Welcome to Westwood Ministries

Increasingly, Christian leaders and their families are experiencing a need for rest and restoration from burnout, moral failure and forced termination.  Missionaries are experiencing  unrealistic expectations, financial burdens, denominational pressure & family stress leading to a mass exodus from full-time vocational ministry. We are in a crisis of ministry like no other where the needs of full-time ministry staff & church lay leadership hang in the balance.  What is the Church to do? Where can Christian leaders who are called by God go to find healing and restoration?

Westwood Ministries has been operating since 1989 as a pastoral care ministry in an attempt to meet the physical and family needs of those in full-time ministry and church lay leadership. Westwood offers ministry in three priority areas: Sabbatical Retreat & Rest, Holistic Christian Counseling and Life & Ministry Training.

We are convinced that God’s desire for His Church is to be a healthy, functioning body. But before the Church can be healthy, its leaders must find health themselves.


The Potter’s Institute has been a safe place to come and reflect on self, healing, and reconciliation between myself and husband; myself and God. God identified wounds deeply buried that were contributing to conflict and hurting other people. Reconciled myself to Him and showed me the reality of Him and showed me how to “heart believe” instead of just “head believe”.

Potter’s at Westwood, in general, have been life-saving to me and my family. It has provided wellness and healing from habits, quarrels – a reminder of forgiveness of my sin and the blessing and reminder of hope and a future. God continues to bring healing and restoration, growth and strengthening for my heart and soul. Thanks for all you do!

Joel Wetzstein

Being here at Westwood has been such a blessing. Thank you for everything you have done for me these last several days. I am going home with a different perspective and outlook. God has changed that for me through you!

The “Worth More Than Rubies” retreat was a reality check for me. It was an encouragement to hear all the teachings and Scriptures on being a godly wife and mother. I feel that this was a PRO-ACTIVE step to make me a better mother before my daughter is all grown.

Natalie Charlotin

The “Worth More Than Rubies” retreat has meant to me about building a foundation. I felt as if I was on sinking sand. Now I feel as though I am standing on the rock.

The Father helped me quit smoking this weekend. He has helped me believe and trust Him to take care of my family.

Everything was fantastic! Truly life changing. You said Dawsie would “bless our socks off” and she truly has! She is a woman of God that I would like to look to as an example.

Leslie Groff

I love the “Worth More Than Rubies” retreat teaching. The way Dawsie focused first on person, then mate, then children, then relationships helped me to learn in an organized way. The Father has shown me how far He has taken me/us – our marriage. He showed areas where I still need to trust, obey, things he has healed and ways I still need to obey fully, not just partially.


Westwood Staff,

Again, what an incredible place to “come away” to. You provide an atmosphere of Father’s heart. Yah – all the buildings, the lodge, the cabins, the campfire, and the wide open space with wildlife are the setting; however, you – God’s people – vessels of Father’s heart are what minister to our deepest need. In all genuineness, we yearn to be close to y’all. Touched, transformed and “Graced” lives and hearts are what we always leave here with: Touched by Christ’s compassion, Transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit, and “Graced” because we get what we don’t deserve from Father.

Blessings in Jesus’ Name,

Jason, Tiffany, Skyler, & Stetson Swhart

This experience [Potter’s Institute] has brought up a lot of things that I knew in my brain, but not necessarily knew in my heart. It has given me a chance to “escape” my everyday to experience a “reality check” and to re-calculate my priorities.

God gave my husband and I a specific opportunity to share with each other things about our past, that might otherwise not have come up. He brought us closer because of it too. He revealed that we are more alike than we knew and that we were truly brought together by Him. God revealed to me some other things (wounds) that I had suppressed so much so that I had forgotten. I was able to confront those feelings.

The “Worth More Than Rubies” retreat has been a huge encouragement for my take on my marriage and my role in my family. The Father reminded me of my job as a prayer warrior over my household.

The “Worth More Than Rubies” retreat was really special as usual. When I broke my plate I was really broken. I asked the Lord to help me to leave different than I came. The Lord really spoke to me. NO matter how many times I come, something is different. That is great! 🙂

Shirley Dannemiller