Learning on the Farm

December 12, 2019

This blog features stories about the Wheaton College Graduate School. Emily Shattuck, M.A. Outdoor and Adventure Leadership ’21, shares how the flexible learning format allows her to directly apply her classwork to her ministry at Dreamers’ Ranch.

For Emily Shattuck, the opportunity to join the M.A. in Outdoor and Adventure Leadership could not have come at a better time – and the Flexible Learning Format allows her to learn while continuing in her ministry. Emily Shattuck ’21 serves as cofounder and Program Director at Dreamers’ Ranch, a farm and nonprofit located in New Hampshire that serves to equip and mentor youth of the greater Boston and southern New Hampshire area.

“We’re about changing the culture through the church,” Emily said about Dreamers’ Ranch. Members of Crossing Life Church, partner of Dreamers’ Ranch, serve as mentors for youth coming from the inner city of Lawrence, MA. Together, they work through an entrepreneurial curriculum that culminates in the youth creating their own small businesses using opportunities and resources from the farm.

“Mentors work with a group of three students. They have small-group time and also learn the whole aspect of starting a business. We chose entrepreneurship because of the growth mindset. It’s empowering youth for success, to dream, and to positively impact their communities.”

Emily has seen students graduate and come back to the farm to help and volunteer. Additionally, students who graduate can participate in a leadership program facilitated by Emily. Currently, she is working on expanding the program to other churches. The hope is to continue to add and train mentors so Dreamers’ Ranch can welcome more students.

With the majority of her time dedicated to her work at Dreamers’ Ranch, the Flexible Learning Format was the perfect fit for Emily. “I’m an experiential learner, so this really is the best program for me. I feel like I learn something and go on immediately to fit it into my current strategy."

Wheaton College Graduate School’s Flexible Learning Formats allow leaders to study with world-renowned faculty from Wheaton College Graduate School and earn their master's degree while remaining in their current job and location. At strategic times throughout the program, M.A. Outdoor and Adventure Leadership students gather to learn together at HoneyRock, recently called a “beacon of excellence” by Mark Heasman, the Chief Executive of Christian Camping International.

For Emily, this program is an opportunity to become further equipped while continuing forward with the ministry God has called her to. “[The M.A. in Outdoor and Adventure Leadership] is helping a ministry all the way over in the East Coast to change culture for Christ.”

Students walking in forest in autumn
M.A. Outdoor & Adventure Leadership

The M.A. in Outdoor and Adventure Leadership (OAL) program is designed to equip exceptional leaders for Christian formation and ministry in a fast-changing, multicultural world, utilizing experiential learning methods.

How to Apply

Ready to apply for the M.A. in Outdoor & Adventure Leadership? Learn more about the admission requirements for the program.

Flexible Learning Format

With our flexible learning programs, you can earn a world-class education while remaining in your current job and location.