PTM Conference

Pastoral at heart, and peer-driven, the PTM Conference is unique among member care conferences. For anyone involved in caring for global workers—whether with a local church, a sending agency, or a member care organization—PTM provides ample opportunities to network, learn, and be encouraged. Committed to caring for caregivers, the PTM Conference exists to develop the shepherding skills and heart of the member care community.



In an ever-changing world, what does mean to find a solid foundation in the glory of our eternal God? What are the characteristics of a life that is Grounded in Glory? Come explore this theme with us at the next PTM conference!

Please note: This PTM is one week earlier than our usual conference dates.

Randy Gariss
Randy Gariss

Keynote Speaker: Randy Gariss

Our 2021 featured speaker is Randy Gariss, Director of the Life & Ministry Preparation Center at Ozark Christian College in Joplin, Missouri.

Randy served as the Senior Minister of College Heights Christian Church in Joplin, Missouri, from 1982 to 2015. He has a Master’s Degree from Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary. He and his wife, Julie, married in 1976, have 3 grown children, and are now joyfully playing the role of grandparents.


Pre-Conference Sessions

Bill and Lorraine Foute
Bill & Lorraine Foute
Link to bio

Trauma Healing in the Midst of Covid

This will be a highly interactive time to find personal encouragement and healing as well as some skills to help others. Our curriculum is called "Healing the Wounds of Trauma, how the church can help." A follow up on line certification process will be offered after PTM which will qualify a participant to use the materials in healing groups. We will also introduce some materials for responding to disasters such as the Covid pandemic. This will include a discussion of how we can relate to God in uncertain times.

Topics include suffering, heart wounds, grief and loss, forgiveness and taking your pain to the cross. Join us as we journey through healing together with our Lord.

Shannon Rants
Shannon Rants, MA, LPC

Link to bio

LET LOVE LEAD: living the gospel out with our LGBTQI family and friends

Topics discussed: The historical, Biblical meaning and purpose of gender/sexuality; unpacking gender identity; an overview of our *Cycle of Connection; tensions within a relevant cultural context; practical implications of loving our LGBTQI family and friends with grace and truth; and a time for Q&A among us.

Terry & Nancy Todd
Terry & Nancy Todd

Link to bio

POUSTINIA: a soul-care retreat for member care workers

poustiniaI will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. (Hosea 2:14)
Come out of chaos of our times and into the poustinia* with the One who calls you His beloved.

Poustinia is a 48-hour interactive soul-care retreat where you will encounter God in silence, solitude and community using scripture, art, music, poetry, and reflection.

Poustinia begins with dinner on Sunday evening, Sept. 26, and ends Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 28. On Tuesday afternoon, you will be invited to share about your experience and brainstorm how “retreat” could be used in various member care settings.

Please note: Registration is limited to 24 participants. There is a $15 materials fee for art supplies and copying.

*Poustinia is a small sparsely furnished cabin where one goes to pray and fast alone in the presence of God. It has its origin in the Russian word for desert.

Lauren Wells
Lauren Wells

Link to bio

A Preventive Approach to TCK Care

This session will explore the reasons a preventive approach to TCK care is critical, how preventive care can be applied in a general context, how organizations can effectively implement preventive care, and how preventive care can be applied specifically to the grief and trauma related to COVID-19. The session will be interactive and will include exercises in art processing and other forms of grief-processing that can be effectively used with Third Culture Kids of all ages.

Conference Fees

PRE-CONFERENCE (Sept. 27–28)
Shared room—$254
Single, private room—$318
Commuter—$200 per person
MAIN CONFERENCE (Sept. 28–Oct. 1)
Shared room—$490
Single, private room—$683
Commuter—$325 per person

BOTH PRE- and MAIN CONFERENCE (Sept. 27–Oct. 1)
Shared room—$693
Single, private room—$951
Commuter—$500 per person

Registration Deadline: September 10, 2020.

Cancellation Fees:
$50/person up to September 12
$150/person beginning September 12

Register for PTM


Who attends the PTM Conference?

