To develop Christ-like character, integrity and maturity in people, preparing them for positions of responsible spiritual influence and leadership. At the same time, this program also provides practical training and experience in a variety of skill areas within the Christian camping ministry.
Major Objectives of the Program:
A. TO CLARIFY AND BUILD SCRIPTURAL CONVICTIONS. Convictions are the inward commitments which are revealed by outward confidence, strength of character and clarity of purpose. School Of Discipleship focuses on eight universal, non-optional Biblical principles which are the basis for fruitful Christian living. These eight Biblical principles are faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.
B. TO PERFECT RELATED SKILLS. Skills result from developing those abilities that will complement the message our life speaks. Each student will have the opportunity to develop many skills throughout the year, not only the practical skills learned in the day-to-day operation of a camping ministry, but also the intangible skills of communication, responsible camp leadership and effective camp counseling.
C. TO APPLY BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES IN INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS. Interpersonal relationships are the most effective means by which our spiritual commitment and convictions can be measured. Each student will gain a scriptural understanding and knowledge of how to effectively maintain interpersonal relationships with family, friends, other students, and those in authority over them. Principles on conflict resolution will be taught in order for the student to learn how to gain freedom through the restoration of damaged relationships.
D. TO UNDERSTAND AND APPLY THE QUALITIES OF A SERVANT-LEADER. Leadership is the responsibility given to those who will effectively motivate others to fulfill godly purpose. Each student will have the opportunity to develop the character qualities necessary for effective leadership and will have the opportunity throughout the year to practice their leadership skills in motivating others toward maturity.
E. TO FOCUS ON CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT AS A LIFELONG GOAL. Vision is a singleness of purpose that enables our response to become Christ-like. Believing character and integrity to be foundational to maturing in Christ, each student will have the opportunity throughout the year to develop areas of Christ-like character, including gratefulness, thoroughness, humility, responsibility, endurance, sincerity, wisdom and courage.
Practical application for achieving Objectives:
Principles of Training Applied to Horses and Man: The training principles learned by working with horses can also be applied to everyday life with people. Horses are ideal teaching tools because: (1) They respond to attitudes and character, allowing an opportunity to see the inner-self. (2) They require balanced discipline, facilitating the practice of Biblical principles of discipline without harm to persons. (3) They must be taught to yield daily to the control of the trainer, clearly illustrating the Lordship of Christ in the crucified life.
Work Responsibilities: As there is no substitute for experience, the work aspect of the program provides the opportunity for the hands-on development of skills and the opportunity to transfer the truths learned in the classroom to the development of character qualities and maturity in leadership.
Periodic evaluations: Periodic evaluations, which are essential, track progress, reveal areas of strength and weakness and stimulate alertness in learning new skills and creating habits of spiritual disciplines.
Accountability Structures: A major goal in S.O.D. is to encourage the apprentice to develop relationships of accountability with people who will support them and stimulate them in areas of growth and maturity. The relationship between advisor and student lays the foundation for gaining benefit from accountability. Principles of accountability are utilized in building interpersonal relationships with the other students and the student is also encouraged to develop relationships with family members and others who will consider supporting them through prayer and taking special interest in their lives.
Additional Seminars and Optional Training: Along with the standard classes in the S.O.D. program, exposure to various seminars that emphasizes Christian growth and leadership and offer fresh insights and a world perspective provides a balanced outlook to the training. Optional training may also be offered in camping and teaching certification programs such as CPR, life-guarding, etc.
Ministry Transitions: Changes in schedule from fall through summer afford a realistic view of the varying demands that each season brings in outdoor oriented ministries. Students are involved in all aspects of the ministry and learn flexibility as they adapt to the changing demands of the camp schedule.
Experience in a Camping Ministry: A camping environment is an ideal medium to apply what is being learned about leadership. Camping calls for (1) A living demonstration of a Christ-like lifestyle. (2) The use of every opportunity to share Biblical principles in daily situations. (3) The planned involvement of others in the Christian life through every program.