Outdoor Ministry Program

An extension study at YWAM Montana

Course Description.

The Outdoor Ministry Program (OMP) is an 6 month course, geared toward those who have experience in the outdoor environment and now want to develop their technical skills in backpacking, mountaineering, and rock climbing. 

The need for highly trained outdoor leaders is higher than it ever has been. Today, more and more organizations (Christian and non-Christian) are starting to see the positive growth that the outdoors can bring to their staff, clients, and students. They just need someone to lead them safely and confidently. Could this be you?

Why 6 months?

You don’t become an outdoor leader by simply taking a few classes on “Outdoor leadership”. You become an outdoor professional by spending large amounts of time and energy on different skill sets in the outdoors so you become a master at each one, to the point that it becomes second nature to you. Being here for six months will help you better understand/prepare yourself for leading groups of people as you build your resume of experience.

Being an outdoor leader doesn’t just mean you know all the cool facts that no one really cares about, but it is also knowing how to lead with confidence, dealing with and encouraging people, facilitating/debriefing small groups, teaching, organizing details, following your gut instincts, and having well rounded knowledge of why you believe what you do. 

Students will spend a few days each week reading spiritual growth books that will help them grow in wisdom and understanding to help prepare them for a life of discipleship and outdoor ministry. The heart behind this is to help them understand the phrase “leaders must be readers”. As a leader and disciple we need to be continual learners. 

Play Video


We will properly train you to have what it takes to lead people safely and confidently in an alpine environment, according to the industry standards. Along with those technical skills, you will walk away with a Wilderness First Responder Certification.

You will also get to apply your new skills as an outdoor leader while working with Endurance Discipleship Training School. This puts you into the leadership position so you gain the necessary experience and knowledge that it takes to organize the food, training, and other details involved for outdoor trips.


The Outdoor Ministry Program goes on a 3 week outreach designed to show you what ‘missions in the outdoors’ can look like. During this trip, you will use your outdoor skills to further His Kingdom, be introduced to existing outdoor ministries(when possible, depending on location), and be given opportunities to practice sharing your faith while rubbing shoulders with people at a climbing crag or on a hiking trail.


The goal of this program is not just to teach our students the technical skills involved in rock climbing, backpacking, and mountaineering, we also teach them how to use those skills to facilitate spiritual growth, reach the unreached, and minister to the outdoor community. You will also learn what it takes to staff or pioneer an outdoor ministry to reach people with the Gospel.

Meet Your School Leaders.

Adventure with purpose.

At YWAM Montana-Lakeside, we are all about doing whatever it takes to know God and to make Him known, together! We’d love to help you make that next step in your global missions education. Apply now!

Play Video

develop your Outdoor expertise.

Be inspired and get excited about OMP! This 6-month program will challenge you physically, mentally and spiritually with the purpose of knowing God and making him known in the outdoors!

YWAM Montana-Lakeside operates under special use permits with the Flathead National Forest, Kootenai National Forest, and Glacier National Park and is an equal opportunity provider.

What our students say.