YWAM Montana Lakeside
Together we commit to the communication of the gospel by training, sending, supporting and being missionaries.
The Outdoor Ministry Program (OMP) at YWAM Montana Lakeside is a 6 month mentorship and training school geared toward those who have some level of experience in the outdoors, but want to take the next steps towards becoming a competent outdoor leader who points people to the person of Jesus.
Over the course of 6 months in OMP, you will grow in your understanding of what it takes to move and lead with safety and confidence in a variety of environments- from the local climbing crag to an alpine summit, all while being trained in current industry best practices. Along with all the technical skills, you will also gain a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification- the baseline medical training level required by the majority of outdoor-focused camps, programs and ministries.
The aim of our program is to take your technical skills to the next level in the disciplines of backpacking, mountaineering, and rock climbing so you can begin to develop the confidence and judgement that will help you to effectively lead others in the outdoors. More than this, we want to walk away with a better understanding of how these outdoor pursuits and activities can be used in the context of ministry to foster change and growth in those you encounter, and ultimately as an avenue to reach the lost and hurting in this world for Christ.
Technical skill isn’t all that’s required to be a competent outdoor leader. Trip planning, briefing/debriefing, facilitation, teaching, discipleship, encouragement, and many other “soft-skills” are absolutely essential. To that end, we will mentor and disciple you as we read and analyze at least 8 spiritual growth books and 3 outdoor education books. You will attend in-person lectures and complete practical assignments for specific topics. You’ll have weekly one-on-one mentorship with a staff member to facilitate your personal growth. We have the privilege of being a part of a broader missions community at YWAM Montana where we participate in weekly community intercession and worship times together.
There is an incredible need for well-trained outdoor leaders right now. Outdoor recreation has exploded over the last few years in the wake of Covid-19 pushing people 6 feet apart and into the outdoors. Our National Parks and public lands are busier than they’ve ever been. There are greater numbers of inexperienced people recreating in the outdoors than we’ve ever seen, and along with that come a greater need for knowledgable, trained, and skilled outdoor leaders to come alongside them. People are also searching. Searching for adventurous outdoor experiences and authentic spiritual experiences. We believe that connecting them to the Creator of the Universe truly fulfills those desires, and we want to enable you to help others find what they are really searching for: a powerful connection with Jesus.
If you’d like to grow in your leadership ability, your personal walk with Jesus, as well as in your outdoor skills, we’d love for you to join us for OMP 2023 this spring as we go “further up and further in” together.
Lecture topics range from: biblical vs secular worldview, risk management, Leave No Trace (LNT) principles, wilderness navigation, teaching and facilitating in a small-group setting, to developing your gifts and understanding your calling. Technical topics include sport and trad climbing in a single and multi-pitch environment, glacier travel and rescue, backpacking, and mountaineering.
The Outdoor Ministry Program includes a minimum 3 week outreach in either an overseas or domestic (North American) missions setting with the goal being to practically use the skills that you’ve learned to serve, teach and reach others with the love of Jesus.
The goal of OMP is not simply to give you the technical skills involved in rock climbing, backpacking, and mountaineering; we also aim to teach you to use those skills to facilitate spiritual growth, reach the lost, and minister to the outdoor community wherever you are.
Peter Morel is a longtime lover of the mountains and all that comes with them. He grew up in the wilds of northern Minnesota and far northern Ontario, Canada, and spent his teen years exploring the mountains of Wyoming. Living on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada for 10 years gave Peter the opportunity to explore a beautiful backcountry region with relatively little traffic and gain further skills in traveling in the alpine and traversing rugged terrain. His favorite outdoor pursuits are multi-pitch rock and alpine climbing. His passion is to see people transformed through encounters with the risen Christ, being a part of leading others through life-changing experiences in the backcountry, and seeing the amazing things that can happen when those two things intersect. Peter and his wife, Melanie, are privileged to have two adorable little Canadian-American girls who also love spending time in the beauty of God's Creation. After completing the school as a student in 2017, Peter and his family came back full-time with YWAM Montana and he has staffed OMP each year since then.
Kierra grew up in Bend, Oregon. Surrounded by the Cascade Mountain Range she developed a love for adventures in the outdoors at a young age. She left home at age 16 to complete her DTS in Salem, Oregon. In 2018 she graduated from the Chronological Bible Core Course as well as NIKO (an outdoor leadership course). Recently, she completed the Outdoor Ministry Program in 2019. Kierra has a strong passion for evangelism and is eager to see transformation in people’s lives as they encounter Jesus in the outdoors.
Tyler was born and raised in the wooded flats of Minnesota but since doing a DTS in 2004 has seeked places filled with mountains. In 2006 he completed his School of Outdoor Adventure and Recreation in Bishop CA and also finished his Biblical Core Course in Kona that same year. After staffing DTS's in New Zealand for 2 years with his wife AnnaRose they made their home here in Lakeside in 2011. While he helped staff EDTS for 4 years, there was a realization that there is a need for highly trained Christian outdoor leaders so he and his wife AnnaRose created and ran the first Outdoor Ministry Program in 2015. He is passionate about all kinds of climbing, mountaineering, exploring, his family, pursuing his Alpine Guide Certification through the American Mountain Guide Association, and introducing people to Jesus through the outdoors.
AnnaRose grew up in Minnesota, but now claims the mountains of Montana as her home. AnnaRose and Tyler have been married since 2008, and they have two kids, Cyrus and Jakiah. She and Tyler lead the OMP department, which they pioneered together in 2015. She has worked with YWAM since 2009, staffing DTS, SOW, and of course OMP. She has developed a bit of a passion for rock climbing and bouldering. She also homeschools their kids and is known to have an obsession for planners and pretty markers.
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!
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.