Diploma in Outdoor Leadership

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

Student Spotlight

Molly Murdock

“The confidence in Christ that has been exemplified to my every day in Explore is a testament to the good work God is doing in and through the people who run and are a part of this program.”

at a Glance





The Canadian Rockies as your Classroom

21 Day backpacking trip

What Makes This Program Different

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.

Building off of their first year experience, second year students have the opportunity to dive deeper into their understanding who God is by expanding their own leadership capacity, academic biblical studies, and advancing in their own outdoor skills with an emphasis on becoming “excellent, Kingdom-focused outdoor instructors.”

In Explore 2, students take significant responsibility in the planning, execution and facilitation of outdoor experiences, which include numerous outdoor-focused teaching practicums, and culminates in a 21 day backpacking trip in Death Valley, California.

Completing this 2 year diploma will prepare students to be competent and effective outdoor instructors, and equip them to take the “Professional Mountain Bike Instructor” course at the end of the year.

Our Students Say

Career Opportunities

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

The vast majority of graduates who wish to work in their field find meaningful work soon after graduation. Jobs that 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 Diploma in Outdoor Leadership 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 Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies or other Bachelor of Arts in Ministry degrees.

Program Details

Also available as a 1 Year Certificate and a 4 Year Bachelor. Check out our Facebook Page and our Outdoor Gear and Packing List.

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

All courses are three credits unless shown otherwise.

Bible and Theology Major (24 credits)

NT 112-13 Reading the Gospels and Acts
NT 221 Reading Paul’s Letters
OT 112 Reading the Torah
OT 221 Reading the Historical Books
OT 343 Reading the Psalms and Wisdom Literature
ST 100-01 The Christian Life
TH 100 Introduction to Christian Theology
TH 210 The God of the Gospel

Arts and Sciences Core (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 Major (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 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 and Wellness
SC 143 Outdoor Winter Pursuits

For course descriptions, see our catalogue here.

  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

Program Tuition and Fees

For our Tuition & Fee rates as well as Room and Board please see Fees & Financial Aid

Program Specific Costs:
Outdoor Leadership students are charged a $1,600 program fee. ($800 charged each semester)


Hannah Landon

Program Coordinator

Originally from Northern Wisconsin, Hannah can 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.