Diploma in Outdoor Leadership

Two-Year Program (60 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.

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 ACMG exams in the in the “Top Rope Climbing Instructor” and “Assistant Hiking Guide.”

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

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

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 BAIS or other BAM degrees.

  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

All courses are three credits unless shown otherwise.

Bible and Theology Major (24 credits)

NT 112 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 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 (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)
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.

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