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Compass FAQs

What is the schedule? 

The 2020 Compass Program is from June 24–July 23. The program breakdown is as follows:

June 24: Arrival & Registration
June 25–July 4: Wilderness Expedition
July 5–July 11: Theology Expedition
July 12–July 20: Ministry Expedition 
July 21–July 23: Closing Days

How much does it cost?
Students are asked to raise $3,600 for their Compass trip. However, further need-based financial aid is available. 

This covers the cost of the entire program, which includes a wilderness expedition in New York, a theology course at Gordon College and a mission trip to Iceland. It covers food and lodging for the entire program (except for two travel days), bus tickets, airfare and much more. 

Where do we go for the mission trip/ministry expedition and what do we do there? 
As a part of being missional Christ-followers, Compass participants provide a service that is specific to the needs of churches and organizations in the areas where we are serving. For Compass 2020, participants will go to Reykjavik, Iceland. Learn more about our ministry partners.

What if I don’t want to be a pastor or missionary? Is Compass for me?
Absolutely! Calling is understood as something that applies to much more than traditional “ministry” roles. We believe that everyone is called to minister and love those around them. Although some Compass participants may aspire to vocational ministry, this aim is not a requirement or the norm. 

Who can apply?
Most of our participants apply for Compass during their junior year of high school and go through the Compass program the summer between their junior and senior year. However, students who have just completed their sophomore or senior year are also welcome to apply.  

When are applications due?
Compass applications are due by March 15, 2020. There is no fee to apply. For students who are requesting financial aid, however, applications are due by January 31, 2020. 

When will I know if I have been selected?
We review all of the applications that are submitted and mail admissions decision on a rolling basis. Although we do not have room for everyone, we take as many qualified applicants as we can, so please apply!

Can I do fundraising to help pay for the trip?
Yes. Compass provides guidance and fundraising tools, including individualized online fundraising pages.

How do students apply?
Visit the application page to begin the online application. Don't wait until the last minute. The application takes some time and effort, but it is very doable. 

How can I recommend a student for Compass?
Do you know a high school student who would benefit from Compass? Great! Recommend them here. Once you complete the form, one of our staff will be sure to follow-up. 

How do I choose a mentor?
Mentorship is a required part of the Compass application. If you are accepted into the program, then you commit to three years of mentorship. So it’s important that you find a mentor who will help you on your journey. 

Below are some tips for selecting a mentor. If you still have questions about the process, then please email us or give us a call. We’re here to help!

A good mentor should be:

  • Someone you know
  • Older than you, by at least a few years
  • Outside your immediate family
  • Of the same gender as you
  • Involved in a local church (it doesn’t necessarily have to be your church)
  • Able to commit to mentoring you for three years
  • Someone you respect and admire for their walk with the Lord
  • Someone you want to spend more time talking with and getting to know 
  • Someone who knows about the Compass Program (if they don’t, you can send them to our website to get to know it!)
  • Someone who currently lives near you, or who you are sure will be able to communicate over a long distance (if/when students go to college, most mentor relationships are long-distance, but it’s preferable that mentors and students live nearby to one another for the first year)

Does Compass hire summer staff?
Yes! Each summer, Compass hires mentors and worship leaders to walk alongside students throughout their Compass experience. The hiring process begins during the fall. 

To learn more about staff opportunities, email: compass@gordon.edu. 


If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to contact us via phone 978.867.4123 or via email: .