A traditional Bible college offers a variety of Bible classes and other courses designed to provide a solid education for the student in a variety of majors/areas. The School of Discipleship is an intense, one-year program that utilizes a discipleship model, where students are assigned to an advisor family, and mentored in all aspects of their spiritual life. The School of Discipleship offers Bible classes in topics specifically geared toward developing godly character and leadership. It provides the opportunity for the student to grow in spiritual maturity and leadership ability and also provides each student the opportunity to immediately implement the truths they are learning into their lives.
- Why would a student spend a year in the School of Discipleship program, instead of going straight into college?
Statistically, many high-school graduates struggle during the transition from high school to the first years of college. The School of Discipleship provides the opportunity for a high-school graduate to prepare for whatever the next stage of their life is, by examining the foundation of their spiritual life, expanding their Biblical knowledge, solidifying their convictions, and deepening their spiritual walk. Through the Bible classes, close supervision and mentoring of a staff advisor, as well as the opportunity for each student to take what they are learning and apply it immediately to their lives through ministry outreach, this year can provide a spiritual foundation for each student that can help them be successful in further education, future employment opportunities, and impacting the world around them for Christ.
Instead of the traditional Bible classes provided at many Christian colleges, the School of Discipleship has developed many Bible classes geared specifically toward developing godly maturity and spiritual leadership qualities. The academic year begins with Foundations in Christ, a class that examines the foundation of our Christian faith through a study of the basic doctrines of Christianity. Additional classes cover topics such as Conflict Resolution, Servant Leadership, Christian Ethics, Biblical Counseling, Anger Resolution, Preparation for Ministry and Preparation for Marriage. These classes, along with many others, provide the opportunity to increase the student’s knowledge, deepen their spiritual walk, and prepare them for life and effective impact in outreach and ministry.
Students can choose from several different payment plans to meet their individual needs. Options include one payment, four quarterly payments, or an initial payment with monthly payments through May.
Although the School of Discipleship does not have a scholarship program, some students have been helped through their local church or by gifts from family or other individuals.
The number of students accepted in the School of Discipleship program varies from year to year, depending on the number of qualified staff we have to serve as mentors. The average ratio is a 1-to-3 ratio of staff to student.
Some students have remained on their parent’s auto and health insurance during the year they are in the program. Some insurance companies require a letter from the Dean’s office verifying that they are a full-time student.
Students are required to complete a variety of academic projects each month. These monthly projects focus on practical studies in Biblical principles and developing godly character. Each student in the School of Discipleship is assigned to a staff person who serves as a mentor and advisor. This staff advisor will help with accountability in schoolwork, homework and relationships. Any student who is struggling academically can ask their advisor for help.
Applicant students may call the Ranch office and ask for the Director of the Equine Department to explore options for bringing your own horse, as well as information on Boarding Contracts, feed costs, immunizations, etc.
Laundry facilities are provided on site at no extra charge to students in the School of Discipleship through your tuition/room and board fees. Students must supply their own laundry soap and fabric softeners.
All housing and dorm units have closets and dressers available for storing student’s clothing and personal items. There is limited extra storage space available for students in their dorm units. Many students bring plastic bins or storage containers that can fit under their beds or in the back of their closets for extra items.
Students are required to attend a church where staff members are currently attending during non-scheduled retreat/event weekends. Students have the opportunity to visit several churches during Phase 1 of the program, and then will choose which church they would like to attend for the rest of the year.
No, the School of Discipleship is a one-year program that focuses on character development and spiritual growth. However, some students will have the opportunity for further study in leadership through a second year, offered on an invitation-only basis – with students being evaluated and accepted based on their personal maturity, godly character qualities and leadership abilities.
Your family and friends are welcome to visit and “shadow” you in your classes, work, etc., as long as their visit is prearranged through the office and housing is available.
Yes, provided arrangements are made ahead of time and permission has been given from your supervisor and the Dean of Students. Please note that because of retreat scheduling, our “weekend off” is Sunday and Monday.
No, the requirements of the School of Discipleship’s program do not allow for any extra time for working off-site.
Students receive scheduled academic breaks during the program, normally getting approximately one week of vacation at Thanksgiving, two weeks at Christmas, and two weeks at Easter, depending on the calendar.
Yes, students are allowed to have a personal vehicle during their year in the program. However, the Ranch assumes no responsibility or liability for personal vehicles.
Miracle Mountain Ranch is located in a snow-belt area and along with abundant snowfall, temperatures can reach sub-zero during the winter. We recommend students bring insulated coveralls and/or a heavy winter work coat, rubber muck boots for chores, a good work boot that provides adequate support, gym shoes for games and activities and footwear appropriate for church. You will also need socks, gloves, hats, etc. suitable for cold weather. For students arriving from warmer climates, we can recommend stores for purchasing cold weather clothing after you arrive. Students should also plan for lots of wet weather as well.
The daily schedule for the students varies depending on the season, as well as scheduled Ranch activities and events and therefore, the schedule is always subject to change. A sample schedule is listed below for the majority of the academic year.
- 6:30 a.m. – Chores
- 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast
- 8:00 a.m. – Scripture Search
- 8:30 – 10:20 a.m. – Bible Class
- 10:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. – Horsemanship
- 12:20 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. – Lunch
- 1:30 – 4:20 p.m. – Operations/ Major time
- 4:30-5:30 p.m. – Chores
- 6:00 p.m. – Supper
Throughout the year of the program, students will rotate through a variety of chores and operations areas including horse barn, food service, operations, and housekeeping. The School of Discipleship uses these chores and operations times as a training time for spiritual development, skill development and ministry development. As students proceed through the year and have the opportunity to serve in a variety of Ranch ministry and service areas, their performance, attitude and leadership abilities are evaluated by the staff they are serving under. This ongoing evaluation allows for further student development as weaknesses are addressed and strengths are enhanced.
- My goal is to have (or be involved in) a ministry using horses. Will the School of Discipleship help prepare me for that?
In the School of Discipleship, horses are NOT the primary focus of the program; instead they are used as a tool to develop godly character and maturity. In this way, the horse program and the student’s training in horsemanship serves the purpose of revealing attitudes of the heart and character qualities needing developed. Each student is evaluated at the beginning of the program and placed in a riding class according to skill level. Students receive regular horsemanship and riding lessons to further develop their skills, and those students wishing to advance further can choose to major in Equine Ministries during the third phase of the program. During this part of the program, Horse Major Students learn aspects of using horses in a Christian ministry, as presented through the equine ministries of Miracle Mountain Ranch.
The School of Discipleship is licensed as a Private School in the state of Pennsylvania, but it is not accredited. However, some Bible colleges have accepted credits from our program, including:
- Appalachian Bible College, WV
- Davis College, NY
- North Tennessee Bible Institute, TN
- Antietam Bible College, MD
- Magister University, Antigua