Anyone with a heart to shepherd cross-cultural workers is invited to attend PTM—whether from a local church, sending agency, member care organization, or other care-giving vocation. Pastors, clinical counselors, on-field workers, teachers, life coaches, organization heads, church members, full-time member care providers—all can benefit from our pastoral approach to training in member care, as well as the encouraging and refreshing atmosphere of the PTM Conference.

Do you allow participants to stay off-site?

Although we prefer all participants stay on-site to enjoy the community and fellowship provided by the PTM Conference, we do allow people to commute to the conference. All meals are included in the commuter rate in order to foster the peer interactions and networking that are such a valuable part of the PTM Conference.

Do you provide childcare?

While we value children, we do not currently provide childcare.

Can I register when I arrive?

No. In order to enable both the PTM Planning Committee and the Ridgecrest Conference Center to adequately prepare for those attending the conference, all registrations must be received at least two weeks before the conference.

Can I pay when I arrive or do I have to pay when I register? What forms of payment do you accept?

No. Registration and payment for the PTM Conference have been combined into one convenient process. All those registering for the PTM Conference must pay by credit card when they fill out the online registration form. The registration cannot be completed without the final step of the credit card payment.

What costs do the fees cover?

The cost of the Conference covers registration fees, room, meals at the main dining room, and the conference itself. Any extra spending will be completely at your discretion.

The Ridgecrest campus also has an ice cream shop, a coffee shop, and some food you can buy a la carte. Additionally, the Asheville area offers some attractive options for sightseeing, should you wish to do so. You will be responsible for these extra expenditures, and we encourage you to plan accordingly.

Can I bring promotional materials for my organization, or books I have written?

Yes! We welcome exhibitors for a small $25 fee, which covers a 4x4 table space and access to special features in our conference app. The PTM Conference is a great place to introduce others to your work or ministry. To facilitate the sharing of resources between groups and individuals, tables are provided on which to display books, brochures, banners, or other materials. We have also planned a ministry fair/networking evening. Authors are free to sell their books at PTM, although we ask that they be relevant to the member care audience. (Authors are responsible for handling the sale of their own books; PTM organizers will not oversee these transactions.)

What accommodations are made for those with dietary restrictions?

You will have an opportunity to alert us of any dietary restrictions or allergies during the registration process. Most of the meals at the PTM Conference are buffet style, and Ridgecrest offers a variety of options to suit almost any diet, with each entrée clearly marked as gluten free, vegetarian, and/or dairy free.

What amenities does the Ridgecrest Conference Center provide?

Complimentary wifi is available throughout the Ridgecrest Conference Center. In order to encourage reflection and retreat, Ridgecrest does not have televisions in guest rooms. However, televisions are available in select fellowship areas throughout the campus. Guest rooms do offer a wide array of other conveniences, however, such as hair dryers, in-room iron and ironing board, coffee maker, etc. Please click here to see a more complete list of Ridgecrest amenities.

May I arrive early?

You are more than welcome to arrive before the PTM conference starts, but you will be responsible for booking your own lodging. Feel free to check with the Ridgecrest Conference Center to see if they can accommodate your needs. If not, there are many nice hotels in the Black Mountain/Asheville area.

What are the closest airports?

Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) — 24 miles
Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) — 77 miles
Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (CLT) — 101 miles

Do you provide transportation to/from the airport?

We do not, but once you have downloaded the conference app you may reach out to other participants to find ride-sharing options. Otherwise there are a variety of local services available. Please see our transportation page for a list of resources. Also refer to Ridgecrest Conference Center’s very helpful travel page. Unfortunately, we do not have sufficient staffing to arrange travel for participants to and from the conference. But we do wish you safety on the road, and we hope you enjoy the lovely Blue Ridge Mountain scenery!

What are the dates and locations for future PTM Conferences?

September 28–October 1, 2021 at the Ridgecrest Conference Center in Asheville, NC.
Note: This is one week earlier than usual.

October 3–7, 2022 at the Ridgecrest Conference Center in Asheville, NC.