Upper School

J-Term

J-Term is an opportunity for Upper School students to immerse themselves in topics of their choosing and engage with faculty and peers in a deep exploration that expands upon the traditional classroom structure. International travel, domestic missions, local service, internships, on-campus intensives, exploration of the Atlanta area, and off-campus learning are just a few of the available opportunities. Students will also earn course credit on their transcript for participation in J-Term.

 

2021 J-Term

The next J-Term takes place January 4-8, 2021, during the first week of the spring semester. Courses for 2020 are described below. Please note that due to the uncertainty of coronavirus, we will not be offering any trips that require air travel, and all overnight trips will have a local back-up offering if we are not able to offer overnight travel.

 

All current Upper School students will register for J-Term on Monday, August 31, 2020. Registration will take place by grade-level, and registration links will be shared to Schoology "Class of..." pages.

 

For more information about J-Term, contact Dan Young.

Missions
Appalachia (Domestic)
  • In northeastern Kentucky, Whitefield is partnering with a ministry that serves the needs of a forgotten group in Appalachia – the working poor. The area where you will serve is rich in natural beauty but stricken by poverty, with 1 in 4 people living below the poverty level. Minimum wage jobs are very common, as is generational government assistance. Local families struggle to meet basic needs of food, clothing, and transportation, while homes in the area are substandard for living, with crumbling walls, holes in roofs and floors, inadequate kitchens, and incomplete plumbing. Each year, the ministry brings hundreds of volunteers from across the nation to assist in home repairs for these needy families. Your group will provide a great service to Appalachian families who are not accustomed to receiving assistance, and your ministry will be a great witness to the love of Christ.
  • Leader: Mr. Coleman Joiner
  • Cost: $600-800*

*price range listed for the trip reflects a range that accounts for minimum and the maximum number of participants.

