two year ministry program:
Diploma in Outdoor Leadership

Course Overview

Diploma in Outdoor Leadership

Two Year Program (60 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 1 Year Course and a 4 Year Degree Program

Courses revolve around:

  • Preparing for outdoor leadership in ministry or vocation
  • Training for camp ministry
  • Developing outdoor skills to apply in a leadership position in outdoor recreation careers

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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Outdoor Leadership: In Depth

The first year (Explore certificate) is designed to equip you with foundational skills in a broad range of areas—personal and group leadership, ministry, wilderness skills, and biblical knowledge. The second year further builds on this base to give you confidence to minister in any environment, providing you with a more in-depth knowledge of the Bible and practical leadership skills to equip others for ministry and lead in the outdoors. Throughout the degree you will spend equal time based at Frontier Lodge in the Canadian Rockies and at Prairie’s campus in Three Hills, Alberta.

Program Objectives

Prairie's Diploma in Outdoor Leadership will equip you to do the following:

  • Effectively study, understand and interpret Scripture.
  • Understand the principles for effective ministry in a variety of applications and situations.
  • Realize the global mission of the Church and its implications for your life.
  • Understand the importance of interpersonal relationships in the context of effective ministry.
  • Confidently apply practical skills as required in ministry settings.
  • Realize and develop your God-given gifts and passions for use in ministry to the glory of God and the benefit of others.

Expanded Opportunities

Whether you are led into missions, a position of leadership, or a wilderness-related vocation, the Diploma in Outdoor Leadership provides foundational training Christian leaders need in preparing for any ministry. 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 four-year programs. It is designed to transfer completely into the Bachelor of Arts in Ministry Outdoor Leadership degree and is also a natural step for the Bachelor of Arts in Ministry Camping degree.

Program Outcomes

  1. Compare different positional and non-positional leadership theories and practice applications of both.
  2. Employ experiential and traditional teaching methods in the outdoor education context.
  3. Distinguish methods and principles of facilitation and practice their applications with a group.
  4. Practice and test the proper backcountry skills required for leading a successful and safe trip for a peer level group.
  5. Construct and teach a minimum of one outdoor Adventure skill to a beginner group of participants, in addition to year one competencies.

Packing List

Program Requirements

All courses are three credits unless shown otherwise.

Bible & Theology Major (24 credits)

  • NT 112 Reading the Gospels & Acts
  • NT 221 Reading Paul’s Letters
  • OT 112 Reading the Torah
  • OT 221 Reading the Historical Books
  • OT 243 Reading the Psalms & Wisdom Literature
  • ST 100-1 The Christian Life
  • TH 100 Introduction to Christian Theology
  • TH 210 The God of the Gospel OR
  • TH 211 Creation to New Creation

Arts & Sciences (15 credits)

  • HF 111 Thinking & Writing
  • SS 170 Christianity in the 21st Century World
  • SS 210 Intro to Psychology
  • SS 261 Leadership Foundations
  • HF/SS electives (3 cr)

Outdoor Leadership (21 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)
  • OL 231 Recreation & Business Management OR
  • OL 332 Philosophy of Group Facilitation
  • OL 248 Teaching Through Adventure
  • OL 224 Expedition and Outdoor Leadership
  • OL 215 Wilderness Competencies

Dennis & Hannah Landon  Program Coordinators

The Outdoor Industry can be one of the most fun and rewarding places to work. Your "office" is the mountains, rivers and trails. More than enjoying your work environment, however, is the amount of joy, growth and development that others can experience through a properly guided trip. Our hope is to develop you into an outdoor leader who can both learn and teach through the outdoor context.

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 Positions
  • Entry level positions in Oudoor Adventure fields 
  • Entry Level Positions in Experiential Education industry
  • Youth Work (Church or Parachurch)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Ministry Outdoor Leadership
  • Bachelor of Arts in Ministry Youth
  • Bachelor of Intercultural Studies 
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