Backpacking | North CarolinaIn this section, you will travel through beautiful rugged mountains while learning to live comfortably in the backcountry, using only what you can carry on your back. The backpacking section offers one of the best environments to connect with Christ, surrounded by His creation. You will learn the basics of outdoor skill in this section, including cooking, map reading, staying warm, LNT principles and more.
Whitewater Guide Training | North CarolinaThe Southern Appalachian area is a whitewater mecca! You will run the rapids and learn to confidently guide on some of the most popular river sections in the Southeast. You’ll learn how to read the water, guide your boat, and make quick decisions in class II‐III and possibly class IV rapids.
Swiftwater Rescue Training | North CarolinaYou will practice and master the skills necessary to handle whitewater emergencies, as you earn a national certification as a Whitewater Rescue Technician through the ACA. This is a water-based section with lots of scenarios and skills!
Rock Climbing | North CarolinaPisgah National Forest is famous for its big granite walls and diverse climbs. During this section, you will become comfortable with the height, challenge, and adventure of multi-pitch climbing. We’ll set up a base camp and have fun on lots of good climbs around us!
Caving | Georgia & AlabamaThe world underground is completely unlike any other. You’ll move through a maze of formations as you are pushed by the unique challenges of life and travel in the caves. These are some of the best caves in the world! You may have the opportunity to learn the skills to rappel into and ascend out of caves as well. This caving section will culminate in a solo experience for OLD School students.
Primitive Skills & Survival | AlabamaIn this section, you will learn the skills needed to operate without the convenience of modern gear. You’ll experiment with the skills of fire making, shelter building, food gathering and preparation, and more.
Wilderness First Responder | North CarolinaThe WFR course is the industry standard wilderness medicine course for any backcountry leader, river guide, mountain guide, or camping staff. This course is a comprehensive and in-depth look at the standards and skills it takes to deal with medical emergencies in remote situations when supplies may be limited. The WFR course is offered through SOLO Wilderness Medicine and is transferable to almost any college or university as 3-4 hours of college credit. SOLO is a leader in wilderness medical training.
Sea Kayaking | FloridaFor this section, we will travel through the swamps and islands of the beautiful Everglades National Park. You’ll explore the inland swamps and coastal islands, learn ocean navigation, paddling skills, tidal patterns and more while experiencing this unique and fascinating area. This section also allows for plenty of time to enjoy the warm Gulf waters and beaches.
Cross-Cultural Missions | GeorgiaIn the past 10 years over one million people have immigrated to Atlanta from across the world. OLD School students will finish their semester immersed in cross-cultural missions training among unreached people groups in the Atlanta, GA area. This will be a perfect opportunity for students to put their training into practice. We will focus on initiating Gospel conversations with immigrants who have never heard the Truth and sit under experienced teaching on cross-cultural missions.
The Outdoor Leadership and Discipleship School is a semester-long wilderness program designed for college-age students who know Christ and desire to go deeper in their relationship with Him. Our mission is to point young adults toward Christ Jesus, using the tool of wilderness training and the vehicle of relational discipleship. Through 13 weeks of wilderness immersion, OLD School students experience a variety of courses, including backpacking, multi-pitch rock climbing, caving, mountain biking, sea kayaking and more. Students will also earn certifications in Whitewater Rescue, Wilderness First Responder, and Leave No Trace, and have the opportunity to earn up to 15 college credits through Southeastern University.
Fall Semester (September – December)
- Students arrive
- Class & preparation
- Wilderness First Responder (WFR) class
- Nantahala river training & Swiftwater Rescue Training (SRT)
- Rock climbing
- Caving and primitive skills
- Evangelism in Asheville, NC
- Mountain biking
- Sea kayaking
- Thanksgiving break
- Refugee Ministry Training
- Graduation banquet
*There is a $100 refundable gear deposit required for each student.