Why Do Research?

It is the glory of God to conceal things,
but the glory of kings is to search things out. 

                                         Proverbs 25:2

I love to learn, and what I love to learn about most lies where the areas of outdoor recreation, human development, spirituality, and experiential education intersect. I want to know how people grow and change through outdoor experiences, especially those in remote wilderness settings. I want to know how people experience and relate to God through the outdoors. I want to know how people learn and how learning leads to transformation. And not only do I want to learn about these things, but I want to use, and to help others use, the knowledge gained through research in the real-world scenarios that outdoor recreation professionals face every day.

Research Interests

  • Biblical and theological roots of modern day adventure programming
  • The differences and similarities in the outcomes and effects of wilderness adventure programs versus traditional camp programs
  • The spiritual impacts of wilderness experiences
  • Outdoor leadership development
  • Pilgrimage experiences as outdoor recreation
  • The effectiveness of experiential education versus traditional education in learning transfer and student transformation
  • The relationship between challenge level and personal growth in adventure recreation

Current Research

  • The Roles of the Outdoor Leader
  • Backpacking and Basecamp: How Remoteness Affects the Outcomes of an Outdoor Adventure Trip

Previous Research

  • The PEAKS Itinerary Model: Being Intentional with Challenge in Adventure Programming 
  • The Biblical Roots of Modern Wilderness Adventure Programs
  • Spiritual Formation through Adventure Experiences
  • Reclaiming the Role of the Wilderness Experience in the Modern Church