Is anyone eligible to enroll in SOMA?
SOMA students must be 18 or older. All adults are welcome to apply. Couples are also welcome. Since our hope for the school is that students will catch the vision for a lifetime of living out the Christian faith as an active member of a Missional Discipleship Community and “seeking first the Kingdom of God”, it is our hope that prospective students are open to hearing from God before and during their time in SOMA about a personal calling to this kind of long-term Kingdom lifestyle.
Can I have a car?
Students with cars may bring their car with them if they choose. Having a car is not required, but due to the travel involved in daily classes and weekly program requirements, having a car will be an advantage. Students who have a car may be asked to help provide transportation for other students and will be reimbursed for fuel accordingly. Students without cars who need to use public transportation to get to and from required program activities will be given a monthly transit allotment or be reimbursed on an as-needed basis.
Can I work a part time job?
SOMA is a full-time school with an intensive level of required activities. Students are encouraged not to work outside jobs while in the school program. If a student chooses to work, their work hours must be pre-approved by SOMA staff and cannot exceed 12 hours a week.
What about free time?
Students will have free time, but the program requirements are very intensive so the amount of free time will be limited and will vary depending on each student’s internship and volunteering schedule and on how much time it takes them to complete required coursework.
What about holidays and travel home?
Students are able to travel and visit family over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter holiday if they choose and if they are able to. There will be a long-weekend break for Thanksgiving and Easter, and a 2-week break over Christmas/New Year’s.
Is this school accredited?
No, the SOMA school is not accredited at this time. Students will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program, and as a result of successful completion of SOMA, may be eligible for further ministry roles as determined by the Woodland Hills, Sojourners, and Aspen Discipleship communities.
Can I live at home?
Students are encouraged to live in community as part of their SOMA experience, either in host homes or in community housing, however all students are expected to make their housing decisions and plans as they see fit.
Who will the teachers be?
The SOMA curriculum consists of live and video-based lectures and teachings, as well as facilitated activities, discussions and experiential and hands-on ministry times. The main video teachings will be by Greg Boyd, Paul Eddy, and Kevin Callaghan. Live and video teachings by other speakers will also be included, all of whom are approved by the WH teaching team. Daily class times will be facilitated by Aspen-SOMA faculty along with other volunteer facilitators from WH.
How much will Greg and Paul be involved?
Many of the course modules are taught by Greg and Paul via online video modules, and both Greg and Paul will be coming in to speak live on a regular basis throughout the program year. They will not be in the classroom every day or every week however.
Do I need my own health insurance coverage?
Yes – all students are expected to have their own health insurance coverage and to provide a copy of their health insurance card at the time of application.
Do I need extra pocket money beyond tuition and program fees?
Yes – students will need to cover their own expenses for such things as snacks, entertainment/recreation, hygiene and toiletry items, laundry detergent, and non-program travel.
Can married couples enroll?
While we expect most of our students to be singles between 18-30, the school is open to people of any age and to married couples as well.
What about dating?
Dating and special relationships between SOMA students are prohibited during the program year. These relationships tend to distract students from focused discipleship training and also tend to disconnect dating couples from the larger student community, which is an important part of the program. Also, because many dating relationships end in messy and painful breakups, a potential break up between two SOMA students would affect the two student’s ability to be in SOMA together, and would also affect the entire student community.