Applied Leadership


An Unforgettable Year of Discipleship

"Quest opened my eyes to the adventure that life can be."


Adventure. That’s what you’re signing up for when you apply to Quest. Adventure — as in incredible outdoor expeditions in God’s stunning Creation. The adventure of community — the kind where you go deep and become like family. Adventures in learning — lectures, small-group discussions, exams, one-on-one mentoring, practical experiences. Adventures in actively serving the people who need it most. The biggest adventure of all: exploring what it means to follow Jesus with every part of who you are.

This is adventure with the potential to change your life.

You in?




Torreana on QUEST

Meet Torreana

Quest 2016-17
Aboard the Pacific Grace. (Photobomb by Matt)

"As I look back over the year richly spent, I am overwhelmed by God’s fruitfulness in my life. The trips were off the charts, full of intentionality, reflection, exploration, and skill-building.

Crazy enough, though, I have to say that these highlights were overshadowed by the content of each class. All the classes build and overlap with each other, creating a beautiful patchwork quilt to tie my theology and faith together."


Jonah on QUEST

Meet Jonah

Quest 2016-17
(He's the guy with the yellow pack.)

"So, now this crazy year has come to an end. How have I grown?

I have learned a huge amount about what it means to “let yourself be known.” Being known gives others an opportunity to do something about what they’ve heard, and their responses can become a game-changer in your life."

Linnaea on QUEST

Meet Linnaea

Quest 2016-17
(On Snow Caving Day)

"Coming into Quest I really wanted to get to know myself better and to figure out who I was.

I now, more than ever, believe that I am a valued child of God. This idea has really been driven into me throughout our spiritual formation class, the way I have been loved by people, and Scripture."


How you'll experience discipleship through Quest


#1. Adventure

Your Quest year will take you on amazing expeditions. You'll do things like hike breath-taking terrain, climb rock faces, explore caves, and ski incredible trails. Fun? Absolutely. But more than that: you'll learn more about yourself, teamwork, and God than you thought possible.

# 2. Belonging

You'll start off as strangers. Little by little — one conversation, one out-trip, one class at a time — you'll become a tight family, learning together what it means to follow Jesus and to love people the way He does. Every step of the way, you'll have Quest instructors and leaders offering you mentoring, spiritual direction, and encouragement.


#3. Service

Life's about so much more than making ourselves happy and comfortable. This is why a major piece of Quest is learning to serve and put others first. You'll practice this lifestyle in a variety of ways throughout the year through things like an urban mission weekend, your service practicum, and helping to take care of group gear. You also have the opportunity to participate in an optional reading week mission trip to Costa Rica.

#4. Learning

In Quest, you'll engage in multi-dimensional learning. Unlike many discipleship programs, Quest has a strong focus on college-level academics. You'll be sitting in lectures, working through textbooks, and writing papers. Layer in discipleship groups, mentoring, and out-trips, and you'll find yourself being stretched intellectually, emotionally, relationally, physically, and spiritually.  The amazing part? You'll come out with new (or renewed!) faith in Jesus, new confidence in who God created you to be, and a solid foundation for whatever comes next.




Down Arrow I don't have a ton of 'outdoors' experience. Am I a good fit for Quest?

No experience required! Quest is designed to challenge both the experienced and less experienced by meeting students where they are at. If you have a desire to be outside, to experience God’s creation in a new way, and are willing to try new things — Quest is a good fit. If you already have plenty of experience, you'll build your skills even more with the help of our qualified instructors.


Down Arrow How many students are in Quest?

Usually 25 to 35. We cap enrollment to foster a strong sense of community and belonging. Quest is a cohort program, meaning students take the same classes together.


Down Arrow Do I need to live in residence to be in Quest?

Not necessarily. We do strongly urge you to consider it because living on campus will definitely enhance your experience of community.  But you're welcome to live off campus as long as you meet the necessary conditions (you'll find them on page 34 of Columbia's Student Handbook).


Down Arrow How much does Quest cost?

Quest costs approximately $12,185 for commuters and $17,185 for residents. These amounts include tuition and every outdoor trip (travel, group gear, meals, lodging), and in the case of residents, housing and your daily meal plan. You'll be responsible to pay for textbooks, some personal outdoor equipment, and a few additional fees depending on your situation.


Down Arrow Can I play on a Columbia sports team if I do Quest?

Possibly! We consider this on a case-by-case basis, depending on whether it's possible to coordinate the season schedule with the out-trip schedule. Keep in mind that playing on a sports team while doing Quest takes high levels of energy, commitment, and personal discipline. Get in touch with Quest Director Jeremy Walker if you want to explore this possibility. 


