One of the most unusual components of this generation's growth is the advent of new and alternative forms of education and life development. For many students, a standard four years in college is no longer the norm as many are taking an extra year to travel the world, to serve, or just to enjoy the community of a collegiate lifestyle.
Undoubtedly this can be a significant source of tension and disagreement in some families!
We recognize that your son or daughter's desire to participate in the Forge may create some similar tension because it is not a “normal” path for students to take during or after college. We would like to help you and your son/daughter have all the information you both need to be able to reach a wise decision together.
Below is a list of basic information that parents tend to have the most questions about. If you have questions specific to your situation, please do not hesitate to ask by emailing us at email@example.com .
Program cost is $6,000 which includes:
- 5 trips of 7 days or longer
- Grocery & personal item stipend each month
- Program supplies
- All utilities for both houses and all other overhead expenses
- Supplemental health insurance
- At least one meeting with a licensed professional counselor
- Staff salaries & travel expenses for keynote speakers
- Personal and vocational mentoring for each student
Dominican Republic Mission Trip is $2,000 which includes:
- Down payment of $600
- 8 Payments of $1425 due monthly from August-March
- Final payment due March 10
Israel Trip is $4,000 which includes:
- 10 day study tour throughout all of Israel
- All airfare, transportation, gratuities, water, meals and other misc. fees
- Illustrated study guide & guided Bible based tour
- Preparation classes and materials
Total program cost: $11,000
- Down payment of $600
- Payments of $1,300 due monthly August-March
- Final payment due March 10th
Most of our students choose to fundraise the total program cost. This is often a struggle for many parents who feel like their son/daughter shouldn't ask for money for an educational program such as the Forge. We encourage them to fundraise for the following reasons:
They are not allowed to work outside of the program while they are here. We ask our students to set aside the 8-months and devote it solely to discovering more about God and more about themselves. Work would not only be a distraction, but would likely conflict with the very reason they would be coming in the first place. Since they will have no source of income, they will need to find people who would be willing to support them by investing in their growth and development.
Anyone who is going into any kind of non-profit work – whether religious or not – will have to be able and ready to ask for supplies, volunteer hours, and money. In order to be able to do this, the non-profit worker must not only believe in the mission of the organization, but also believe in the reasons God has placed him/her there.
It is one of the greatest tests of faith a believer can experience. We live in an independent culture – where self-sufficiency is the standard of maturity for any young man or woman. While students do need to learn how to live on their own, taking a short, defined amount of time to live a completely dependent lifestyle is not only stretching, but also a paradigm for how they are supposed to live in relationship with Jesus Christ.
Their friends, family and churches want to support them! A one-time gift from a friend not only helps them achieve a goal, but also communicates, “I believe in your future ministry. Keep it up!”
Since our students take the equivalent of a 19-20 hour course load during the program, many insurance companies will recognize your son/daughter as still a full-time student and, thus, still covered under your health care plan. Typically all that is required is a signed letter from the Forge Director verifying your son/daughter's enrollment. We are happy to provide any information your insurance company requires from you. However, the Forge is not an accredited program and some insurance companies do not grant coverage to students not enrolled in accredited programs. Please research this matter with your insurance company. We are eager to help provide any letters or documentation needed to verify your student’s participation in the program.
In the case that a student doesn't have insurance coverage, we do offer a supplemental health plan for all of our students, but only while they are involved in a Forge-related activity or on Pine Cove property.
Although the Forge is not planning on becoming an accredited institution, we have developed partnerships with universities and seminaries that would be willing to offer Forge graduates partial credit towards a Master's degree for their investment of time here at Pine Cove.
For more information about all partnerships, please visit our academic credit page. We do not have any partnerships that offer undergraduate credit for Forge work at this time. Forge students have been able to talk with their universities in the past and get credit for independent study courses, history credits, and religion credits. These students had to meet with the appropriate personnel at their universities and make their own arrangements.
Our goal is to prepare young men and women for leadership in their vocation, their marriage and their expanding sphere of influence. For some, that preparation involves degree plans, grades and diplomas. At the Forge, we too believe in the importance of competence, but also emphasize the growth of character, identity and discipline.
So, when we say we prepare leaders, we do not mean we are a factory for great public speakers, brilliant authors, or visionary CEO's. Our students may certainly find themselves in those positions, but they will gain influence in the lives of other people because they know who they are as a follower of Jesus – not solely because of their ability. Leaders must lead out of who they are – not what they can do.
Robert Clinton illustrates this point precisely in his book, The Making of a Leader:
"Effective spiritual ministry flows out of being, and God is concerned with our being. He is forming it. The patterns and processes He uses to shape us are worthwhile subjects for leadership study. Those who study patterns and processes, and use insights from them in life and ministry, will be better prepared leaders."
"When our son, Austin, told us he wanted to enroll in Forge, we were opposed to it. After all, we felt he needed to be making money at a "real job" at that point in his life, rather than gaining further experience as fill in labor for a camp in return for some Bible lessons, (not to mention that he would have to pay for the privilege!). We reluctantly agreed, mostly because he pretty much declared that he was going to do it with or without our approval. It proved to be a great blessing, however. Austin matured in many ways in his year with the Forge, most importantly in his walk with Christ. He remains clear to this day (2 years later) as to his mission to help others come to know the Lord, and has a strong heart for medical missions as a vehicle to do this. He seems quite comfortable with himself, confident, and shows qualities of compassion and leadership in his life. I attribute much of what Austin has become to the lessons he received at Forge, and would whole-heartedly recommend the program." -David Teitelbaum, D.O.
"When I first heard about The Forge, I immediately thought of our daughter- it sounded ‘right up her alley' of something to do AFTER college. It was her idea to apply, but she wanted to attend after only 1 year of college- and we were anything but supportive. We were afraid that she'd lose momentum, wouldn't go back to complete her degree, etc. Well, as God often does, He had a lesson for us through her. We soon realized that we were restricting God to work in our little box, and He had bigger ideas for her life- living in community with the other students, learning from the Pine Cove staff and others, memorizing Scripture, working retreats, acquiring an insatiable love of reading, building on foundational faith. It was an incredibly positive life-altering experience. (And, yes, she went back to college!)" -Susan Eveland
"Our son, Loren, was part of the very first Forge group. We consider it the most valuable year of his life to this point. Spiritual disciplines, life skills, and leadership wisdom were all implanted in Loren. But most of all, Loren's heart was stirred towards a lifetime of mentoring; no matter what vocation he chooses." -Vic & Subee Ransom
“Almost daily we see the impact the Forge had in our daughter's life. It was time well invested.” -Dona & David Stone