Outdoor Ministry Program

A Second level study at YWAM Montana

Course Description.

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.

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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.

Meet Your OMP STAFF.

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!

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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.