one year programs
Explore: Outdoor leadership studies

Course Overview

Explore: Outdoor Leadership Studies

One Year Program (30 Credits)
Explore is a wilderness-based leadership and discipleship program that will challenge you to grow in character, maturity, and faith.

Also available as a 2 Year Course and a 4 Year Degree Program

Courses revolve around:

  • Learning about God's Word and its relevance in every aspect of life
  • Bible studies and discipleship training
  • Mentoring and individual and team ministries

Through study and service you will gain a better understanding of your personal leadership style, personality traits, spiritual gifts, teamwork, and conflict management.

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Explore: In Depth

Whether you are aiming for an outdoor career or are just a strong outdoor enthusiast, Explore training will impart valuable skills and knowledge. Students are trained to become highly competent Christian outdoor professionals. One-year grads are in high demand to serve in wilderness programming positions immediately after graduation. Four-year grads possess the expertise and ministry skills to provide top level leadership for any wilderness-based program.

Program Objectives

Bible and Ministry Training Objectives

  • Articulate the foundational doctrines and themes of Scripture.
  • Analyze various worldviews, identify and understand the strength of the Christian worldview and demonstrate biblical thinking and character within a secular context.
  • Exhibit a consistent godly character and demonstrate obedience to God and His Word.
  • Understand and practice the dynamics of healthy, biblical communication within a community.
  • Commit to meaningful participation within your local church and take responsibility for your role within the global Body of Christ.

Leadership Development Objectives

You will be challenged to develop in Christ-like character, recognizing that you lead and minister out of who you are.

  • Grow in personal spiritual disciplines and a deeper relationship with God. 
  • Understand and practice the dynamics of healthy, biblical communication within a community.
  • Recognize and apply your personal gifts for the benefit of others. Disciple others to integrate spiritual truth into their lives.

Wilderness Skills Training Objectives

You will be challenged to grow through outdoor adventures.

  • Communicate, work, and lead effectively in a ministry team using wilderness adventure as a tool for Christian ministry and evangelism.
  • Organize, lead, and teach a variety of outdoor skills at a foundational level.
  • Experience the value of outdoor adventure for spiritual and personal development.

Further Opportunities

Those particularly pursuing camp and youth ministries will find this training invaluable. Should you desire to continue your education at Prairie, most courses can be transferred toward one of Prairie’s two or four-year programs, and are best suited for the BA in Ministry Outdoor Education & Leadership and BA in Ministry Camping programs.

Special Entrance Requirements

This program is limited to 32 students. Interested students should apply early to avoid disappointment. In addition to regular admissions requirements, applicants must exhibit godly character, academic ability, and servant leadership. They must desire to be in an intense learning environment where they are challenged spiritually, academically, and relationally. The nature of the program will require students to meet additional expectations in the areas of conduct, attitude, and maturity.

Explore Fitness Guidelines

In order for a student to have an positive experience in Explore's many adventure activities we have physical fitness guideliness. Upon arrival, students should be able to carry a 40lbs pack for 5 kilometers in under an hour. Additionally, students should also be able to swim 200 meter non-stop.

Program Outcomes

  1. Explain basic positional and non-positional leadership theory and practice its application.
  2. Express principles of experiential education and practice in controlled applications.
  3. Describe basic method and principles of facilitation and practice their applications with a group
  4. Reproduce proper backcountry skills necessary for participation in a successful and safe backcountry trip.
  5. Employ the skills necessary to effectively participate in a wide range of basic outdoor adventure skills at a basic competency level with intermediate abilities in at least one skill.

 

Program Requirements

All courses are three credits unless shown otherwise.

