Recommended Outdoor Programs

This recommended outdoor programs list is a dynamic and growing list of camps, colleges, & organizations that provide outdoor leadership training and/or adventure camping opportunities.

International ROPs

International universities & colleges and programs that offer outdoor education, outdoor leadership, or outdoor ministry training.

United States ROPs

Universities & colleges and programs that offer outdoor education, outdoor leadership, or outdoor ministry training in the US.

How to get on the list?

Thanks for your interest in our Recommended Outdoor Programs List. Below are the criteria for receiving our Best Outdoor Programs Award and for being added to our Recommended Outdoor Programs List.

Gospel-Centered Outdoor Programs

The primary objective of wilderness ministry is to introduce people to Jesus and help them grow in their faith. We recommend outdoor ministries that are evangelistic, discipleship-oriented, and Gospel-centered. Please read Ashley’s post on Evangelism in the Wilderness to determine if your program aligns with our philosophy of ministry: Most Under-Estimated Benefit of Outdoor Ministry | Time for Evangelism

Expedition Style – Multi-Day Wilderness Trips

Ashley’s recommended outdoor programs are primarily expeditionary style programs that involve multi-day wilderness experiences. We look for these typical expeditionary learning elements to be included on wilderness trips:

  • Daily devotion or quiet times
  • Solo experience (either a few hours or day-long solos)
  • Teachable moments or trail talks along the journey
  • Having participants share their testimony or life story
  • Peak climbs
  • Rock climbing
  • Rafting
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Backpacking
  • Practicing and Teaching Leave No Trace Ethic

Commitment to Spiritual Care and Excellent Training for Your Guides or Instructors

Programs that make our list need to demonstrate a commitment to investing in the spiritual care of guides and instructors as well as offering excellent training in following skills:


  • Knowledge of the Biblical Rationale for Outdoor Ministry
  • Leadership
  • Communication & Counseling Skills
  • Environmental Ethics & Stewardship
  • Expedition Behavior & Group Dynamics
  • Trip planning
  • Decision Making & Problem Solving
  • Teaching, Processing, & Transferring Learning


Want to be on the List?

If you think that your outdoor ministry or wilderness ministry fits our criteria, apply here.

Check out the most recent Blog Posts:

Outdoor Leaders ⛰️

Outdoor Leaders ⛰️