A Gap Year that Offers College Credit


Earning College Credit at Vanguard

Earn College Credit During Your Gap Year!

“Vanguard is about big, important questions; vibrant, rich conversations; and meaningful, reflective engagement in the world." - Dr. Tiffany Kriner, Associate Professor of English

Inquiry-Led Learning at Vanguard

By participating in Wheaton College faculty-led multi-disciplinary seminars, engaging with community, and digging into core spiritual disciplines, Vanguards will earn 8 transferrable Wheaton College credits as a part of their year.

Throughout the program, Vanguards will participate in 7-8 three-day seminars led by Wheaton College faculty who represent multiple disciplines. This liberal arts approach creates a learning environment of connection and exploration. Students’ writing, critical thinking, and communication skills are strengthened to prepare them for success in college and career.

Earning 8 College Credits in the Vanguard Year

Each semester, Vanguards will be involved in one 4-credit class. Adventure experiences, spiritual discipline practices, reading and reflection assignments, as well as living in Christian community combine for an unforgettable experiential learning opportunity. If Vanguards stay for Wheaton in the Northwoods, the "May-term" of Wheaton College, they can earn up to 8 additional credits at additional cost.

Learning Alongside Wheaton College Faculty and Staff

These seminars bring together 2-3 Wheaton faculty and staff from a variety of disciplines. You could have one professor from Bible and Theology, another from Art History, and a Biology professor join together to tackle the question, "What does it mean to be made human?" As they share profesional experience and their personal stories, professors share a passion and knowledge of their subject to help Vanguards reignite a desire to learn.

Integrating Life's Big Questions with the Historic Church Calendar

The seminars are based on themes from the historical church calendar, which gives structure to the Vanguard Gap Year. Each seminar begins with a question of faith that is then examined from a variety of perspectives. Through interactive discussions, group and personal projects, and reflection activities, Vanguards are challenged to consider others' perspectives, defend their ideas with an open mind, and build a personal foundation of faith.

Liturgical SeasonSeminar Topic
Ordinary Time Why does God matter?
Advent What does it mean to be human?
Christmas Who and what is the church?
Epiphany What is truth?
Lent How do we respond to evil and injustice in the world?
Easter and Pentecost What is my purpose in light of the Great Commission?

Optional: Summer Courses to Earn Additional Credit

If Vanguards choose to stay for "Wheaton in the Northwoods" (WIN), a May term offered by Wheaton College, they can earn 4 additional credits at a discounted summer rate. WIN students take one 4-credit class over the course of two weeks. They build close relationships with fellow classmates and with Wheaton College faculty members. Classes range from Intro to Philosophy to Modern Global Literature, from Statistics to Wood Fired Ceramics. Learn more about the WIN program.