Bachelor of Arts in Ministry
Experiential | Rigorous | 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.
We emphasize student leadership experience, experiential education, Bible integrated with experiences, and significant time in a wilderness-based non-traditional campus setting.
In our four year program, spend at least 28 weeks in the mountains at Frontier Lodge honing leadership skills like communication, decision making, problem solving and conflict management. Continue your development in outdoor sports through our Alpine Skills Course, our 21-day Backpack Expedition in Death Valley National Park (USA), your Wilderness First Responder certification, and more. Also build specialized knowledge regarding the design and application of experiential education curriculum, and your personal skills as an excellent instructor.
Complete a vetted, personalized internship suited to your goals and interests. Internship placements range from locations in Canada to overseas locations such as New Zealand, Swaziland or China.
Continue to spend the shoulder seasons on Prairie College Campus where you will expand your knowledge and discernment of the Bible, participate in classic on-campus life, and participate in on-campus leadership.
You will take courses from guest lecturers that range in experience and expertise. We have former military SERE instructors, commercial pilots, business executives, and camp directors come and teach portions of our upper level courses.
Students interested in minoring in Outdoor Leadership and majoring in Business will complete two years of Outdoor Leadership (which include the Alpine Skills Course and the 21-day Backpack Expedition), and then go on to finish their business courses with a more business-oriented internship.
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
Careers after Outdoor Leadership training:
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:
- Disaster Relief Staff for Samaritan’s Purse
- 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, language survey (missions), real-estate, healthcare and business.
Interested in Outdoor Leadership and Business? Students can major in Business and minor in Outdoor Leadership!
Students go on to complete future education:
- Masters Programs in the areas of Leadership, Theology, Divinity, Spiritual Direction, Experiential Education, Business and Not for Profit Administration.
- Professional Guide Training with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides.
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.
Other special features of the program
- 28 weeks spent in the Canadian Rockies
- A 21-day Backpacking Expedition to Death Valley National Park, California, USA
- Alpine Skills Course
- Expert guest lecturers
- Special focus on becoming an “Excellent Kingdom-Focused Instructor”
- Learn how to write teaching objectives and lesson plans, and deliver experientially-based lessons
- Many real-world leadership opportunities in both backcountry and frontcountry
- One-on-one coaching and mentorship
- Customized internship placements with international options
Leadership Skill Development:
- Decision Making
- Conflict Management
- Group Debriefing: Learning from Experience
- Responding to Failure
- Relationship-based Leadership
- Teaching Lessons & Bible Studies
- Risk Management
- Curriculum Design
- Logistics and planning for outdoor expeditions
Here’s our Outdoor Gear and Packing List.
All courses are three credits unless shown otherwise.
Bible and Theology Major (45 credits)
BT 409 Word and World
NT 112 Reading the Gospels and Acts
NT 221 Reading Paul’s Letters
NT 351 Reading Hebrews to Revelation
OT 112 Reading the Torah
OT 221 Reading the Historical Books
OT 343 Reading the Psalms and Wisdom Literature
OT 453 Reading the Prophets
ST 100 The Christian Life
TH 100 Introduction to Christian Theology
TH 210 The God of the Gospel
TH 313 Creation to New Creation
Bible and Theology electives 200 level or above (9 credits)
Arts and Sciences Core (36 credits)
AS 400 Integrative Seminar
HF 111 Thinking and Writing
HF 231 History of Western Civilization I
HF 232 History of Western Civilization II
SC 140 Health and Wellness
SC 143 Outdoor Winter Pursuits
SC 230 History and Philosophy of Science
SS 170 Christianity in the 21st Century World
SS 210 Introduction to Psychology
SS 261 Leadership Foundations
Arts and Sciences elective
Arts and Sciences elective 300 level
Outdoor Leadership Major (33 credits)
CM 370-73 Outdoor Leadership Internship I – IV (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 231 Recreation and Business Management
OL 248 Teaching Through Adventure
OL 332 Philosophy of Group Facilitation
OL Technical/Certification course
OL elective 300 level
Electives (6 credits)
For course descriptions, see our catalogue here.
- Formulate and apply his/her own theory of both positional and non-positional leadership and are able to duplicate themselves as leaders.
- Plan, lead and teach experiential education programs.
- Appraise methods and principles of facilitation and utilize principles to carry out effective facilitation of a group.
- Utilize and teach proper backcountry skills for leading a successful and safe trip for a less experienced group.
- Demonstrate instructional competence in a minimum of one outdoor adventure activity in addition to, year one and two competencies
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.