Outdoor Leadership


Thanks for your interest in the Department of Outdoor Leadership at North Greenville University. We're commonly referred to as the ODEL (o-dell) department because of the prefix used in our course numbers. Students majoring in Outdoor Leadership receive an intense, experiential program of study that strives to prepare students for leadership positions in a variety of outdoor settings and environments. We seek to develop students holistically by encouraging their personal, spiritual, physical, and academic growth. Our desire is for students to learn how to minister and grow individuals effectively in the outdoors.

Check out our program video! 

If you are looking for a program that focuses on the use of outdoor pursuits to promote holistic wellness, stewardship of natural environments, and creating opportunities for positive change in the groups and group members, while challenging students to grow personally and professionally - one of our programs may be right for you! These programs and services include:

  • B.S. in Outdoor Leadership
  • Minor in Outdoor Leadership
  • Crusader Outdoor Adventure & Recreation (COAR) - student run outing club
  • Experiential programming through the NGU Challenge Course
  • Our Academic Program

Our core curriculum includes a minimum of four field-based courses designed to give students valuable experience in leadership and skill development. Students who graduate from our program will have at least 12 weeks of field experience. Supported by NGU's liberal arts foundation and coupled with supporting courses in natural science and psychology, students will be able to enhance outdoor and experiential programs for groups as well as understand the current issues in the field. NGU's ODEL degree offers a strong emphasis in Christian character, leadership development, and outdoor skills.

Our Campus Setting

North Greenville University is located at the foothills of Blue Ridge Mountains. We are within two hours of three major wilderness areas, selective climbing sites, and several rivers with whitewater rated up to class five. The Department of Outdoor Leadership also utilizes many state parks within an hour of campus as well as the 80-mile Foothills Trail which stretches from the Chattooga River to Table Rock State Park.

Our Department Mission

The mission of the Department of Outdoor Leadership at North Greenville University is to educate, equip, and empower students to become outdoor professionals through academic courses, experiential learning, and Christian service. Additionally, the department serves the community through Christ-centered experiential programs. 

Our Core Values

Christian Character

We seek to develop men and women of integrity and Christian character as a foundation for leadership and service. This development is encouraged through biblical study, relationships, challenge, and nurture.

Intentional Community

We are an intentional community composed of students, faculty, and staff who are committed to our mission and each other. We encourage each other in our Christian walks and our professional development through accountability, personal responsibility, diversity, and creativity.

Leadership Development

Leadership is a skill that can be learned and needs to be practiced. As a program, we encourage the development of sound judgment, awareness of others, and humility through hands-on experience and quality feedback.

Environmental Stewardship

We believe that our Creator has provided us awesome resources to foster our sense of adventure, growth, and recreational desires. Consequently, we have the responsibility to develop an environmental ethic that will contribute to the sustainability of these resources that God has crafted.

Experiential Methods

Our programs use experiential theory and methods to create an opportunity for participants to discover truth through experience. These experiences are intentionally designed, implemented, and reflected upon to encourage learning and growth.

Your Career Opportunities

Graduates in Outdoor Leadership from NGU will be able to find jobs in fields such as adventure education, adventure therapy, environmental education, national and state parks, mission organizations, church-related youth ministries, commercial outdoor recreation businesses (whitewater rafting, guiding, etc.), college/university outdoor education programs, environmental interpretation centers, and/or camp and conference centers. Graduates indicate that regardless of their career choice, the leadership, interpersonal skills, and discipleship experiences they gained through the ODEL program prepared them for a variety of career opportunities.

Contact Information

Trey Fouch
Chair, Dept. of Outdoor Leadership
North Greenville University
PO Box 1892
Tigerville, SC 29680
(864) 977-7991
Email jwfouche at ngu.edu