Who is Thrive School for?

Thrive School is for anyone who has graduated high school and wants to either pursue a ministry career or invest in their own leadership before attending a University. You're also likely to have the best experience if you're not married and somewhere between 17 and 25, though neither of these are strict rules.

We regularly have students apply who have earned a Bachelor's degree and want to add real-life ministry training to their experience. The Two-Year Certificates are very well set up to accommodate these students.

How much does it cost?

Thrive School tuition for students starting in Fall 2017 is $6000 per year. This cost includes room and board (see below), conference admission, and retreat costs. If you've already been accepted into Thrive School and need advice about raising money, check out this page.

There will be some additional costs for your online college classes. This total depends on a few different factors, like which college you choose and which classes you’re taking. See this answer below. 

How long is the program?

Each year of Thrive School runs from August through May (nine months total). Most students will be here for two years, back-to-back, earning their Two-Year Ministry Certificate in the Major they chose when they first applied. Learn more about Thrive School's two-year setup here.

Where will I live?

During your time at Thrive School, you’ll live with a host family from Bayside Church. These families are specially screened and selected through our Host Home program. They support and believe in the mission of Thrive School, are committed to Jesus, and will provide a stable living space for you. Your host family will also provide food, although it’s wise to plan for additional gas and dining expenses (about $300 / month).

Do I need to take outside college classes?

Yes, if you don't already have a Bachelor's degree. We believe that it's important to make progress toward a degree because we want to set you up for as many career options as possible. You need to take at least 6 units per semester, for every semester that you’re at Thrive School. We have relationships with several Christian universities and have a great community college with online courses very close to Bayside - so you've got options. Your Major may have some preferred classes that you should take, as well. Figuring all of this out is an easy process once you're accepted. For more info about local schools we'd recommend, check out this page.

Is there financial aid?

While Thrive School's tuition cost isn't directly eligible for federal student aid, your online college classes are - our requirement of at least 6 units / semester is also the part-time requirement for many types of government aid. Once you're accepted and enrolled, an Academic Advisor can help you choose a school online and connect you with financial aid resources at that organization.

There is also fundraising training available once you're enrolled, if you think you'll need help beyond what your family or church can provide. Remember, Thrive School's tuition is a fraction of a traditional University and housing is included for free.

What if I don't live in the US?

We can't currently offer visas to foreign students, but we're working on it, and hope to be able to do this soon. If you're able to secure a visa on your own, then go ahead and apply!

Can I have an outside job?

Short answer, no. Your schedule at Thrive School will be busy, and we want to make sure you get a day off whenever possible while having adequate time for your ministry responsibilities and homework. We’ve found that the only way to reasonably make each of those things happen is by ensuring Thrive School is the only thing you have to focus on.

Any other requirements?

You need to have health insurance, a car, and car insurance for your entire time at Thrive School. You’ll also need to own a Mac laptop and a smartphone (iPhone / Galaxy etc).