If you’re between the ages of 18–24, you’re in an incredibly important time in your life. You’re making big decisions that will shape your future. You’re stepping out on your own.
For many, a gap-year is a great way to discover more about your gifts and talents, interests and God’s calling on your life as you make those big decisions. As part of your preparation for wherever the Lord is calling you, a gap-year can be a great time to be part of something bigger than yourself, to grow in your faith, and serve the Lord.
The EXSEL Discipleship Program will allow you to do all those things and more. In addition to the unique opportunity for discipleship and spiritual growth, you’ll be gaining valuable vocational experience while working in various areas of the ministry, such as: guest services and hospitality; horsemanship; programs and operations; youth programs; facilities and maintenance; housekeeping; and food service.
Meet the EXSEL Director
Jim and Claudia Marrs
By God’s expansive and precious grace, both Jim and Claudia Marrs have been walking with Jesus for over four decades. Since 1980, they have walked this path happily united in holy marriage. God has blessed them with five adult children and four grandchildren. Throughout Jim’s 33 years of military service, they have hosted a number of home Bible study fellowships and have been actively engaged in their local church. The goal of their lives together has been to both live out and impart to others steadfast love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith (1 Timothy 1:5). Jim and Claudia are deeply blessed as they serve at White Sulphur Springs through the EXSEL Discipleship Program, actively facilitating opportunities to Experience, Serve, and Lead.
Invitation to Participate: Prospective Interns
Jesus sometimes removed himself from the press of the crowds to commune with a few of His dearest followers or even to be alone with His Father for a time. Have you ever sensed the need for this kind of “refuge” from the demands of this world? Are you uncertain of the path God has for your life? As disciples of Jesus, we all require periods of reflection on His Word, as well as frequent opportunities to roll up our sleeves and devote ourselves in sacrificial service to others, as Jesus did. Such times help us better comprehend the person of Jesus and the purpose He has for us in this life. Consider taking a season to serve and thrive in the picturesque setting of White Sulphur Springs, with the hopeful expectation of discovering God’s direction through the guided Experience, Service and Leadership opportunities of the EXSEL Discipleship Program.
What does a typical week look like for interns?
White Sulphur Springs is a dynamic and busy place, with retreat groups and ministry happening virtually year round. We work hard to provide some consistency to the schedule for the interns to have as much predictability as possible, with the understanding that some weeks are “non-typical” due to the dynamic nature of the conference center ministry. September through May, a typical week looks like this:
||Day off (for personal time, reading, study and academic preparation)
||Discipleship and/or apologetics classes are held in the morning, followed by a team lunch. Afternoons are reserved for reading and reflection, weekly or term writing assignments, counseling with the EXSEL Director or other ministry team members, and some time for constructive solitude. Interns enjoy dinners on Tuesday evenings in the homes of WSS staff members.
||Vocational program, with each intern working alongside their ministry team mentors in their assigned departments.
On Wednesday evenings, interns have dinner at the EXSEL Director’s house.
||Half of the EXSEL team will attend a local church with the EXSEL Director in the morning and return to WSS in the afternoon to join the other half who will be working to serve the weekend retreat guests. This will alternate between weeks so that each intern will have an opportunity to participate in corporate worship with a local church body at least twice a month.
June through August: The interns become part of the Senior Staff in support of the various adult and youth programs offered. Each will have one day off each week and will be working long hours and pretty consistently every other day of the week.