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You desire to be outside for your career. Sitting at a desk won't satisfy you. You want to promote the wonders of God's natural environment, challenge others to grow through adventure, and promote holistic wellness. Learning within a community fits your style. You want an intense, experiential academic major that prepares you for leading in the outdoors.

If this describes you, then the outdoor leadership degree at North Greenville University may be the best option for you. Here, NGU's Outdoor Leadership Department faculty members are prepared and willing to help you begin a successful career in the field of outdoor leadership.


Major Description 


As an outdoor leadership major at NGU, you will spend much of your time developing outdoor skills, working with small groups, developing your leadership abilities, researching, and participating in class discussions.

You will learn about experiential education theory and philosophy, leadership principles and practices, group processing and facilitation skills, wilderness medicine, and environmental stewardship (Leave No Trace) ethics, as well as how to apply this knowledge in your own work.

By the end of your senior year, you will have completed a minimum of 12 weeks of field experience, developed an outdoor pursuits resume, and engaged in numerous leadership opportunities with peers.

Ultimately, the outdoor leadership program will provide a strong education based on a biblical worldview that will prepare you for a variety of outdoor leadership opportunities.




The outdoor leadership curriculum at NGU includes four field-based courses designed to give students valuable experience in leadership and skill development. Students who graduate from our program will have a minimum of 12 weeks of field experience.

Faculty Strengths


Each Outdoor Leadership Department faculty member brings a deep and varied experience level to the classroom. Professional experiences include working for Outward Bound, wilderness therapy organizations, backcountry guide services, camp ministries, and challenge courses.

Faculty members strive to build a classroom environment that encourages academic, spiritual, and personal growth through experiential learning and community development.


Tracks / Concentrations


There are no tracks or concentrations for this major available at this time.




At NGU, we offer minors to complement your major. Each minor requires a minimum of 18 semester hours, which in some cases may even be used to meet the elective requirements for your major. View the full list of minors.




  • Advanced Outdoor Water Pursuits
  • Advanced Outdoor Land Pursuits
  • Field Studies
  • Wilderness Survival
  • Winter Camping





Career Opportunities


    • Adventure Course Manager
    • Adventure Educator
    • Camp Director
    • Challenge Course Manager   
    • Conference Center Coordinator
    • Environmental Specialist
    • Environmental Educator
    • Events Coordinator
    • Outdoor Education Facilitator
    • Outdoor Education Instructor
    • Outdoor Leadership Specialist
    • Outdoor Recreation Coordinator
    • Outreach Program Coordinator
    • Park Ranger
    • Parks and Recreation Director
    • Public Works Director
    • Recreation Director
    • Retreat Center Director
    • Site Manager
    • Special Events Coordinator
    • Wilderness Therapy Field Instructor
    • Youth Minister

    Postgraduate Studies


    • North Greenville University
    • Converse College
    • Gardner-Webb University
    • Georgia College and State University
    • Golden Gate Seminary
    • Minnesota State University, Mankato
    • Plymouth State University
    • Southeastern Seminary
    • University of New Hampshire
    • Western Carolina University

    Potential Employers


      • Camp Greenville
      • Campus Crusade for Christ
      • Clemson University Youth Learning Institute
      • The Cliffs
      • Girl Scouts of America
      • Greenville County Recreation District
      • Greenville County School District
      • North Greenville University
      • Outward Bound
      • REI
      • South Carolina State Parks
      • Spartanburg County School Districts
      • Summit Adventures
      • United States Army
      • YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly
      • YMCA Camp Greenville
      • YMCA Camp Marston


      Learning Experience

      Immersion Semester

      All outdoor leadership students participate in an intense, field-based semester designed to develop leadership skills in the field. Students spend the cohort-based semester backpacking, canoeing, sea kayaking, and rock climbing. Additionally, they receive a Wilderness First Responder certification.

      Wilderness Journey Practicum

      First-year students in the outdoor leadership program are required to participate in a 15-day backpacking trip designed to provide a common experience before furthering in the program.

      Outdoor Leadership Internship

      All students are required to participate in a professional internship during their studies at NGU. Students are encouraged to choose an organization that will promote vocational development and to complete their internship over the summer between their junior and senior year.

      Crusader Outdoor Adventure and Recreation (COAR)

      COAR is a campus-wide student organization led by outdoor leadership students. Students plan, market, and lead outdoor adventures for the NGU student body. This organization is a great opportunity to develop as an outdoor leader with guidance from outdoor leadership faculty and Student Life staff.

      Work Study

      The Outdoor Leadership Department at NGU offers several work-study positions that allow students to better understand the inner workings of the department. Work-study students open a 30-foot climbing wall to students, assist with trip preparation, and help manage equipment.

      Courses & Resources

      Example Course Sequence

      First Year Experience  (1 hour)
      Composition and Rhetoric (3 hours)
      Old Testament Survey (3 hours)
      Principles of Biology I (4 hours)
      Introduction to Outdoor Leadership (3 hours)
      Microsoft Office Applications I (3 hours)
      Composition and Literature (3 hours)
      New Testament Survey (3 hours)
      Wilderness Journey Practicum (3 hours)
      Outdoor Leadership Elective (3 hours)
      Math elective (3 hours)
      Concepts of Physical Fitness and Wellness (2 hours)

      *In addition to the courses listed for this major, every student at NGU will take chapel and cultural events each semester of full-time enrollment for up to eight semesters.

      Example Course Sequence

      General Psychology (3 hours)
      History elective (3 hours)
      Environmental Science (4 hours)
      Group Processing and Facilitation (3 hours)
      Legal Issues and Environmental Law (3 hours)
      Human Growth and Development (3 hours)
      English literature elective (3 hours)
      Fine arts elective (3 hours)
      Outdoor Camping Skills (3 hours)
      Outdoor Ministries (3 hours)
      Oral Communication (3 hours)

      *In addition to the courses listed for this major, every student at NGU will take chapel and cultural events each semester of full-time enrollment for up to eight semesters.

      Example Course Sequence

      Wilderness Navigation (3 hours)
      Programming Outdoor Water Pursuits (4 hours)
      Programming Outdoor Land Pursuits (4 hours)
      Wilderness First Responder (4 hours)
      Challenge Course Programs and Management (3 hours)
      Teaching Methods and Curriculum Development (3 hours)
      Organization and Administration of Outdoor Programs (3 hours)
      Outdoor leadership elective (3 hours)
      Natural science elective (4 hours)

      *In addition to the courses listed for this major, every student at NGU will take chapel and cultural events each semester of full-time enrollment for up to eight semesters.

      Example Course Sequence

      Natural science elective (3 or 4 hours)
      Philosophy of Experiential Education (3 hours)
      Outdoor leadership elective (3 hours)
      Psychology elective (3 hours)
      Open elective (3 hours)
      Senior Seminar (3 hours)
      Outdoor Leadership Internship (3 hours)
      Intelligent Design (3 hours)
      Psychology elective (3 hours)
      Open elective (3 hours)

      Program Objectives

      • Serve as a knowledgeable leader within the broad fields of experiential and adventure education.
      • Synthesize the results and gains of your disciplined inquiry through written and oral expression.
      • Approach your responsibilities from a safety and risk management perspective.
      • Demonstrate good judgment and decision-making in outdoor settings, in regards to risk management, group leadership, and skill development.
      • Be equipped to work with diverse groups in a variety of settings.


      What is your ideal career?