A college program like no other

Welcome to the most intense, most robust, most friendly, most exclusive college program on planet earth.

How it Works

WATCH: Ascend Explained in 7 Minutes…

Rather be reading? Click here to read a detailed program overview.

The Seven Steps to Ascend

1. Teams

Ascend Teams are the cornerstone of the program. After a student is placed in a team of 7-10 of their peers, they receive—and provide—coaching, encouragement, and accountability. One student in each team is mentored directly by program staff and acts as the team leader.

Ascend students
Eric Metaxes, Ascend

Eric Metaxas at APEX 2019

2. Events

A collection of events bring the Ascend program to life by providing a platform for students to forge relationships in person and learn in an even more intense environment.

View events

3. Expert Workshops

The expert workshops are monthly webinars that expose students to a wide variety of fields, ideas, and principles. One month they might be engaging with an expert in marketing, and the next month a full-time missionary. Students rate these workshops among their favorite parts of the program.

Dr. Benjamin Hardy speaking to program students

Dr. Benjamin Hardy speaking to program students

Ascend student leaders

Student leaders

4. Student Leadership

Student leaders—selected and trained by staff—are the lifeblood of everything in the Ascend program. Student leaders play a critical role in planning events, onboarding new students, and facilitating online and in-person environments for the community. These leaders are constantly learning life-lessons with hands-on experience.

Hear from some of our leaders

5. Courses

Whether enrolled for 15 or 30 credits, Ascend students have access to expert advising and a huge library of transferable college courses from some of the biggest academic providers. Dr. Jeff Myers' Signature Leadership Courses are included in the program.

Ascend student
Ascend students

6. Student Projects

Ascend students conceive, plan, and execute a project as a part of the program. An opportunity for students to apply what they are learning, these projects have ranged from starting a nonprofit to building a canoe for a multi-day trip.

7. Community

Ascend students get full access to our vibrant community. Complete with online forums, video hangouts, and opportunities for international missions, this community connects over a thousand friends around the world.

Unbound student community



For new students, APEX is the ultimate orientation. For graduating students, APEX is the ultimate crescendo. This event is the largest event in the program—open to alumni, family, and friends. Past speakers include Eric Metaxas, Joel Salatin, Phylicia Masonheimer, and Navy SEAL Mike Ritland.

Learn more about APEX

Watch the recap

Bootcamp students, Ascend

Students at Bootcamp


Bootcamp is an intensive life training event held somewhere warm each January. Bootcamp breaks students into smaller groups, presents challenges for those groups to work on, and is designed to train students in critical life skills that they will need no matter what career or vocation they are called to.


Held in the mountains of Colorado, Capstone is part of the last course in the Signature Leadership Series. At this event, students are mentored in person by Dr. Jeff Myers on Christian leadership.

Signature Leadership Course students

Students attending Capstone

Apply Now

If you’re ready to be challenged, work hard, participate in Christian community, and learn more than you’ve ever learned before, you’re the student we want.

Applications close on December 18, 2020 for the Spring 2021 class. Spring students will start on January 11, 2021.

Go all-in

  • check 5 courses, 15 college credits
  • check Registration and travel to all events
  • check Signature Leadership Courses
  • check Ascend team assignment
  • check Access to expert workshops
  • check Opportunities for leadership
  • check Access to the community, forever
  • check Signature Leadership Certification
  • check Ascend Certification


with a payment plan


paid in full

Apply Now

Want to talk to someone before you apply? Schedule a call with us!


What is Ascend?

Ascend is Unbound’s core program, designed as a year-long intensive that combines the best of flexible academics, practical life skills, robust community, and leadership expertise. Students graduate Ascend with more than college credit—they graduate with knowledge from field experts, a life-changing leadership credential, a challenging project completed, practical skills from life courses, a remarkable professional and personal network, and having attended three powerful live events.

Who is this program designed for?

Ascend students want something more. They recognize that they are called to a life of meaning, service, and leadership—and are willing to pursue that vision. They’re willing to commit time, effort, and energy to the process of growth, and they see the value of skills and principles that will equip them for a life of impact. They’re willing to be part of a team, knowing that they and their fellow students can help each other to go further and do more than they could on their own.

They know that an extraordinary life lies past the edge of their comfort zone, and even if it takes time, they’re willing to set sail for that horizon.

If this sounds like you, Ascend was designed for you. (And you should go apply.)

Can I do Ascend as a dual enrollment high school student?

Yes! High school students can do Ascend as a dual enrollment year. We recommend our 15-credit package for high school students who are just entering the college world.

Can I do Ascend as a gap year?

Of course! While some level of academic participation is currently required to enroll in Ascend, you can select our 15-credit option if you would prefer to take fewer classes.

Can I do Ascend for multiple years?

Yes! You can take one to four years of Ascend. Each year is designed to be a full experience in itself, but subsequent years build on each other and provide students with deeper and more significant opportunities as they progress.

Can I use financial aid, scholarships, or tuition assistance plans for Ascend?

Because we are affiliated with schools but are not a college ourselves, we cannot take financial aid, scholarships, or tuition assistance directly. However, you are welcome to utilize available options at your discretion and use those funds to enroll in Ascend. Because we’ve all been college students too, we’re excited that our pricing structure is set lower than the average state school with tuition assistance!