Leadership Resources

7 Foundations of Camp & Retreat Ministry

The 7 Foundations of Camp and Retreat Ministry began with a prayerful discernment centered on two specific questions.   What must we do well in order to be truly effective now and into the future?  What is absolutely vital for us to focus on in fulfilling the church’s mission within the unique camp and retreat setting?  These questions sparked two national summits attended by many United Methodist camp and retreat leaders who gathered to listen and come to a shared vision.

The 7 documents below are the fruit of those important gatherings.  Each describes the nature of an essential aspect of Christian camp and retreat ministry and provide biblical and theological grounding.  The 7 Foundations of Camp and Retreat Ministry provide valuable guidance and a sense of shared direction among the many camp and retreat centers across the denomination.  These foundations have also been highly valued, utilized, and adapted by other Christian denominations, since there is much in common ecumenically.   If you are new to Christian camp and retreat ministry or if you would like to go deeper, these documents are a beneficial resource.

United Methodist Camp and Retreat Leaders have permission to use these documents for staff training and other purposes directly related to your ministries.   Leaders from other denominations desiring permission to reprint or use the documents may contact – Kevin Witt,  kwitt (at) gbod.org to request permission.   Please, include how they will be used, when, and the specific audience they will be shared with.  Thank you!

Partner With United Methodist Churches & Agencies

One of the most fruitful and vital dimensions of United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries is our participation in a tremendous covenant connection.  United Methodists deliberately choose to link together and join forces in a common mission together.  Our congregations and joint ministries sponsored by all the churches […]

Explore Partner With United Methodist Churches & Agencies »

Provide Sacred Places Apart

Amid towering Ponderosa pines blanketing the volcanic mountain ranges of Central Oregon, Suttle Lake Camp and Retreat Center beckons people to pause from the journey of their lives - to find renewal in an embrace with God.  Beautifully, simply - the hosts there capture one of the core tenets […]

Explore Provide Sacred Places Apart »

Extend Christian Hospitality And Community

The Core of Christian Hospitality             Welcoming people and doing all we can to engender a true experience of community touches people profoundly.  We live in a time when people long for connections, but often hesitate to reach out […]

Explore Extend Christian Hospitality And Community »

Nurture Christian Faith and Discipleship

Experiences in Grace             One unique gift of Christian camps and retreat centers that other types of programs and centers rarely highlight are specific opportunities to learn from and practice the Christian path taught by Jesus.  The word disciple […]

Explore Nurture Christian Faith and Discipleship »

Develop Principled Spiritual Leaders

Elements of Basic Leadership             Leaders play a critical part in shaping the present and the future for good or for ill.  The number of books and resources about the nature of leadership and how to lead are innumerable. […]

Explore Develop Principled Spiritual Leaders »

Teach Creation Care and Appreciation

Faith Formation Outdoors – Part of the Wesleyan Way The waters nourishing modern camp and retreat ministry run deep within United Methodist heritage.  They sprang forth unexpectedly in the 1730’s when John Wesley made a fundamental decision that would launch the Methodist movement into the mainstream of an […]

Explore Teach Creation Care and Appreciation »

Inspire and Equip Lives for Love and Justice

Camp and Retreat experiences provide fruitful opportunities for people to gather and to live together for a time. These times of gathering at our centers dedicated to growth in love has great potential to inspire all guests and guests groups to embrace more life giving practices and to act more […]

Explore Inspire and Equip Lives for Love and Justice »