Christian Encounter Ranch of Grass Valley, CA is a residential discipleship and counseling ministry. Since 1970 we have been ministering to broken and hurting young people, ages 16-24 who come to CER to receive help. Internships are offered at CER to qualifying committed Christians age 21 and older who love the Lord and are eager to serve others. Under the supervision and guidance of our professional staff of Intern Directors, Licensed Therapists and pastors, our Interns serve as “live-in disciplers” to the individuals (our “students”) who come to us for help. Internships range from 3 months to 2 years and include room & board, a monthly financial grant and weekly group and individual supervision.
Ministering to these hurting young people is both demanding and rewarding. Students experience rapid growth, and interns develop additional spiritual maturity and endurance. As servant-leaders, interns model the Christian life as they live and work alongside the students. Each intern disciples one to three students and teaches group Bible studies on a rotation basis. Interns are hard-working supervisors of the students and perform daily assignments that include practical activities–cooking, cleaning, and various maintenance tasks on our 86-acre campus (affectionately called “the Ranch”).
Interns also oversee a dorm room with two or three students. Many teachable moments arise during the daily activities as well as during recreation times (e.g. boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, ball games, “hanging out,” etc.). There are also various opportunities to minister in other ways according to interest and gifting.
About Christian Encounter Ranch
Christian Encounter Ranch (CER) has been dedicated to the purpose of reclaiming damaged young people for more than forty years. Since its inception in 1970, CER has provided a safe haven for troubled youth where they can begin the process of the restoration of their physical, emotional, academic, and spiritual lives. Located in the Sierra Nevada foothills north of Sacramento, Christian Encounter has an 86-acre ranch with facilities for twelve to eighteen residents, and is currently accepting females between the ages of 16 and 25, and males between the ages of 16 and 21. The rural setting offers residents a stark contrast between the peace available here and the chaos of their current living conditions.
Many residents have experienced tremendous personal tragedy. Some are victims of sexual abuse, child abduction, drug abuse in the home, alcoholism, multiple parent combinations, abandonment, gang violence, educational deficiency and more. Yet, because this is a voluntary program, the residents have at least a mustard seed of faith that they can live healthy and successful lives.
Christian Encounter provides an on-site private high school which is approved by the State of California to grant high school diplomas. Residents also receive counseling by licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, mentoring and spiritual guidance from a committed Christian staff, opportunities to work and gain confidence and skills in practical areas, and a structured social milieu that promotes responsibility for oneself and others.
The program is affordable! Thanks to the financial support from many individuals and groups, CER is able to offer its programs even to low- and middle-income families. CER receives no government funding. All financial operations are done in strict accordance with the guidelines of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).
Alongside the residential program (“Tending Lives…”), we offer an internship for college students and graduates seeking experience in the youth guidance and ministry fields (“Training Leaders”). Students from many colleges have used an internship at CER to round out their academic training before continuing their education or launching into their professions. Pepperdine University, William Jessup University, Johnson University, Patrick Henry College, Wheaton College, Biola University, and others have granted credit for students interning at CER. By providing this training, we multiply ourselves beyond the borders of our 86-acres and touch the lives of many more young people.