About Us

What Is RDS

The Refuge Discipleship School is a unique discipleship program designed for college-age students seeking to discover God’s individual plan and purpose for their life. It is also designed to allow students to experience life-changing growth through intense discipleship, academics, and ministry training. At the Refuge Discipleship School, we believe that students can be equipped with vital life skills by taking a “gap year,” and committing one year of their life to maturing spiritually, relationally, and emotionally.

The Gap Year

Many major universities are recommending that after high school, students take a “gap year” to pursue greater life experience and leadership training. According to Good Morning America, “Higher education experts say that giving students an opportunity to explore the real world helps them mature. And early research reveals that once they restart their academic studies, they perform better than those who go straight from high school to college.” We believe that students who choose to take a “gap year” at RDS will gain crucial life experience and become more focused in their vocational pursuit.


The Refuge Discipleship School is a three-year program that is broken up into three nine-month periods: First Year Discipleship, Second Year Leadership Training, and Third Year Internship. RDS is dedicated to identifying and training next generation leaders; whether students feel called to venture out into full time ministry or to enter the business world. The Refuge Discipleship School aims to instill biblical principles, theological education, Christian character, and leadership training, which will equip them to effectively demonstrate the power and the love of Christ to everyone they encounter.

Meet the team


Cole and Marielle are both alumni of Discipleship Schools and have been married since 2022. Marielle graduated from Chicago Master’s Commission and Cole graduated from Refuge Discipleship School. After three years of assisting the RDS program, Cole and Marielle are the new Directors as RDS begins Year 11.