Ever thought about wilderness ministry as a possible career path? Coming on this 40/40 Internship will get your feet wet. In the 40/40 Internship you will learn the ins and outs of wilderness ministry. From hard skills in the backcountry to course logistics, you learn the practical skills needed in the backcountry setting. You’ll dive into Christ centered community and journey in to the Father’s heart through a catalytic wilderness experience.
Before beginning public ministry, Jesus was led into the wilderness full of the Spirit. He then left in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:1, 14). Christ’s example is the heart of the 40/40 Internship. It is a calling to raise up leaders who are secure in their identity, led by the Spirit, and live for God’s glory. The 40/40 Internship creates opportunities for students to grow in Christ, enter into community, form Christ-like character, develop technical skills, and gain experience as wilderness professionals.
In all, the 40/40 Internship is designed to provide experiences that facilitate growth as a wilderness professional as well as propel individuals to permanent communities living for God’s glory, secure in their identities, and ready to engage the world for Christ.
The 40/40 Internship positions are very competitive because SROM accepts only a limited number of individuals each summer. If you are called to this unique experience, apply early! We accept Internship applications through January, and begin conducing interviews in February. After all of the interviews have concluded, SROM sends out final notifications to applicants regarding their status as Interns on March 7th.
Over 100 times in the Bible the text explicitly identifies lives being changed as a result of a wilderness journey. Noah, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus all spent 40 days in wilderness environments. SROM follows this biblical model. Based on the skills that are taught (hard and soft skills), tools that are given, knowledge that is imparted, and education that is experienced, SROM offers a cutting edge approach that leads people into a deeper knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Students are provided with daily “TAG” time – Time Alone with God during which they are encouraged to journal or practice classical spiritual disciplines such as Bible study and prayer. Group Bible studies, devotionals, and facilitated discussions are held typically in the evenings. SROM also provides each student with a 40/40 Devotional Book which contains forty devotionals, using examples from Biblical figures who spent 40 days in the wilderness. Each devotional includes Scripture, explanatory text and leadership applications, and questions students can answer in space provided. The devotional book also contains lyrics to more than 90 worship songs, and each course is equipped with a backpacking guitar for corporate worship.
Students experience a 48-hour solo, which is often a time of profound discernment, learning, or revelation. Instructors carefully prepare students before the solo and facilitate processing the experience immediately after it concludes.
At the beginning of the course students learn from their instructors. As the course progresses, students are expected and encouraged to teach and learn from one another.
Wilderness environments provide an ideal setting to develop leadership skills through the progression of education, modeling, observation, evaluation, and application. Students begin their course by learning the fundamentals of Biblical leadership while forming skills and abilities that help them lead others toward achieving common goals. SROM is unique in developing Biblical leadership skills of students within the context of an extended wilderness expedition. SROM teaches leadership techniques, attitudes, and behavior while emphasizing integrity and communication skills. Instructors help identify the gifts, talents, and weakness of each student and then mentor them, helping develop their ability as a leader and understanding of Biblical leadership principles.
The 40/40 internship offers quality medical training through the Wilderness Medical Institute. WMI is a nationally recognized program that trains participants to respond to emergencies in remote settings.
The 80-hour curriculum includes standards for urban and extended care situations. Special topics include but are not limited to: wound management and infection, realigning fractures and dislocations, improvised splinting techniques, patient monitoring and long term management problems, up-to-date information on all environmental emergencies, plus advice on drug therapies. Emphasis is placed on prevention and decision-making, not the memorization of lists.
This course is designed specifically to provide you with the tools to make critical medical and evacuation decisions in remote locations. Half of your time will be spent completing practical skills, case studies and scenarios designed to challenge your decision making abilities. The WMI Adult & Child CPR is included in this course.
Outdoor Skills & Physical Education
SROM teaches a large amount of outdoor and physical education skills during the course. Students finish the course competent in backcountry living skills, and learn climbing, mountaineering, physiology, nutrition, hygiene, and other topics. The 40/40 is physically demanding for three reasons: (1) the consistency of cardiovascular activity in high mountain environments with heavy packs, (2) the skills taught, and (3) the duration of the course.
Health, Safety, and Risk Management
SROM has an unparalleled and remarkable safety record. The 40/40 includes activities that have both real and perceived risk. In our 27 years of operation SROM has taken over 5,000 students from into wilderness environments without a single serious or life-threatening accident or emergency to a student. SROM has never had a fatality. While health and safety in the wilderness can never be guaranteed, it can be maximized by teaching students proper nutrition and hydration, hygiene, hazard assessment, and risk management while practicing sound decision making and accruing wisdom. Students learn how to safely conduct outdoor and wilderness ministry activities.
SROM not only gives students the tools for intelligent decision making, but trains students in prayer and discernment through the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14 and Matthew 3:11). While on the course students learn how to walk in daily discernment through the voice of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 30:21 and Romans 8:14).
Instructors guide students in their understanding of health and safety, hazard assessment, risk management, and decision making through teachings, modeling, practical application, and scenarios.
Leave No Trace, Environmental Ethics, and Land Management
Leave No Trace includes principles and practices that prevent, reduce, or mitigate impacts of human activity in the backcountry. SROM is an ardent proponent of Leave No Trace education and practice, and a corporate nonprofit partner with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics (the Center). The Center serves as a national steward for a standardized Leave No Trace curriculum. SROM instructors are certified as Leave No Trace Trainers by the Center. SROM provides a unique Christian version of the standard Leave No Trace curriculum by infusing it with Scripture, Biblical perspectives, and Christian tradition.
The 40/40 is held in WY, where over 40% of the State is public land administered by various federal agencies. Throughout the country, various laws and regulations govern use of wildlands managed by the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and other agencies. Wildland management and environmental ethics are essential to this course. Understanding and appreciating the blessing and unique character of these wildlands guides students in the way they eat, sleep, travel, and practice their skills while in the backcountry.
