Adventure Education (B.A.)

Adventure Education Major

School of Science, Engineering and Health

Department of Health and Human Performance

Travelers, wilderness enthusiasts, outfitters and youth ministers thrive in Messiah College’s adventure education program

If you are interested in the great outdoors and are passionate about helping others achieve their personal best, then Messiah College’s adventure education program is for you. Messiah College’s distinctive adventure education program offers you a pair of courses—Programming and Trip Design, and Trip Implementation—where you’ll spend the fall semester designing a wilderness trip.  In the spring semester, you’ll be part of a student team that will recruit other participants, lead week long spring break trips, and be responsible for all aspects of the experience.

It’s a first-rate, firsthand experience that gets you ready for an exciting career in adventure education, alternative education, wilderness therapy, camp programming, youth ministry, adventure travel, commercial outfitting or outdoor education.

As an adventure education major at Messiah College, you’ll be able to:

  • Learn to design and lead adventure experiences, which facilitate interpersonal relationships, personal growth and group dynamics.
  • Gain the theory, knowledge, skills and experience necessary to successfully plan, implement, administer and supervise educational experiences in the outdoor setting.
  • Dig into courses ranging from wilderness encounters (a three-week trip) to canoeing, environmental issues, risk management and leadership facilitation.
  • Earn nationally recognized certifications including Wilderness First Responder/SOLO and Leave no Trace.
  • Pursue additional certifications such as American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) Single Pitch Instruction, American Canoe Association (ACA) Canoe Instructor, and Association of Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) Level 1 Facilitator.
  • Spend a semester with the internationally renowned National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), which offers the world’s most spectacular outdoor classrooms.

Major Requirements

PDF Course Listing

Minor Requirements:

PDF Course Listing



Adventure Education Photo

Students have the option of spending a semester on a National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) course in the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, or Desert Southwest.

Department of Health and Human Performance
Learn more about this department
Clubs and student organizations include the Athletic Training Students Association, Sports Management Society, and Pre-Physical Therapy Club.
Opportunity to work on a human cadaver (pre-physical therapy students)
Professors' area of research include: youth sports and ethical issues; health education, race/ethnicity; sponsorship and marketing; and strength and conditioning.
98 percent acceptance rate into physical therapy, allied health, and other related graduate programs (Health and exercise science major)
Excellent on-campus facilities such as Messiah's human performance lab, athletic training facilities, weight room, natatorium, indoor jogging track, and the Falcon Fitness Center.