Friends of Refugees: Clarkston, GA (Local full day)
  • Known as the “most diverse square mile in America,” Clarkston is a suburb of Atlanta and is home to refugees representing 60+ countries and 110+ dialects.  Northeast Atlanta has proven to be one of the most strategic places in the world to reach the nations and is a great launching pad for fulfilling the Great Commission. In the past 10 years, over one million people have immigrated to Atlanta from all around the world. Clarkston, which is located right outside of the city, is home to thousands of refugees who have tragically had to flee for their lives from their own countries. This creates a unique melting-pot of culture within this one little famous town.  Clarkston opens the door for you to experience incredible cross-cultural interactions and relationships, and provides an amazing opportunity to present the gospel to those that have never heard the name of Christ.
  • Leader: Mrs. Tillman Fossas
  • Cost: $100-200
Ministry: Serving the Lord Full-Time after College (Local full day)
  • Students will visit (or be visited by) two ministries each day in order to learn about full-time ministry. Young Life, Campus Outreach, FCA, Athletes in Action, CRU, etc. are some of the ministries with whom students will engage throughout the week.
  • Leader: Mr. Mike Shaheen
  • Cost: $200
Service Ministries (Local ½ day and full day)
  • Like Trinity House and Books for Africa in years past, we will be partnering with local ministries to help and serve in their areas of need.
  • Leader: Mr. Trevor Moore and others
  • Cost: FREE
S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics)
Disney Track A: What can the Church Learn from Disney (Domestic)
  • Disney is known for its excellence in all facets of its business.  This Disney J-term experience will allow students to explore some of the aspects of how Disney runs its parks and then think through how this model can be applied to God’s church witnessing to the world.  Students will engage in four, 3-hour morning sessions (Managing Your Personal Brand, Careers in Zoology, Fundamental in Hospitality, and an Introduction to Global Citizenship) and then take what they have learned to observe how Disney accomplishes these lessons as they explore and enjoy each of the four parks.  This J-term will include the Quick Service Disney Dining Plan.
  • Leader: Mr. David McBride and Dr. David Watson
  • Cost: $1500
Disney Track B: Musical Theatre
  • Explore Disney as you never have before, from backstage.  This Disney J-term experience includes workshops with a Disney teaching artist who will take you through the same rehearsal process used for Disney Broadway musicals, during which students will explore dancing, singing, acting, and auditioning for Disney Broadway musicals.  These sessions run for approximately 2 ½ hours per day after we watch the magic of a Disney Broadway Musical show.  And, of course, we get to explore everything else Disney parks have to offer.  This J-term includes a Disney Dining plan.
  • Leader: Mrs. Erin Coleman and Ms. Sydney Perry
  • Cost: $1500
Flight School (Local ½ day)
  • In the history of aviation, Orville and Wilbur receive most of the popular spotlight, but there were a number of people and ideas that laid the foundation for the Wright brothers’ success.  We are going to investigate some of the courageous people who risked their lives to push the envelope.  We will learn the science behind the basic requirements for sustained flight.  Along the way, we will build, fly, and probably crash some of our own flying machines in order to more deeply understand this amazing technology.
  • Leader: Mr. Christopher McDonald
  • Cost: $20
Pre-Engineering (Local full day)
  • The Pre-Engineering J-term experience will involve traveling around the metro-Atlanta area visiting different companies that employ various types of engineers (including aerospace, civil, mechanical, chemical, software, electrical, mechatronics, and industrial engineers). The purpose is to see what engineering actually looks like in the real world. The week will also include a visit and tour of KSU’s engineering school. The group will travel locally each day and eat lunch at different restaurants in the metro area.
  • Leader: TBD
  • Cost: $175
Short Film (Local full day)
  • This class explores the art of scriptwriting, interpreting, and filming. Students will spend time with a local indie filmmaker, Skyler Smith of Urbana Ave, learning about the creative writing process, participating in writing exercises, learning basic filming techniques and mindsets, and finally splitting into groups to write and record their own short film. Final products will be presented by the groups on Monday Morning Rally one day later in the semester.
  • Leader: Urbana Ave.
  • Cost: $200
Subtropical Ecology and Photography in Florida Keys
  • Join us as we explore the Florida Keys and West Palm Beach.  We will kayak through mangrove swamps, canoe through a cypress swamp, snorkel on coral reefs, and have a community service opportunity.  There will be lots of opportunities for learning how to photograph natural settings and wildlife.
  • Leader: Mr. Kevin Spingler, Ms. Katie Kling, and Mrs. Rebecca Brown
  • Cost: $2050
Passions
Art Courses TBD (Local ½ day)
  • Our art offerings this year are most likely going to be different than in years past, potentially even to the extent of web design.
  • Leader: TBD
  • Cost: $40-75 (materials dependent)
Internships (Sophomores, Juniors, & Seniors only)
  • Do you have a career in mind but would really like to see what it’s like first hand?  This is an excellent opportunity to get a glimpse of what a career in that field looks like.  This course is self-driven.  Students must secure their own Internship opportunities.  After the internship has been found, students will submit a form to Whitefield with company contact info and a brief explanation of what the internship will entail.  Internships must be a minimum of 5 days but can extend into the weekends before and after.
  • Leader: College Counseling Department
  • Cost: Varies
Jane Austen’s World (Local ½ day)
  • We no longer live with quite the same beauty, balance, dignity, grace, manners, and elegance that are displayed between the covers of all of Jane Austen’s novels, but through her writing we can look back to the time in which she lived and wrote: The Regency period in England.   With unparalleled wit and clarity, Austen gives us a commentary on society that goes far beyond the confines of a country parson’s unmarried daughter.  Austen writes about people and love and the things we always think are the most important with marvelous humor and rich irony. This J –Term we will explore some her novels through films and excerpts, but we will also explore other aspects of this interesting time period in English History: the food, the manners, and the dancing!
  • Leader: Mrs. Caroline Kraehe and Dr. Annalee Sellers
  • Cost: $25
Psychology and Film (Local ½ day)
  • Psychology and Film is a course which will examine film--content, method, and pathologies discussed--from a psychological perspective. We will spend two hours a day viewing a different film and one hour analyzing.
  • Leader: Mr. Jeff Peeples
  • Cost: Free
Run GA (Domestic)
  • Experience the natural beauty, unique culture, and impressive history of Georgia while worshipping God through physical activity and time spent outdoors (and in a van!) with friends as a part of Run Georgia. This J-Term experience is an epic 5 days “running road trip” across our great state that will take us to over a dozen unique places across Georgia. At each place we will learn about its history, ecology, geology, and/or culture while engaging in intentional spiritual formation activities. Additionally, at each uniquely beautiful location we will go on a 1.5 to 3-mile group run that will strengthen and challenge us physically and spiritually.
  • Leader: Mr. Jesse Holthus
  • Cost: $225
Sports Business
  • Students will visit four of the following sports administrative offices of the Atlanta Braves, Georgia Tech, UGA, Rome Braves, Gwinnett Stripers, Georgia State, Atlanta Hawks, Kennesaw State, and the Atlanta United in order to learn about the numerous jobs being done in those offices. Marketing, accounting, sports information, development, and recruiting are just a few types of jobs in these great sports administrative offices. The students will get to experience these jobs actively each day.
  • Leader: Mr. Stephen Wright
  • Cost: $150
Word of Mouth (Local full day)
  • Calling all foodies! If you like to eat and like to tell other people about the best places, then this course is for you. The Atlanta restaurant scene is hot, ever-changing, and diverse. You could make an Atlanta restaurant bucket list and never make it through because new spots open every week. In this super competitive market, owners rely on the good press to set their restaurants apart and to stay relevant. For this class, we will transform into food critics, eating at some of Atlanta's hottest restaurants and then writing reviews to express our opinions. We will learn the foundations of strong editorial writing and develop our skills by writing restaurant reviews. Guest speakers will include restaurant owners and food critics to better understand the industries. This class will leave you full in more ways than one!
  • Leader: Mrs. Tracy Blunier
  • Cost: $125
Worship Through Dance (Local ½ day)
  • This is a course where students will learn how to incorporate dance as a way to worship. They will mostly be dancing with some discussion sessions. Students should wear Whitefield appropriate clothing that still allows for ease of movement. Students will work on choreographing their own piece.
  • Leader: Mrs. Kelly Jones
  • Cost: Free
Life Skills
Chinese Language and Culture (Local ½ day)
  • Ni hao! This course is designed to allow you to have fun testing the waters of speaking and writing some basic Mandarin Chinese. We will also engage with elements of Chinese culture and history, including learning the classic Chinese game of mah-jong, engaging with forms of Chinese art, and enjoying some Chinese food together. Warning: this class just might inspire you to sign up for Chinese in college or travel to China some day!
  • Leader: Dr. Kyle Hughes
  • Cost: $50
Grilling 101
  • Learn how to master the art of cooking meats and vegetables over charcoal briquettes in a weber kettle grill.  You will learn how to harness infrared radiation and convection currents to produce meals for yourself during J-term and the rest of your life.  Upon completing the course you will walk away with a 22" Weber kettle grill, tongs, meat thermometer, charcoal chimney and the title of grill master.
  • Leader: Mr. Matthew David
  • Cost: $300
Innovation Lab (Local ½ day)
  • Sawing. Sewing. Laser cutting. 3-D printing. Painting. And more. We will be making toys for local ministries using whatever skills we can muster in the Innovation Lab. It’s time to extend the hours of Santa’s workshop into January.
  • Leader: Ms. Jessica Christ
  • Cost: $40
Personal Finance (Local ½ day)
  • Have you ever heard your parents talking about things like 401k’s or 529’s and wondered what those really are? Do you understand the differences between car/home loans, student loans, and credit card debt? Do you think you will be able to evaluate your own income/expenses, calculate net worth, or set a budget? Bottom line… have you always been a little worried if you are going to ready to manage your own finances once you get out of school? Well, if the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then this J-Term session is perfect for you. Kids and young adults need to be properly educated to understand how to manage their own financial matters. We will cover the simple topics such as checking and savings accounts, credit cards, and budgeting your finances, to the more confusing things like home/auto insurance and investing in stocks/bonds/mutual funds, and many other topics as well!
  • Leader: Mr. Scott Rhudy
  • Cost: Free
Spanish Immersion (Local ½ day)
  • In this course, the students will improve their linguistic and cultural skills in Spanish by listening and comprehending Hispanic hit songs, watching and discussing short films, and playing Cuban dominoes. We will also be visiting a Latin supermarket and eating in a restaurant.
  • Leader: Mr. Jose Lezcano
  • Cost: Free