While on 40/40 Internship with SROM, students have the opportunity to earn their Leave No Trace Master Educator.
Leave No Trace Scholarships are available to cover up to $350 of your 40/40 internship with SROM!Here’s How
While not a primary aspect of the course, a wide variety of natural history topics are often taught during the 40/40. Learning about God’s creation can reveal more about the Creator, and foster a greater appreciation and better ability to use outdoor settings to teach and learn biblical truths (Romans 1: 19-20, Psalm 19:1-6, and Psalm 104). Understanding natural science helps students progress in their knowledge, skills, and ability as outdoor practitioners.
Our deepest desire is to train you up so that you can be sent out. You will practice ministry, enabling you to be an ambassador for King Jesus understanding His Kingdom. The leadership and ministry skills you learn and practice at SROM are transferable to any ministry you pursue in the future. Character formation, group facilitation, leadership development, and a dynamic walk with Christ will benefit you for a lifetime. Specifically you will gain the skill set of a wilderness professional.
Students will participate in outdoor and adventure activities as a team and a community. However, these activities are not the focus, but rather the means for growth, challenge, and refinement. Spiritual growth will come as the group discusses the lessons learned in each activity. The arc between each lesson learned and the practical application to life becomes a catalyst for revelation and change. Our prayer is that this experience will lead to a renewed identity in Christ, confidence, restored relationships with family and peers, and leadership development.
This course is extremely physically demanding! The Internship is one of the more extensive courses offered by SROM, and includes (but is not limited to) the following skills:
- On- and off-trail navigation and travel
- Backcountry cooking
- Backcountry risk management
- Bear awareness
- Rock Climbing
- Sport leading
- Use of ice axe and crampons; roped travel
- Safely ascending and descending snow
- Glacier travel
- Wilderness First Responder medical training
- Trad Climbing
- Proper gear placement
- Trad climbing techniques
- Trad leading
- Gear management
Phase 1 (Day 1-9) – Wilderness First Responder Training & Certification
Location: Laramie, Wyoming
The internship begins with an intensive Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course. Taught by Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI), this 80-hour course consists of cutting-edge wilderness medical practices designed to provide you with the tools to make critical medical and evacuation decisions in remote locations. This course will equip you for medical situations where there are few resources, no help on the way, and you have to make your own decisions. In addition to classroom training, you will spend time outside doing hands-on skills and practicing real-life scenarios. You will cover a wide range of topics such as patient care, wound management, fractures, dislocations, litter packaging, medications, and more.
The skills you acquire on this course will be useful in any kind of outdoor setting or activity– deep wilderness, roadside rock climbing, camps and rope courses.Upon completion of course, all participants receive certifications as WFRs and Adult & in Child CPR. This course is available to anyone interested in wilderness medicine. Please call SROM for individual enrollment.
Phase 2 (Day 10-50) – 40/40 Expedition
Location: Vedauwoo, Snowy Range and Wind River Wilderness, Wyoming
Interns are then sent into the wilderness as students on a 40/40 course. The purpose of the 40/40 is to develop skills and experience in backpacking, rock climbing, mountaineering, backcountry cooking, outdoor living, leadership, group dynamics, and outdoor ministry. Students will spend over 1,000 hours living and learning in the wilderness. The 40/40 will immerse interns into an authentic community and an experiential learning environment that creates opportunities for substantial spiritual growth, leadership development, character formation and skill acquisition. See the 40/40 Course for more details about this part of the internship.
Phase 3 – Hands-on Training
After the 40/40, interns transition from being students to their true internship at SROM. During this phase, interns will take ministerial roles, serving students and potentially shadowing instructors during the remaining summer season. The knowledge and skills learned on the WFR and 40/40 courses will be practiced and further developed throughout the remainder of the summer.
This section includes a 3-day introduction to trad climbing (placing gear while lead climbing). Additionally, interns will have the opportunity to assist on day trips for a local Laramie church conference. Depending on the summer, interns may have the opportunity to shadow SROM instructors during portions of courses.
Though this internship is designed for all skill levels, it is important to be aware of the demands and challenges you may face. Listed below are some items to keep in mind when preparing for this course or considering signing up for this course:
- Pack weight: your pack will generally range between 40-60% of your body weight. It is not unusual for your pack to be up to 75 pounds.
- You will be hiking on uneven terrain, which may be rocky and/or muddy, and off-trail at times. The 40/40 section of your internship involves a mountaineering section, which includes snow travel and glacier travel. Depending on your itinerary, you may be on rocky approaches and descents, navigating talus and scree.
- Depending on the itinerary, you may be hiking 5-8 miles per day.
- SROM programs in areas of deep wilderness, and you may be hiking several days away from the nearest trailhead.
- Depending on where you currently live, you may experience a significant change in elevation. Laramie, WY is at an elevation of 7,220 feet, and SROM often plans this itinerary through areas that range between 7,000 to 10,500+ feet above sea level. Elevation changes may be +/- 2,600′ and, depending on the itinerary, you may be attempting a 13,809′ peak!
- Days on course are often long, and may require you to be up at 6 am and in bed at 10 pm.
- Community on course is often one of the highlights. We have students from a variety of different backgrounds, generally ranging in age from 18 – 28 years old.
Tuition Due Dates:
Complete tuition due date: May 3
|Deposit due 14 days after your receipt of your Course Information Packet:||$500.00|
|Due March 7:||$3,250.00|
|Remaining balance due May 3:||$3,200.00|
Note: These amounts are required by the dates given. Smaller payments are before and between deadlines are encouraged and accepted. These deadlines are set to help you reach your tuition goals.