Introduction to Wilderness Ministry

This course will explore Biblical themes of wilderness and adventure and ground students with theological and biblical principles critical to effective wilderness ministry. We establish core principles of discipleship and evangelism and provide a framework for understanding how wilderness ministry can be utilized effectively as a strategy in local church and para-church ministry. We will explore principles of experiential learning and discuss the human need for adventure and physical issues of wilderness ministry. This course will include practical examples in an outdoor context to model and broaden the experience. 

Dates: Oct. 14-18, 2020

Location: Bozeman, Montana

Details: This course will be a combination of classroom and outdoor training. We will start the training at Yellowstone Alliance Adventures camp Oct. 14-15, and then head out on the trail Oct. 16-18 for the field session.  




 Ashley Denton, D.Min 

 Author of Christian Outdoor Leadership: Theology, Theory, and Practice, Dr. Ashley Denton is the founder of Wilderness Ministry Institute and serves as a professor of Outdoor Leadership & World Mission at YTI. His ministry encourages and equips future leaders with the skills to introduce younger generations to Jesus Christ through combining youth ministry and outdoor adventure. Dr. Denton has traveled to over 50 countries.


Joel Vermillion, MA 

Joel has been working with young people in a wilderness ministry setting for over 25 years in dozens of countries. He has been working with Nexus and WMI for over 10 years.  Joel lives in Oregon with his wife and four children. 


Registration Deadline: 

September 15, 2020 (if you want to receive credit for the course from YTI)*

October 1, 2020 if registration for the WMI course only



Registration, Food & Lodging (out of town students): $259

Registration, Food  (local students): $145


*Credit Options

Graduate Credit: If you would like to take the course for 3 graduate credits at Yellowstone Theological Institute the cost will be an additional $600




  1. Everyone needs to sign up on the WMI Registration page:
  2. If you are interested in graduate credit then follow this link to Yellowstone Theological Institute Registration:


What to Bring?

Here is a packing list (including what you will need for the backpacking field session)

 Health Consent & Indemnification Form


In partnership with Yellowstone Theological Institute

Participants may receive 3 graduate credits from YTI for ADV 531 Introduction to Wilderness Adventure*

ADV 531 introduces the student to the fundamental nature of “wilderness” ministry, as grounded in a basic theology of adventure. It defines “adventure,” then touches on the biblical, theological and anthropological backgrounds for wilderness ministry. It investigates the human understanding of adventure, and why humans actually need adventure. Finally, the course discusses the physical issues of wilderness ministry, and how a renewed theology of adventure can influence mind and body. This course involves practical activities and modeling in the outdoor classroom.