Ascend Challenge

Where strength and resolve are tested. Where you will
advance forward, encounter the real world with
real skills, and hone your abilities, wisdom
, and direction.

This Year

You will seek
to master  . . . 
You will begin
to pursue . . .

Take a Look Inside


Projects, and their application of education to real life, remain a keystone of Ascend Challenge. With one personal project completed, it’s time to gear up and take things to a different level. Now you’ll encounter additional requirements, resources, and parameters as you work under someone else to accomplish an ultimate goal.

During the fall semester, you’ll complete a basic introduction to the fields of 1) business and entrepreneurship, 2) ministry and missions, and 3) culture and the arts. These fields encompass many possible careers, but on a deeper level, every Christian interacts with ideas from these fields on a daily basis — intentionally or passively. 

During the spring semester, you’ll select a project (perhaps from one of these spheres) and work to bring someone else’s idea to reality. The diversity of these projects will challenge you in unique ways as you work with and for others. You’ll find yourself integrating your knowledge in ways you perhaps never thought possible.

With a year of experience under your belt, you’ve already learned much about leadership. Now it is time to practically apply the leadership skills you have gained and begin practicing in earnest.

Year two students are eligible — and encouraged to apply — for Unbound student leadership positions or for leadership positions within their own churches, organizations, and communities.

Unbound positions are highly competitive and include Ascend Team Leadership and its corresponding Coaching and Leadership Intensive, the National Student Cabinet, and open company internships. These are significant resume boosts and also opportunities to broaden your professional network while building hard and soft skill 


APEX Event: 

In year two, you’ve already been to APEX at least once. You’ve also plugged into your team and into the Unbound student community. In year one, you watched the bar be set; now you will begin to set it yourself for those coming after. 


Yes, you’re still facing challenges — and this whole journey has been a lot tougher than you might have anticipated. But now that you’ve started, you can’t dream of quitting — and as you start year two, you’re ready to help support a new round of incoming year one students, casting vision and passing on the Unbound culture of character, courage, and community. 

Basecamp Event: 

Year two students are back at Basecamp, but this time the event has expanded. While you’ll share keynotes with Foundation students, you’ll also attend a private track designed specifically for Challenge students. 


You’re still seeking to master tasks, time, relationships, and resiliency, of course, but with the benefit of a full year under your belt, you see these ideas a little differently than you did last year. Application looks a little different, too, and you’re ready to take these ideas to the next level. 



Capstone Event: 

As you come to the end of your second year in Ascend, you see leadership in a whole new light. Not only did you complete your Signature Leadership Certification, but you’ve also applied those principles to your projects and perhaps even led a team yourself. With some solid experience behind you, you see things a little differently here, too. 


Capstone is still all about engaging with leadership principles at a new level, and year two students have a wealth of new questions and experiences to apply these principles to. You may also be asked to lead a Capstone team during the week. You’ll benefit from having older leaders there live to ask personal questions, and you will continue to study the humility and growth mindset of an effective leader. 


Cultural Engagement 
Summary: In a world where many Christian students succumb to, assimilate into, or falter against the culture, a different course of action is desperately needed. This course equips students with the wisdom and ability to actively, graciously, and offensively — rather than defensively — engage with the world, and to make discerning, God-honoring decisions in a complex and antagonistic culture. 
Tactical Communications
Summary: This course equips students with “next level” relationship skills in areas seldom discussed: ethical communication, conflict, negotiation, persuasion, de-escalation, and more. Students will better understand the components of successful, healthy communication, all in the context of a Biblical understanding of relationships and the Imago Dei.  
Financial Advantage
Summary: In a culture that prioritizes instant gratification, excess, and disinhibition, young adults are called to a life of faithfulness and wisdom. In this course, students gain a deeper understanding of concepts such as retirement, investing, money mindsets, underlying economic principles, business versus personal finance, and more. This course equips students with the knowledge needed to better steward their resources in a selfless, kingdom-oriented, God-honoring manner. 

Are You Ready
for What Comes Next?

Ascend Challenge is designed to support you as you take the next step up and forward.
You’ll take increased responsibility as you lean in to what God has for you.
Easy? No.
But we believe as Christians, we were created for more than easy
We were created to love God in action, not just words, and Ascend Challenge
is designed to prepare you to do just that.
  1. Schedule an appointment with our Admissions team
    • Here’s what this appointment will look like:
      • We’ll ask you about your experience with the Ascend program and you’ll have the opportunity to share with us how your year has gone. The good, the bad, the ugly . . . we really do want to hear about it all!
      • We’ll talk specifically about Ascend Challenge and answer any and all questions you have about it.
      • We’ll finalize your re-enrollment by either taking payment in full for the year or starting/continuing a payment plan.

Over the summer, as you enjoy a break from classes and prepare for the start of Ascend Challenge, you’ll receive a form in your inbox to finalize your re-enrollment details as well as a couple of packages in the mail with content and resources to set you up for success this fall! 


  1. Schedule an appointment with our Admissions team
    • Here’s what this appointment will look like:
      • We’ll ask you about your experience with the Ascend program and you’ll have the opportunity to share with us how your year has gone. The good, the bad, the ugly . . . we really do want to hear about it all!
      • We’ll talk specifically about your goals moving forward and make sure we are supporting you in any way we can as you take the next steps towards your future.
      • The final step will be to schedule an Advising appointment to make sure you have everything you need regarding the classes you completed during Ascend Foundations. This will give you the opportunity to ask any questions you might have about your transcripts and ensure you have a full understanding of next steps if you are transferring to your target school or putting your education on hold.