Renewal & Growth Retreat

Our Core Program

Our signature Renewal and Growth Retreat is offered 12 times a year at our beautiful Southwest Michigan campus. We have meticulously thought through every detail of your stay. Our campus was designed with the purpose of fostering rest, renewal, and deep life change. Our approach and curriculum have been shaped and refined over two decades by pastors and missionaries, for pastors and missionaries. Our counselors are licensed and uniquely gifted and trained to work with people in ministry. Our staff is warm and hospitable, many of whom have also served cross-culturally.

What happens at the Retreat?

We will come alongside you in your journey and walk with you into new understanding, deep rest, and renewal. Each program that we offer has three main components:

  • Wellness seminars – Over many years of work with people in ministry, our skilled counselors identified consistent concerns and designed seminars to address them head-on.
  • Group Counseling – Each weekday you will meet with a cohort of other ministry leaders in a safe environment.
  • Private Counseling – Each weekday you will meet as a couple or individual with your assigned therapist.

This is all provided in the context of a caring community, in a safe place. The schedule is not packed – it has some room and space, so you can breathe.

What Will My Kids Be Doing?

Alongside is unique in its ministry to both the person and to their most important, intimate relationships. We know that when the adults in the family are in pain, the children often suffer as well. We have developed both a children’s and youth (teen) program based on the same material the parents cover in their seminars. These programs are designed for and adjusted to fit the age and developmental needs of the kids attending each retreat. We are staffed to be able to care for children from infancy through adolescence.

Children under 12

We have two classrooms designed for our children’s program. In one classroom, kids ranging from 5 to 12 years old will learn through activities, multimedia, and loving instruction from our caring and experienced children’s staff. In the other classroom, children under age 5 are lovingly cared for by our Pre-K children’s team, who also theme their days around the same content that the rest of the family is learning.

While parents are in their program, the Alongside kids crew will host the children from 8:30 AM-3:30 pm each weekday (with a break for lunch) as well as during two special evening events. The children will not be ‘cooped up’ in a classroom the whole program, we have a full-sized gym and two playgrounds where kids can RUN, play line-tag, and participate in other fun activities with our skilled staff.

Teenagers 13-18

Listening, acceptance, flexibility, and community characterize our youth (teen) program. The program is made up of seminar sessions that the teens participate in with each other, followed by time with our youth staff to discuss the material and pursue learning activities. Teens learn from our staff, process what they are learning, and apply it to their hearts and lives.

The teen program is designed to be a place for community building. Flexibility, being heard and accepted right where they are in a space specifically designed for them is the goal. Their story and their thoughts are important. The program will flex and will be focused on common language similar to adult seminar topics each day.  Building community and just “being” are important components of the teen program as we learn and grow together. It is our hope that teens will walk away knowing other, themselves and God better. Believing that The Father has been involved in every aspect of their time together here at Alongside.

Access to Child/Teen Counseling

In addition, we have counselors on staff who have expertise in working with children and adolescents. They can be available to meet with you and/or your child(ren) for consultation and, sometimes, counseling while you are at Alongside. Please let us know if you would like to pursue this for your child or children when applying for a retreat.

To learn about upcoming retreat dates, visit Upcoming Dates.