Outdoor Ministry Program

The goal of this program is to disciple and train you how to use outdoor adventures to lead people to Jesus. You will also learn what it takes to staff or pioneer an outdoor ministry to reach people with the Gospel.

The Outdoor Ministry Program is geared toward those who have experience in the outdoor environment but now want to develop their technical skills in backpacking, mountaineering, and rock climbing. 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 the technical skills, you will walk away with an Avalanche 1 and Wilderness First Responder Certification.

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?

**NOTICE – The Outdoor Ministry Program is now 8 months instead of 11 months**

Why 8 months?

-To become proficient in your outdoor skills

You don’t become an outdoor leader overnight. Or even become one if you have taken 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 eight months will help you better understand/prepare yourself for leading groups of people as you build your resume of experience.

-To grow/mature in your personal life and leadership abilities

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. This is why we spend so much time reading through different books, have one on ones, and attend lectures on different topics on top of our outdoor curriculum.


Built into this time, there is also a 3 week outreach to one of our Target Nations (Ukraine, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Taiwan and an undisclosed location), where we will use our outdoor skills to further His Kingdom, be introduced to existing outdoor ministries, and work with local ministries to help them achieve their God size goals for their country.

-Endurance DTS, and leading missionary member/community trips.

You will get to apply your new skills as an outdoor leader while working with EDTS and leading missionary member/community trips. This puts you into the leadership position so you gain the necessary experience and knowledge that it takes to organize the trips, activities, and advertising.

Here is a partial list of the outdoor curriculum:

  • Rock climbing 1 and 2
  • Backpacking
  • Orienteering
  • Mountaineering
  • Winter camping/survival
  • Leave No Trace
  • Wilderness First Responder certification
  • Avalanche 1 certification

Because we are training not just to improve our skills, but to influence those around us, we will also be focusing on growing spiritually and in leadership. This will be done with reading, lectures, worship, one-on-ones, and intercession.

*Cost Includes: Room and Board, training, travel, and some required gear.

*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*


Upcoming Schools

  • Winter 2020

    • Start Date:01/06/20
    • End Date:08/21/20
    • Total Cost:USD 12,500
      Apply By Dates
    • By Applicant Nationality
    • If you are an International, please email [email protected] to find out the specific apply by date for your country.

    Apply Online
  • More Dates
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Apply By Dates

The "Apply By Dates" are dates that are generated by your nationality and our estimation of time needed to properly process and acquire all the materials necessary for any student to attend one of our schools. If you have questions about your country specific apply by date, please feel free to email our Admissions Office at [email protected]


Able to confidently rock climb at difficulty of 5.7 in rock shoes.
Documentation of 15 top rope climbs 5.8 or harder (date, Location, route name).
Confident in tying these basic climbing knots: figure 8, bowline, clove hitch, munter hitch, mule hitch, prussik, flat overhand, double fisherman's and klemheist.
Documentation of at least 3 overnight backcountry trips.
Documentation of at least 3 climbs that require you to travel on 4th class terrain. (Documentation of rock climbs and backcountry trips can be included in your application).
Able to run 6 miles.
*A DTS is not required anymore since OMP is now an Extension Studies Course through the U of N, but it is still recommended to complete one before this course. For more information, contact the course leader.

Weekly Schedule

Work Skills 12 Hours/Week

12 Hours/Week

Each week, you will spend 12 hours either in the Kitchen or the Auto shop. Wherever you are, there is always food to be made and a car to get you where you need to go. So, you get to serve YWAM Montana by helping out, but at the same time learning essential skills that will prepare you for running or pioneering an outdoor ministry. These 12 hours are learn-as-you-go time.

Reading 11 Hours/Week

11 Hours/Week

Personal Growth (9 hours)

  • Hearing God’s voice
  • Character and Nature of God
  • Holy Spirit
  • Missions/pioneering
  • Finance and budgeting
  • Worldview
  • Discipleship
  • Jesus
  • Leadership
  • Evangelism

Outdoor Education (2 hours)

  • Mountaineering
  • Rock climbing
  • Snow and snow travel
  • Wilderness Medicine
  • Risk Management
  • Effective leadership in the outdoors
  • Navigation

Outdoor Training 10 Hours/Week

10 Hours/Week

These 10 hours a week are a time specific to learning outdoor skills (see Outdoor Curriculum list), training, trip prep, or running a program like staff outings or a community activity.

Worship/Intercession 3 Hours/Week

3 Hours/Week

We will be joining our YWAM Lakeside family for corporate times of intercession & worship throughout the week. As a school each morning we will begin with times of worship & intercession.

Lecture 2 Hours/Week

2 Hours/Week

There are 2 hours set aside for lectures (see lecture topic list) each week. This time is for topics on (soft skills) personal growth, spiritual training, leading, running a kitchen, mechanics, etc… Not a time for learning outdoor skills (hard skills). Some of these topics will be taught by one of the program leaders, but most will be taught by others here on base or by outside sources.

One-on-Ones 1 Hours/Week

1 Hours/Week

During the week, each program participant will meet with a program leader for 30 to 60 minutes to process the week.

Training Log 2 Hours/Week

2 Hours/Week

This is not a journal, just writing down facts so at the end of the program you have a log of all your outdoor experience that you can write up a resume with.

Resource Materials

School Leaders

Tyler & AnnaRose Johnson

Tyler and AnnaRose have been married since 2008 and have two children, Cyrus and Jakiah. They have been missionary members with YWAM since 2009, and they moved here to Montana two years later. They pioneered OMP in fall of 2015, and have been running with it since! After doing his DTS in 2004, Tyler completed a YWAM outdoor guiding school, the YWAM Biblical Core Course, served in many DTS's (in both NZ and MT), and has been leading groups and individuals in the outdoors for the last decade on mountaineering, climbing, hiking, and backpacking trips. AnnaRose did her DTS in 2006, and she then went on to do a School of Worship here in Lakeside in 2008. After staffing 4 DTS's with Tyler in NZ, they moved here and she staffed a SOW. She now spends her time being home with the kids, homeschooling Cyrus, doing much of the behind-the-scenes details of OMP, and being a part of a sewing ministry on base.

Peter Morel

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. Peter completed the Outdoor Ministry program in 2017.

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(406) - 844 - 2221
YWAM Montana | Lakeside
501 Blacktail Rd.
Lakeside MT, 59922
United States
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