Introspective

Creation Road Trip: Discovering the Given-ness of Creation Road Trip (Domestic)
  • Through retreat, quiet, readings, nature, activity, fasting, feasting, conversation, prayer, worship, contemplation, recorded lectures, writing, talks, discussions, spiritual formation practices, team activities, play, skiing, and much more, we will explore the ways in which we live in a world as recipients of gifts. This is a broad overview of themes that all relate to our existence in creation, the goodness of it, and the enemy’s attacks against it. We will explore the following themes:
    • Receiving the World vs. Making the World
    • Education as preparing us to ask the right questions? What are the biggest questions of life.
    • The gift of the arts (An afternoon with Ken Myers; through readings and lectures or hopefully in person)
    • Embodied Beings: movement, exercise, and hunger
    • Quiet

 

  • Leader: Mr. Scott Holland
  • Cost: $1000
Fishers of Men (Domestic)
  • Matthew 4:19 “Come, follow me”, Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”  What did Jesus mean for us to be fishers of men?  Each morning and evening in the confines of our own log cabin we will dive into the word and discuss how we can draw others to Christ as well as examine how we can be Godly leaders in our communities.  In the afternoons we will fellowship together in fitting fashion…fly fishing on the Soque River in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  A guide will spend 2 ½ days teaching and explaining the art of fly fishing and we will spend 3 afternoons fishing this world famous river.
  • Leader: Mr. Dan Young
  • Cost: $650*
    • *In addition to the cost of the trip, you will need to rent or provide your own fly fishing pole and waders.  All other gear will be provided.
Freedom Ride (Domestic)
  • In 1961, groups of black and white activists traveled together by bus throughout the South in a concerted effort to challenge the prevailing racial segregation of that time.  During their journeys, these Freedom Riders faced strong opposition and even mob violence and today are honored as heroes for their courageous efforts.  In this course, we will take a bus tour through four major cities associated with the civil rights movement (Atlanta, Birmingham, Montgomery, Jackson).  Along the way we will learn about the important people, places, and events of this crucial period in modern American history.  We will reflect on how the lessons of the past can help us to live as “ministers of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5) in today’s broken and divided world.
  • Leader: Mr. Kyle Justice
  • Cost: $900