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Introduction by Dennis D. Nelson: In this issue we will be featuring The Awaken Project (TAP), a nonprofit organization housed on the campus of Mount Carmel Ministries in Alexandria, Minnesota.

The last (January 2023) issue of CORE Voice includes the first in a series of articles about residential discipleship ministries for young adults.  Here is a link to the article about Faith Greenhouse, which is affiliated with Faith Lutheran Church in Hutchinson, Minnesota.

The Awaken Project (TAP), a nonprofit organization housed on campus at Mount Carmel Ministries in Alexandria, Minnesota, is pleased to continue to offer an eight month/two semester gap year program for students who are interested in a full or part time career in ministry, seeking to study the Bible on a collegiate level in community, and travel across the United States while engaging with practical ministry opportunities.

Our partnership with Mount Carmel is one of the most crucial aspects of our program. Drawing on Mount Carmel’s rich history within the Lutheran Bible Institute, The Awaken Project seeks to draw upon the same spirit that spurred on so many to attend LBI and cultivate that wonderful community for many decades. We believe that young adults who are committed to living, serving, learning, and growing together under the cross are an immensely valuable part of the Body of Christ, and we are committed to providing young adults the opportunity to experience this transformational community life.

The fall semester is primarily Bible classes, taught by independent instructors who join us for a week at a time and teach one subject for the duration of the week. Other rhythms of the fall include a morning devotional centered around the Moravian Daily Texts, weekly community meals, weekly spiritual formation sessions with mentors, and hangouts with the residential community. The spring semester is when most of our travel occurs. We partner with Quake Events, a national youth conference circuit of events geared toward middle and high school students. Our students attend these events throughout the spring and lead in relational ministry, workshops, and production assistance.

We strive to sponsor a program that sees all students grow in relationship with one another, teachers, mentors, community members, and our Lord, Jesus Christ. A recent alumna of our program, Courtney Corrente, has described her time with TAP as an answer to prayer that she never thought would come to pass, but now can hardly imagine her life without the community she’s found through TAP’s gap year program. After completing her year with TAP, she was hired onto Mount Carmel’s staff as their Communications Coordinator, which has allowed her to gain immediate experience in her fields of study (strategic communications), continue to maintain the community she gained last year, and invest back into this year’s cohort of TAP students.

I am expecting that there will be plenty more stories like Courtney’s over the years of TAP’s gap year program. If you know anyone who has been longing for a community to do life with, who seeks high quality and affordable Biblical education, and who has an itch to travel and serve, The Awaken Project’s gap year program can be a wonderful opportunity. Please contact myself, Steven Wagner, at steven@theawakenprojectmn.com if you have any questions or know someone who may benefit immensely from this program.

If you feel led to contribute a tax deductible donation to The Awaken Project, gifts can be sent to The Awaken Project at 800 Mount Carmel Drive NE, Alexandria, Minnesota, 56308.