Where you will advance forward, encounter the real world with real skills, and hone your abilities, wisdom, and direction.
Ascend Challenge is designed to support you as you take the next step and lean into what God has for you.
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.
Your Ascend Team meets once a month for coaching, support, and accountability – and you are now invited to apply for an Ascend Team Leader (ATL) position. ATLs receive additional training in coaching, leadership, discipleship, and support.
Expert-Led Webinars will continue on a monthly basis with new field experts presenting on a variety of real-world topics to demonstrate how what you are learning is realistically and successfully applied in the real world.
All new event tracks will bring second-year students’ event experiences to the next level. Event registration, room & board are again included in tuition for Ascend students. Plus free travel to APEX to kick off the year.
Whether students are in pursuit of a degree or not, Ascend Challenge brings three new non-accredited life courses to the table. These courses focus on critical areas like tactical communication, cultural engagement, and finance.
Projects remain a keystone of Ascend Challenge. With one personal project completed, it’s time to gear up and take on additional requirements, resources, and parameters as you work under someone else to accomplish an ultimate goal.
Your Ascend Team continues to meet once a month – and you are now invited to apply for an Ascend Team Leader (ATL) position. ATLs receive additional training in coaching, leadership, discipleship, and support.
Expert-Led Webinars will continue with new field experts presenting on a variety of real-world topics to demonstrate how what you are learning is realistically and successfully applied in the real world.
All new event tracks will bring second-year students’ event experiences to the next level. Event registration, room & board are again included in tuition for Ascend students.
Plus receive free travel to APEX to kick off the year.
Ascend Challenge brings three new non-accredited life courses to the table. These courses build on Navigate from your first year and focus on critical areas like tactical communication, cultural engagement, and finance.
Projects remain a keystone of Ascend Challenge. With one personal project completed, it’s time to gear up and take on additional requirements, resources, and parameters as you work under someone else to accomplish a goal.
You will continue
to master . . .
Almost every single person will work under another individual or business during their career, particularly early on. With this in mind, Challenge students enhance their ability to deliver value by effectively bringing someone else’s idea to reality in their Ascend Project. This unique project is often tied into your existing work or volunteer commitments but does not have to be.
During your academic year, you’ll select a project and work to achieve parameters for success that are set outside yourself. The diversity of these projects will challenge you in unique ways as you work with and for others, and you’ll find yourself integrating your knowledge in ways you perhaps never thought possible.
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 skills.
Challenge students don’t just hone leadership in a bubble. They also set the example for the next class of Ascend students, and they play a unique and powerful role in leadership, discipleship, encouragement, and demonstrating what it means to be Unbound.
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.
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.
It’s time to wrestle with what resilience means when applied to every area of life – body, mind, heart, and soul. And with the benefit of a full year under your belt, you’re ready to apply these ideas at a whole new level.
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 about deeply engaging with leadership principles, 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 attend a separate Challenge track on the humility, growth, and inner life of a leader.
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.
Summary: This course equips students with “next level” relationship skills in areas like 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.
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.
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!
Listen to commentary on higher education today, Unbound student stories, and engaging interviews with leaders in Christian education.
The Be Unbound YouTube channel shares actionable tips for students and chronicles the adventures of Unbound students and alumni.
Read what’s happening in higher education and informed commentary on the topics of life preparation, education, and Christian leadership.