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Shepherd's Canyon Retreat
The hardest thing for a pastor to say is, “I need help” PDF Print E-mail

Fellowship Ministries has given birth to the Shepherd's Canyon Retreat ministry....which is now has a home-base called Standing Stones, located 15 miles west of Wickenburg, Arizona. 

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20% of pastors are “in crises” which means that they are just coping; just hanging on.

80% of pastors say that the ministry has had a negative impact on their families.

Among Protestant clergy, between 1400 and 1700 quit the ministry every month!


Shepherd's Canyon Retreat Testimonials PDF Print E-mail

“This retreat saved our marriage!”

“This retreat was the best that my wife and I have ever attended.  We both came here burned out, tired of ministry, strained relationship between us, and broken.  As we leave, there is now a sense of joy in ministry.  Our relationship is mending.  We have a ways to go…but we have been given the tools to continue healing and growing.  If only SCR had been around 15 years ago!”  

“I felt as if the pressure I was experiencing was released enough for me to stand back and take a fresh look at things through the love and forgiveness of the Lord and His caring servants.  I’d felt on the verge of resigning from the ministry, my family, and life in general.  But, by the grace of God working in and through the counselors, I have experienced acceptance, forgiveness, and love.  If it had not been for the ministry of Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat in the Summer of 2010, I doubt I’d still be in the ministry or still married to my wife today.  Perhaps God would have intervened in some other way, but I thank Him for the loving and caring ministry of Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat.  Thank you to all of you!”

 “I am able to talk a lot about my personal life battles with very safe people.”

The History PDF Print E-mail

In 1985 Lutheran lay-leader, Dave Anderson, and a group of LCMS clergy, counseling professionals, and lay leaders, founded what became an RSO, Cathedral Rock Centre, Inc.  For eighteen months, this ministry provided 2-week counseling retreats for 27 LCMS individuals—mostly pastors and spouses.  The counseling was done by one therapist at each retreat.  One of those therapists was Dr. William Knippa.

The Cathedral Rock Centre ministry was halted due—not to the need—but due the failing’s of the ministry director and the resulting lack of funding.

In 2006, a group of LCMS clergy, counseling professionals, and lay leaders gathered in Phoenix, Arizona to once again seek God’s direction for a ministry of healing and hope for Lutheran professional church workers and their spouses.  From that meeting a core group met several times to discuss the need for an updated version of what the Cathedral Rock Centre ministry provided years before.

The Purpose PDF Print E-mail

Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat provides counseling retreats for Lutheran professional church workers and their spouses (singles are welcome) who are experiencing burnout and/or personal or marital, or congregational conflicts.  As the word about this ministry spreads we will welcome clients from other denominational groups.

The purpose of the retreat is to provide a safe and confidential experience of restoration for professional church workers which include pastors, missionaries, teachers, military chaplains, music ministers, deaconesses, and Directors of Christian Education.

The Plan PDF Print E-mail

Please refer to and

The Costs PDF Print E-mail

The Organizational Structure PDF Print E-mail

The organizational structure of Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat is very simple

Dave Anderson is the president of the organization (LCMS)

Connie Kooi is the organization’s secretary  (LCMS)