The Wilderness Immersion and Leadership Development (W.I.L.D.)Semester uses outdoor adventures and intentional Christian community to equip leaders to impact the world for Christ. The program runs each Fall Semester, and provides students an opportunity to develop outdoor leadership and facilitation skills necessary for a career in the outdoors, but also the Christian character and life skills which are crucial to making a difference in whatever vocation God calls you to.
Completing the W.I.L.D. Semester along with a practicum gives students a minor in Outdoor Education. It also can be used to complete a concentration in outdoor education for either Recreation, Sport, and Wellness or Christian Ministries majors.
We come alive through adventures because the inherent risks demand that we step up and use our skills and abilities to the fullest. The wilderness provides adventure through natural challenges with real consequences. Overcoming these challenges requires problem-solving, critical thinking, and the ability to lead and follow well as to work within a team. These life skills transfer back to “real life” enabling students to embrace the adventure of the Christian life.
People are created to live and learn in communion with others. The WILD Semester capitalizes on this through both lives on the trail and students living together in a house in intentional Christian community. Life together involves eating, working and playing together. It is here that lessons about solving the conflict, seeking to understand others’ perspectives, and the need to serve others continually are not just theory but are lived out in daily practice.
We believe that students must be active discoverers of Truth rather than passive receivers of information. Learning should be hands-on with immediate opportunities to apply theoretical content in practical experiences. Abstract concepts like leadership and compassion are difficult to learn through books and lectures. Students need opportunities to learn through direct experience followed by meaningful feedback.
Care for Creation
Scripture tells us that God is clearly revealed in the beauty of his Creation. Being immersed in nature is one of the primary ways to know our Creator and to allow ourselves to be known by Him. As students enter into an intimate relationship with the created world, they come to understand the importance of preserving it. Life in the wilderness emphasizes the value of living simply. Students explore together the realities of simplicity as the key to sustainability.
The wilderness encourages us to slow down and spend time in deep thought. Students have the opportunity to step away from the busyness and noise of modern life and spend time going deeper in their faith. Students reflect, not in isolation, but in a community that helps to mirror God’s light to each other so that each student can understand how to maximize their gifts and overcome their weaknesses
The total number of students is limited to a maximum of 12. Gordon students majoring in Recreation, Sport and Wellness will be given preference. However, students of any major are welcome and the program has included students from almost every major at Gordon. We welcome Non-Gordon students who use the semester as a study abroad opportunity.
All participants should be able to:
The semester utilizes a format of "block" classes which provides students an opportunity to focus and interact with one subject at a time. Courses utilize extensive field opportunities as well as an exciting slate of guest lecturers and experts in the field as well as visits to other adventure programs around New England.
Students earn 16 credits, taking the following courses:
This program is offered every Fall semester and the application is online. Applications are now being accepted for the Fall 2017 W.I.L.D. Semester.
Both Gordon students and non-Gordon students pay normal Gordon costs for the semester (tuition, light board, room, and fees). Please reference the current year's cost for these charges. Gordon students may apply all scholarships, loans, etc. to the cost of the program, EVEN IF THEY HAVE DONE ANOTHER SEMESTER ABROAD. The WILD Semester can be done in addition to another Global Education program and you can normally apply financial aid to both. Non-Gordon students should check with their home institution regarding financial assistance policies.
Included in the costs are:
W.I.L.D. Semester Information:
As you think about and plan for the semester, we would like to remind you of a few things:
Frequently Asked Questions:
Director of W.I.L.D. Semester
P 978 867 4893