Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the Navigators?

The Navigators is a well respected international, non-denominational Christian ministry founded in 1933. In the U.S., The Navigators have campus ministries on over 175 universities. Internationally, The Navigators have ministries in over 100 countries around the world. The Navigators want to help students grow in their relationship with God and maximize their impact in the world. Our mission is “To know Christ, make Him known, and help others to do the same”  For further information, visit The Navigators website or reference our statement of faith.

What does a typical week look like?

All students are part of a four or five person team with whom they live and share these weekly commitments:

  • NavNight, our weekly large group meeting, with worship and a message
  • Spiritual training workshops, these are more practical “how-to” seminars
  • Morning devotions or time with God
  • Bible study with your team
  • Several hours of Bible study preparation
  • An XTAWG or “extended time alone with the Lord”
  • Opportunities to practice initiating spiritual conversations
  • Organized (fun!) Navigator events 
  • Intentional time set aside for team bonding
  • Free time, with typically a day set aside for rest
  • 30-40 hours per week at your specific job

The primary goal of this schedule is for students to spend meaningful time with God, honor God with their work, and grow deeply in their walk with God as they are surrounded by others who are doing the same.

How do I raise support?

After applying to the program and being accepted, each student will receive a “Welcome Packet” which includes the information needed to raise support for the summer. We will provide you with sample letters, donor cards, and everything necessary to help you raise support (if you want to do so). We view support-raising as an opportunity to ask people to join with us in advancing God’s kingdom. You are not required to raise support to attend the program, and can choose to pay for the cost of the program with cash or a check, if you would prefer to do so. You are also welcome to fundraise for a portion of the program and pay for the rest through you summer job. Payments can be made in installments, if you are using your summer job to help pay for the program.

Where do I stay?

Students will live in an upperclassman dorm complex at Eckerd College, which is right on the water. Each team of four (three team members and a team leader) will share a suite with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a common area, and a balcony. Each room has two twin beds. And the kitchen is equipped with a stove, microwave, fridge and freezer.

What is the setup for meals?

Teams are given a weekly stipend, which covers team groceries and meals out to eat. The team is responsible for grocery shopping, budgeting and providing the team members with their weekly stipend for meals out to eat. Team groceries often include breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. The program covers dinners during the week. And the team stipend can be used to cover meals on the weekend. Team leaders and staff who have previously attended the program are able to assist students who are not used to preparing their food by creating meal guides and weekly budgets.

What is the difference between GCS and STP?

GCS (Gulf Coast Summer) is an STP (Summer Training Program) held in St. Petersburg, FL. But there are at least 14 Navigator Summer Training Programs across the U.S.

Who applies to attend Gulf Coast Summer?

College students located in the Great Lakes Region (Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio) and Mid-Atlantic Region (Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey) are invited to apply to attend Gulf Coast Summer. Below are universities with a Navigators ministry who send students to GCS:

  • Bowie State, Maryland (website)
  • Kent State University, Ohio (website)
  • Mansfield University, Pennsylvania
  • Miami University, Ohio
  • Michigan State University, Michigan (website)
  • Millersville University, Pennsylvania (website)
  • Ohio State University, Ohio
  • Penn State University, Pennsylvania (website)
  • University of Cincinnatti, Ohio (website)
  • University of Maryland, Maryland (website)
  • University of Virginia, Virginia (website)
  • Wayne State University, Michigan