EMU PE professor Lester Zook
EMU professors like Lester Zook (above, center) and Brenda Bechler (below) are mentors, too, helping students find the right classes and the right program to suit their goals. Lester, who teachers primarily in the outdoor ministry and adventure leadership program, has taught at EMU for over two decades.
Physical education classroom training at EMU

Majors and Minors

What kind of classes will you take?

Some classes in the major emphasize theoretical/academic content (foundations of Christian camping, recreation programming design, introduction to youth ministry, developmental psychology.) Others provide hands-on outdoor activity skills like technical rock climbing, canoeing, cave exploration, backcountry travel, experiential education and adventure leadership, team-building and challenge course leadership.

Several courses offer professional credentialing within the course (PCIA climbing wall instructor, wilderness first aid, NCRC cave rescue, Leave No Trace trainer, Red Cross lifeguarding.)


  • Health and Physical Education (PreK-12)
  • Outdoor Ministry and Adventure Leadership
  • Recreation Leadership and Sport Promotion
  • Kinesiology and Exercise Science


  • Coaching
  • Kinesiology and Exercise Science
  • Outdoor Ministry and Adventure Leadership
  • Kinesiology and Exercise Science

Secondary education endorsement:

  • Health and Physical Education, Grades PreK-12

Download the course catalog for curriculum and course information.

Wilderness seminar

The wilderness seminar is a three-week leadership immersion in the backcountry, including climbing, backpacking, caving, canoeing, outdoor navigation, and a three-day solo. Students also participate in a cross-cultural study to develop global awareness and appreciation of diverse cultures.