2020 Annual Impact Report

Her background shook me to the core. At age seven, she had been raped and was drinking regularly. Both parents were severe addicts and the abuse continued to grow. She was raped again at age nine. Out of this childhood, she became an addict with heavy suicidal tendencies.

Then she met Jesus. 

Gary Blackard wide

When she and I spoke, there was new life–a transformed woman is beginning to blossom. Jesus transformed her whole being and gave her hope that transcended all. She saw dignity and identity in Christ, not in anything else. Her road to complete healing will not be easy, but it will be filled with love and a peace that passes all understanding.

This story and thousands like it are why we do what we do. This past year, Adult & Teen Challenge (ATC) served over 11,000 people who came through our doors. Almost 3,000 fully graduated our long-term programs at 12-15 months long. Several thousand people suffering with addiction finished our short-term programs. In fall of 2019, Evangel University in Missouri completed a success rate study for ATC. After one-year from graduating our long-term programs, alumni have a 78% success rate in maintaining sobriety.

As a Christ-centered organization, we emphasize the power of relationship with God through his son, Jesus Christ. We had over 9,000 people who made decisions to follow Jesus Christ. Recent research shows faith has a significant impact on addiction recovery. The research shows 73% of all substance treatment programs have a faith component and also shows that 84% of scientific studies in addiction show faith as a positive factor, with less than 2% shown as a risk to treatment and recovery. We believe in the power of God to change lives.

With 20.3 million self-reported Americans in addiction of some form, we must continue to accelerate our influence and progress. Our vision is freeing all people with life-controlling issues through the power of Jesus Christ. We have implemented a strategic plan with early focus on building sustainable growth through expanded services in residential, non-residential, outpatient and virtual care settings. Our plan also includes continued development of recovery curriculum adding online courses for family members and friends who are watching the ones they love suffer. Other strategic elements include leadership development innovation, technology enhancements, prevention, and scholarships.

We have so much to be thankful for. Our team members sacrifice countless hours every day. Our donors and partners give with willing and generous hearts month after month and year after year. What a blessing to be part of this tremendous work and see the life transformations happening each day in our centers. May the Lord continue to show us the way, give us wisdom to steward with excellence, and be our source of strength, peace and resilience as we serve the vulnerable and hurting.

Gary Blackard
President & CEO, Adult & Teen Challenge

Mission & Vision

Our mission is to provide teens & adults freedom from addiction and other life-controlling issues through Christ-centered solutions.

Our vision is freeing all people from life-controlling issues through the power of Jesus Christ!

Our Locations

With over 200 residential recovery programs in North America, we have at least one program in every state. Our centers provide care for men, women, and adolescents. Use the link below to view an interactive map of all of our locations. 

2019 Program Stats

Decisions for Christ
Water Baptisms
Spirit Baptisms
Program Completions

Strategic Initiatives

Initiative #1


As an organization, we must practice both wise stewardship and intentional development of financial resources available for ministry. Diversification of income streams will be a key factor in ensuring that we operate from a position of financial stability. We will particularly encourage development of social enterprises such as thrift shops, coffee houses, and cottage industries as a means to generate revenue and also reach those in need.

Initiative #1
Initiative #2

Curriculum Optimization

We are undertaking significant curriculum development with 8 series (48 books in total) being introduced for personal studies. Two of the series are complete, Intimacy with Purpose and Breaking Free. A new series is being researched at this time and writing will begin soon. Our general studies curriculum has received a face-lift for now, but will be enhanced in the future.

Initiative #2
Initiative #3

Leadership Development

We are increasing our investment in the professional, personal, and spiritual development of each of our staff. We will soon unveil several online resources including certification tracks for managers. We are very close to having an MOU with two centers to become Innovation & Learning centers where we can test systems and processes to develop a new standard of Adult & Teen Challenge “best practices”. We are also close to launching a new Executive Development Program for training leaders to excel and be equipped to face the challenges they meet.

Initiative #3
Initiative #4

Technology Enhancement

We are going to greatly increase our investment in technology to improve our inputs and outcomes. Tools such as the online learning management system as well as a comprehensive student management system will allow us to foster success as well as better measure our effectiveness.

Initiative #4
Initiative #5

Non-Residential Programming Strategy

By working with churches and partners like Living Free, we must expand the number of resources available to reach those with life-controlling issues. Many of those struggling with substance abuse are unable to enter residential programs, but still need support to break free from their addiction. We are committed to reach this segment of the population. New staff will come onboard to walk alongside churches and centers who want to start support groups. We are also looking at a national evangelism strategy for use across North America.

Initiative #5
Initiative #6


We received a gift to begin our national scholarship fund. Proceeds will be used to provide for students who could not otherwise afford to attend Adult & Teen Challenge. In the future we want to expand this fund to allow resources for graduates to pursue academic degrees or certification programs.

