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Leadership, Learning, and Faith

Earn Your Master’s Degree in the Great Outdoors, Blending Classroom Insights with Camp Experiences

Earn Your Master’s Degree in Arts, majoring in Leadership – Outdoor Ministry, through SpringHill’s partnership with Wheaton College.

The application deadline to apply is July 27th.

It is a three-year Master of Arts Degree Program from Wheaton College.

You will major in Leadership—Outdoor Ministry, complete classwork through Wheaton College, and gain hands-on ministry leadership experience at SpringHill.


The Emerging Leader Program develops and inspires the next generation of Christian leaders.

It might be the right program for you if you are currently leading programs at a college, church, or camp and have the desire to grow your leadership skills and learn how to lead in a culturally diverse world. This degree is also ideal for professionals in other vocations who want to transition into leadership positions in Christian ministry.

Acceptance to the program includes a $25,000 annual stipend with free room and board. There is a $10,000 annual tuition cost that is the student’s responsibility. (Three years equals a $75,000 stipend with $30,000 due for tuition)

Throughout the program, you will gain hands-on work experience, giving you both classroom and practical knowledge during your degree program. We have found that this program creates the best learning opportunities while providing real-life growth and organizational leadership experience that is not possible in traditional classrooms.


5 Reasons Students Love SpringHill’s Emerging Leader Program

SH Leadership

Grow Leadership Skills

Cultivate servant leadership skills and spiritual growth through discipleship, spiritual guidance, communal interactions, and active ministry involvement.


Financial Assistance

SpringHill provides a $25,000 annual stipend covering most of the educational costs plus you will live in SpringHill-provided housing for the duration of the program.

SH Diploma

Earn a Master’s Degree

You will have earned a Master’s degree from Wheaton College.

SH Character

Character Development & Discipleship

Engage in classwork, relationships, and hands-on instruction to invite refinement and growth in your faith, character, and identity.


Fun and Interactive

Our camps and retreats provide an opportunity to develop interpersonal skills by working with campers, retreat attendees, and counselors.


The Wheaton and SpringHill Partnership

SpringHill is a nonprofit organization founded in 1969 in Evart, Michigan, and includes camps and retreats in Evart, MI, and Seymour, IN.

Our ministry leadership serves youth, adults, and youth ministers through overnight camps, day camps, and retreats. Our summer day camp is a unique program serving campers throughout the Midwest by bringing camp to local churches.

Each year at SpringHill, we serve thousands of campers and retreat attendees, helping them have fun while building their faith in Jesus Christ. We seek to glorify God by creating life-impacting experiences that enable young people to know Jesus Christ and grow in their relationship with Him.

SpringHill and Wheaton College’s Center of Leadership Development at HoneyRock have developed a partnership that offers a postgraduate degree within the context of hands-on ministry training through our Emerging Leader Program. This program helps young leaders develop through relational mentoring, formal training, and hands-on ministry experience.

Graduates will:


Learn leadership skills through evidence-based research.


Increase your ministry leadership capacity to serve through Christian ministries.


Work with a community of visionary leaders passionate about the work.


Sharpen your vocational calling through Biblical studies.


Discover and prepare for your calling.


Gain in-demand leadership skills.


Align your life with Christ.

Christian student leaders who desire to grow in their faith and skills in order to lead in professional ministry environments will benefit from this program.

By providing a Master of Arts (MA) learning experience within the SpringHill ministry model, the Emerging Leader Program allows college graduates to build practical leadership skills while growing deeper in their faith. The acquired confidence and new abilities this program offers will broaden your Christian worldview and prepare you to impact the world and the next generation with the love of Jesus.


Academic. Spiritual. Practical

Your educational experience will encompass three key pillars to help you develop the ministry leadership skills needed to be a godly leader using a holistic approach to faith and leadership.


  • Desire to learn, grow, and engage in the materials at the highest level.
  • Travel to respective locations as you integrate classroom studies into practical work experience.
  • Commit to learning, growing, and engaging in the academic process as you balance and integrate homework, studies, and travel with the demands of practical program work and requirements.
  • Glean theory, wisdom, and feedback from dedicated Wheaton professors.

Spiritual Formation:

  • The Opportunity to meet regularly with a spiritual director, counselor, and/or coach.
  • Receive guidance and accountability in your spiritual growth through reflection, scripture study, and prayer.
  • Engage with a Christ-centered community of people participating in devotionals, solo time, prayer, and fellowship.

Practical Experience:

As directed, participate in the following aspects of camp:

  • Recruiting—Engage in recruiting summer leaders to serve at all SpringHill locations, including college campus visits and interviewing.
  • Guest Services—Participate in retreat planning, communicate with guest groups, organize housing and activity schedules, and serve on-site guests.
  • Programming—Assist in creating creative programming for SpringHill events in the summer and winter seasons.
  • Activities—Learn how to safely and effectively operate SpringHill activities to facilitate meaningful experiences for guest groups and/or campers.
  • Summer Leadership—Serve in a leadership position during the summer.

Degree Schedule

The Emerging Leader Degree Program is year-round, with the program year beginning and ending in August of each year.

The Fall Semester in August of 2024 Begins on August 16th.

Fall semester
August – December
MA coursework and SpringHill practical

Spring semester
January – April
MA coursework and SpringHill practical

Summer semester
SpringHill summer assignment.


Educational Location

The Emerging Leader Program occurs at the SpringHill Camp in Evart, MI. Students complete academic work through online programs and in-person classes at Wheaton College and/or HoneyRock.


Housing & Meals

SpringHill provides on-site housing at no additional cost. Meals are provided when the kitchen prepares meals for guests or during work and school-related travel.

During the non-summer season, participants live and work with the SpringHill team in Evart, MI.

During the summer, they are assigned to a leadership role at one of the SpringHill camp centers in Michigan or Indiana or on one of our traveling day camp teams.


College Credits

Through our partnership with Wheaton College, you can receive college credits toward a Master’s Degree in Arts with a Major in Leadership – Outdoor Ministry.

Wheaton College issues the degree upon completion of the program.

Students earn a total of 36 credit hours during the three-year program.

Most students earn 1 – 8 credit hours in the first year, 2 – 14 credit hours in their second year, and 3 – 14 credit hours in their third year.

There are opportunities for elective credits.


Education Format

Courses at Wheaton College can be in-person, hybrid, or online programs.


In-person Courses

Students complete reading and writing before 4-8 days of in-person time with the professor. Finish with final projects.


Hybrid Courses

Online sessions, followed by 2-4 days of in-person time with the professor, finish with online sessions.


Online Courses

All sessions are online.


Program Tuition + Student Costs

The estimated costs for our leadership program, including tuition, educational fees, and room and board, are $65,000 per year. Students accepted into the program receive a $25,000 stipend from SpringHill, AND SpringHill pays Wheaton College $25,000 towards their educational expenses. Students are responsible for the additional $10,000 per year in Wheaton College Fees.

You can accept a reduced stipend of $15,000 to cover the $10,000 cost. You may also apply for additional financial support through private scholarships or Federal financial assistance for federal or state grants, scholarships, or student loans.

We accept a maximum of 4 students per year into the program.

The stipend includes three weeks of vacation and five personal days.


Come As You Are, But Choose Not To Stay That Way…


We encourage you to apply if:

  • You have an undergraduate degree and are seeking a master’s degree in leadership.
  • You are looking for an opportunity to build practical leadership skills while growing deeper in your faith.
  • You want to make a bigger impact on the world and share a love for Jesus.

Important Note: Applicants must apply and be accepted to both the SpringHill and Wheaton College programs.

The process includes two applications.