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Heart & Soul

2 readings
Reading: Spiritual Formation
Reading: The Church in Mission

Mind & Worldview

3 readings
Reading: Old Testament Survey
Reading: New Testament Survey
Reading: Intro to Christian Theology

Strength & Skills

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. Love your neighbour as yourself." -Jesus

2 readings
Reading: Effective Relationships or Marriage & Family
Reading: Service Practicum I & II
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  /  Certificate  /  QUEST


Gap year programs: Quest director

About this course

Looking for Gap Year Programs?

Adventure. That’s what you’re signing up for when you apply to gap year programs like Quest. You’re probably thinking about adventure, as in amazing outdoor expeditions  — and you wouldn’t be wrong. But the hiking, sailing, snow-caving trips are just one part of Quest. There’s the adventure of intentional community — the kind where you go deep and become true friends. Adventures in learning and growing — everything from lectures, to one-on-one mentoring sessions, to developing core life skills. Adventures in actively serving the people who need it most. And then there’s the biggest adventure of all: exploring who you are as God’s child and what it means to follow Jesus with every part of your self.


This is adventure with the potential to change your life.


You in?

Quest Staff

Gap year programs: Quest director

Jeremy Walker

Quest Director

Growing up in the Okanagan fostered a love for the outdoors in Jeremy. As he pursued that passion, it became evident that his love of creation also meant love for the Creator, and a lifetime of discipleship began. With over 20 years of outdoor experience, his favourite things to do are introduce others to the vibrant and vast outdoor world and help them experience what it means to be fully known and loved by others. Jeremy and his wife Christina (Quest ’99) live in Abbotsford with their three children.


Matt Kliever

Quest Program Associate

Matt grew up as a prairie farm-boy, but spending a year in the Adirondacks of New York allowed him to experience first-hand the discipleship opportunities made possible by mountains. Since then, he and his wife Koty have moved to Abbotsford to raise their three kids and to help facilitate adventure-filled years of discipleship for others. One of his biggest passions in life is helping people shape their identity as a follower of Christ so they can live lives of freedom and fulfillment.


Kelsey Wiebe

Quest Program Associate

Being raised in Maple Ridge, BC allowed Kelsey to experience the beauty of mountains, rivers, and beaches here on the West Coast. Her appreciation of the outdoors eventually led her to sign up for Quest in 2018/19, which had a profound impact on her. The sense of stillness that she found that year has propelled her forward into journeying alongside others as they seek to live the full life Jesus invites us all into. Kelsey and her husband, Levi, love gathering with others around delicious food, fun outdoor activities, and significant moments and events in people’s lives.


Cade Penner

Quest Intern


Rianna Smid

Quest Intern


Chloe Plett

Quest Intern

This program does not require approval by the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training. As such, PTIB did not review this program.

Combining experiential learning with in-class learning is what makes Quest unique. In our gap year programs, students will typically complete a 25-credit course load during the course of the year. Quest students have the option to add 1 to 2 courses of their choice if they feel able.

Many QUEST grads go on from their gap year program to further education at various universities and colleges across North America. Some QUEST credits may be eligible for credit transfer.


QUEST students who wish to transfer seamlessly into one Columbia’s diploma & degree programs will find it easy to do so. They will need to complete two additional courses (Church in Mission and a Bible elective) in order to graduate. Quest and academic staff will work with students to choose a good way forward. Program options include:

Gap Year Programs Canada - Jumping into Chilliwack Lake

The Quest Core (25 Academic credits)

Quest’s academic requirements include 25 credits. In this gap year program, you’ll work through a series of eight college-level courses plus a one-credit service practicum. Quest’s cohort model means you’ll be in all the same classes as your fellow Questies, so you’ll cheer each other on as you fill your minds with wisdom and truth.

Courses You'll Take
  • Old Testament Survey
  • New Testament Survey
  • Intro to Leadership
  • Spiritual Formation & Discipleship
  • Intro to Healthy Relationships
  • Intro to Outdoor Adventure
  • Self-Management
  • Christian Decision-Making
  • Service Practicum

35+ Amazing Day of Out-Trips 

Over eight months, you’ll spend forty days on Quest out-trips and expeditions. Some are single-day excursions, and some are five day long. Quest’s program fee covers all expenses for every out-trip – transportation, specialized equipment, meals, accommodations, and lift tickets, etc.

Your Out-Trips Will Include
  • Backpacking in BC’s alpine
  • Canoeing, hiking, camping
  • SALTS sailing adventure
  • Skiing/snowboarding retreat
  • Caving
  • Winter Camping
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Rock-climbing in the Okanagan
  • Christian Perspectives retreat
  • Potential of an International, Cross-Cultural missions trip (extra cost)

Plenty of In-Person People Time 

Quest is a gap year program designed to give you more breathing space and time for the personal connections that are so key to your Quest experience and growth.

Good ways to spend this time
  • Asking your Quest leaders for coffee
  • Going for a walk with your roommate
  • Exploring BC’s Lower Mainland
  • Pursuing a mentoring relationship
  • Praying with a small group
  • Getting involved on campus (intramural sports, student events)
  • Playing a board game together

Flexibility to Add 1-2 Classes

You’ll have the freedom to add up to one extra course per semester if you like. You might consider this option if you’re academically inclined, or it you’re planning to continue in one of Columbia’s diploma or degree programs after Quest or our other gap year programs. But this is up to you, and not required!

