Barnabas Prep Mission Statement
At Barnabas Prep, we desire to disciple, teach and mentor our students in order to guide them on a path of life fulfillment, independence, and spiritual growth in their relationship with Jesus Christ.
Barnabas Prep started from Camp Barnabas, which began in 1994 as a Christian summer camp for people with special needs or chronic illnesses and their families. Through the years, we witnessed our campers grow from young children to young adults and saw the challenges faced by their families as they prepared their young adult children for independent living. Because Barnabas believes that everyone is uniquely created for a life of ability, it was only natural to expand our camp program to include the special learning environment offered at Barnabas Prep.
Desiring to walk alongside our young adult campers and their families in the special time of life typically considered “the college years,” the Barnabas team began to brainstorm how we could give greater opportunities to young adults with special needs who often have very limited options during this phase of life. We questioned what would be needed to equip a young adult with special needs to move into a more independent lifestyle and to have choices for their future. From these thoughts, we created Barnabas Prep and one of our camp summer staffers was up to the challenge. George White moved from California to Missouri in 2010 to develop what would become Barnabas Prep. After much prayer and lots of work, Barnabas Prep received its first students in the fall of 2011. Our inaugural year (2011-2012) changed the lives of our first six students.
At Barnabas Prep we are all about our students. In this academic-year program, our students are guided in the three major areas of learning: life and career skills, interpersonal skills, and spiritual discipleship.
Housed in Branson, MO, our students spend time in a classroom setting learning in all elements of life. In the beginning, it's the basics...cleaning a toilet, preparing breakfast, washing clothes. Added to this is learning to live in close proximity and relationship with others, spending time problem-solving and learning to truly love, even when it is difficult.
As the students advance, more specific training is given in public speaking and interactive skills before they progress to their career track choice and the associated classroom and on-the-job training. The Barnabas Prep career development curriculum allows students to learn the ins and outs of their personal vocational interest as well as small business management.
The staff at Barnabas Prep work with our students to help them set their own goals for their time in our program. Based on each student’s ability, an individual goal plan is developed to help the student reach their fullest potential both during and after their time in our program.
In everything we do at Barnabas Prep, our greatest desire is to see our students deepen their relationship with God. Through one-on-one discipleship and mentoring, students are encouraged to see every aspect of life as a form of worship – whether they are on the job, doing dishes at home or listening to a roommate - we desire to see our students do it all for the glory of the Lord. To live a life that is meaningful, productive and that worships the Lord is our ultimate goal for each student at Barnabas Prep.
George White, Barnabas Prep Director
Corey Huddleston, First Year Instructor; April, Palmer