MY FATHER'S WORLD STUDENTS GET A FREE COLLEGE CONSULTATION!
Conventional education keeps students at their desks, actively undermines their faith in Christ, and forces most of them to start their life in debt.
Ascend by Unbound equips students with a real education that prepares them for real life, helps them deepen their faith and connects them with Christian community.
Ascend is Unbound’s project-based, leadership and professional development program. Ascend students are trained in core life skills, given opportunities for hands-on experience in fields they are interested in, and plugged into a powerful community and professional network all while pursuing 9, 15, or 30 college credits.
Through Unbound's project-based education model, expert workshops, and life and leadership courses, students learn elite skills and practice them through resume-worthy projects. Students learn how to plan and execute, lead and communicate, network, and much more!
Your student is part of the next generation of Christian leaders. Unbound trains students to take their place in the culture with the skills to live extraordinary lives, no matter what their mission field is.
Unbound is home to an exceptional Christian community and some of the best homeschool graduates. Complete with events year-round, online forums, video hangouts, and opportunities for international missions, the Unbound community connects over a thousand friends around the world.
Ascend Teams are the cornerstone of the program. After a student is placed in a team of 7-10 of their peers, they receive—and provide—coaching, encouragement, and accountability. One student in each team is mentored directly by program staff and acts as the team leader.
Eric Metaxas with Ascend students
A collection of events bring the Ascend program to life by providing a platform for students to forge relationships in person and learn in an even more intense environment.
Dr. Benjamin Hardy speaking to Ascend students
The expert workshops are monthly webinars that expose students to a wide variety of fields, ideas, and principles. One month they might be engaging with an expert in marketing, and the next month a full-time missionary. Students rate these workshops among their favorite parts of the program.
Student leaders—selected and trained by staff—are the lifeblood of everything in the Ascend program. Student leaders play a critical role in planning events, onboarding new students, and facilitating online and in-person environments for the community. These leaders are constantly learning life-lessons with hands-on experience.
Whether enrolled for 9, 15, or 30 credits, Ascend students have access to expert advising and a huge library of transferable college courses from some of the biggest academic providers. Dr. Jeff Myers' Signature Leadership Courses are included in the program.
Ascend students conceive, plan, and execute a project as a part of the program. An opportunity for students to apply what they are learning, these projects have ranged from starting a nonprofit to building a canoe for a multi-day trip.
Ascend students get full access to our vibrant community. Complete with online forums, video hangouts, and opportunities for international missions, this community connects over a thousand friends around the world.
For new students, APEX is the ultimate orientation. For graduating students, APEX is the ultimate crescendo. This event is the largest event in the program—open to alumni, family, and friends. Past speakers include Eric Metaxas, Joel Salatin, Phylicia Masonheimer, and Navy SEAL Mike Ritland.
Bootcamp is an intensive life training event held somewhere warm each January. Bootcamp breaks students into smaller groups, presents challenges for those groups to work on, and is designed to train students in critical life skills that they will need no matter what career or vocation they are called to.
Held in the mountains of Colorado, Capstone is part of the last course in the Signature Leadership Series. At this event, students are mentored in Christian leadership by Dr. Jeff Myers in person.
If you’re ready to be challenged, work hard, participate in Christian community, get dirty doing something real, and pursue a life that matters, you’re the student we want.
Applications close on July 31, 2021 for the Fall 2021 class.
Hint: We're all homeschoolers.
President and CEO
Jonathan Brush is the President and CEO of Unbound, a homeschool graduate, and a homeschool dad of six. He worked for nine years as a Director of Admissions for a private, liberal arts college, and then spent over ten years working in non-traditional higher education.
Jonathan loves Unbound and Unbound students and dreams every single day about new ways to connect them to each other. He gets to work with the world’s best team and the most amazing student body in the history of the world (which is just as awesome as it sounds), and field questions about Rule 4 violations (ask an Unbound student to explain). Jonathan and his family make their home in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Megan Weber is the COO of Unbound. She is a homeschool graduate and 2014 Unbound graduate who fell in love with her college experience as she earned her BSBA. She enjoys being the ‘get it done’ force behind new ideas and loves interacting with students online and in person. When she's not planning events, creating spreadsheets, or keeping the Unbound team on track, she can usually be found spending time with friends, mastering a new skill, or booking a flight for her next adventure.
Jace Bower is the Marketing Coordinator for Unbound. An Unbound alumnus, he has experienced firsthand the powerful advantages of doing college differently and participating in an intentional community. Jace graduated with his bachelor’s degree in History in 2016 and has worked in restaurant management and marketing since then. He also served on the Unbound Student Cabinet in 2019.
The author of two books and a semi-regular blogger, Jace can often be found doing something with words. When he’s not, chances are he’s reading about theology, listening to music, or playing pool or tennis with his wife Shannon in their Virginia home.
Director, Sales & Admissions
Ellie Smith is the Director of Sales and Admissions for Unbound. She is a homeschool and Unbound graduate with a degree in Communications from Thomas Edison State University. In 2017 and 2018, she served on the Unbound National Student Cabinet as the Director of Sales and Marketing. In 2019, she traveled to Ecuador with Unbound’s mission team.
When Ellie isn't working with our awesome students, she's probably reading too many books at once, working on a graphic design or hand lettering project, or napping. Because naps are awesome. Her favorite meals are street tacos, popcorn, and coffee.
Director, Coaching & Content
Victoria Grant is the Director of Content and Coaching for Unbound. An Unbound graduate, Victoria has served in a variety of roles including student leadership, coaching, and in the Business and Leadership program. She is passionate about equipping young adults to recognize their potential, to know God, and make Him known in daily life.
When she’s not working on an Unbound project, you can find her scribbling on a novel, playing a favorite instrument, riding horses, watching a sunset, or dreaming up some new adventure that absolutely includes the Pacific coastline. One of the best parts of her world is walking alongside her fellow Unbound students as they make an eternal impact in their generation.
Ascend is Unbound’s core program, designed as a year-long intensive that combines the best of flexible academics, practical life skills, robust community, and leadership expertise. Students graduate Ascend with more than college credit—they graduate with knowledge from field experts, a life-changing leadership credential, a challenging project completed, practical skills from life courses, a remarkable professional and personal network, and having attended three powerful live events.
Ascend students want something more. They recognize that they are called to a life of meaning, service, and leadership—and are willing to pursue that vision. They’re willing to commit time, effort, and energy to the process of growth, and they see the value of skills and principles that will equip them for a life of impact. They’re willing to be part of a team, knowing that they and their fellow students can help each other to go further and do more than they could on their own.
They know that an extraordinary life lies past the edge of their comfort zone, and even if it takes time, they’re willing to set sail for that horizon.
If this sounds like you, Ascend was designed for you. (And you should go apply.)
Yes! High school students can do Ascend as a dual enrollment year. We recommend our 15-credit package for high school students who are just entering the college world.
Of course! While some level of academic participation is currently required to enroll in Ascend, you can select our 15-credit option if you would prefer to take fewer classes.
Yes! You can take one to four years of Ascend. Each year is designed to be a full experience in itself, but subsequent years build on each other and provide students with deeper and more significant opportunities as they progress.
Because we are affiliated with schools but are not a college ourselves, we cannot take financial aid, scholarships, or tuition assistance directly. However, you are welcome to utilize available options at your discretion and use those funds to enroll in Ascend. Because we’ve all been college students too, we’re excited that our pricing structure is set lower than the average state school with tuition assistance!