Gap / Semester Program
Connect. Care. Change.
Come and experience something different:
…experience the change that comes when you connect in a real way with God, others and creation.
…experience the change that comes when you care for others’ needs as we care for and nurture the land.
…experience the change that comes when you ask big questions—seeking to understand how to care for big issues like hunger, racism, and the climate through a Biblical lens.
Leave with a more rooted faith: inspired and equipped to bring change to our world through following Christ’s peacemaking way.
The Fellows program at 7th Seed focuses on the following four areas for student learning and growth:
FARMING & FOOD SYSTEMS
"Tending and Keeping" (Gen. 2.25)
While learning how to care for animals and grow food for ourselves and our neighbors, students will continually ask the question, “How can we make this place thrive for a long time?” Drawing upon the principles of sustainable farming, students will seek better, humbler ways of carrying out humanity's original vocation of “tending and keeping” (Gen 2:25). We will also examine broader social issues connected to food systems, hunger, and health in light of Jesus’ teachings.
FOREST MANAGEMENT & CARPENTRY
Biblical Relationship to the Earth
Managing our 200+ acres of forest in a way that it can thrive for generations, we harvest our wood for heat and building projects from our own land. The four seasons in the Vermont woods provide a variety of meaningful work from managing wildlife habitat to tapping our trees for making maple syrup. Students will learn basic forestry and carpentry skills while examining our relationship to the earth and community through a Biblical lens.
FAITH-BASED COMMUNITY & BIBLICAL STUDY
In this time of constant input and data, our program offers time away to ask big questions. Within the rhythms of community prayer and work, we dig deep into the truths of Scripture and discern how to live faithfully in our present moment. Students gather for regular times of worship and guided conversations on topics of Christian community, discipleship, and Biblical justice.
Challenge and Restoration
Alongside study and work, we also explore and enjoy the mountains, rivers, and lakes right in our neighborhood. Students will join experienced staff in cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, canoeing, hiking, and multi-day backpacking trips. We believe that wilderness provides not only exercise, challenge, and recreation, but also a needed space away from distraction for reflection, prayer, and spiritual growth.
Create Your Own Path
Once our students have gained hands-on experience and explored big questions, they will have the opportunity to pick an area of focus to create an action project. Students work closely with a staff or community mentor to put their ideas in motion. For example they could:
create a farm or forest-based product (exploring the market and creating a plan considering a triple bottom line: impact on people, planet, and purse).
plan a community-building event like an open mic night on our hill.
take action to explore and reduce the roots of hunger in rural Vermont or in Burlington (city about 35 minutes from us).
create an art installation or music performance or recording.