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1. Is Outtatown a "mission trip"?
2. What do you mean by "discipleship"?
3. Is it an academic program?
4. What is "experiential learning"?
5. What topics are covered in the teaching?
6. What makes Outtatown unique?
7. Approximately how much of my time will be spent in classrooms?
8. Approximately how much of my time will be spent doing service work?
9. What kind of adventure activities can I expect?
Yes and no. Outtatown is a discipleship school, which focuses on training students in what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Part of following Christ is to serve others, so on Outtatown there are many opportunities provided to do so. Each semester will include several service opportunities, ranging from a couple of days to a couple of weeks, and sometimes more.
In the Bible, the disciples were essentially students of Jesus during his ministry. When we use the word “discipleship”, we are referring to the intentional process of learning how to be a student or a follower of Jesus in the modern day context and in the context of living in community.
Academics play an important role in this program and students can earn university credit that can be transferred toward future studies. However, learning on Outtatown isn’t broken down into specific courses with evaluation tools such as essays or exams. Outtatown combines classroom and experiential learning, with every part of the experience being an integral element of the overall curriculum. For example, a conversation over coffee with a Site Leader or an opportunity serving food to the homeless are considered just as important to learning as a class on the New Testament. Students will have opportunities to write reflections that help identify the things they are learning.
Experiential learning in the Outtatown program is an attempt to merge cognitive with hands-on learning, faith with practice, and evangelical fervor with true community. With the world as their classroom, student learning will include: lectures by visiting instructors, selective reading and reflection, mentoring provided by site leaders, unique adventure opportunities, discussions with peers, and the insights of many people and experiences. Then, through research, study, discussion, assignments, and personal journaling, students will be challenged to identify and articulate what they have learned. Many students find that this unique educational approach contributes to a renewed “joy of learning” and to a greater sense of purpose for further education.
Topics will vary somewhat from year to year, but examples for first semester teaching may include: Old and New Testament, Christian theology and ethics, Church history, Biblical interpretation, The nature of the Church and Christian worship, and How to be faithful to Jesus Christ in the context of the current world situation. Students will also receive some teaching about First Nations culture and current situation as well as poverty in Canada’s urban areas.
Topics from second semester will focus on history, culture and the current situation in Guatemala. Students will also take Spanish classes, while living with local families during the 6 weeks of Spanish learning. Read more about some of the Instructors under Current Students.
The original concept of Outtatown was to create a school that offered a chance to experience the travel of a mission/discipleship focused school, and the education/theology of a Bible school, with the hope of preparing the student for a life of discipleship in future endeavours.
During each semester, approximately a third of your time will be spent receiving instruction. That’s 4-6 weeks focused on classroom type instruction. Your classrooms will range from mountain tops to campfires; and includes museums, churches and classrooms at your camps.
During these instruction weeks, students can expect 10-16 hours of in classroom time (or 4 hours/day). Book assignments, journal & reflection assignments and other class related discussions would be in addition to these classroom hours.
During the first semester you will spend approximately 1-2 days/week serving at camps, and in the Inner City of Winnipeg & Vancouver. In the second semester you will spend a total of approximately 4 weeks partnering with various ministries.
We like to believe that students will be fairly regularly engaged in activities that one might consider adventure, however here are a few of the more "high adventure" activities the program will cover: bungee jumping, canoe trip, swimming in exotic locations, skiing/snowboarding, caving, horseback riding, volcano trekking, zip-lining, and surfing on the Pacific Coast. Depending on the opportunities and the year there may be other activity options.
During free time, students will have the opportunity to pursue many other adventure opportunities that could include: mountain biking, rock climbing, white water rafting, abseiling, zip-lining, hiking, paragliding, horseback riding, an overnight volcano hike, and surfing.