WHAT IF THERE’S A “THIRD WAY” AFTER HIGH SCHOOL?

After high school, we find ourselves on a journey to discover our way in life. Most often we end up heading in one of two directions.

One way we can go is towards academic education (aka, “Go to college”), which provides theoretical knowledge and critical thinking skills. 

The second way is vocational training or a gap year, which provides practical skills and hands-on experience (trades, apprenticeships, military, workforce, etc.).

But, what if we told you there’s a THIRD way?

The Third Way program combines academic education, vocational training,
and a leadership internship for young adults, all in an Orthodox Christian in-residence setting!

It may sound too good to be true (as we are often told), but The Third Way program offers all of the following together in one package:

  • College Course Completion
    • Whether you have some college or none, we offer two versatile degrees, with more in development, online through St. Athanasius College.
    • You can still graduate on time by taking online courses during this experience!
  • Internship Experience
    • Students will participate in a Leadership Internship, with each location offering a different leadership emphasis.
  • Vocational Training
    • Hands-on learning takes place at the hybrid campus, which can include trade schools.
  • Study Abroad/Study Away
    • Various locations around the US and the world!
    • Live with other Orthodox Christian students in an Orthodox community. The host church is the hybrid campus!
    • See the world! Students can rotate each year to a new location, not only becoming part of a new Orthodox community but also experiencing all the sites, culture, foods, etc. that the host location has to offer!

To summarize: 

The Third Way = College + Internship + Vocational Training + Study Abroad/Away

All in an Orthodox Christian community!

APPLICATIONS OPEN. CLICK HERE TO APPLY

THIRD WAY’s mission is to help young adults study abroad/away PLUS add a leadership internship to your resume AND it’s an Orthodox community! It is an opportunity for professional development, worship, community service, and student-organized study sessions near Orthodox Churches. For some, this may be a gap year away from college. Interns enrolled in online courses, such as St. Athanasius College, can continue their studies while gaining professional development in the internship. This means that an intern can graduate on time AND study abroad AND stay active in an Orthodox Church. Some locations have colleges nearby that would be available for in-person studies.

This internship combines theoretical and experiential leadership with four areas of learning: servant leadership, event management, hospitality, and non-profit management. Every internship location will have a different emphasis on the areas of learning. While we are completely committed to the accessibility of online college, we also know that young adults still like to live near each other, get together for some fun, and help each other learn.

Why Choose The THIRD WAY?

  • Culture: We can only learn so much from the screen. If we want to understand the world, traveling the world gives us a real experience in another culture.
  • Friends: We never know who the next great friend in our life will be, and getting outside our bubble introduces us to many great people.
  • Focus: Engaging in an intentional community with other like-minded Orthodox Christians can help us achieve deeper focus in pursuing our degree.
  • Bilingual: Certain locations offer an opportunity to learn new languages, such as Spanish or Polish. This can be helpful for those interested in international business.
  • Well-Rounded: Learning about other cultures helps us grow and become more well-rounded.
  • Graduate: This research shows that students studying abroad have a higher percentage of graduating!
  • Resume: Studying abroad/away is an interesting line item on a resume for potential employers and a solid conversation starter in interviews.
  • Ladder: Internships abroad/away help us move up the career ladder faster with professional development.
  • Affordable: Public in-state tuition averages $10,000, but unfortunately, that does not include housing. At St. Athanasius, students, tuition, and housing total ~$11,000.
  • Challenging: Leaving home is challenging but also a great way to grow and develop our personhood.

APPLICATIONS OPEN. CLICK HERE TO APPLY.

LOCATIONS

Pricing is monthly and includes lodging. Details will be made available as quickly as possible. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Puerto Rico has been delayed to 2025-2026.

Alaska: We have lodging for four females at All Saints Orthodox Church in Homer, Alaska. Homer is the gateway to the grave of St. Herman on Spruce Island and is also considered rural Alaska. Homer’s population is just over 5,000 including many young men both in the parish and in town. Between the 4.5-mile Homer spit, dozens of bald eagles, moose, and trophy fishing, there’s always something to explore at the bottom of the Kenai Peninsula. See photos of the church, liturgical life, and the surrounding area on their Facebook Page.

PROJECT: The interns will experience a semi-monastic experience with abundant opportunities for solitude, worship, and a ferry ride to Spruce Island. With a hospitality emphasis, help is needed to develop and improve the Sunday School program and the guest experience during Sunday potlucks. Fr. Andrew, a retired therapist, will help the interns experience servanthood and deepen their faith through regular, intentional conversation.

  • Why Homer? All Saints sits on a beautiful hill overlooking Homer. Watch this VIDEO to learn more.
  • Schedule: Please arrive between August 13 and 20. Departure is scheduled for the end of May in 2025, preferably around Memorial Day weekend.
  • On Leave: Interns can take trips to visit family during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Holy Week.
  • No car is required.
  • Lodging is in the rectory on the property.
  • The monthly cost of this internship is $350.

Texas: St. Paul in Katy, TX offers great brisket, BBQ, and southern hospitality. St. Paul is the only Western Rite host parish and also serves as the headquarters of St. Athanasius College. See pictures of the church here: Facebook Page.

PROJECT: The interns will design and plant a butterfly prayer garden on the property. We will map the layout and selection of plants, build fencing, and install the plants. If we finish early, we will move on to the next project of establishing an educational and interactive ranch specializing in miniature animals (like THIS).

  • Why Houston? First, watch this VIDEO. Houston is also known as “Opportunity City.” Many people do not realize that if they are looking for big city life with lots of opportunities AND rural America, then Katy, Texas, is a great location. To the church’s east is a downtown underground maze, city lights, and the beach. To the west of the church, we have Spanish missions, state parks with trails, green pastures of cows and ranches, and the desert on the other side of San Antonio.
  • Schedule: Please arrive between August 13 and 20. Interns may depart either Memorial Day weekend OR the beginning of August.
  • On Leave: Interns can take short trips to visit family during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Holy Week.
  • At least one intern will be asked to help with the church office responsibilities as their primary volunteer work.
  • A car is not required but is recommended. The church, a grocery store, and many businesses are all within walking distance of the apartment.
  • We have arranged lodging within walking distance for two groups (males and females). We have two open Resident Director spots (male and female).
  • The monthly cost of this internship is $550 monthly for interns. Resident Directors receive a full scholarship.

LOCATIONS IN DEVELOPMENT FOR 2025 AND BEYOND (listed alphabetically)

  • Study Away
    • Hawaii
    • Indiana
    • New York
  • Study Abroad
    • Brazil
    • England
    • Poland
    • Puerto Rico

HOSTING: Are you interested in hosting an internship? Learn more HERE.