Teen Mania Ministries
|Teen Mania International|
|Motto||"To provoke a young generation to passionately pursue Jesus Christ and to take His life-giving message to the ends of the earth!"|
|Headquarters||Garden Valley, Texas|
|Location||Garden Valley, Texas|
|Staff||9 on Board of Directors. Chairman, Daniel Williams.|
Its primary program includes the Battle Cry Campaign and "Acquire the Fire" events, described by one writer as "a mix of pep rally, rock concert and church service," that are held in over 30 cities across the United States and Canada each year. The ministry focuses much of its energy towards its domestic and overseas mission trips, operated under the title "Global Expeditions". Teen Mania also operates a one-year-long residential leadership training program on its campus, titled the Honor Academy, aimed towards high school graduates, and college students. Teen Mania's media branch of the organization works as a separate unit, titled the "Center for Creative Media", which provides a two-year internship for students desiring to work in live events, new media, television, and audio fields of the media industry. In February 2014 it changed its name from "Teen Mania Ministries" as part of a move from Garden Valley to Dallas amidst issues with the mortgage on their campus. 
- 1 Mission statement
- 2 Founder
- 3 Primary ministries
- 4 The campus
- 5 Canada
- 6 Memberships
- 7 Controversy and Criticism
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Teen Mania Ministries' mission, as stated on its corporate website, is "To provoke a young generation to passionately pursue Jesus Christ and to take his life-giving message to the ends of the Earth".
Teen Mania is not affiliated with a specific denomination; the organization works with local churches of various denominations as a para-church organization, while providing its programs and other resources for youth, parents and church leaders.
Ron Luce is the president and founder of Teen Mania Ministries. He and his wife Katie founded Teen Mania in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1986. Luce has publicly condemned "purveyors of popular culture" as "the enemy," who according to Luce are "terrorists, virtue terrorists, that are destroying our kids... they're raping virgin teenage America on the sidewalk, and everybody's walking by and acting like everything's OK. And it's just not OK."
Ron and Katie Luce do not receive royalties for any product that is sold through the ministry or used for fundraising or other promotional purposes by Teen Mania.
There are six primary ministries within the organization that serve to facilitate its mission which also promotes the wider-based Battle Cry Campaign.
Acquire the Fire
(ATF) is a youth conference that is presented in over 35 cities across the United States and Canada each year. These conferences consist of Christian teachings, full-length stage dramas, worship via song, and live concerts. The other ministries of Teen Mania are also promoted at these conferences. Similar mass events are held in stadiums and arenas as part of the Battle Cry Campaign. In past years, ATF / Battle Cry producers had adopted a militaristic tone, with frequent use of words such as "battle," "enemy," "soldier," "foes" and "warfare," accompanied by the display of military imagery and, at one such event, the use of simulated weapons. Recent events however have focused on Christ's call to sacrificial love, and having an encounter with God.
Global Expeditions is a short-term missionary ministry. Young people are sent between 1 and 8 weeks to countries around the world for service-related work as well as drama and street evangelism. Trip activities have included: service projects, literature distribution, leading children's programs, local orphanage & ministry assistance, drama presentations, teaching English as a second language, and others. Global Expeditions focuses on safety, and ministry during their trips. They recently began spring break and holiday trips, sending missionaries for 1 or 2 weeks. Occasionally, Teen Mania will offer trips after a disaster (Hurricane Katrina, Haiti, etc.). To date Global Expeditions claims to have taken over 60,000 teen missionaries to 60 countries around the globe.
The Honor Academy is an internship program for high school graduates and college students. Honor Academy interns perform most of the day-to-day functions of the different ministry programs through ministry placements. First year interns are often referred to as Undergraduates. Undergraduates that decide to return for an additional year or more are referred to as Graduate Interns. Key areas of the Honor Academy include, Ministry Placements, Weekend Retreats, Classes, and Extra-Curricular Activities. In order to participate in the Honor Academy, individuals must raise their own financial support, which ranges from $650 to $850 per month depending on the specific program. These funds are a tax-deductible contribution directly to the ministry and are non-refundable.
Extreme Camps is an annual series of summer camps held at their campus in Garden Valley, Texas. The format is much like an Acquire the Fire in a camp atmosphere.
Center For Creative Media
CCM is a two-year film and television internship program. These interns participate in producing media for Teen Mania related live events and broadcasts.
School of Worship
The School of Worship is a one, two, or three-year-long program where students learn music theory, song writing, and the ins and outs of worship leading. They learn how to lead personal lives of worship both on and off the platform. The School of Worship exists to equip, train, and mobilize musicians and worship leaders. It assembles bands of its members and sends them out. The School of Worship recorded its first album entitled "Praise Is Awaiting" at Rosewood Studios. "Praise Is Awaiting" was released under Ee-Taow Records in 2008. From 2009-2010, School of Worship Band went on the national "Encounter Tour" with Acquire the Fire. School of Worship is set to release their second album under Ee-Taow Records entitled "Christ In Me" on September 28, 2010.
