Our success in serving children and families is attributed in great part to our Spiritual Life Program. We walk side-by-side with children on their spiritual journey—in many cases introducing them to Christianity for the first time.
The teachings and love of Christ are at the very core of all we do, and all we stand for. While not all of our staff, kids, or donors are Christian, Christianity is the foundation of our social mission. We serve God by serving others—with a non-judgmental, accepting, tolerant, and loving approach.
Upon admission, children are assessed regarding their spiritual background and beliefs. From spiritual histories and life maps to questionnaires and individual treatment plan discussions, this assessment addresses all aspects of a child’s life. Assessment results are shared with our treatment teams for consideration in treatment planning.
Children have the opportunity to attend Chapel and Spiritual Life Groups, and meet individually with an on-campus Pastor or Chaplain. They also are invited to minister to others by working with the elderly off campus, attending Bible camp, volunteering for the community during special events, and more.
Children who choose not to take part in Christian programming participate in a values program—which teaches many of the same values of love, compassion, and forgiveness, but without a religious connection.
Our Spiritual Life Program extends to our staff, who receive a daily devotion from our on-staff Chaplain, and have access to individual spiritual guidance as requested.
Our Spiritual Life staff includes pastors and Spiritual Life Specialists who consider it a blessing to work with residents, study Scripture, and hold chapel services on a weekly basis.
Chaplain Rick Jones oversees our Spiritual Life program. He is assisted by Deaconess Kelly Bristow, Spiritual Life Coordinator at our Minot campus. He also works closely with Rev. Thomas R. Marcis, Jr., who serves at Zion Lutheran Church in Bismarck, and Jay Schaefer, Spiritual Life Specialist on our Fargo campus.
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is a Recognized Service Organization of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) and a founding member of Lutheran Services in America (LSA), through which it is an Affiliated Social Ministry Organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). We are also a Mission Partner for Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) and a Partner Ministry of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). We adhere to our founding body of members, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, for its doctrine of beliefs within our Spiritual Life program.