Program Information


Students accepted in the program:

We work with young people that are aware of their need for help. Currently we are accepting young women between the ages of 16 and 25 and young men from 16 to 21. Our primary focus is to assist people in the development of responsible behavior patterns and to confront weaknesses which prevent adequate adjustment. We believe the key element in responsible living is one's relationship to God, and we strive to provide an environment where a genuine commitment to Christ can be fostered. A wide variety of problems may be addressed at the Ranch, including substance abuse, academic failure, recovery from abuse and emotional trauma, and family dysfunction. In all cases, the individual must be willing to participate in all phases of Ranch life.

Benefits of the program:
The Ranch is situated on 86 acres in a rural area between the historic gold-mining towns of Auburn and Grass Valley, about 50 miles northeast of Sacramento.  The living situation is co-educational, family oriented, and designed to promote honesty, empathy and effective interpersonal communication.  Students are provided with 24-hour supervision in a loving and safe atmosphere.  They receive discipleship, professional counseling, high school education, and social interaction with staff, trainees, and a small group of students (not more than 18 in number).  Studying the basics of Christian faith, worship, supervised work experience, academics, recreation, and a ropes course and wilderness camping experience are all parts of the Encounter Ranch program.

Length of residence:
CEM does not have a predetermined length of residence.  The average stay is 14 to 18 months, and is based on agreement between the student, the family, and the CEM counselors, taking into consideration the student's readiness to leave. 

Financial awards:
CEM is affordable!  Thanks to the financial support from many individuals and churches, we are able to offer our programs at a lower-than-average cost.  It is also possible for CEM to offer partial tuition scholarships for most families.  Families may apply for this financial assistance, which may cover up to 90% of the already reduced tuition, which covers the costs for housing, three meals per day, mentoring, counseling, education (both tutoring and classroom teaching), work experiences, supervision (24 hours/day, with an average ratio of one leader to three students), and transportation for CEM programs.  Deferral of costs may also be available to individuals with severe financial hardships.  The Business Office will assist you in applying for financial aid.  We are hopeful that every qualified student will be able to come to Christian Encounter Ministries.

Financial assistance information will be sent with the student application.

An applicant must be:

  • between the ages of 16 and 25 (female) or 16 and 21 (male).
  • personally motivated to come to CEM.
  • desiring to develop a closer relationship with God.
  • free from pending legal action.
  • free from participation in probation or a diversion program.
  • able to benefit from a more structured, less complicated environment.
  • desiring to work toward emotional and spiritual health.
  • desiring to complete academic goals if still in high school.
  • capable of participating in rigorous physical activities.
  • free of addictions to alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs, or willing to detox prior to admission.
  • non-violent, without a history of violent behavior.

If you were able to answer yes to all of the above, you are a potential candidate for the residential program of Christian Encounter Ministries. Applications are currently being accepted. To request a complete application and further information, please complete the online questionaire. You may also contact CEM by phone, mail, or email and indicate that you have completed the online questionaire and would like to receive a full application. Please note that we are not able to consider emergency placements. Our intake process typically takes four to six weeks once we receive an application.

We realize the seriousness of your situation and hope we can be of assistance to you. We pray with you for God's guidance and provision for all of your needs in the days ahead.