NEWS & PRESS RELEASES
Unique wilderness experience fosters learning, growth
The experience of learning is unique to each individual. Being aware of strengths and weaknesses is vital as students pursue higher education and seek to learn more about themselves and their relationship with God.
Last month, a group of Baptist Bible College students participated in a unique learning opportunity that helped them exercise their strengths, overcome their weakness, and understand more clearly how God is at work in their lives. The students spent spring break on a section of the Appalachian Trail. The trip is a requirement for two classes: Introduction to Accelerated Learning and Wilderness Ministry Leadership. It was led by Assistant Professor Dwight Peterson.
Over the five-day break, the group hiked 35 miles, from Robbinsville, NC, to Whispering Mountain Camp. The camp ministry provides wilderness backpacking, youth camps, and mission work teams for the purpose of outdoor education and team building.
The program is offered in partnership with Pilgrimage Educational Resources .
Trip with a purpose
Students learned how to learn and how to use life experiences to discover more about what God is teaching them. They also discovered their personal learning styles and how to use that information to enhance their ability to learn.
"I know of no better tool than the one God has used since creation to teach people how to see Him and themselves correctly," Peterson said. "That tool is wilderness."
"From David to Paul, God has used this medium to grow people. If you see wilderness as a tool, it will change your ministry. If you see it as a philosophy, it will change every area of your life."
Peterson has seen some amazing things happen during his trips into the wilderness.
"Kids begin to see the events of their lives in a whole new light," he said. "They discover that their God is active in their life, and they come out determined to actively pursue God and growth."
Students choose to take the course and go on the trip for several reasons. Some want to learn more about themselves and to break away from their comfort zones. Others simply enjoy the challenge.
Challenges and outcomes
Students experienced many of challenges, such as difficult terrain, uncooperative weather. Overcoming personal issues were challenges for some and blessings for others.
The experience of the hike and the time spent in the wilderness can affect people in different ways. Among the outcomes for the students were:
- Seeing God more clearly.
- Realizing how big God really is in their lives.
- Learning to trust God in all situations.
- Improvising in difficult situations.
- Developing deeper relationships.
- Experiencing a sense of accomplishment.
The courses are more commonly known among those who have experienced them simply as "Wilderness." This abbreviated title is a reflection of the simplicity with which the goals of the course are achieved. The primary goal is to teach students how to learn effectively through such means as problem solving, communication, and collaboration. Through participation, students are also encouraged to explore and discover their own personal learning style.
Despite the seemingly involved nature the goals, the practice is simple: use the real experience of the outdoors as an analogy for our lives and our relationship with God.
Learn more about the Youth Pastoral program at BBC here.
Learn more about the Camping Ministries program at BBC here.
To learn more about wilderness opportunities at BBC, contact Dwight Peterson at 570.585.9262 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other experience-based learning opportunities exist at Baptist Bible Graduate School and Baptist Bible Seminary in collaboration with Pilgrimage Educational Resources.
At the Graduate School, these include the M.S. in Biblical Ministries Organizational Leadership concentration, the M.S. in Christian School Education Experience-Based Educational Leadership concentration. To learn more, contact Graduate School Admissions.
At the Seminary, the Master of Ministry program offers an Organizational Leadership concentration. To learn more, contact Seminary Admissions.
Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers 38 academic programs, from a one-year Bible Certificate to PhDs. Programs are available through the Clarks Summit campus, online, and several distance learning options. To learn more, go to www.bbc.edu or call 570.586.2400.
Posted on: 5/6/2009 2:09:59 PM