Emily Strohm and Aurelie Corinthios
June 20, 2016 12:00 PM

There’s an exciting new Duggar announcement!

PEOPLE can exclusively reveal that Jinger Duggar, 22, and professional soccer player Jeremy Vuolo, 28, are officially courting – and their courtship will be a big part of the new season of Counting On when it returns to TLC later this summer.

Of their courtship – the Duggar-approved way of dating that has couples getting to know each other as a preparation for marriage – Jinger tells PEOPLE she met Vuolo last May.

The two then “had the opportunity to go on a missions trip together,” she says.

Adds Jinger, “It was there that I really saw his heart and really admired his character.”

Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo
Julia Myers/TLC

“I was initially friends with Ben Seewald and Jessa [(Duggar) Seewald], and it was through them that I got to meet Jinger,” Vuolo tells PEOPLE. “We are very excited to begin this journey together.”

RELATED VIDEO: The Duggar Brothers Get Protective Over a Potential Courtship for Joy-Anna: He Has to ‘Be a Perfect Guy’

Vuolo, who went to Syracuse University, previously played for Major League Soccer club the New York Red Bulls before stepping away from the game to pursue ministry. He later signed with the San Antonio Scorpions in the North American Soccer League in 2013.

Indeed, Vuolo has long been friends with Jinger’s sister Jessa, 23, and her husband Ben, 21, and has regularly appeared in videos shared by Jessa via her YouTube channel.

For more on the Duggar family, check out their website and catch Counting On when it returns to TLC this summer.

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