Bachelor of arts in ministry:
Outdoor Leadership

Course Overview

Bachelor of Arts in Ministry - Outdoor Leadership

Four Year Program (120 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 Certificate and a 2 Year Diploma

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

Match your interests and gifts to the major that best suits you!

Through Prairie’s Bachelor of Arts in Ministry (BAM) you can build your confidence to minister in any environment, with an in-depth knowledge of the Bible and practical leadership skills to do ministry while equipping others for ministry.

Students entering this program will begin with the Explore Certificate in Wilderness & Leadership program.

The Outdoor Leadership Program is:

  • For those who would like to prepare for outdoor leadership in a ministry or a vocational setting.
  • For people who would like to work in outdoor leadership in a secular setting but have a Christian theological perspective.
  • Excellently suited for the second career person preparation.
  • For someone who would like to train for camp ministry.
  • Persons who are already in outdoor vocational ministry or job who would like formal education with emphasis in outdoor leadership.
  • For people who desire to grow in their personal and team leadership skills, regardless of where they might end up ministering, working, etc. For people who desire to obtain relevant industry standard training and certification.

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Program Outcomes

  1. Formulate and apply his/her own theory of both positional and non-positional leadership and are able to duplicate themselves as leaders.
  2. Plan, lead and teach experiential education programs.
  3. Appraise methods and principles of facilitation and utilize principles to carry out effective facilitation of a group.
  4. Utilize and teach proper backcountry skills for leading a successful and safe trip for a less experienced group.
  5. Demonstrate  instructional competence in a minimum of one outdoor adventure activity in addition to, year one and two competencies.

Program Requirements

All courses are three credits unless shown otherwise.

Bible & Theology (45 credits)

  • NT 112 Reading the Gospels
  • NT 221 Reading Paul's Letters
  • NT 251 Reading Hebrews to Revelation
  • OT 112 Reading the Torah
  • OT 221 Reading the Historical Books
  • OT 243 Reading the Psalms & Wisdom Literature
  • OT 353 Reading the Prophets
  • 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
  • BT/NT/OT/ST/TH Electives (200 or above) (15 cr)

Arts & Sciences (36 credits)

  • AS 400 Integrative Seminar
  • HF 111 Thinking & Writing
  • SC 140 Health & Wellness
  • SC 143 Outdoor Winter Pursuits
  • SS 170 Christianity in the 21st Century World
  • SS 210 Introduction to Pyschology
  • SS 261 Leadership Foundations
  • HF/SS electives (6 cr)
  • HF/SS electives 200 level or above (6 cr)
  • HF/SS elective 300 level (3 cr)

General Electives (6 credits)

Major (33 credits)

  • CM 370-73 Outdoor Leadership Internship I-IV (12 cr)
  • OL 104 Intro to Experiential Education (1.5)
  • OL 116 Wilderness Advanced First Aid (1.5)
  • OL 134 Outdoor Leadership (1.5)
  • OL 151 Intro to Outdoor Programming (1.5)
  • OL 231 Recreation and Business Management
  • OL 248 Teaching Through Adventure
  • OL 332 Philosophy of Group Facilitation
  • OL elective (3 cr)
  • OL technical courses (3 cr)

Dennis and Hannah Landon  Program Coordinator

“After working at a Bible Camp in Alaska. I left wanting to lead an outdoor ministry, and thinking I’d go back to Alaska. I came to Explore in order to get experience and training.  I never dreamt how God would use professors, mentors, friends and adventures to shape and prepare me to work in my field – but more importantly, to transform my life. I received the knowledge, training, and experience necessary to lead an outdoor ministry program, although it turned out to be here rather than Alaska! I love working with our students to help them realize their visions for how God will use this training in their lives.” - 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

Career Opportunities

Our students can, and have, pursued opportunities in the following:

  • Outdoor Guiding
  • Camp Ministry Leadership
  • Recreation Management
  • Church Educational Program Leader
  • Youth Leader/Pastor
  • Corporate Team Building 
  • Experiential Therapy Programs
  • International Relief Work
  • Graduate 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