Facilitated outdoor experiences may be the most effective way to transform people into Kingdom leaders, to be catalysts for Christ. This program is not about recreation; it is about re-creation. The minor can also create vocational fitness for outdoor industries or outdoor ministries. The goals of the Outdoor Leadership Minor are:
- Spiritual transformation – moving people from their actual to potential in Christ; and able to use outdoor experiences to encourage people to say “yes” to God.
- Leadership development – the Scriptures indicate God’s strategy for developing leaders almost always involved transformative outdoor experiences. Development is accelerated outdoors due to the experiential challenges faced, consequences of decision making, and short feedback loops.
- Character formation – developing perseverance and resiliency, embracing challenges, and growing in Christ-likeness for the sake of others.
- Outdoor skills acquisition – sound skills are prerequisites for risk management in leading self or others in any outdoor context, and a pioneering witness for Christ in the secular outdoor workplace is competency.
Students are required to experience a 7-day backpack trip where they are introduced to backcountry skills and use of God’s creation for spiritual transformation. They must also learn the biblical and theological basis for outdoor leadership; outdoor pedagogy, theory, and contexts; and management and administration of outdoor programs. Elective courses include many outdoor skills and certifications. Courses go to nearby locations such as Rocky Mountain National Park and Colorado “14ers,” as well as Grand Canyon National Park, Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and the Everest region of Nepal.
Faculty are practicing professionals with many decades of cumulative field experience, advanced degrees, and advanced certifications. Most also teach at the graduate level.
Students may earn a minor in the field by completing the following 18 credit hours and all corresponding prerequisites provided none of the courses is required in the student’s major.
Required Courses (18 credit hours)