Ministering to Ministers To Conduct Ninth Retreat at Samford University

Ministering to Ministers To Conduct Ninth Retreat at Samford University

Ministers from several states will convene at Samford University the week of July 9 for the ninth consecutive Ministering to Ministers Wellness Retreat hosted by Samford’s Center for Congregational Resources.

The Ministering to Ministers Foundation (MTM) was founded by Alabama native Dr. Charles Chandler in 1994 and has sponsored nearly 150 Wellness Retreats throughout the nation offering help to ministers in crisis. Attendees have come from 37 U.S. states, Canada and the Bahamas and represent 40 Christian denominations.

Chandler retired from MTM over a year ago and passed the reins to new director Cathy Ralcewicz, also of Richmond. But the mission remains constant: to offer encouragement to ministers in crisis, including those who face involuntary termination.

“We have seen remarkable transformations come out of the retreats,” Ralcewicz said. “Not immediately, of course, as each participant must continue to take time to process their pain and create a plan for their future. With the tools they learn at the retreat, they have the opportunity to move into another place of ministry establishing a good beginning and developing healthy relationships and productive work environments.”

Chandler noted that sometimes the minister in crisis is victimized by forces outside his control, but at other times ministers make bad choices leading to hurtful results. He frequently told retreat participants, “Don’t waste your pain. Grow from it. Wounded ministers can have a new dimension of ministry since we can grow strong at the broken places.”

Bill and Sue (not their real names) attended a previous Samford retreat.

Sue said she was concerned for their children, ages eight and 12.

“The church was the nucleus of our family and something we shared together. Now we can’t go back. And we live in the church’s pastorium and must be out in a few months. We’re not sure what we will do.”

Bill said the retreat offered him encouragement.

“It’s the ‘camaraderie of the terminated,'” he said with a smile. “We find we’re not alone. I needed someone to talk to. And the leaders helped me learn that I could’ve handled things much better than I did.”

Program Director Michael Wilson of Samford’s Center for Congregational Resources will serve as facilitator for the retreat, and psychologist Dr. Beverley Buston of Richmond will serve as resident clinician.

Interested ministers and spouses may register by phoning MTM at 804-594-2556 or by email at Scholarships are offered to attendees after the registration fee of $100 per person or $150 for a couple. Registration deadline is June 29.

For more information contact Wilson at 205-726-4064 or by e-mail at