Who We Are
The Christian Training Center International was founded in the early 1970’s as The Inn of the Last Resort. It is now known throughout the world for its outreach to families, Christian leaders, and young people. Our focus is to enable individuals – especially young men and women – to face and overcome the mounting issues and pressures in their daily lives.
The most effective way to learn a foreign language is through immersion. In complete immersion, students spend all of their time hearing and speaking a new language in a sequential and cumulative format. The goal is to become not only a proficient speaker, but to acquire an appreciation and understanding of a new culture. This approach describes the training process at CTCI.
Our programs are an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Christ. The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture. The foundation is an encounter with Christ. This encounter is the means for both insight and vision. Encountering Christ leads to insight and results in vision.
Where It All Began
In the early 1970’s, Jay and Sally Fesperman had a vision to open a retreat center for businessmen. It was from this desire that they founded the Inn of Last Resort. In the simplest of words – “Life is Relationships” – Jay Fesperman defined the heart of the ministry. Since its inception, “The Inn” has been involved in training and giving counsel to numerous families, pastors and lay people. The “Inn of the Last Resort” aptly alludes to the condition of many people who have found their way to this sanctuary in the rural Smoky Mountains. As word of the ministry spread, our name was revised to Christian Training Center International.
In 1980, Larry and Susan Pons joined the Fespermans in the ministry. Before Jay’s passing in 1992, CTCI had grown to be more global in its influence. Expansion of the ministry’s impact began to reach overseas and has subsequently brought scores of fellow Christians here for training and renewal. During its existence, over 70,000 people from more than 60 nations have come through the doors seeking a deeper reality of God in their lives.
Our Mission is training believers to live a victorious life through biblical Truth, experiential discipleship, and family relationships.
Our Vision is to see generations of leaders victoriously modeling Christ in their families and communities.
Our prayer and focus has remained the same for years. First, that Jesus be Lord over all, through all and in all. Secondly that healthy, Godly relationships will always be the driving force of this ministry. This is the heartbeat of the ministry that the Lord has given us, and it is one we trust the Lord will continue to lead us in until He returns.
What We Believe
We are an inter-denominational ministry, and our desire is for transformation: a genuine change of heart and lifestyle that flows out of an intimate relationship with Jesus.
Jesus is Lord. We exalt the One True God who made us and gave us the Lord Jesus Christ as our salvation. Our goal is to be a people with a heart for obedience to Christ in all things. His work made it possible for us to live – eternally and now – as children of God. Jesus made it possible for us to be rightly related to the Father and to one another. His desire is for us to succeed. We believe a right relationship with Him is the first and most important step.
The Bible is True. God’s Word is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12-13), which we take into our minds and spirits and live out through the flesh. When Jesus asked what the greatest commandment was, He said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31). The basis for everything we teach is “Life is Relationships.”
Presence and Power of the Holy Spirit. We desire to walk in and by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit (available to all believers) empowers Christians for living witness and dedicated service.