An Unforgettable Year of Discipleship

"Coming into Quest, I never thought I would be as changed as I am now."


Adventure. That’s what you’re signing up for when you apply to Quest. You're probably thinking about adventure, as in amazing outdoor expeditions  — and you wouldn't be wrong. But the hiking, sailing, snow-caving trips are just one part of Quest. There's the adventure of intentional community — the kind where you go deep and become true friends. Adventures in learning and growing — everything from lectures, to one-on-one mentoring sessions, to developing core life skills. Adventures in actively serving the people who need it most. And then there's the biggest adventure of all: exploring who you are as God's child and what it means to follow Jesus with every part of your self.

This is adventure with the potential to change your life.

You in?



Quest - Smiling Friends



How will you grow in Quest?




Build a Christ-Centered Foundation

 You'll dig into the Scriptures, explore your beliefs, and get to know God better. You'll wrestle with what matters most in life and what it means to live as a disciple of Jesus. You'll spend time in lectures, learning from Columbia's caring faculty, and then tackling assignments and exams that help you solidify your faith.

Experience Outdoor Adventure

 Out-trips are not the 'why' of Quest — they're part of the 'how.' You'll put down your phone and head into God's stunning Creation with your Quest classmates and leaders. In all, you'll spend 40 days on excursions that give you a chance to connect with each other, with God, and with yourself in new ways. You'll come home with new confidence, possibly sore muscles, and hilarious stories.



Confident Questie

Develop Core Life Skills

What does it mean to live with integrity, purpose, and confidence? Quest will give you practical tools for approaching life as a capable and healthy human. You'll get to know your strengths, work on your weaknesses, and explore your passions. Setting boundaries, making decisions (big, small, and in-between!), managing your time and money, enjoying healthy relationships, establishing good spiritual, physical, and mental habits — your time in Quest will help you grow in all these areas.

Engage in Real Community

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. With the highest leader-to-student ratio of any program at Columbia, Quest is intentional, transforming community that will change your life.






What Quest Includes


The Quest Core
(25 academic credits)

Quest's academic requirements include 25 credits. You'll work through a series of eight college-level courses plus a one-credit service practicum. Quest's cohort model means you'll be in all the same classes as your fellow Questies, so you'll cheer each other on as you fill your minds with wisdom and truth.


  • Old Testament Survey
  • New Testament Survey
  • Intro to Leadership
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Intro to Healthy Relationships
  • Intro to Outdoor Adventure
  • Self-Management
  • Christian Decision-Making
  • Service Practicum
Outdoor Expeditions

35+ Amazing Days
of Out-Trips

Over eight months, you'll spend forty days on Quest out-trips and expeditions. Some are single-day excursions, and some are five days long. Quest's program fee covers all expenses for every out-trip - transportation, specialized equipment, meals, accommodations, and lift tickets, etc.



  • Backpacking in BC's alpine
  • Canoeing, hiking, camping
  • SALTS sailing adventure
  • Skiing/Snowboarding Retreat
  • Caving
  • Winter Camping
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Rock-climbing in the Okanagan
  • Christian Perspectives retreat
  • Optional Costa Rica missions trip (extra cost)

Plenty of In-Person
People Time

Quest is designed to give you more breathing space and time for the personal connections that are so key to your Quest experience and growth.



  • Asking your Quest leaders for coffee
  • Going for a walk with your roommate
  • Exploring BC's Lower Mainland
  • Pursuing a mentoring relationship
  • Praying with a small group
  • Getting involved on campus (intramural sports, student events)
  • Playing a board game together

Flexibility to Add 1-2 Classes

You'll have the freedom to add up to one extra course per semester if you like. You might consider this option if you're academically inclined, or if you're planning to continue in one of Columbia's diploma or degree programs after Quest. But this is up to you, and not required!



  • To stay on track for a diploma or degree, add 'Church in Mission' and a Bible elective. You can also catch up later with online summer studies.
  • Explore an interest. Intro to Theatre? Intro to Leading Worship? Youth Work Essentials?
  • Take a transferable class. Check out our transfer guides to see what courses will give you advanced credit if you attend college/university. Good candidates include Intro to Business, Psychology, English Literature, and more.







Quest Stories


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."


Nathaniel on QUEST

Meet Nathaniel

Quest 2018-19
On Reading Break Trip to Costa Rica

“Transforming habits was one of the desired outcomes I wanted for my time in the Quest program and I am quite glad that we explored habits to the extent that we did. I believe that the Holy Spirit’s work in and through us is undeniable as we create good and glorifying habits. I was challenged to develop these habits in Quest and plan on continuing to apply what I learned about leveraging habits to their fullest potential as I grow in relationship with God.”

Rachel on Quest

Meet Rachel

Quest 2017-18
(Rachel's on the left)

One thing that stands out from my learning this year is the importance of discerning whose voice I am listening to. I was introduced to the idea that I am the beloved of God and that I was suffering from debilitating self-rejection brought about by listening to all the wrong voices. Slowly I began to realize that the fact that I am the beloved overrides any need to anchor my identity in the opinions and perceptions of others."





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 $13,500 for commuters and $17,800 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. See Financial Aid Options



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 eight college-level academic courses (25 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. 


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 will typically complete a 25-credit course load during the course of the year. Quest students have the option to add 1 to 2 courses of their choice if they feel able.

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 students who wish to transfer seamlessly into one Columbia's diploma & degree programs will find it easy to do so. They will need to complete two additional courses (Church in Mission and a Bible elective) in order to graduate. Quest and academic staff will work with students to choose a good way forward. Program 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.


Interested in Quest?



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This program does not require approval by the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training. As such, PTIB did not review this program.