Certificate in Outdoor Leadership
Experiential | Adventurous | Christ-Centred Leadership Driven
“The wilderness fosters growth. I was able to let God fix pain and fear, and see a new vision for my life. …”
Program at a Glance
What Makes This Program Different
The Explore Program is a leadership incubator in the Canadian Rockies.
To see snapshots of what we do, check out our Instagram.
In just one school year, spend 14 weeks in the mountains at Frontier Lodge developing leadership skills like communication, decision making, problem-solving, and conflict management. Receive expert coaching in 6 different outdoor sports, and come away certified in Search & Rescue, Adventure Medicine, and more.
Spend the shoulder seasons on Prairie College Campus. In Prairie’s classic college setting, deepen your faith through classes about the Bible, Theology, and the Global Church.
For over 20 years, the Explore Program has cultivated Kingdom leaders prepared for a variety of vocations.
Explore is offered through a partnership between Prairie College and Frontier Lodge.
Our Students Say
Our graduates have applied their educations in a wide variety of fields ranging from real-estate to summer camps, and identify their leadership training in Explore as a significant professional asset.
Our graduates have been successful in positions such as:
• Activities Coordinator for community outreach centres focused on vulnerable populations such as the homeless
• Executive Directors at camps and outdoor centres
• Recreation managers for large city recreation centres
• Activities Coordinators for charter schools
• Summer camp program director and manager positions
• Guiding positions for the City of Edmonton and Yamnuska Mountain Adventures
• Pastoral and Youth Pastor positions
• Small group facilitator in mental health facilities
Many students and graduates also volunteer at community fire departments and search and rescue agencies in rural Alberta.
Indirect application of our leadership and outdoor training have prepared graduates for leadership positions in fields such as engineering, real-estate, healthcare and business.
Interested in Outdoor Leadership and Business? Students can major in Business and minor in Outdoor Leadership!
Asia has a rapidly growing interest in outdoor adventure. Our optional course “Adventure Tourism in a Cross Cultural Context” is offered every 2 years and introduces students to Tibetan China, the Himalayas, and unique applications for outdoor leadership training.
Our first year features:
- 14 weeks at Frontier Lodge in the Canadian Rockies, taught with an experiential learning format
- 14 weeks on Prairie College Campus focused on Bible and a classic college experience
- 50 Days of outdoor adventure experience and training including: backpacking, rock climbing, mountain biking, ice climbing, whitewater canoeing, winter survival, backcountry skiing, Search and Rescue, and more
- Specialized training in Experiential Education Methods, Conflict Management, Leadership, and more
- 4 Outdoor Leadership courses integrated with Biblical principles, focused on preparing students for transformational and transactional leadership
- 6 courses focused on Biblical and Theological knowledge and application
- Guest lectures from professionals ranging from airline pilots to ministry leaders to corporate leaders
- Fully accredited Certificate in Outdoor Leadership
- Industry-standard certification courses in Search and Rescue, Wilderness Medicine, Field leading, and more.
- Regular, individualized coaching and mentorship
- Student practicums where students use their skills and run adventure programming for outside groups
Leadership Skill Development:
- Decision Making
- Conflict Management
- Group Debriefing: Learning from Experience
- Responding to Failure
- Relationship-based Leadership
- Teaching Lessons & Bible Studies
Here’s our Outdoor Gear and Packing List.
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.
- Explain basic positional and non-positional leadership theory and practice its application.
- Express principles of experiential education and practice in controlled applications.
- Describe basic method and principles of facilitation and practice their applications with a group
- Reproduce proper backcountry skills necessary for participation in a successful and safe backcountry trip
- 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 Tuition and Fees
Originally from Northern Wisconsin, Hannah came to Prairie after two years of university in order to refresh her faith and grow as a leader. The plan was two stay for “one year”—four years later she graduated from Prairie and went on to lead the Explore Program. She loves traveling, mountain biking, eating watermelon, and exploring with her husband and their dog. Her favorite thing about Explore is watching her students grow into confident men and women grounded in Christ and ready to lead like He would. Read More.