"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~Mark Twain

Why spend a year of your high school life at Ekklesia Mountain High? Simply because EHM offers some amazing opportunities that can literally change your life. Spending a semester or a year at EMH will help you...

...get challenged in your heart and mind. We’ll ask you to think carefully about God’s world and your vision for your life as God’s child. We’ll ask you to work hard in your classes. You’ll gain a whole new perspective about the world you live in, and how you can be a leader in building Christ’s Kingdom. You’ll sharpen your ability to lead and serve.

When you spend time in the wilderness, think hard about challenging ideas, test yourself and invest in others, your vision expands and your self-confidence and enthusiasm rise. It will be a year you will never forget.

...get connected to God and to His World. Spending time in outdoor and wilderness settings connects you to the Creator in awesome ways that are far different from your normal routine.

...get connected to others, the EMH experience will help you develop understanding and skills for living interdependently and productively as part of a team. You’ll build great friendships, learn to provide support and encouragement, and discover more about the power of team work with each using God-given gifts.

...get challenged in outdoor skills. You’ll be challenged to stay in good physical condition and learn all kinds of lifelong outdoor skills, from rock-climbing to skiing. You’ll see and experience things that most people only dream about.

...get challenged in outdoor skills. You’ll be challenged to stay in good physical condition and learn all kinds of lifelong outdoor skills, from rock-climbing to skiing. You’ll see and experience things that most people only dream about.

“Participating in Ekklesia Mountain High was the best experience of my life. The friendships, experiences, and lessons I encountered have completely changed my life. It’s hard to put into words exactly what has changed, but it’s like something inside me shifted or switched from on. The relationships I have (with God and with other people) are deeper and the world seems more colorful. Though there were parts of the year where I felt like giving up and going home, it was definitely worth it. I wouldn’t change my year in EMH for anything, and my only regret is that I could not come back for my senior year.”
~Katie, high school senior


Tuition for the year: $23,950


Tuition covers all school expenses, including books, the majority of the gear needed to complete the program (including backpacks, sleeping bag, outer wear, climbing gear, boots, etc.), and travel expenses to the different courses. Upon acceptance to the program students will be asked to complete a detailed form asking for sizes and color preferences. Students will receive their gear at the beginning of the year and will be allowed to keep some of the personal gear upon completion of the program. Students will be required to purchase some items on their own, such as hiking shirts, socks, shorts, and pants. A detailed list will be sent upon acceptance into the program, but will not be a huge expense as the majority of the gear is provided.

Cost does not include travel expenses to and from school for breaks, nor does it include the cost of the mission trip. Students will fundraise during the year for the mission trip.


Financial Aid is available. Learn more here.

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with one step"
 ~ Lao Tzu



Financial Aid is available for attendance at Ekklesia Mountain High, and is based on family financial need. Financial aid grants are available up to 25% of the cost of attendance at EMH. EMH and Darren Patterson Christian Academy use a third-party evaluation program to ensure that the determination of need is done objectively and fairly for all.


Applying for Need-based Tuition Grants:


Follow the link below to apply. You will be directed to the Darren Patterson Christian Academy page of the ISM FAST website, and will find forms to fill out there. Follow the instructions. complete the forms, pay the processing fee, and your financial aid application is done. The EMH admissions office will receive your information as soon as FAST has finished processing — usually within a couple of days.


Because we have more applications for assistance than can be funded, it is best to get your application done as early as possible. The deadlines for applying for financial assistance for the following school year are June 1 for applications postmarked by May 1, and September 1 for applications post-marked by August 1.


Once applications are processed and reported to our office, our Financial Aid Committee evaluates applications and need and makes awards. The process is safe, timely, and completely confidential.


Please click here to apply for financial aid.


Besides funds provided for grants by EMH and Darren Patterson Christian Academy, students may be able to help fund a year at Ekklesia Mountain High by asking their church for a scholarship, appealing to a local service organization, or working part-time. With diligence and planning, a year or semester at EMH is possible for anyone!

