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.

Anyone bringing anything outside the items listed above will be required to donate 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! (Exceptions are determined on a case-by-case basis.)

Please note: Prohibitions to Entry.

  1. We cannot accept men who have open or active warrants; all probation/parole appointments must be non-reporting or phone-reporting(not in person); no scheduled upcoming criminal court dates or future criminal indictments.
  2. We cannot accept men who have been sentenced to The Refuge “in lieu of” incarceration. Often, we find that men forced to come because of legal issues are not here for the right reasons, nor do they typically really want to change.
  3. We will consider allowing a man with open traffic issues or outstanding fines to enter the Refuge, provided he is not required to attend a court appearance. If any fines may result in a warrant for arrest, we will need written or verbal agreement from a friend or family member that they will take care of the fine.
  4. Any man currently paying (or in arrears on) child support will need either 1) a written response from the case manager stating that payments may be placed on hold or deferred until the completion of the 13 months of the ministry, OR 2) written communication from a friend or family member who will be paying the child support payment for the duration of the 13 months of the ministry.
  5. We cannot accept men required to register as sex offenders.
  6. The Refuge does not allow any prescription medications 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.
  7. We are a working ministry, so any man currently earning 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 2ndand 3rd phases of our program, men are expected to work from 20-50 hrs/week.)

Coming in from out of state and want to know more? Request our Out of State Form here and feel free to call 614-991-0131 for more information.


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!”