Frequently Asked Questions

What qualities are you looking for in Global U students?

We are looking for 18 to 23-year-old followers of Jesus who are adventurous, flexible in unpredictable situations, resilient, emotionally healthy and able to keep their focus on the purpose of their education: to bring the Kingdom of God to the world. While ministry, development and travel experience are helpful, they’re not a requirement for Global U.

How selective is Global U?

One of the important parts of our model is our high-quality students. We have to be selective. Because we are narrow in our focus, we anticipate that we will accept about 4% of applicants. If you are admitted, you will find a real kinship with your fellow students.

What is the application process for Global U?

  1. Go to our website, click the Apply button and fill out the Quick App. It is free and takes 15 minutes or less to see if you might qualify.
  2. If we approve your candidacy, you will receive part B of the application via email.
  3. Pay a $49 app fee.
  4. Schedule a ½ hour phone interview.
  5. We prayerfully review your candidacy and within a week, call you to discuss it.
  6. If we invite you to a 3-day Boot Camp (cost: $78), this is the final step in your candidacy.
  7. At no point in this process are you committed to Global U. If you pass Boot Camp, we will give you the chance to commit. If you don’t, we will discuss options. We confirm your spot as soon as we receive your $200 deposit. An admissions advisor will help you with planning, fundraising, and all the logistical information you need to prepare.

What happens if the class fills up? Is there a waitlist?

We cap a Global U class at 40 students. Once a class is filled we can put you on a waitlist, as some students will drop-out before boot camp.

What are the age requirements for Global U?

Student Age: 18-23

Do you accept married couples?

We may take a married couple if both are accepted to Global U independently.

Can a Non-US citizen apply for Global U?

Yes. International applicants must meet the visa requirements of the nations we will be in. All applicants must be fluent in English. Please contact us for details.

How are Cohorts and Leaders organized and selected?

Cohorts are usually 5-6 in size. Each class of 20-40 students is made up of 4-8 cohorts. We build cohorts by looking at the gifts and passions of all students so that each team is built on affinity and potential synergy.  Cohorts are responsible for setting learning goals and working as a team.

Mentors, coaches, and professors, working as a team, develop personal plans for each student and lead classes.

Mentors are experts who have “been there and done that.” They travel with your class on the field, training cohort leaders and helping your class learn the ropes of world travel.

Coaches (usually in their 50’s) offer spiritual guidance for your class. They volunteer because they have a strong desire to pour into the next generation. They meet you on the field multiple times to debrief with your class.

What are the Fitness Requirements?

We believe in developing the whole person – body, soul and spirit. We will expect students to get in shape.

What about insurance?

You can learn more about the travel insurance plan here.

How much personal money will I need?

The tuition cost will cover all of your vital necessities. Your own personal grooming items, souvenirs, and fun adventures will be things you might want along the way. To access personal money on the field, we suggest a checking account with a Visa Debit Card. You will NOT want traveler’s cheques, much cash, or gift cards.

How much personal money you will want depends entirely on your personal spending habits and financial situation. A moderate amount would be approximately $100 – $200 per month. Keep in mind that you are choosing a simple lifestyle. We would encourage you to keep personal spending to a minimum.

When I fundraise, is the money actually mine?

No. In order to comply with IRS tax code, which state that all donors giving to a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization don’t have control over their donations, we have to treat donations appropriately. They are non-refundable and non-transferrable. We note donor intent by ‘tagging’ donations to your name. To see a copy of our Donation Policies, click here.

In addition, the length of time you are on the field does not necessarily line up directly to the funds expensed on your behalf. We put down deposits on initial airfares and make payments to ministry partners well in advance of your departure.

If you are not able to start your first semester for some reason, we can offer you the opportunity to defer to a later launch or to a different trip. In those cases, funds raised – minus anything already expensed (e.g., for training camp) – will transfer to your new fundraising goal.

Is Global U affiliated with any particular denomination or organization?

Global U is partnered with the interdenominational missions organization Adventures in Missions (Adventures). Adventures was established in 1989, sending people from different churches and backgrounds all over the world on life-changing mission trips. For more about Adventures, visit

Our staff and leaders come from a wide range of Christian churches and denominations. Read our statement of beliefs for a deeper look at what we believe.

With the different backgrounds Staff, Racers, and our Ministry Partners bring into the experience of Global U, you will most likely experience worship styles, Bible teachings, and Christian community different than you’ve previously experienced. We encourage you to dig into Scripture and have ongoing conversations about these things. We love this picture of the Body of Christ coming together, united in purpose to bring Jesus to the nations.

Students often blog about “Listening Prayer” and “Ask The Lord” What does this mean?

We believe that God speaks to us and that it is possible to hear Him. He has spoken throughout time and continues to speak to His people today (Hebrews 13:8). We ask, listen, and obey: asking God for guidance, listening for His response, and obeying Him to the best of our ability.

Listening Prayer is the term we use when we listen to God, as opposed to prayer only being when we speak to God. We believe prayer is a two-way conversation and that typically, people need more practice on the listening side.

Ask The Lord, or “ATL”, is simply a time when we actively ask the Lord what He wants us to do. It’s a time to practice listening to God. Ministry can be a direct overflow of what He says! Jesus taught that if we belong to God we “hear what God says.” (John 8:47)

A day of “Ask the Lord” ministry might look like staying in a local village, eating breakfast with your cohort, then spending time in worship and prayer asking God for direction. Then, students will go out in teams, walking in obedience to what Jesus said to do for that day! We believe God speaks in a variety of ways, we also believe in testing things against the authority of Scripture. We are deeply committed to both Scripture and the need for a personal relationship with Jesus.

