Graduate Assistant Coursework

Engage Your Calling while Getting a Degree



Vision for Graduate Assistants 

Graduate Assistant (GA) positions are designed to sharpen the skills of camp practitioners, equipping them to be exceptional leaders for the Christian outdoor, adventure, and camp ministry movements.  This is accomplished by integrating academic work facilitated by Wheaton College Graduate School with real life ministry at the camps where they work. On successful completion of the Assistantship, candidates earn an M.A. in Christian Formation and Ministry (CFM) with an Outdoor and Adventure Leadership (OAL) concentration.

Graduate Assistants take core CFM courses via real-time teleconference programming at their camps or other remote sites; and gather to take OAL concentration courses in intensive one to two week formats at Wheaton College in Illinois, or at the HoneyRock campus in Northern Wisconsin.

HoneyRock, Wheaton College’s Outdoor Center for Leadership Development participates in this leadership development innovation and has a Graduate Assistantship program for its Northwoods campus staff.

Requirements for the Christian Formation and Ministry program leading to a Master of Arts degree involves the successful completion of 42 semester hours, a comprehensive examination, and a capstone project or internship.

Students are required to complete 24 hours of core courses plus an additional 18 hours in the Outdoor and Adventure Leadership concentration.

Core CFM Courses (24 semester hours)

  • CFM 512 Bible in Ministry (2)
  • CFM 513 History and Philosophy of Ministry (4)
  • CFM 514 Ministry in Culture (2)
  • CFM 515 Human Development and Research for Ministry (4)
  • CFM 516 Teaching for Transformation (4)
  • CFM 521 Personal Spiritual Formation (2)
  • CFM 522 History and Traditions of Spiritual Formation (2)
  • BITH Theological Studies Requirement (TSR) (4)

 Students are also required to complete a zero-credit comprehensive exam and a zero-credit Mentoring Group in their area of concentration. 

OAL Concentration Courses (18 semester hours)

In addition to core classes in the Christian Formation and Ministry Department, students also take 18 hours of the following courses in outdoor and adventure ministry.

  • CFM 563 The Church and Outdoor Ministry (4)
  • CFM 564 Adventure Challenge Education (4)
  • CFM 662 Theology and Practice of Outdoor Ministry (4)
  • CFM 663 Leadership Development in Outdoor Ministry (4)
  • CFM 664 Wilderness Programming and Leadership (4)
  • Outdoor Ministry Final Project, Internship, or Applied Thesis (2)

The final project within each concentration may be a thesis/applied thesis (698), creative project (692), or internship (696).  Up to four hours of electives within a concentration may be taken through independent study courses.  Courses taken on a pass/fail basis may not be applied to the degree requirements. For courses offered only on a pass/fail basis, two hours of pass/fail credit may be applied to the degree with approval of the department chair.

Refer to the Christian formation and ministry department for more information.

Application Process

Go to Graduate School Admissions for further details. You may also request information from the Wheaton College Graduate School. Please keep in mind the application deadlines as you plan.


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