Down Arrow Will I be writing papers and exams in Quest?

Yes! Learning saturates every part of Quest. Some learning happens on outdoor adventures, some in small group conversations, some in reflective exercises. A major component of the learning also happens through two full semesters of college-level academic courses (31 credits). You'll be digging into the Scriptures and Christian concepts in a serious way: reading textbooks, writing essays, and studying for exams. Intense? Sometimes. But you'll be amazed at how deep your learning goes by the time you graduate. 


Down Arrow What kind of trips will I go on?

The awesome kind. We're pretty excited about the variety of trips you get to experience. Variety in terms of length — day trips, weekends, week-long — and variety in terms of activity. Expect to try backpacking, rock-climbing, canoeing, sailing, hiking, winter camping, skiing or snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and spelunking. In all, you'll spend over 38 days on adventures, spread over two semesters.


Down Arrow What does a normal week in Quest look like?

Every week is a little different because we schedule trips to take advantage of West Coast weather patterns and to provide room for academics. It's typical for students to be in class from Monday — Thursday and then go on weekend adventures. Mid-semester, you'll get a break from classes to go on a longer trip. You also get some weekends off for downtime, homework, friendship, and exploring.



Down Arrow Do I need any special gear to participate?

Most group gear is supplied by Quest (i.e. tents, stoves, water filters, tall ships, etc). Some gear you need to supply yourself (see our handy checklist). You can either bring/borrow/ or buy these items. Some big-ticket items can be rented from our supply on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Down Arrow When does Quest start and end?

Quest starts at the beginning of September and ends close to the end of April. 


Down Arrow If I live in residence, will I have a Quest roommate?

We do our best to put Quest students in dorm rooms together for logistical reasons. Your neighbours on your floor will be from other programs, so you can get to know the rest of the Columbia community too.


Down Arrow Do I need to fill out a separate application for Quest?

No. Simply fill out the Columbia Application and choose 'Quest' as your program.



What Parents Are Saying



Daniel & The Befdords

Meet the Bedfords

"When our son attended Quest, I had some reservations. Chief among them was the thought that if you are going to spend that much, you might as well get on with your education. I was wrong. What changed my mind was my son. Nothing he said, but who he was when he got home. Yes, they sail, and ski and canoe and hike, but somehow they squeeze in a whole lot of biblical study. More importantly is the obvious amount of effort put into discipleship, facilitated no doubt, by the community developed through the activities. When our daughter went, I had different reservations: how would she fit in, would it be a good experience for a completely different personality? Her experience was profound and life changing. My personal thanks to you at the Quest program for making this a safe, yet challenging program: educational, but deeply rooted in discipleship and Christian community. You change lives. We have another son coming your way: No reservations."



Academic Info

Combining experiential learning with in-class learning is what makes Quest unique. Students complete a full academic load (31 credits) during the course of the year. This allows students who have plans for further college or university the opportunity not to fall behind in their educational pursuits.

Many QUEST grads go on to further education at various universities and colleges across North America. Some QUEST credits may be eligible for credit transfer.

QUEST also transfers seamlessly into the vast majority of Columbia's diploma & degree programs. Options include:

Quest Staff


Jeremy Walker

Jeremy Walker Quest Director
Growing up in the Okanagan fostered a love for the outdoors in Jeremy. As he pursued that passion, it became evident that his love of creation also meant love for the Creator, and a lifetime of discipleship began. With over 15 years of outdoor experience, one of his favourite thing to do is introduce others to the vibrant and vast outdoor world and help them experience what it means to be fully known and loved by others. Jeremy and his wife Christina (Quest '99) live in Abbotsford with their three children.


Mike Richardson

Mike Richardson Quest Founder & Faculty
Mike loves fun and adventure. Most of these experiences he shares with his wife, Kathy, who also taught in the Quest Program. Mike created the Quest program with his own kids in mind, wanting them to experience a time of discipleship and life transformation. When Mike and Kathy aren't busy gorilla trekking and water skiing in Rwanda, sleeping with the lions on safari in Uganda, or snorkeling with sea turtles in the Caribbean, they can be found being very engaged grandparents!


Matt Kliever

Matt Kliever, Quest Program Associate
Matt grew up as a prairie farm-boy, but spending a year in the Adirondacks of New York allowed him to experience first-hand the discipleship opportunities made possible by mountains. Since then, he and his wife Koty have moved to Abbotsford to raise a family (two kids so far!) and to help facilitate adventure-filled years of discipleship for others. One of his biggest passions in life is helping people shape their identity as a follower of Christ so they can live lives of freedom and fulfillment.