Initiative #6
Initiative #7

Prevention Strategy

We will be looking at revamping our prevention strategies through programs like Stay Sharp and others. Adult & Teen Challenge must become a larger presence in the area of prevention.

Initiative #7

Project Updates


Live Staff Training

Four Regional Conferences provided the opportunity for Adult & Teen Challenge staff to hear first-hand about the latest student curriculum and its implementation. Leaders from the National Office shared the vision for the future including leadership development and staff training.

These conferences were a powerful time of spiritual renewal and leadership development. Staff members were able to connect with people from all across the country and network together.

Breaking Free copy

Student Curriculum

Six classes in the life-changing Breaking Free series were launched this past year. This is our first curriculum that focuses on the nature of addiction through a biblical worldview. The student feedback has been powerful!

A redesign of the original PSNL curriculum was completed, as well. Students will now enjoy a fresh approach to individualized learning. Twenty-five pieces have been edited and re-designed, three pieces completely redone, and one new packet developed.

Work has begun on the next PSNL curriculum series: Preparing for Success.

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Online Staff Training

All existing online courses have been redesigned and migrated to our brand-new ATC Bridge online learning platform. New courses are being developed and implemented in the system each month. 147 courses have launched and are ready to equip ATC staff to better serve those in their care.

There are 65 stand alone courses and 18 multi-course programs in the ATC Bridge platform. Along with those brand new training pieces, 57 original courses and eight original programs have also been updated and are now available.

It’s exciting to see 1,068 learners have spent 24,368 hours in training between our old and new systems. All we do revolves around creating a better experience for the students. Equipping staff with new tools empowers staff, allowing them to more effectively encourage students in their new walk with Christ. The online training is moving at a fast pace to create a learning environment that will keep pace with ever-changing program needs.

Courses Available
Online Learners
Hours of Training


Total Revenue: $1,808,604

Total Expenses: $1,601,940

Board of Directors

Gary Blackard, President & CEO
Adult & Teen Challenge

Dr. Ava Oleson, Chairperson
Marriage & Family Therapist

Dr. Sue Gengler, Vice Chairperson
Health Education, Retired

Daniel Ruiz, Secretary
Institute for Learning and Innovation

John Rossi, Treasurer
U.S. Army Officer, Retired

Malcolm Burleigh
Assemblies of God, Executive Director of US Missions

Juan Cruz, Jr.
Senior Technology Manager – Clinical Engineering

Jay Martin
Attorney – Wallace, Martin, Duke & Russell

Dr. Jerry Ireland
Professor of Theology, University of Valley Forge

Ted Papit
Adjunct Professor of Business – Evangel University

Steve Trader
CEO of Global Teen Challenge, Appointed

Chris Hodges, Regional Rep
Adult & Teen Challenge, Northwest region

Snow Peabody, Regional Rep
Adult & Teen Challenge, Southwest region

Eric Vagle, Regional Rep
Adult & Teen Challenge, North Central region

George Thomas, Regional Rep
Adult & Teen Challenge, South Central region

Dave Rose, Regional Rep
Adult & Teen Challenge, Great Lakes region

Gary Bentley, Regional Rep
Adult & Teen Challenge, Gulf region

Mike Zello, Regional Rep
Adult & Teen Challenge, Northeast region

Brice Maddock, Regional Rep
Adult & Teen Challenge, Southeast region

Steve Paulson, Regional Rep
Adult & Teen Challenge, Canada region

“My name is Annabelle. I am nine years old. I like playing outdoors and with my family. I also enjoy drawing, coloring and imagining.

I was talking with my Dad while doing my schoolwork and telling him about how I wanted to help homeless people. I envisioned the same thing Adult & Teen Challenge is already doing today! My Dad told me about Adult & Teen Challenge and I wanted to donate. I used some of my savings to help Adult & Teen Challenge. I wanted to help people who are homeless get jobs and have a place to live.

Even though I am young I want to help as many people as I can!”

Success Stories





Steven and Sophia

Steven & Sophia

How to Help


James 5:16 assures us that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”. We know and understand the supernatural power of prayer – in fact, we depend upon it! Please commit to join us in prayer for our vision to help end addiction and for the staff working hard to achieve these audacious objectives.


Even Mother Teresa acknowledged the need for resources to fund the work she did. “To keep a lamp burning, you have to keep putting oil into it.” Our work cannot succeed without the monthly support of many friends, donors and partners like you. Your monthly gift to our general fund will allow us to utilize resources in the areas of greatest need.


Share the Teen Challenge story with your circle of influence. While history confirms that our ministry has impacted millions of lives since our founding in 1958, we remain a “best kept secret” among those outside the addiction space. We must greatly increase awareness of our programs. In a country in crisis, where thousands are desperate for help, there should be no “empty beds” at any of our program centers!