Options to consider
  • To stay on track for a diploma or degree, add ‘Church in Missions’ and a Bible elective. You can also catch up later with online summer studies.
  • Explore an interest. Worship Leading? Leadership? Youth Work?
  • Take a transferable class. Check out our transfer guides to see what courses will give you advanced credit if you attend college/university. Good candidates include Intro to Business, Psychology, English Literature, and more.
I don’t have a ton of “outdoors” experience. Am I a good fit for Quest?

Yes! Quest is designed to challenge both the experienced and less experienced by meeting students where they are at. If you have a desire to be outside, to experience God’s creation in a new way, and are willing to try new things – Quest is a good fit. If you already have plenty of experience, you’ll build your skills even more with the help of our qualified instructors.

Do I need to live in residence to be in Quest?

Not necessarily. We strongly urge you to consider it because living on campus will definitely enhance your experience of community. But you’re welcome to live off campus as long as you meet the necessary conditions (you’ll find them on page 34 of our Student Handbook.

How many students are in Quest?

We cap enrollment at 32 to foster a strong sense of community and belonging. Quest is a cohort program, meaning students take the same classes together.

How much does Quest cost?

See our Tuition and Fees page for the cost breakdown for all programs. QUEST program amounts include tuition and every outdoor trip (travel, group gear, meals, lodging), housing and your daily meal plan. You’ll be responsible to buy or borrow some personal outdoor equipment. There may be a few additional fees depending on your situation. See Financial Aid Options.

Do I need to fill out a separate application for Quest?

No. Simply fill out the Columbia Application and choose ‘Quest’ as your gap year program.

Can I play on a Columbia sports team if I do Quest?

Possibly! We consider this a case-by-case basis, depending on whether it’s possible to coordinate the season schedule with the out-trip schedule. Keep in mind that playing on a sports team while doing Quest takes high levels of energy, commitment, and personal discipline. Get in touch with Quest Director Jeremy Walker if you want to explore this possibility.

Will I be writing papers and exams in Quest?

Yes! Learning saturates every part of Quest in the form of outdoor adventures, reflective exercises, and eight college-level academic courses (25 credits). This means you’ll be studying the Bible, reading textbooks, writing essays, and studying for exams. Intense? Sometimes. But it’s amazing what God does in and through us when we give him such focused attention!

What kind of trips will I go on?

The awesome kind. We’re pretty excited about the variety of trips you get to experience. Variety in terms of length – day trips, weekends, week-long – and variety in terms of activity. Expect to try backpacking, rock-climbing, canoeing, sailing, hiking, winter camping, skiing or snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and spelunking.

What does a normal week in Quest look like?

Every week is a little different because we schedule the trips to take advantage of the West Coast weather patterns and work the academic components around that, so ‘normal’ around here means ‘each week feels new’. Having said that, the general template is for students to be on campus in classes Monday – Thursday and to have Friday – Sunday to fill with homework, socializing, rest, and personal adventures, but we interrupt that with 35+ days of outdoor adventure! The customized class and adventure schedule will be given to students at the start of each semester.

Do I need any special gear to participate?

Most group gear is supplied by Quest (i.e. tents, stoves, water filters, tall ships, etc.). Some gear you need to supply yourself (see our gear checklist). You can bring, borrow, or buy these items. Backpacks, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, and headlamps can be rented from our supply on a first-come, first-served basis by requesting them in the “Incoming Student Information Request” form that each student will fill out after being accepted into the program and being added to the Quest Group in Microsoft Teams.

When does Quest start and end?

Quest is a full gap year program that starts at the beginning of September and ends close to the end of April.

If I live in residence, will I have a Quest roommate?

We do our best to put Quest students in dorm rooms together for logistical reasons. Your neighbours on your floor will be from other programs, so you can get to know the rest of the Columbia community too.

Student Stories


Quest 2017-18


“One thing that stands out from my learning this year is the importance of discerning whose voice I am listening to. I was introduced to the idea that I am the beloved of God and that I was suffering from debilitating self-rejection brought about my listening to all the wrong voices. Slowly I began to realize that the fact that I am the beloved overrides any need to anchor my identity in the opinions and perceptions of others.”

What Parents are Saying

The Bedfords

“When our son attended Quest, I had some reservations. Chief among them was the thought that if you are going to spend that much, you might as well get on with your education. I was wrong. What changed my mind was my son. Nothing he said, but who he was when he got home. Yes, they sail, and ski and canoe and hike, but somehow they squeeze in a whole lot of biblical study. More importantly is the obvious amount of effort put into discipleship, facilitated no doubt, by the community developed through the activities. When our daughter went, I had different reservations: how would she fit in, would it be a good experience for a completely different personality? Her experience was profound and life changing. My personal thanks to you at the Quest program for making this a safe, yet challenging program: educational, but deeply rooted in discipleship and Christian community. You change lives. We have another son coming your way: No reservations.”

To view the gap year Program Objectives for the Certificate in Quest, click here.


Heart & Soul 0/2

2 readings
Reading: Spiritual Formation
Reading: The Church in Mission

Mind & Worldview 0/3

3 readings
Reading: Old Testament Survey
Reading: New Testament Survey
Reading: Intro to Christian Theology

Strength & Skills 0/2

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. Love your neighbour as yourself." -Jesus

2 readings
Reading: Effective Relationships or Marriage & Family
Reading: Service Practicum I & II