Explore: Certificate in Wilderness and Leadership Studies

One-Year Program (30 Credits)

Deep discipleship and rigorous leadership development lie at the heart of our highly experiential outdoor leadership program.

Explore provides an environment that empowers people to lead and influence others for the Kingdom of God. Through wilderness-based team adventures, integrated biblical education and real leadership opportunities, students will discover more about who God is and their role in His redemptive work.

In the first year of the Explore program, students develop a strong foundation in leadership theory and practice, biblical literacy and the basic fundamentals of a variety of outdoor skills.

Students spend their time with a small group, engaged in academic education and outdoor skills training, through which students learn to lead as Jesus did. By using a discipleship-focused, experiential education model, students leave Explore 1 not only more confident in who they are, but also in who God is and what it looks like to be His follower.

In the process, students have the opportunity to learn “soft” skills like conflict management, effective communication and facilitation, problem solving, and coping with failure, making the Explore 1 graduate more prepared for the workplace and the world.

Also available as a 2 Year Course and a 4 Year Degree Program. Check out our Facebook Page and our Outdoor Gear and Packing List.

Courses revolve around:

  • Learning about God’s Word and its relevance in every aspect of life
  • Developing outdoor skills and competencies
  • Mentoring, Feedback and Personal Growth

Career possibilities as a result of the program

  • Program director for camps
  • Program staff for camps
  • Program director or staff for Recreation/Adventure Centers
  • Adventure Therapy Staff
  • Introductory adventure guiding positions

Students graduating from Explore have gone on to work in numerous field. Graduates have frequently reported that the leadership skills they learned in Explore are useful in almost all career contexts. Some of the jobs that Explore graduates have gone to do are:

  • Program Managers are various camps
  • Executive Directors at various camps
  • Recreation managers for large city recreation centers
  • Activities Coordinators for charter schools
  • Activities Coordinators for schools, homeless shelters
  • Guiding positions for the City of Edmonton and Yamnuska
  • Pastoral and Youth Pastor Positions in Churches
  • Small group facilitator in Psychiatric Facility
  • Leadership roles in various organizations and businesses including Healthcare, Education,  and Real Estate.

Students can go on to complete future education:

The Explore program naturally lead into the Diploma in Outdoor Leadership which sets students up to complete either the BAM OL (Bachelor of Arts in Ministry in Outdoor Leadership) or the BBA in OL (Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a minor in Outdoor Leadership).

Additionally, students can easily go one to complete other degrees at Prairie such as the BAIS or other BAM degrees.

  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.


All courses are three credits unless shown otherwise.

Bible and Theology Major (12 credits)

NT 112 Reading the Gospels and Acts
OT 112 Reading the Torah
ST 100 The Christian Life
TH 100 Introduction to Christian Theology

Arts and Sciences Core (6 credits)

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

Outdoor Leadership Major (12 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 Outdoor Programming (1.5 credits)
SC 140 Health and Wellness
SC 143 Outdoor Winter Pursuits

For course descriptions, see our catalogue here.

Optional trip to Western/Tibetan China. The course is called “Adventure Tourism in a Cross cultural context” and is offered every other year.

Other special features of the program

  • Significant amounts of time spent in the Canadian Rockies
  • One on one coaching and feedback
  • Intentional integration of wilderness training, experiential education and the Bible
  • Large amounts of student leadership opportunities