What if my parents have concerns?

This is your education. You are an adult, and we treat you that way. But we understand parents may have questions and can be an important part of your Global U experience!

We have a ministry to parents of students – including a parent liaison. We are all about helping parents understand us as an organization and would love to answer any of their questions.

If your parents have questions, we suggest they start by checking out the Parent Guide. The contact information for Betty Means, who heads up our Parent Ministry, can be found in the Parent Guide, and she is happy to talk with your parents about Global U.

How safe is Global U?

Travel brings risk. We have put safety protocols in place. We have external consultants who assist us in designing and managing our training and field implementation for safety protocols. Our risk management team creates contingency plans so we are ready to move teams quickly if the need arises. We also have an extensive network of ministry partners and ministry connections worldwide who provide us with “eyes on the ground” as we assess situations.

That said, Global U is not for everyone. In particular, all students need to consider things happen we can’t predict. People get sick and accidents happen.

Our risk-management team is top flight. They monitor political, health, weather and other risks in the regions that we minister. This information includes the U.S. State Department travel warnings. You will be covered by a strong travel insurance policy. The insurance company works closely with us to ensure you will receive the care you need. For more information about the insurance policy, click here.

I have kids, can I attend Global U?

Global U isn’t designed for people with children.

Are the Web Development, Entrepreneurship, and Ministry tracks separate? Or part of the same program?

While all courses are standard to all Global U students, we seek to customize the learning experience to each student. Much of this will be a function of the initiative of the student and much will be embedded in the students’ Passion Project experience.

Can I get enough college credits?

Yes, if that is a priority, we have a program that allows you to earn college credits. More here: While GU is more interested in training you in the kinds of skills that will make you employable and connect you to a job, we understand that getting college credit may be a priority for you.

We partner with Truett McConnell College to help you earn credits for the educational work you do in GU. There are two ways to get enough credits to stay current with your class at a college you may want to go to when you’ve finished GU.

1. The one-semester program. Take the three courses listed (Leadership, Spiritual Formation, & Int’l Evangelism) while enrolled at GU. Then, after graduating from GU, enroll at the college of your choice for their summer semester. The two semesters together will complete the requirements for your Freshman year.

2. The two-semester program. Take 6-8 classes while enrolled at GU. This is the more difficult path. Let us know if you would like to discuss what it would look like.

What do we actually “do” at Global U?

Classes - Year 1

Responsive Web design

Javascript Algorithms and Data Structures

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

Computer Architecture

Algorithms and Data Structures

Problem Solving

Daily schedule

Mornings – 2 hours personal time, 3 hours of coursework

Afternoons – 3 hours of coursework

Evenings – on your own and in your cohorts

Passion Projects

Passion Projects are a way for students to put what they learn in the classroom into practice in the real world. They join a cohort of 4-7 students that dream up, and build out their ideas, with expert mentorship.

During the first month, students come together on Saturday mornings for a “Passion Project Expo.” Anyone can demo their PP in a series of shark tank-style presentations. We list issues/problems and then typically 2 students present a PP concept. All they need is a sponsor/mentor to back them.

Once a student has gained the backing of a mentor, they must recruit a minimum of 4 peers (max 7) to form a cohort and work on the project.

In months 2 and 3, cohorts will take the weekends to have an adventure and use the travel time to work on their Passion Projects. Students will be graded Monday morning on their progress and epic-ness of their adventure weekend(discovery & challenge – body, soul, & spirit).

Semester #2 students will implement their Passion Project.

Adventure Weekends

Each weekend during the first month, your cohort will go on Adventure Weekends and will discuss and formulate a Passion Project. In Nov/Dec you and your cohort will work on a plan that you implement in the second half of the year. You’ll work with your coach to learn by doing. Some will get scholastic credit for their project. Others may earn money. You will go further and work harder than you ever thought possible.

What is the Oaks Model of Spiritual Formation?

The Oaks Model brings intentionality and precision to the growth process. The team gives the students agency, help in aspiration and accountability to goals.

Each student has a 4-person team with a specialist that develops a Personal Development Plan (PDP) for each area:

  • Body (nutrition, sleep, exercise) – PDPs will look at healthy behavior and will look at epidemiology in establishing goals.
  • Soul (emotion, mind, will) – PDPs may involve assessment, counseling, discipline, and character; all as applied to the academic context and the chosen development track.
  • Spirit (intuition, communion, conscience) – PDPs look at prayer and other rhythms, Bible study, identity, community, and healing.
  • Career/Calling (passions, competencies, fit) – PDPs involve a variety of assessments, apprenticeships, and real-world engagements to clarify what God is calling students to be and do in the context of a world that needs them.

Recognizing that most colleges are soulless and ignore a holistic perspective, we seek to bring an integrated approach to development. Specialists have training in their specialty and the practice of coaching. We take the first month of the program to do self-assessment and research. Then build their year Personal Growth Plan.

Students meet with their 4-person team monthly for an hour review of progress and to receive coaching. Coaching applies the There/Here/Path – looks at where you want to be, where you are and then helps you build a path and adapt it over time.