“So You Want to Be a Fellow…”
About once a month, life at the Impact 360 Institute gets a little brighter. For 24 hours, our campus becomes a hub of smiles, laughter, and LOTS of hugs. Why, you may ask? It’s Preview Day!
Preview Day is a way for Impact 360 Institute to invite families into its mission for students to know Jesus more deeply, be transformed in their character, and live a life of kingdom influence. Through conversations with current students and staff, information sessions, tours of the campus, participation in a typical Fellows class, in addition staying overnight in one of residential dorms, visiting students and parents get a chance to see and experience for themselves what the Impact 360 Fellows experience is really like.
Preview Day is designed for guests to meet and interact with current Fellows and see how those Fellows engage within the program. There is so much importance in being able to envision yourself living, growing, and learning in a place for nine months without being bombarded by countless decisions regarding the future. The enrollment team here at Impact 360 Institute’s prayer is that through Preview Day, God will provide both families and staff with clarity as to whether this is where God wants those students. Hannah Purdie, Lead Enrollment Coordinator, says that, “even if somebody comes to just preview, we want them to have an experience with Jesus while they’re here. Even if they don’t come to the Fellows program, even if they choose to go elsewhere, our prayer is that the questions we’re asking about their relationship with God or why they’re making those decisions is helping them to think well and understand that we care about them as a person.” Visiting students and their families can rest in the fact that the main focus and desire is helping them discern the Lord’s will in their lives, whatever that may look like.
It is important to understand that engaging in the Impact 360 Fellows program is not easy or something to be taken lightly. Students are, according to Purdie, “stepping into a year of challenge and growth with the Lord and saying, ‘Okay, God, I’m going to follow you. Show me who you are.’” Therefore, there are certain things that the Enrollment team does look for in students that sets them apart for this program – one of these is evidence in their lives of an active pursuit of a relationship with God. “This doesn’t mean that they have to be at church every time the doors are open,” says Purdie, “but how do we see that Jesus and God and the Holy Spirit matter to them?”
The ideal Impact student also possesses the desire to learn. The reality is that these nine months are purposely packed with an intentional amount of learning and content so that the student can optimally grow. In light of that, Purdie says “if a student is curious and has questions and genuinely wants to learn, they’re a really good fit for this program.” These two things in tandem are amazing characteristics for anyone to have, and they are particularly special assets for the Impact student to have, as well.
Years ago, when the Impact 360 Institute was founded, the idea of a student taking a gap year was fairly uncommon; Preview Days were originally intended to simply draw students to the program. But as the years have progressed, and more have become open to the idea of taking a year to figure out who God has made them to be, Preview Day has taken on greater attention. “We want families to understand that there is intentionality to this program,” says Purdie, “and that we take the family’s decision to allow their student to take time away from a traditional college atmosphere and really lean in and learn about the Lord very seriously.” We believe that Impact 360 Fellows is a truly special place, full of growth, truth, and purpose, and we don’t want to keep such an amazing gift to ourselves.
So, whether you are a student who consciously wants to take a gap year or a student that simply does not know where the Lord is leading them in this next chapter of life, we invite you to visit our campus. We don’t ask for unyielding commitment, we just ask you to come and see for yourself the possibilities that do exist. We can’t wait to meet you!
Want to attend a Preview Day for yourself, click here for more info.