A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, You are my God; I shall seek you earnestly; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Psalm 63:1



EMH works with your home school throughout the year to make sure you take the classes you need to stay on course with your school’s curriculum and to ensure that you will earn credit for your EMH classes. We will regularly update your school with grades and reports. EMH offers a wide range of high school and dual-credit courses in traditional classroom, online, and independent study formats. You can learn more about our curriculum and online program here. We should be able to provide the courses you need! In the rare instance that students do need or want to take courses that EMH cannot offer, we suggest taking a summer course or arranging to take the course during the 12th grade year.


    Do you want to be challenged to think outside? To do more with your education? To have a special year of high school that will bless you and others for the rest of your life?


    Ekklesia Mountain High is looking for students who...

     ….are passionate about Jesus. The rigors of Ekklesia life demand a deep desire to

      develop your walk with Christ.


     ….are already doing well in school, and want to increase the impact of their education. EMH will challenge

    your learning and thinking in entirely new ways; we need to know that you are motivated to work hard both in and out of the classroom, and that you love being challenged.

   the outdoors and thrive on adventure.


     ...desire to be involved with their world and are enthusiastic about reaching others with the gospel message.


     ...are interested in pursuing what it means to live in authentic Christian community. This means you are willing to serve others, be involved in chores that serve your classmates (including cooking and cleaning), and are willing to commit to being involved with the larger DPCA community as well as with your EMH classmates.


    Think this sounds like you? Just a few more things to take into consideration:


    • You need to be a sophomore in high school, planning to attend  EMH during your junior year.  With a couple of years left in high school, it’s the perfect time to think outside, stretch your horizons, and find who Jesus is calling you to be. Students who are currently juniors may apply for attendance at EMH in their senior year, but due to additional planning and preparation for your post high school years, additional academic counseling is required.


    • You don’t need to have previous wilderness experience, but you do need realistic expectations of the challenges involved. Are you willing to stretch yourself?  Carry a pack that weighs 30-40% of your body weight?  Adventure for ten days at a time outdoors without all your normal comforts?  Deal with significant mental and physical challenges?  Stay caught up with a demanding school schedule in the classroom and while you hit the trail?  If you’re up for a challenge, EMH might be for you!


    Frankly, Ekklesia Mountain High is not for students who are casual about their relationships with God and others, who would always rather take life easy, or who don’t really care much about what’s happening in the world around them. It is also not a rehabilitation, therapy, or counseling program. While we recognize the need for and value of such programs, those are not the purposes of EMH. EMH is a challenge program for high school students who are up for adventure, demanding learning and thinking, consistent discipleship, and commitment to high ideals.


    Application to Ekklesia Mountain High


    Qualifications for admission:


    Have a strong desire to pursue your relationship with God through Jesus Christ. EMH is explicitly a Christian, biblically-centered program of training and discipleship.Have a proven academic record. Generally a cumulative high school GPA of at least 3.20 is required for admission. Students with lower GPA’s may be considered for admission if adequate evidence of academic ability is presented.

    Are physically, mentally, and emotionally able to participate in the programs of EMH, and can supply a physician’s recommendation. Due to the nature of the program, some physical, mental, or emotional conditions may be disqualifying.

    Committed to high, biblical moral and ethical standards.

    The application process:


    Step 1: Learn about the EMH program and decide if it is the right fit for you. Talk it over with your parents. Pray about whether God is calling you to a year of increased commitment and discipleship. Give us a call and ask all the questions you want about the program. You or your parents can call our office at 719.395.6046. We’d love to talk with you more about a year of ad-venture and learning at EMH.


    Step 2: Once you have decided to apply, download an application from the link below and fill out the form. You’ll need to complete the application form itself, and have two people who know you well (other than your parents) complete the reference forms. One of those forms should be from a teacher or principal who can discuss your academic record and abilities. The other one should ideally be a community mentor such as a youth pastor, Scout leader, employer, or coach. Your references will send their forms directly to our admissions office.


    Step 3: Complete the additional elements of the application. As directed by the application form, write your essays on separate paper. Enclose samples of your academic work as directed on the application form.


    Step 4: Using the checklist on the application form, make sure you have completed everything and then send your packet with the $50.00 application fee to:


    Ekklesia Mountain High Admissions

    Darren Patterson Christian Academy

    PO Box 1243 Buena Vista, CO 81211


    Get Application Form


    Get Recommendation Form

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