Grand Rapids Bridge Year

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The Grand Rapids Bridge Year (formerly called the Bridge Street Mission School, BSMS) is an 8-month Christ-centered discipleship program based in Grand Rapids, Michigan with an emphasis on bible engagement, intentional community, rhythms of prayer and urban ministry – both local and global. This gap year (or "bridge year") program is available for 17-29 year-olds hungry to know Jesus and make him known in our city and beyond. Our purpose is to equip young people for a life of mission in whatever context God calls them into. The first four months are focused on spiritual formation and local urban ministry, and the following two months focus on global mission overseas. The final two months are focused on equipping students to translate their knowledge and experiences into a life of mission. Contact us for more info!

  • 2 full months of global mission work
  • 6 months of local urban neighborhood engagement
  • Perfect mix of biblical teaching with hands-on ministry experience
  • Christ-centered community in a college dorm-like setting
  • Earn up to 21 transfer credits to participating colleges and universities

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Yes, I recommend this program

For Every Person

I happened to hear about the Bridge Street Mission School from an acquaintance. At the time, I was already on the lookout for a Christian training program because I felt God asking me to spend time seeking Him before launching into a "normal life."
I can now say, with a sparkling grin, that my life will never be normal.
To be honest, this program is not what changed my life: God did. But He has done incredible things through the BSHOP, and I will be grateful for it all my life. No one should pass up the chance to spend time seeking God, serving those He loves, and walking in the footsteps of leaders who truly live the mission of Jesus. The happy home, traveling adventures, and lifelong friendships are perks, to be sure. But the power of the Bridge Street Mission School experience is in the character and hearts of its leaders.
After graduating this program, I am living for something bigger: the work of Jesus. Not money, family, personal satisfaction, or a million other dreams that have failed to satisfy the people I know. I learned that the life of a follower of Jesus will be markedly different from the lives of his or her peers, and that is a good thing.
As the description above says, this program is a time to practice living in community, studying the Bible, praying like breathing, and loving one's neighbors. It is by no means easy, but it is a taste of the Kingdom of Heaven.
This training program is beyond valuable, no matter what one's life plan is.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Further up, further in

The Bridge Street Mission School was a space and time where the Lord met me personally, and I experienced the fullness and grittiness of Christian community. I learned how the gospel is good news for myself, my community, the West Side, and the nations. The experiences I had through this program equipped me to walk with Jesus, to engage injustice, and to cultivate a life of prayer and intentionality. Warning: you will leave changed, but that's a good thing. If you are craving community, connection with God, a space to grow, a place to ask hard questions, BSMS is for you.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Best "Gap" Year Ever!

After high school, I didn't know where to go or what to do. The Bridge Street Mission School (BSMS) sorta fell into my lap, and it was by far the best year of my life thus far. I have always loved downtown Grand Rapids and have had a heart for community development, and the BSMS did nothing but expand and add to my enthusiasm towards loving my city. It gave me such a great Biblical foundation to take into my career and life. I wouldn't trade the experience I had there for anything!

What would you improve about this program?
Not much. I loved every minute of it!
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