Christian Colleges with Outdoor Leadership Programs

Jun 22, 2018

Programs in outdoor leadership are available at Christian colleges located in various states and outdoor settings. These schools provide diverse spiritual growth opportunities and vary in size. Learn more about a handful of Christian colleges with outdoor leadership programs.

School Comparison

The 4-year, Christian schools with outdoor leadership programs are affiliated with different denominations, such as Evangelical Christian and the Christ and Missionary Alliance Church. Explore some of these schools' denominations, locations and tuition rates.

School Name Institution Type Denomination Location Tuition (2017-2018)*
Toccoa Falls College 4-year, private not-for-profit Christ and Missionary Alliance Church Toccoa Falls, GA $22,104 (Undergraduate)
Colorado Christian University 4-year, private not-for-profit Undenominational Lakewood, CO $30,370 (Undergraduate)
Liberty University 4-year, private not-for-profit Evangelical Christian Lynchburg, VA $21,310 (Undergraduate)
Simpson University 4-year, private not-for-profit Christ and Missionary Alliance Church Redding, CA $27,700 (Undergraduate)
Wheaton College 4-year, private not-for-profit Undenominational Wheaton, IL $19,800 (Graduate)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

Description of Christian Colleges with Outdoor Leadership Programs

Outdoor leadership programs at Christian Colleges are typically offered as undergraduate degree programs that provide students with outdoor, hands-on learning experiences. Student population size, the spiritual organizations and/or events on campus and other factors may be important for distinguishing between schools. Here we discuss some of these factors for a few of the Christian schools with outdoor leadership programs.

Toccoa Falls College

Toccoa Falls College is an undergraduate institution in Georgia that had about 1,250 students in 2016, according to the NCES. The college offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Outdoor Leadership and Education program that trains students to research and design outdoor learning activities. The school features an Outdoor Club and gives students in the program the opportunity to experience a wide range of outdoor activities, like hiking and rock climbing, at nearby mountains, lakes, waterfalls and rivers. To promote spiritual formation, the college requires students to earn 30 spiritual formation credits each semester through participation in worship services, a mentoring relationship, Barnabas Groups, Student Mission Fellowship, Hmong Student Association or online worship experiences.

Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Outdoor Leadership program that also allows students to pursue Wilderness First Responder Certification. Students in the program take unique courses, such as snowshoeing, and participate in experiential learning to acquire a variety of outdoor skills. According to the NCES, the university had close to 6,310 undergraduates in 2016. Spiritual life on campus consists of weekly chapel services, prayer ministries, Bible studies, small groups, outreach ministries, mission trips and different student-led ministries, like Young Hearts (nursing home ministry) and Lifeguards (pro-life ministry).

Liberty University

Virginia's Liberty University helps students grow in their faith by offering weekly convocations and worship services, community groups, leadership opportunities, mission trips, outreach opportunities and even online spiritual resources for online students. The university has an on-campus BS in Camp and Outdoor Adventure Leadership program with available concentrations in sports outreach, global studies and youth ministries. Students in the program get hands-on experience with outdoor activities and team building activities, as well as with marketing, fundraising, staff management and other business-related aspects of the field. Including online students, Liberty University had 47,050 undergraduates in 2016, per the NCES.

Simpson University

Simpson University in California offers a BA in Outdoor Leadership degree program with an available certificate in wilderness leadership. Students are trained in first-aid, kayaking, mountaineering and other outdoor activities. They also gain various leadership skills, such as problem-solving and decision-making. In 2016, the NCES reported that the school had 790 undergraduate students. The university encourages spiritual formation in its students through chapel services and several different ministries, including WorldSERVE (1-year discipleship program with a short-term service project) and Prayer Leaders (residence floor prayer leaders).

Wheaton College

According to the NCES, Wheaton College in Illinois had close to 2,460 undergraduate students and almost 450 graduate students in 2016. The college offers a Master of Arts in Outdoor and Adventure Leadership program that prepares students to lead outdoor ministries. Students in the program participate in graduate assistantships at HoneyRock, where they receive hands-on learning experience. The college offers special spiritual growth opportunities designed specifically for graduate students, including graduate student chapel services and the Grad Chapel Ministry Team.

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