About Pinehaven

Our Start, Our Philosophy, Our Programs
Pinehaven Gate with child and house parent

How We Got Started

By the grace and power of God, since 1976, Pinehaven Christian Children’s Ranch and School has been helping  youth in need find answers for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Pinehaven is an 1,120 acre “kid and cattle” ranch located in Western Montana, about an hour’s drive north of Missoula. Our school has been in operation since 1984. We take kids from all over the United States and even from other countries.

Pinehaven is a residential, year-round, adjunct ministry of the First Christian Church of Saint Ignatius, Montana. Our structured and controlled environment allows us to help young people more effectively since they are not distracted and hindered by many of the things — whether actual, physical items or social situations and people — that contribute to their difficulties.

Money is never a factor in determining which young people get to come to Pinehaven. While we do want the families of our kids to be financially involved in the support of their own children during their stay at Pinehaven, our ministry is funded almost entirely through the generous contributions of individuals and churches across the country.

Our Philosophy

Why does Pinehaven succeed? At Pinehaven we acknowledge that God is the one bringing about changes in the lives of these young people. Directed by His leading, our program is based on five fundamental principles:

  1. It is established on a foundation of Scriptural faith. “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” (Psalm 127:1) In the security and warmth of a true family environment, young people go to church, worship God, participate in family devotions, and much more.
  2. The program builds self-esteem. This is accomplished through the learning of skills and seeing tangible results of hard work. As they learn, the kids in our program develop self-confidence because the emphasis is on “What I can do” rather than on “What I have.”
  3. Sound, old-fashioned values provide the necessary atmosphere for success. Our kids learn to help each other and focus on others’ needs. Honesty and integrity are stressed as they learn how to meet their own needs. They learn skills which can help them obtain future employment. We teach them to appreciate the simple pleasures of life in a breathtaking setting provided by our Heavenly Father.
  4. Personal responsibility. We don’t subscribe to society’s notion that anything wrong with your life is someone else’s fault. Young people need to learn to take responsibility for their own actions and choices.
  5. A firm hand, a fair mind, and a warm heart. When discipline is necessary we deliver it, as fairly as possible, but always with love. We correct them not because we are angry, but because we care for them.

Our Programs

Pinehaven Christian Children’s Ranch and School is a residential, year-round program aimed at providing a stable, controlled, secure environment in which young people can reach the potential that God has placed within them.
Pinehaven graduates

Pinehaven Christian School

To meet the needs of our young people even better, Pinehaven Christian School was started in 1984. What started in a basement with 12 students is now a dedicated facility capable of handling 100, preparing graduates for their future.

Pinehaven boy showing fish caught at camp

Youth Camp Opportunity

On a very limited basis, we are offering the opportunity for 2 groups of up to 10 high school students each (entering grades 10–12) to come for a week of Christian service at Pinehaven, and also attend a week of church camp at Kootenai Christian Camp.

Pinehaven man with boys at electrical panel

GAP Ministry

Through our new GAP Ministry program we want to help high school graduates through the age of 20 discover their talents and prepare them to step into the world in order to confidently live out their own lives.

Pinehaven: Providing a Second Chance

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