Common Questions

Program FAQs

Who else will be at a retreat with me?

At an Alongside retreat, you can expect a combination of pastors and missionaries, with a maximum of 12 families (singles or couples) in attendance. This fixed number of families allows for a positive balance of personal attention and community. If a guest is married, we strongly encourage spousal participation. Our program is usually a catalyst for much growth, and if you do not grow together, you are more vulnerable to “growing apart!” We will not have another person from your organization at the retreat unless we have your permission first.

Why are your retreats 3-weeks in length?

The length of our Renewal and Growth Retreat is significantly longer than many other pastoral care ministries. Experience has shown that program participants realize more than double the growth in a 3-week program as they do in 2-weeks, and it generally takes 3-weeks to deal adequately with the concerns that brought them to Alongside. With our 3-week retreat, guests will participate in 14 individual and 14 group sessions. This structure led one of our former guests to describe his stay at Alongside as “thorough and comprehensive; no stone was left unturned!”

What does the daily schedule look like?

Our retreats take place Monday through Friday. We begin with a time of orientation on the first Monday afternoon, generally followed by a fellowship dinner, with the formal program beginning the following morning. Our retreats wrap up at around noon on the last Friday of the program. You should plan to arrive between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM on Monday of the first week (unless the retreat begins on a Tuesday due to a holiday). If you are flying out, please book a flight no earlier than 2:00 PM on the last day of the program.

Does the program run on weekends?

We intentionally keep the weekends free during our retreats so that our clients have time to rest and reflect on what they’ve learned so far. Most of our clients use the weekends for worship, reading, journaling, visiting friends, sight-seeing, or just relaxing. We strongly recommend that you NOT use the weekends for preaching/teaching in a local church or other ministry activities, since the intent of the retreat is to be ministered to rather than to ‘do ministry’.

How will this retreat be tailored to my situation?

Our counseling staff uses standard psychological assessment tools to provide a professional analysis of our guests spiritual and emotional needs so that each individual’s counseling is focused on his or her unique needs. Initial counseling hours are also spent discussing each person’s history and needs, with subsequent counseling sessions tailored to deal with those concerns. All of our guests are afforded full professional confidentiality and every program participant is provided a copy of our confidentiality policy.