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What Is VCLA?

VCLA equips kingdom leaders for life. Student leaders will gain a greater sense of who they are, who God is, and what they were created to do. VCLA prepares and empowers kingdom leaders for their next step into college, graduate school, or into their career path.

We have 5 strategies that we implement to invite Jesus to transform young adults into the Hope Carriers they were designed to be: Encountering His Presence, Building Relationships, E.P.I.C. Teaching, Taking Adventures, and Activating Leadership.

  • Encountering His Presence
  • Building Relationships
  • E.P.I.C. Teaching
  • Taking Adventures
  • Activating Leadership

Encountering His Presence

No matter what adventure, classroom teaching, team-building activity, Scripture reading, or mission trip we are experiencing, we want our students to have an authentic encounter with Jesus. VCLA gives young leaders an opportunity to practice hearing, listening, and following the voice of God no matter where we are. The more aware we are of His presence, the greater the influence we have in the spheres where He has placed us at school, work, in relationships, and in our families.

Building Relationships

Following after Jesus was never meant to be a path we travel alone. Jesus placed great value on sharing the journey with others. The deeper we grow together, the more like Jesus we become. VCLA equips young leaders to pursue healthy relationships with commitment, communication, and intentionality.

E.P.I.C. Teaching

VCLA is not your normal classroom experience. God’s Word is living and active so we believe that our classroom should be! That’s why we use an E.P.I.C. teaching strategy. We want our classroom to be: Experiential – Students bond with an experience more than a lecture. It’s all about creating an engaging learning environment to connect students. Participatory – Students want choices. They will support what they help create. We allow students to “weigh in” on what or how they learn. Image rich – This is a visual generation and they use images more than words to communicate. In turn, we use physical and digital images, narratives, videos, and icons to connect students to information. Connected – Students connect with a subject when allowed to connect with each other. We are constantly breaking students into smaller groups to let them solve problems together. 

Taking Adventures

Following Jesus is the greatest adventure! VCLA is designed to give students opportunities to step into the unknown for the good of others and the glory of God. Every mission trip, classroom opportunity, retreat, and coaching conversation is an opportunity for every student to live by faith. Obedience is God’s love language, and we believe that as the students learn to live by faith, they will become the leaders they were made to be.

Activating Leadership

VCLA believes that the next generation are the leaders of today. We empower our students to lead like Jesus. They will have opportunities in the classroom, in Valley Creek Students on Wednesday nights, and on local and foreign mission trips to discover and use their unique giftings for the Kingdom. They have been made to make a difference in the world around them, and VCLA is designed to help them discover the greatness He has put in each student!

  • Encountering His Presence
  • Building Relationships
  • E.P.I.C. Teaching
  • Taking Adventures
  • Activating Leadership

Encountering His Presence

No matter what adventure, classroom teaching, team-building activity, Scripture reading, or mission trip we are experiencing, we want our students to have an authentic encounter with Jesus. VCLA gives young leaders an opportunity to practice hearing, listening, and following the voice of God no matter where we are. The more aware we are of His presence, the greater the influence we have in the spheres where He has placed us at school, work, in relationships, and in our families.

Building Relationships

Following after Jesus was never meant to be a path we travel alone. Jesus placed great value on sharing the journey with others. The deeper we grow together, the more like Jesus we become. VCLA equips young leaders to pursue healthy relationships with commitment, communication, and intentionality.

E.P.I.C. Teaching

VCLA is not your normal classroom experience. God’s Word is living and active so we believe that our classroom should be! That’s why we use an E.P.I.C. teaching strategy. We want our classroom to be: Experiential – Students bond with an experience more than a lecture. It’s all about creating an engaging learning environment to connect students. Participatory – Students want choices. They will support what they help create. We allow students to “weigh in” on what or how they learn. Image rich – This is a visual generation and they use images more than words to communicate. In turn, we use physical and digital images, narratives, videos, and icons to connect students to information. Connected – Students connect with a subject when allowed to connect with each other. We are constantly breaking students into smaller groups to let them solve problems together. 

Taking Adventures

Following Jesus is the greatest adventure! VCLA is designed to give students opportunities to step into the unknown for the good of others and the glory of God. Every mission trip, classroom opportunity, retreat, and coaching conversation is an opportunity for every student to live by faith. Obedience is God’s love language, and we believe that as the students learn to live by faith, they will become the leaders they were made to be.

Activating Leadership

VCLA believes that the next generation are the leaders of today. We empower our students to lead like Jesus. They will have opportunities in the classroom, in Valley Creek Students on Wednesday nights, and on local and foreign mission trips to discover and use their unique giftings for the Kingdom. They have been made to make a difference in the world around them, and VCLA is designed to help them discover the greatness He has put in each student!

Want to join?

Stories

VCLA helped open my eyes to see more of Jesus. I can confidently say I am a child of God— a beloved son in whom He is well pleased.

These roots I have grown are going to help me stay planted whether a drought, storm, flood, or harvest happens in my life. No matter the season, I know I have Jesus to be right there with me. Not only that, but I have friends ready to remind me of who I am, who He is, and what I am created to do.

Eli Richmond

Class of 2018

I used to be worried about my future and what it would hold, but now I feel secure, and all that is important to me is that I live out God’s dream for my life, and even though I might not know what my future holds, I know who holds my future. In the area of knowledge, I have learned so much. We have heard amazing teachings from Pastor Chris, Pastor Cordel, and Julie Pierce. Not to mention the numerous guest speakers we have had. VCLA is a journey that I will never forget, and always be grateful for. It has grown me and stretched me in ways that I never knew possible.

