First Year Programs

Outdoor Action

Go beyond your limits. Experience a year of outdoor adventure and challenge, living life together.

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Arts & Culture

Engage and create. Interact with art through hands-on experience, and embrace historical and contemporary cultures.

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Israel & Archaeology

Dig deeper. Encounter the land where Jesus walked, and discover the roots of Christianity.

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Urban Ministry

Get involved. Immerse yourself in vibrant urban communities, and interact with ministries that make a difference.

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Cairn University’s First Year Programs give students the opportunity to examine their broad and diverse interests in a cohort setting. First Year Programs are dynamic one-year accredited university experiences perfect as a gap year after high school or to build a foundation for further study.

Cairn offers four different First Year Programs focused on developing community, working to understand the structure and doctrines of the Bible, and developing an overarching biblical worldview. Based at Cairn’s main campus in Langhorne, PA, students in each of the four programs will get hands-on experience as they travel the US and abroad, get involved in the communities around them, and receive training and teaching in their field of interest. 

Outdoor Action

Cairn University’s Outdoor Action Program provides students with a first year experience focused on developing a unique community of students who will learn together through courses, bond together through outdoor excursions, and grow together through shared life responsibilities. 

Study

Explore the outdoors as you travel together for week-long outdoor trips and various weekend activities. Receive outdoor training that can lead to certification. Learn from professors who bring classes to life and connect the classroom to life outside the classroom. Curriculum includes 6 Bible & Theology courses, English Composition, and 5 courses in Recreation and Leadership.

Experience

Students in the Outdoor Action program will get a hands-on experience as they embark on trips to enhance their learning. Trips may include backpacking in the Western United States, canoeing on the Boundary Waters, winter sports in the Catskills and Adirondacks, and climbing at High Rocks and Seneca Rocks.

The First Year Program experience has been unlike anything I could ever imagine, different than my wildest expectations. It provided me with a unique way to challenge myself to grow and develop as a man and as a Christian in an environment filled with adventure and critical thinking.

Tim H.
Outdoor Action

campingkayak

Watch an introduction to the Outdoor Action Program

Arts & Culture

Cairn University’s Arts & Culture Program offers students a first year experience that focuses on developing a biblically informed perspective on arts and culture throughout history, in the church, and in society. Offering students a dynamic one-year accredited university experience that builds a foundation for further study, the program emphasizes rigorous academics, life in community, and cultural engagement.

Study

Gain an understanding of the structure and doctrines of the Bible, and its impact on the critical evaluation of arts and the Christian’s call for cultural involvement.  Survey the development of visual arts and the ideas and philosophies that created them. Learn the language and skills involved in basic art production and criticism, while deepening your understanding of aesthetics and the God-ordained purpose of the arts. Engage with the contemporary art world and integrate faith into the arts in practical way. Curriculum includes 6 Bible & Theology courses, English Composition, and 5 courses in Art and Production.

Experience

Students in the Arts & Culture program will get a hands-on experience as they take part on trips to enhance their learning. Visits to fine arts, community, and non-traditional arts venues in New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Italy, as well as to museums and other cultural centers, will be an integral part of the learning experience.

stained-glassart-museum

Watch an introduction to the Arts & Culture Program

The Art & Cultures program gave me the opportunity to get a taste and deeper love for the arts while simultaneously firming my foundation in Jesus Christ. I have had the opportunity to see and be a part of art like never before by creating art such as glass blowing and stain glass windows. We have visited more museums than I could have ever imagined where my textbook comes alive and my eyes and mind are free to wander and play in the history that I’ve studied.

Danielle R.
Arts & Culture

Israel & Archaeology

Cairn University’s Israel & Archaeology Program is an academically rigorous program intentionally designed to transform your life and relationship with Christ. Students become an integral part of a small group, engaging in ongoing discussion and study of the biblical, historical, and theological implications of the Bible with and emphasis on the land and people of Israel.

Study

Understand the basics of archaeology and how archaeologists are continuing to study history in the United States and Israel. Experience the archaeological and historical accounts of the biblical narrative. Learn a method for biblical interpretation and application in preparation for further university study. Curriculum includes 6 Bible & Theology courses, English Composition, and 2 courses in Archaeology.

Experience

Students will travel abroad to Israel and the surrounding lands on a two-week trip, seeing where the biblical narratives took place and the lands where Jesus and His disciples walked. They will also explore the geographical, historical, archaeological, and cultural background of the Old and New Testaments.

The Israel & Archaeology program is definitely not a traditional academic program. As I learn about archaeological methods, I’m actually practicing those methods in a real dig. We don’t just learn about biblical culture; we actually practice it. As we learn about different holidays and festivals in Judaism, we celebrate them as well. It’s as if we’re actually Jews living in ancient Israel or archaeologists digging in Israel today. It truly is a unique experience.

Allyssa H.
Israel & Archaeology

Israel-teachingIsrael-steps

Watch an introduction to the Israel & Archaeology Program

Urban Ministry

Cairn University’s Urban Ministry Program provides students with a first year experience focused on developing a unique community of students who will learn together through rigorous courses, acclimate to the needs of urban communities, and serve in those same communities with the heart of a developing Christ-centered social ministry to urban residents.

Study

Understand the urban context for life and ministry both in the local and global setting. With a strong biblical basis and an understanding of the historical nature of urban ministry, the cohort delves deeply into urban communities to understand the complex systems, effective ministry strategies, and the core of what God is doing in neighborhoods across the city. Curriculum includes 5-6 Bible & Theology courses, English Composition, and 5-6 courses in Urban Ministry and the Local Church.

Experience

The city is the classroom for students in the Urban Ministry Program. Their urban-specific classes take place in the city, engaging with people, ministries and complex systems, gaining firsthand experience of both the issues facing urban communities and the incredible opportunities. The cohort also travels to other urban centers in the United States and overseas to study alongside seasoned practitioners in their context.

students-in-Phillysubway

Watch an introduction to the Urban Ministry Program

The cohort model that FYP offers is one that cannot be duplicated. Within the cohort of Urban Ministry we depend, learn, and work together in order to reach our full potentials. Learning in a cohort allows us to be exposed to different perspectives and views and to grow in the process. The cohort challenges us to work together and even sacrifice in order to reach a greater goal.

Brianna T.
Urban Ministry

Cohorts & Student Life

A First Year Program cohort at Cairn University is a small community of students who join together for a distinctive educational and relational purpose. The nature and purpose of the cohort provides a significant context for the development of close relationships with peers and faculty. The First Year Program cohorts will help students in developing God-centered skills for learning and living as they grow and explore together. First Year Program students live in community in the Manor Campus residence halls and experience life together with their fellow group members, as well as the larger Cairn community. Living, learning, and going on excursions together allow students the unique opportunity to form close bonds with their peers. Students also have the opportunity to be involved in athletics, arts, student groups, class council leaderships, and any other student activities or events on campus.

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