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Young Adults walking together through a field

a gap year with purpose and potential

an 8-month discipleship program focused on introducing students to the study and interpretation of the Bible, discovering their identity in Christ, and gaining practical ministry-leadership skills.

Available in partnership with the local church.


...a gap year with purpose and potential



Pursue-X is an intentional 8-month discipleship program focused on introducing students to the foundations of Christianity, study and interpretation of the Bible, discovery of their identity in Christ, and gaining practical ministry-leadership experience as they serve in the context of their local church.

His Word . His Heart . His Mission.

Pursue-X is an eight-month Discipleship Program that focuses on foundational biblical and theological principles through college-level courses. Throughout the year, you will engage in a program uniquely designed to help you develop spiritual disciplines, leadership skills, and being a member of a ministry team. You will serve as an active member of your local church's leadership team.

HEAD (His Word)

  • Introduction to college-level learning through accredited and transferable courses
  • Interact and participate in Formation and Discipleship courses tailored to the Pursue-X program
  • Learn how to read the Bible well; understand the context; know the overarching story of the Bible and how life, death, and resurrection connect the story from Genesis to Revelation
  • Develop skills in Bible study and interpretation

HEART (His Heart)

  • Discern what you love/worship through spiritual practices and reflection
  • Learn to relate well to others by being part of a team and being mentored by leaders
  • Develop principles and practices for effective emotional, physical, and spiritual self-care

HANDS (His Mission)

  • Understand what it means to align your personal interests to further the purposes of God's kingdom
  • Discover your spiritual gifts and explore your calling
  • Gain confidence in your abilities, accomplishments, and decision making
  • Develop the mindset of being a 'reflective practitioner' who is able to learn from what they experience from hands-on ministry-leadership


  • Serving in your local church
  • Partnering with a local ministry in a 'distant land'

Personal Growth Opportunities:

  • One-on-one Discipleship/Mentorship
  • Leadership Development
  • Spiritual Direction

Community Experiences:

  • Pursue-X Residencies
  • local church
  • cohort learning

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Program Objectives

  1. Gain foundational biblical and theological knowledge through discipleship and college-
    level courses.
  2. Develop spiritual disciplines, practical personal care, leadership skills and abilities.
  3. Serve as an active disciple of Christ through ministry opportunities, and projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions regarding Pursue-X, please contact Enrolment Services.  Some questions are answered below.

Who is the ideal student for this program?

  • Students who are interested in serving in their local church
  • Students who are able to dedicate 8 months to reflect and discern the leading of God for what's next in their lives.
  • Students who want to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and try some college-level academic study.

Note: Pursue has been designed to offer an end-to-end learning experience. It has been created to be taken with other students as a cohort, on-campus, online, and in practical settings. The program is required to be taken in sequence, and it is not intended for a student who has completed other biblical higher education or discipleship school programs. If a student has any previous education or transfer credit, we will suggest that they consider another Vanguard program.

How often do I attend the College campus?

The Pursue-X program allows you to stay at home and receive most of your program at your local church. You are required to come on campus twice in each term. At the beginning of September, you come on campus for orientation and to get to know the other students in the program. Then, mid-term, you come back to campus for a one-week course. At the beginning of January, you will again come on campus to connect with the other students in the program and get set up for the coming term. Then again, mid-term, you will come back to campus for a one-week course. All other courses are delivered while you are at home engaged in ministry at your local church.

What will I be doing on the trip?

The North – Partnering with local organizations to share Jesus and his hope with people in small communities in the Northwest Territories.



What will transfer into a degree or certificate?

23 credits from the Pursue-X program will transfer into a degree at Vanguard College.

Discipleship Certificate

Fall Courses


Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00

Online Course Code DEBT102

The heart of this course is centred around the importance of the Bible as God’s revelation to mankind, the metanarrative of God at work in history. The course intends to instruct students in how they read and study the scriptures. The student will be acquainted with the purpose and methods of responsible biblical interpretation, both general hermeneutics and special hermeneutics. The intention is to provide tools for interpretation, an emphasis on role of the Holy Spirit their personal reading of the Bible, and an appreciation for the different genres of scripture.

DEBT101The Bible As Story

Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00

This entry level course is designed to demonstrate the importance and relevancy of the whole Bible for today. For many, it is a mystery how the Old Testament is related to the New Testament. Some think the former is a source of unrelated devotional stories, laws and prophecies. In truth, the two testaments are the complete story of God’s progressive plan for his people. It is the purpose of this course to concisely trace the story of Scripture, and to help students build a central foundation with which they can understand, interpret and apply God’s word to their lives today.

DF104Formation 1: Spiritual Formation

Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00

This course will allow the student to gain a solid and practical understanding of what spiritual formation is, recognizing just how important it is to one’s overall wellbeing. Building on that understanding students will explore and engage in the process, practices that facilitate spiritual growth and maturity. A foundation will be laid for this course during the cohort week held at Gull Lake Conference Centre in the opening week of the semester. Included in that opening week will be an orientation toward Spiritual Direction. The remainder of the course will be facilitated by the Pursue-X Coordinator, involving assigned work and virtual delivery and connection.

DF105Formation 2: Personal Awareness

Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00

The quest of knowing Jesus Christ also involves a journey of knowing yourself. This course will help Pursue-X students discover more about their worldview, personality, and emotional health. These aspects influence the way we think, feel, and act in this world. In addition, students will identify their unique spiritual gifts, passions, and abilities which are integral to discipleship growth.

FE103Practicum: Pursue - Fall

Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00

Through the practicum, Pursue-X students will learn to serve effectively, in cooperation and partnership with others who are in leadership in the context of the local church. Students will be part of ministry teams, receiving and fulfilling responsibilities as assigned, learning to understand both the responsibilities and privileges of leadership. Students will also develop interpersonal communication and leadership skills. This will include involvement in regularly scheduled staff meetings (as appropriate) as well as ongoing communication with the supervising pastor who will provide ongoing feedback and instruction on how to be an effective servant leader.

Winter Courses


Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00

Online Course Code DEBT104

This course is an introduction to the Gospels. It will focus on the four canonical gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Issues relating to the synoptic problem will be explored, as well as the unique contribution of each gospel. The literary nature of the gospels will be examined, exploring the gospels as story, as well as their theological impact. As the title implies, this course will emphasize our response to the gospels: what it means to follow Jesus.

DEBT105Theology 1: God and the Human Condition

Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00

The purpose of this course is to examine the teaching of the Bible and develop a systematic theology that addresses four important themes: the Word of God, the doctrine of God, biblical anthropology, and the doctrine of sin. Efforts will be made to explain how these themes are developed through promise and fulfilment from Genesis to Revelation.

DF106Formation 3: Life on Mission

Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00


FE104Practicum: Pursue - Winter

Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00


PS100Mission Team Dynamics

Class Time: 3 hours | Credits: 3.00