Colorado Christian University (CCU) has launched a Bachelor of Science degree in Outdoor Leadership that will be available in the fall 2017 semester for students in CCU’s College of Undergraduate Studies. This is a program expansion based on the Outdoor Leadership minor offered since 1994 by CCU’s School of Business and Leadership.
“The outdoor industry is growing like crazy, and we are in a prime location for it here in Colorado,” said Derek Branstrom, assistant professor and director of Outdoor Leadership programs. “It made sense to create this new major since we already have everything in place to run an excellent program at the bachelor’s level.”
CCU’s program will be the first four-year outdoor leadership program offered by a Christian college in the state of Colorado. It will also be one of the few programs in the state that is a four-year bachelor’s degree, as the majority of outdoor leadership, recreation, and education programs in the area are two-year associate degrees.
The new program will require 120 credit hours with core courses that focus on leadership, communication, business, outdoor ministry, and skills-based courses for specific outdoor disciplines. Students will have the option of completing a minor — such as business, education, or psychology — in addition to the major, based on their area of concentration in the outdoor industry.
“We wanted to make sure this major was broad but focused. Our courses cast a big net so our students can work in several areas, but the skills-based courses are still focused enough that they are able to get actual experience,” said Branstrom.
All graduates from CCU’s program will be qualified for a variety of career options within the outdoor industry, including tourism and ecotourism, national resource management, wilderness therapy, recreation management, outdoor recreation retail and manufacturing, journalism, and various entrepreneurial opportunities.
Outdoor Leadership majors will obtain their Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification and have the option of becoming a certified Leave No Trace (LNT) Master Educator. Students will also be required to complete a three-credit hour internship — which can be completed during the summer.
According to Branstrom, “Both the major and the minor are centered on equipping students to become a voice for Christian outdoor leadership. People who recreate in the outdoors are generally open to spirituality, so this is a great chance for our students to share the gospel and show why it is important for us to take care of and spend time in God’s creation.”
Learn more about CCU’s outdoor leadership programs by visiting ccu.edu/oul.