Dear Ministry Leader,

What could your camp or congregation do if it were truly well-informed by actionable research and well-equipped by quality training? Let's talk about how we can help

Give the Gift of Camp

“It’s that time of year when we need Christmas wish lists from the kids.” The email arrived from my children’s grandmother in early October. It is indeed that time of the year when we often buy gifts for people we love.  You have children in your life that you...

The Ride Home

The windows are down. The country air mercifully streams in the vehicle as you drive away from the camp property. There is nothing quite like the smell of a child after a week or more at summer camp. There is something wild about that smell. There is B.O., to be sure,...

Never alone

When I was a backpacking guide at Sky Ranch, I often read from Deuteronomy to help my campers prepare themselves physically and spiritually for life in the backcountry. You see, it is important for a Christian to understand when to read scripture literally and when to...

Jacob Sorenson, PhD

Jacob Sorenson, PhD

Founder/Lead Researcher/Consultant

Hi, I’m Jake. I am known as a camp guy, and I suppose that is fair, since camping ministry is one of my primary passions. I am engaged in many other minstries of the church, as well. I am a practical theologian and researcher who has a deep interest in bringing scholarly attention to ministry, especially outdoor and highy experiential ministry. I have a PhD from Luther Seminary and a Masters of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. I have more than fifteen years of experience in youth ministry and camp ministry, and have published multiple articles on camping ministry. I love spending time with my amazing wife, Anna (a Lutheran pastor), and our two boys Elijah and Nathanael. On the best days, you can find me in the garden, out for a run, singing around a campfire, or at some camp somewhere.

I have dedicated my work to supporting camps and congregations through research and training, and I would love to hear about your ministry.

Sacred Playgrounds, LLC

Sacred Playgrounds, LLC

Supporting Camps and Congregations Through Research and Training

This organization was formed to bring current and upcoming research on what is truly effective in key ministry spaces like outdoor ministry, confirmation ministry, and more. The team is experienced in and passionate about academic and action research, training, faciliation, and adult learning. Use the link below to email us to learn more.

Our Ministry Partners and Current Projects

The Confirmation Project is a nationwide study of educational ministries in 5 denominations. With our help, it is the first major youth ministry study to take seriously the role of camp in Christian education and faith formation.

The Lutheran Campus Ministry Study is a nationwide study of Lutheran ministries with young adults on large college campuses. A 2017 survey promises to make this the largest ever study of Lutheran young adults.

Let's start with a conversation.

Send me an email to schedule a 30 minute introduction conversation. I’d love to hear about where your ministry could go when informed by actionable, localized research and well-designed, well-facilitated training experiences.

Get Started