About Our Curriculum

The Adult & Teen Challenge classroom is not a school classroom. Client learning goals are not based on how well a client reads or writes, but on the truths she needs in order to overcome her life controlling problems. Clients focus on setting goals in order to live out and apply the truths that they are learning so that they can change. Here are just a few unique features of the Adult & Teen Challenge of the Firelands Education plan:

In order to complete, each client is required to complete three learning phases. See below for a description of each phase.

The Phase Advisor serves as a personal, one-on-one mentor, teacher, and coach providing oversight of a student’s learning & development process for a during phase.

Personal Learning Contract:

Each phase contains 5-6 personal learning contracts. We use the term “contract” because it is an agreement between the client and Adult & Teen Challenge. It is a commitment to be personally responsible to complete a mutually-determined, individualized plan to grow intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually within a specific time period. Each contract includes Goal-Setting, Scripture Memorization, Bible Reading, Character Development, Personal Reading & Lessons.

Group Classes

Each phase requires clients to complete a number of group studies that are the equivalent to group therapy in another program. These courses include topics like Anger Management, Attitudes, How to Be a Christian, and Personal Relationships.

Start Right:

Adult & Teen Challenge of the Firelands incorporates a guided, personalized coaching conversation to help students work through basic topics related addiction including Stress, Shame, Hope, Forgiveness, etc. Each phase contains required topics to be completed.

3 Consecutive Phases


10 weeks

During the first weeks, clients ease into life at Adult & Teen Challenge, learning how to live as part of the community. This phase includes a faith-based 12-step group and several basic classes to help them start processing their new lives. Clients also work through personal studies that are specifically designed to help them learn a new way of thinking and being


5 months

This phase is all about helping clients lay a healthy foundation for the rest of their lives – covering topics like becoming a follower of Jesus, inner healing and giving & receiving forgiveness. Clients participate in daily personal studies including character studies and scripture memorization.  They also attend 10 Group Studies for New Christians courses designed by Adult & Teen Challenge USA.  Some of the topics covered are Attitudes, Love and Accepting Myself, Obedience to God, Temptation, Anger and Personal Rights and Growing Through Failure.


4 months

As Clients reach the final phase, they begin to recognize that life is not all about themselves. They step into leadership roles and learn that leadership begins with service. At the same time, clients begin to build their future on the foundation established in the previous phase and their learning contracts become more personalized.  Clients participate in a number of in-depth Bible studies and group classes that address healthy relationships, setting & communicating healthy boundaries, parenting & marriage issues, career & financial coaching and other topics that equip them to overcome life’s difficulties. 

Pre-Graduate Track

In the final 6-8 weeks of the Servant Leader phase, each student enters an extremely personalized process that includes regular coaching to help them make the transition back into society. During this phase, women may be permitted to obtain jobs in the local area.  They are required to formulate a personal plan that includes setting long-term goals, establishing a local church & mentor, finding employment & housing and designing a weekly schedule.


Clients may apply to stay at Adult & Teen Challenge of the Firelands for 3-4 months after completion while they work and prepare for their next stage of life. The Re-Entry program has a separate handbook and guidelines/expectations than ATCOTF clients.

Emerging Leaders Program

The ELP internship is a one-year commitment. Clients who sense a personal calling to serve in ministry, especially with Adult & Teen Challenge, in their future may apply to participate in this program.


Occasionally, Adult & Teen Challenge of the Firelands will work with Clients who have completed their studies at another center and who have relapsed. This is a case by case process. These students may be required to complete an entire year; however, this will be determined by the Program Manager and Dean of Education.

About Our Curriculum

Much of the clientt curriculum is included in the monthly fee. However, if students desire to keep their GSNC Student Manuals or Living Free Materials, they are required to purchase them from their client account.

PSNC: Personal Studies for New Christians (PSNC) launches the student forward from the study of God’s Word toward its daily application. They won’t be taking this journey alone, as PSNC is designed as an opportunity for teachers/mentors to come alongside students as they customize the personal accountability contract.

Teachers of the PSNC curriculum have been certified through the Teen Challenge International USA office

GSNC: The Group Studies for New Christians classes are fundamental tools in the process of developing a deeper relationship Jesus Christ. The 14 classes present a variety of biblical principles, and provide tools to apply them to the student’s lives. While these courses are designed with new believers in mind, they are a great refresher for those who are more mature in their faith.

The Living Free small group strategy has helped over 800,000 people learn to face life’s struggles and move toward freedom and wholeness in Christ. Adult & Teen Challenge uses the following courses from Living Free: Stepping Into Freedom, Crossroads & Restoring Families

The Emerging Leaders Program was envisioned in 2005 by Dr. Jerry Nance, now President of Global Adult & Teen Challenge, in response to his prayer for the leaders needed to reach the growing addicted population – leaders who would be carriers of the Adult & Teen Challenge DNA and aligned with our God-given mission. The ELP is a servant leadership development program intended to raise up leaders within Adult & Teen Challenge relative to our heritage, mission, DNA and guiding principles.

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