Elizabeth Myers

Class of 2019

I am a beloved son!! That is a concept that was lost on me the majority of my life. I grew up in a church where I learned we were sinners and needed to do everything we could to win God’s favor. I have no doubt in my mind that I’m saved not because of what I have to do, but because of what Jesus has done. I know Jesus loves me and has overwhelmed me with His grace. VCLA helped make this truth the solid foundation on which I’ll build the rest of my life.

Garrett Heath

Class of 2018

While in VCLA, the revelation of my identity being rooted in my friendship with Jesus totally transformed my view of God. You see, before this, I thought of God as someone who wanted to make me better so that I could do His work on the earth. And while that is true, I was blown away by the relational aspect of The Father. How deeply He wanted to know my heart and make me more like Him. I was in awe of His heart to love me and serve me, and just the fact that He desired friendship with me. So, the urge to spend time with Jesus, pray, and read His word began to grow in my heart as time went on. From this, my only response was to give my life over to Him in praise.

It’s through this continual revelation of being a friend of God that has led me to love others for who they are in Christ. I know that God intentionally orchestrated my experience at VCLA to draw me closer to Himself and invite me to live even more freely as a beloved son.

Jonathan Zavala

Class of 2018

This year has been a year I wouldn’t ever give up for any amount of money. I couldn’t put a price tag on it if I tried. It’s been a year of growing and stretching my physical, spiritual, and mental limits. It’s hard to believe that the Lord has something even better coming my way! Who am I? I always knew that I was a leader, that’s what everyone had always told me. But there was always something that made me feel less confident, whether it was I felt like I didn’t know enough about the bible to lead the people around me, or what I had to say wouldn’t be the best or most efficient option. But it was through VCLA that God slowly peeled the layers of insecurity to reveal the unique way God made me and who I am. He revealed that I have an overabundance of joy and love in my heart and that even though I will make mistakes and let people down there will always be enough love in other peoples heart for me.

Jackson Thompson

Class of 2019

Because of my experience in VCLA, for the first time in my life, I understood what it’s like to just experience the presence of God. My spiritual life has been transformed by just sitting and spending time in relationship with my father. I now can identify His presence, His voice, and His love.

Through many hills and valleys, God has patiently walked with me to give my heart the faith to believe even when I don’t understand. I know God is good because he has shown His love to me repeatedly. My circumstances and even the state of this world don’t define my God. As I grow deeper with God I choose to believe that no matter how I see a situation, whether I see God moving or if I can’t understand how He will use the pain; I walk in faith knowing that He is always good because His ways are higher.

Lexie Jones

Class of 2018

We say all the time, “People are messy.” I have had plenty of first-hand experiences of people’s mess causing hurt to my heart. I chose to shrink off into the corner not be involved in everyone’s life. But through VCLA, God gave me the revelation that I was not meant to live in isolation from people. I was meant to be a light to EVERYONE that I meet. To do that, I had to be willing to get involved in other people’s mess. I am made to love. I am made to lead. I am made for genuine community. I was made in His image and He is full of kindness and compassion for others.

Meris Sackett

Class of 2018

Being in an environment for 9 months where I was “forced” to pursue God definitely brought me closer to Him. Many times people use their experience as their dictator of truth, and that’s exactly what I did. I grew up in a Christian home, Christian environment, mostly all my activities regarded church and serving, and I thought what I had experienced with God was all there was. I have seen through this time there is always more with God. Every day I experience more of the goodness of God.

Madisonne Saulsberry

Class of 2019

FAQ

VCLA equips kingdom leaders for life. Student leaders will gain a greater sense of who they are, who God is, and what they were created to do. VCLA prepares and empowers kingdom leaders for their next step into college, graduate school, or into their career path.

VCLA is an excellent choice for 18-24 year olds who are motivated to grow and are hungry for a challenge.

We prefer the term “bridge year.” The nine months is not a “gap” in your education, career, or calling. We want to help students “bridge” toward the next steps God has in store for them.

Kingdom Leadership Focus: We will impart leadership skills from a kingdom perspective in one-on-one and team-based environments.

Collaborative Community: Students will experience personal growth as they journey through the academy experience together.

Classroom Engagement: It will be an intense educational experience designed to accelerate their development both inside and outside of the classroom.

Missional Service and Travel: We will experience the diversity of the global Church through local mission immersion and foreign partnership investments.

There is no application fee to apply, but in order to be accepted, students must have a high school diploma. Prospective students can apply online by clicking here. Once the application is complete, you will be contacted to set up a personal interview with our VCLA staff.

No. Students are responsible for securing their tuition costs and their housing arrangements. 

Yes. Students will be able to work part-time on weekends as long as it doesn’t interfere with outside reading and assignments (approximately 5-10 hours per week).

Every week looks different, but VCLA students should expect to be at our Flower Mound campus each week from 9:00am – 4:00pm, Monday through Thursday. VCLA students also serve at Valley Creek Students each Wednesday night from 6:00pm – 9:00pm.

It is not accredited and is not intended to replace a college degree. However, VCLA students will have the opportunity to earn up to 12 hours of college credit through Colorado Christian University. In addition, VCLA students will earn a certificate of completion, letters of recommendation, godly relationships, depth of character, and a confidence in their next steps.

We would love to set up a time to meet with you! Please email us at chris.searcy@valleycreek.org, and a member of our team will connect with you soon.

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