The Iona Project chapel immersion program offers internships for those interested in sharing a common life of prayer, scripture and mutual accountability, while conducting youth ministry in a residential childcare setting.


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The chapel program provides pastoral care for our residents. This care provided by our chapel staff flows from three ongoing, intentional movements that necessarily feed one another:


The gift of loving PRESENCE:

intentionally accompanying others on their journeys.

The gift of WITHDRAWAL for prayer:

intentional time with God for the sake of others.


intentionally working and praying on behalf of others.

Deeply committed to these three movements, chaplains live on campus, available not only to provide spiritual care in life crises, but also to offer mentoring, discipleship, and encouragement—praying with others, sharing God’s Word, and cheering at ball games.


As a Christ-centered chapel, we believe it is important for our students to hear the core Christian message believed by the early church (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). So as an ongoing invitation to Christian faith in our unique setting, this Chapel Belief Statement serves as the touchstone of our weekly chapel services

Boys Ranch Chapel


All children in our care attend a weekly chapel service on Sunday mornings as well as a home devotional or Sunday school class. Carefully built around our Four Key Ministry Principles, these weekly gatherings honor a true “Christ-centered atmosphere,” treating everyone as Jesus did — with love and dignity.

Rooted in scripture, chapel activities are specially designed to be experiential, relational, and multisensory, building “memories that stick” — rich with laughter, color, adventure, and meaning.

In addition to these weekly obligations, students are invited to participate in a lively array of optional chapel activities such as:

  • Camps
  • Retreats
  • Weekly youth groups
  • VBS
  • Student praise band
  • Discipleship
  • Service trips
  • Sunset trail rides for prayer


Staff teaching youth about music.

We teach the core relationship model that Jesus embodied. In a world suffering from damaged relationships, we believe Jesus has revealed the central blueprint for healthy relationships when addressing the Greatest Commandment:

‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your Neighbor as your Self’ (Luke 10:27).

In collaboration with other programs and departments on our campus, the chapel teaches and nurtures this Christ-centered healthy relationship triad of Godself, and others. You might say it is the portal to “the kingdom” as Jesus taught it. For this reason, chapel activities and teaching are an ongoing invitation to these practices, dispositions, and values.

  • Forgiveness
  • Love
  • Trust
  • Prayer
  • Listening
  • Intrinsic value
  • Acceptance of others
  • Self-acceptance
  • Respect
  • Grace
  • Mercy
  • Compassion
  • Gratitude
  • Generosity
  • Sacrificial Service
  • Healthy boundaries
Diagram showing a healthy relationship between God, self and others, with Christ at the center.


We all seem to cultivate relationships in three primary ways: talkinglistening, and quiet presence together. When relating to God, we call these movements “prayer.”

Following our Four Key Ministry Principles, the chapel program introduces residents to these three primary aspects of prayer.

three aspects of prayer
  • Talking to another: Discursive prayer.
  • Listening to another: Scripture meditation.
  • Sharing quiet moments together without words: Contemplation.

Through teaching and guided experiences, our chapel program introduces residents to a deepening relationship with God through these primary modes of prayer.

Diagram about Prayer. Quiet presence, talking and listening all overlap in prayer.


Perhaps the most powerful and important function of the chapel program is sowing the seed of God’s Word (Mark 4:13). In a time when youth ministry materials have proliferated, we still believe the Bible is our unsurpassed resource.

Like many folks, we believe scripture is different in nature from common textbooks. While the purpose of common books is information, the primary purpose of scripture is formation. Making this important distinction, we structure our weeks at Boys Ranch around regular, consistent encounters with scripture — seed sowing.

Woman teaching young girls scripture


First, we create a sacred moment shaped by our Four Key Ministry Principles.

Next, we read scripture,


…with trust and presence,

…without additional clutter,

…without agenda.

Then our voices stop.

We avoid getting marooned on our favorite soapboxes by following a disciplined 3-year cycle through scripture (the RCL). In this way our students encounter a bigger, more complete picture of Jesus Christ through the Gospels. Honoring our Four Key Ministry Principles, each week’s Gospel reading links our weekly devotionals to our Sunday chapel service — seed sowing.


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