Phase 1: Spiritual Formation + Local Mission

September - December

The primary focus of this phase is on spiritual development which happens through teaching, reflection, and application. There are 10-15 hours/week of topically based teaching led by a variety of qualified speakers from around the world. Weekly teaching topics may include: Biblical Worldview, Nature and Character of God, Inductive Method of Studying Scripture, Urban Missions, Global Missions, Community, Spiritual Warfare, Worship, Prayer, and more. All students live in the BSM neighborhood, and experience the richness and challenges of living in intentional Christian community. The learning experience is not limited to the classroom, but is taken to a variety of urban ministry settings where students have opportunities to tutor children, coach soccer, run after-school programs, serve coffee in the Pavilion Coffee Shop, etc.

Phase 2: Global Mission

January - February

This phase gives students an experience of a life “on mission” in a foreign culture. All mission teams are sent to support and advance the mission of long-term missionaries around the globe. We work to build long-term partnerships so that our global efforts help to sustain and grow effective ministry among the people we are serving.

Phase 3: Sending

March - April

The purpose of this final phase is to take everything that was learned and experienced during the first 6-months, and translate that into a strategic action plan to move forward. Every student is equipped with tools like the Strengths Finders assessment, a personality and cultural intelligence assessment, and a spiritual gifts assessment. Students also choose one of three focus tracks to provide more specific training in certain areas. The Leadership Track helps students develop their leadership potential in any setting. The Global Missions track helps equip students for cross-cultural mission work, especially among unreached people groups. The Community Development Track is for students interested in the type of urban ministry that BSM does in the West Side of Grand Rapids. By the end of phase 3, students have developed a comprehensive strategic action plan so they can be sent out to live a life of mission.

Earn credit at our our partner colleges and universities

Kuyper College

21 Transfer Credits

Calvin University Logo

Calvin University

6 Transfer Credits

Grace Christian University

18 Transfer Credits

All credits are general education transfer credits and can be applied to any degree offered by the institution. For more information, please contact the admissions office of the institutions listed above.

FAQs

GRBY is offered to anyone between the ages of 18-29 who has a high school or high-school equivalent diploma by the start date of the program.

Most of the speakers for Phase 1 are friends and partners of BSM who are highly qualified and well respected pastors, ministry leaders, and experts in their field. BSM staff will also teach some of the topics, mostly in Phase 3.

Students will be living in an apartment building owned by Bridge Street Ministries in the West Side of Grand Rapids, Michigan during Phase 1 and 3. Housing during Phase 2 will be specific to each phase location in coordination with our international ministry partners.  

We discourage students from having a car while enrolled in the GRBY largely due to the fact that limited parking is a major issue in our neighborhood. Street parking is the only option available for students and most of our neighbors. We encourage other forms of transportation such as bikes, longboards, roller blades, and shoes. We are about a 10 minute walk from downtown Grand Rapids.

We are currently working in Guatemala City and southeastern India. We hope to build new long-term relationships with global partners in the future as well.

GRBY is about 8 months long, and runs from early-September through the end of April.

Yes, there is a 2 day break for Thanksgiving, a 1-week break for Christmas, and a long weekend in March upon arriving from Phase 2.

GRBY will demand 50+ hours per week, so a second job really isn’t an option. This is an opportunity to take an 8 month season and set it apart to seek God through bible engagement, intentional community, rhythms of prayer, and urban ministry. 

There is an $8,300 fundraising goal for students in the program. After acceptance, students will receive training and resources for fundraising on behalf of the Bridge Street Ministries. All donations are tax deductible and students are allowed to contribute toward their own fundraising goals. There are three fundraising deadlines associated with the fundraising goal:
 
 
 
First Friday in June: $100
Friday before Labor Day: $3,300
Last Friday in October: $3,300
Last Day Before Christmas Break (late December): $1,600
 
 
Personal expenses for students include a passport (required to have in-hand by the start date of the program), visa (India only), immunizations and vaccinations (as recommended by the CDC, option to sign a release waiver), books, etc.

Email grbridgeyear@bsmgr.org with questions and for additional information. 

Since fundraising is likely necessary to acquire funds, BSM has some resources, insights, and strategies available upon request that may help your fundraising be successful. Also, if you would like information about scholarships or other financial aid, contact us at grbridgeyear@bsmgr.org. 

Yes, we currently offer a limited number of students up to 50%  off of their fundraising goal for GRBY if they apply for and receive our Urban Scholarship. This scholarship is available to students who live in an urban area. Email grbridgeyear@bsmgr.org for more details.

Not through the government. GRBY is not a state accredited institution, and therefore does not qualify for state funding. There are currently no other financial assistance programs available to students.

Urban Scholarship

The Grand Rapids Bridge Year Urban Scholarship is a needs-based scholarship available to students living in an urban neighborhood. The Urban Scholarship is applied toward the student’s fundraising goal and assists with ancillary GR Bridge Year costs. Scholarships will be determined and awarded by BSM based on nominations received.

  • Student must live in an urban neighborhood.

  • Student and his/her family must lack the means and networks to raise sufficient financial support for GR Bridge Year.

  • Student must display Christian character and demonstrate a clear spiritual commitment to excel at GR Bridge Year.

  • Student must meet all other general requirements for incoming GR Bridge Year students.

To apply for the Urban Scholarship, provide the BSM with the following:

  • A one-page typed essay explaining why you are applying for the scholarship.

  • Nomination form and letter from a credible person you know (non-relative).

All forms should be mailed to BSM 1034 Bridge Street, Grand Rapids, MI 49504 or scanned and e-mailed to grbridgeyear@bsmgr.org. All forms must be postmarked by the last Friday in August of the year you are applying.