Arts & Sciences (6 credits)

  • HF 111 Thinking & Writing
  • SS 170 Christianity in the 21st Century World

Outdoor Leadership Courses (12 credits)

  • OL 104 Intro to Experiential Education (1.5)
  • OL 116 Wilderness Advanced First Aid (1.5)
  • OL 134 Outdoor Leadership (1.5)
  • SC 140 Health & Wellness
  • SC 143 Outdoor Winter Pursuits
  • OL 151 Intro to Outdoor Programming (1.5)

Bible & Theology Major (12 credits)

  • NT 112 Reading the Gospels & Acts
  • OT 112 Reading the Torah
  • ST 100-1 The Christian Life
  • TH 100 Introduction to Christian Theology

Specialized Seminars

  • Team Building Initiatives
  • Conflict Management
  • Interpersonal Skills Development
  • Creation Care
  • Spiritual Warfare
  • Leadership Development

Transfer Credits

Students may have another course substituted for HF 111 Thinking & Writing if they have earned a C- or higher in a similar, transferable course from another institution. Any other transfer credit pertaining to the Explore program will be considered individually by the Director and Registrar. Additional courses must be taken in place of any transfer credits.

 

Dennis and Hannah Landon  Program Coordinators

Upon graduating High School, I remember the amount of pressure I felt. Everyone wanted to know what I was going to become—and I didn't even feel like I knew who I was yet! I came to the Explore program for "just one year." I wanted outdoor leadership training but more than that, I needed to figure out who I was in relationsip to God and what that meant for my life. The experiences, teaching and community here helped me see who I am in God's eyes, and to step into my identity in a meaningful way. As Director of the program now, I am privileged to walk alongside students as they find answers to the big questions in their own life. -Hannah

Explore 4
Crazy fun. So much learning. Amazing community and God shines through it all.
Katie
Outdoor Leadership Student
Explore 4
The challenge is physical, spiritual, emotional and academic. However, with investment and engagement with the challenge, there is incredible growth that will cultivate students into kingdom leaders.
Raylene
Outdoor Leadership Student
Explore 4

My program is a place where God can train you. Come and see what God can prepare you for.

Carissa
Outdoor Leadership Student
Explore 4
The Explore program can be a place of rapid growth, the key is to be willing. This program is a safe place to make mistakes and learn from them which is the best way to grow.
Kyler
Outdoor Leadership Student
Explore mid
I have had so many people invest in me over the last couple years. From teachers, to fellow students- the community of Christ has been the biggest blessing to me over my time here.
Stefan
Outdoor Leadership Student
Katie
Raylene
Carissa
Kyler
Stefan

Future Opportunities

 

  • Camp Ministry (High demand for our students every spring)
  • Entry-level Outdoor Adventure Jobs
  • Associate of Arts in Outdoor Leadership
  • Bachelor of Arts in Outdoor Leadership
  • Any Four Year Program at Prairie 
Canoe by the river
Canoe by the river
Hiking in the Mountains
Hiking in the Mountains
Inside the Loft
Inside the Loft
Mountain Biking
Mountain Biking
Atrium
Atrium
Rappeling
Rappeling
Parable Place
Parable Place
Fish Lake
Fish Lake
Backpacking in the Himalayans
Backpacking in the Himalayans
Mountain Biking
Mountain Biking
Explore 5

Explore is an educator’s dream. Students have the chance to learn new ideas, put them into practice under stress, reflect, and then try again. When we teach people about leadership, people skills, working in teams… this is exactly the kind of environment we love to use.

Phil Orazi
Chick-fil-a: Senior Director, Field Staff Development
Explore 2
For many years, Forest Springs Camp & Conference Center has enjoyed a ministry partnership with Prairie College.  Through that partnership, we have had the privilege of having one of the Explore students do his internship at our ministry in Wisconsin.  The depth of his ministry and life experiences, having been refined through his years at Explore, not only blessed our adventure ministry for his internship at camp, but also caused us to rehire him for a second summer.  Without a doubt, his training through the Explore program helped to shape him into a highly effective ministry leader... one that we would highly recommend.
Pat Petkau
Forest Springs Camp & Conference Center: Executive Director
Explore 5

Explore is an outstanding program!  What a great opportunity for young people to push their physical limits and delve into their faith while learning important leadership skills for life and work.  All done in an open and supportive environment in some of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Pierre
ACMG Mountain Guide
Phil Orazi
Pat Petkau
Pierre