, life-long friendships.

The goal of Exponential is to help students develop in the following areas:

Spiritual Life Formation:
  • A passion to intimately know God
  • A heart of worship and thanksgiving
  • Christ-like character qualities
  • Servant-leader spirit
  • Biblical wisdom and discernment
  • Apologetics skills
  • Skills in Bible Study methods
Personal Life Development
  • Basic life skills through daily personal disciplines:
    • Personal health and cleanliness
    • Financial management
    • Biblical stewardship
  • Personal gifts, abilities and passions utilizing tools such as:
    • DISC Profile
    • Practical experiences
  • Quality work ethic
  • Biblical social relationships
  • Personal Mission Statement
  • Wilderness and Remote First Aid (16 hours)
  • Lifeguarding, includes CPR and First Aid (28 hours)
Ministry Leadership Skills
  • Principles of Servant Leadership
  • Ministry Training:
    • History, Mission and Vision of Doe River Gorge
    • Organizational Structure (Board, Constitution, Bylaws)
    • Operations (Food Service, Buildings and Grounds)
    • Administration (Ministry and Small Business Finance)
    • Fundraising
    • Marketing
    • Risk Management
    • Staff Recruitment (colleges, camp fairs, etc.)
    • Programming
    • Exploring the possibility of ministry as a career path
    • Develop a Christ-centered strategy for life and ministry

Exponential is a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week experience that will include (but not be limited to) the following:

  • Experiential and classroom training
  • Ministry at Doe River Gorge
  • Assisting at a local ministry
  • Morning Group Devotions
  • Meal Preparation
  • Personal study times
  • Free time and group recreation
  • A two-week mission experience at our sister camp in Costa Rica
  • DRG Adventure Instructor: leading team-building and adventure activities with groups and retreats of all types and ages
  • Maintenance
  • Retail Sales
  • Food Service
  • Administration
  • Teaching Outdoor Education


To be eligible, the following requirements must be met:
  • Belief in Jesus Christ as Savior
  • A desire to pursue a lifestyle consistent with Christian principles
  • Completed High School
  • Between the ages 18 and 25
  • Unmarried
  • Be in good physical health
Applicants must be able and willing to:
  • Live at Doe River Gorge in dormitory housing
  • Provide proof of medical insurance
  • Work with your team to cover the cost and preparation of your meals
  • Be responsible for the full payment of the cost of Exponential
  • Travel internationally (valid passport required)
  • Agree to the Doe River Gorge Statement of Faith
Application Process:
  • Fill out the online application (coming soon)
  • Call 423-725-4010 with any questions.
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