The first step each and every man must take is to attend the Refuge Orientation Session held every Monday at 10:00am at:

Hilltop Lutheran Church
12 S Terrace Ave
Columbus, Ohio 43204


Hilltop Lutheran Church

Friends and family of men interested in entering the ministry are ALL welcome and encouraged to stay for this informative session. The session lasts about two hours and covers every aspect of what takes place during the 13 month commitment. After the Orientation, any man wishing to enter will be given a brief application to complete, followed by an interview with our pastoral staff.

Men who are ready should come prepared to enter this same day. The following is a list of what may be brought in. We can supply these items if necessary.

    • 1 Bible & notebook
    • 8 pairs of pants
    • 8 shirts
    • 3 pair of shoes
    • 3 sweaters or sweatshirts
    • 8 pairs Socks & underwear
    • Personal hygiene products (no alcohol)
      • 1 shampoo, 1 conditioner, 1 body wash/soap, 1 deodorant, 1 non-electric toothbrush, 1 tube of toothpaste, 1 bag of non-electric razors, 1 can shaving cream, 1 hair style product.


Please note: Prohibitions to Entry.

  1. We cannot accept men who have open or active warrants; men who are on probation with a scheduled requirement to meet their Probation Officer in person; men with scheduled upcoming court dates; or men who are required to register as sex offenders. We do not take men who have been sentenced to The Refuge “in lieu” of incarceration. Often, we find that men forced to come to us because of legal issues are not here for the right reasons, nor do they typically really want to change.
  2. The Refuge does not allow any prescription medication that are considered “mood altering”. Should a man be considering entering please consult your physician prior to making a decision NOT to take prescribed medication. A letter from your physician MAY be required for entry into The Refuge.
  3. We are a working ministry, so any man currently on disability must be willing to relinquish it, because he cannot legally work for the Refuge and stay on disability at the same time. (The maximum hours someone can work a week while on disability is 20 hrs/week, and while in the 2nd and 3rd phases of our program, men are expected to work from 20-50 hrs/week.)
  4. Anyone bringing anything extra (outside the items listed above) will be required to donate the extras to the ministry. We do not have storage to care for everyone’s personal items, so please do not plan to bring them into the program unless specified! (The only exception would be money of any form (cash, debit cards, credit cards) or cell phones, which our staff can keep under lock and key if necessary. Exceptions are determined on a case-by-case basis.)


Any questions, please call our information line 614.991.0131.

There is no cost to enter the Refuge. The work of the men while in the ministry provide for their room and board…”A hand up, not a hand out!”