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 Experiences

The Diploma in Outdoor Leadership (often called Explore2) is the year that follows the Explore first year experience. Students in this program complete the first year program and, in addition, complete the experiences below. Schedule is subject to slight chance and modifcation but a typical year includes:

Fall Semester at Frontier Lodge

  • 3 Day Leadership Training
  • Seminar on Effective Teaching Methods
  • 4 Unique Teaching Opportunities with Coaching and Feedback
  • Mountaineering/Glaier Travel Training with ACMG Guide in Banff National Park
  • Advanced Rock and Rope Training with ACMG Guide
  • Improvised Rock Rescue Seminar
  • Outdoor Council of Canada Navigation Course
  • Outdoor Council of Canada Overnight Backpacking Course
  • Overnight Solo Experience
  • 40 Hour Wilderness First Responder Course (Builds off WAFA course from 1st year)
  • Teaching Through Adventure Course: Featuring Veteran Air Force Survival Instructor

Winter Semester at Frontier Lodge

  • 5 Day Training and Preparation for Extended Trip
  • 21 Day Extended Backpacking Trip (typical location is Death Valley, California)
  • Extended Trip feature opportunities for trip leading, instruction, coaching and feedback
  • Recreation and Business Management OR
  • Philosophy of Group Facilitation (classes alternate years)

 

Program Requirements

All courses are three credits unless shown otherwise.

Bible & Theology (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 The Christian Life
  • TH 100 Introduction to Christian Theology
  • TH 210 The God of the Gospel

Arts & Sciences (12 credits)

  • HF 111 Thinking & Writing
  • SS 170 Christianity in the 21st Century World
  • SS 210 Introduction to Psychology
  • SS 261 Leadership Foundations

Outdoor Leadership (24 credits)

  • OL 104 Introduction to Experiential Education (1.5 credits)
  • OL 116 Wilderness Advanced First Aid (1.5 credits)
  • OL 134 Outdoor Leadership (1.5 credits)
  • OL 151 Introduction to Outdoor Programming (1.5 credits)
  • OL 215 Wilderness Competencies
  • OL 224 Expedition and Outdoor Leadership
  • OL 231 Recreation and Business Management OR
  • OL 332 Philosophy of Group Facilitation
  • OL 248 Teaching Through Adventure
  • SC 140 Health & Wellness
  • SC 143 Outdoor Winter Pursuits

For course descriptions, see our catalogue here.

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 
Ice Climbing in Box Canyon
Ice Climbing in Box Canyon
Rock Climbing at Abraham Slabs
Rock Climbing at Abraham Slabs
Deep powder for backcountry skiing in the Canadian Rockies
Deep powder for backcountry skiing in the Canadian Rockies
Purple Team! (2016-2017)
Purple Team! (2016-2017)
Powering through the Rapids on the North Saskatchewan
Powering through the Rapids on the North Saskatchewan
A day of climbing at Issac's waterfall
A day of climbing at Issac's waterfall
Beginners to Experts are welcome...learning how to ski in Hidden Bowl
Beginners to Experts are welcome...learning how to ski in Hidden Bowl
Crossing the Creek in Tibet (Optional Spring Course)
Crossing the Creek in Tibet (Optional Spring Course)
Getting ready for some awesome skiing in Banff National Park
Getting ready for some awesome skiing in Banff National Park
Cruising down the White Rabbit Trail
Cruising down the White Rabbit Trail
Class time in Kootenay plains
Class time in Kootenay plains
On the river during 3 day Canoe training rotation
On the river during 3 day Canoe training rotation
Hiking in the Mountains
Hiking in the Mountains
Mountain Biking during the 3 day skills rotation
Mountain Biking during the 3 day skills rotation
Orange Team touring up to find some good skiing
Orange Team touring up to find some good skiing
The North Saskatchewan River
The North Saskatchewan River
Rappeling
Rappeling
Backpacking in the Himalayans
Backpacking in the Himalayans
Mountain Biking
Mountain Biking
Fish Lake- the home of Frontier Lodge
Fish Lake- the home of Frontier Lodge
Inside the Loft at Prairie- a perfect student hangout and homework area
Inside the Loft at Prairie- a perfect student hangout and homework area
Parable Place- where several first year classes take place
Parable Place- where several first year classes take place
Atrium- coffee, homework, hangout
Atrium- coffee, homework, hangout
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 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
Pierre