Battle Cry Campaign
The Battle Cry Campaign is an organizing initiative of Teen Mania Ministries, started in 2005 and headed by Teen Mania founder Ron Luce; it primarily seeks to influence American and Canadian social and political culture. Major backers include prominent evangelical leaders Joyce Meyer, Chuck Colson, Pat Robertson, Josh McDowell, and Jack Hayford.
In 1996 Teen Mania relocated from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Garden Valley, Texas, purchasing the property that was formerly the location of Keith Green's Last Days Ministries. Garden Valley is now home to 5 other major Christian ministries. One of the dormitories on campus is named Green Hall, in memory of Keith. The other dormitories are named after Jim Elliott (Elliott Hall), William Carey (Carey Hall), Samuel Morris (Morris Hall) and Keith Green (Green Hall). The campus is set in East Texas on over 400 acres (1.6 km2) of wooded forests, and open fields. Buildings on the campus include the Cafeteria, Administration/Auditorium Building, Global Contact Center, Student Activity Center, Center for Creative Media/Fitness Center, Warehouse, and other housing for mission trips & camps.
In February 2014, Ron Luce announced that the Garden Valley property had been released to its mortgage holder and the ministry headquarters were to be moved to Dallas, saying, "the reality of land management is no longer practical or germane to the international scope of the organization. "
Teen Mania is a member in good standing with the ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) and adheres to all policies, procedures and reporting guidelines of the ECFA, IRS, and CCRA. Charity Navigator gives Teen Mania a two-star rating, with an overall score of 45.99 points out of 70.
Teen Mania Ministries participates in a number of coalitions or networks, both formal and informal.
- Battle Cry Coalition. Teen Mania's own coalition includes, or has included, prominent Christian Right leadersJerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Ted Haggard, Chuck Colson, and Joyce Meyer, and other personalities such as Jack Hayford, Kay Arthur, Jack Graham, Greg Laurie, Josh McDowell, Tommy Barnett, Bob Reccord, Kirk Franklin and John Maxwell. Coalition members participate in Teen Mania's events and programs and also assist in promotion of the Battle Cry Campaign.
- The Arlington Group. Teen Mania is a member of the Arlington Group, a coalition which unites the leaders of almost all of the most prominent Christian Right organizations in the United States. Arlington Group members have prominently appeared in Battle Cry materials and events, including Battle Cry Coalition member Pat Robertson and former members Jerry Falwell and Ted Haggard. While campaigning for a U.S. Senate seat, group member Keith Butler delivered the opening invocation at the Battle Cry stadium event in Detroit on April 8, 2006. One of the first "Battle Cry Leadership Summits" was held at the church headed by Arlington Group member Harry Jackson in November, 2005. Ron Luce has spoken before at least two political conferences organized by Arlington Group members in 2006: Vision America's "War on Christians" conference, and Family Research Council Action's "Values Voters Summit".
- National Network of Youth Ministries. Teen Mania is a member of the Cooperating Ministries of the National Network of Youth Ministries. Other prominent members of this network include Assemblies of God, Campus Crusade for Christ, Church of the Nazarene, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Focus on the Family, The Salvation Army, Young Life and Youth With A Mission.
- GOD TV. Teen Mania's television program, "atf.tv," and exclusive live broadcasts of Acquire the Fire events are featured on GOD TV, an international Christian television broadcaster. This channel is available in the United States on the DirecTV satellite system. The U.S. version of this channel features a number of personalities and programs connected with the Apostolic-Prophetic Movement of Christianity, including Rick Joyner, Cindy Jacobs, Mike Bickle, Rodney Howard-Browne, Steve Hill, Francis Frangipane, Patricia King, and the "Elijah List" program hosted by Steve Shultz.
- Other supporters. In presentations of the Campaign to churches and ministry groups, a number of additional individuals and organizations have been named as supporters, including: Senator Sam Brownback, Senator Rick Santorum, Sean Hannity, Benny Hinn, Gary Bauer, Hank Hanegraaff, Dennis Rainey, American Family Association, Trinity Broadcasting Network, Family Research Council and the Traditional Values Coalition.
Controversy and Criticism
Based on Teen Mania's doctrines and behavior, some Christian mental health professionals have labeled it a cult. In an MSNBC documentary, counselors Doug and Wendy Duncan identified all of Robert Jay Lifton's "Eight Criteria for Thought Reform" in the Honor Academy program, as described in personal accounts and video footage from several alumni and former staff spanning the past twelve years. The documentary won an investigative reporting award from the CINE organization.
A blog published by a former intern, entitled "Recovering Alumni," has raised concerns about recurring spiritual abuse and health and safety issues at Honor Academy, publishing firsthand accounts from many other interns alleging mistreatment over the past 15 years to the present. In an interview in the Tyler Morning Telegraph, the blog's author claimed, based on an email list, that about 200 Honor Academy alumni consider themselves "recovering."
The cult accusations were challenged by Christian countercult apologist Hank Hanegraaff, who questioned the validity of the Duncans' use of Lifton's Eight Criteria for Thought Reform, stating that "the arguments proffered against TMM could just as easily be used to establish historic Christianity as a thought reform cult. Equally significant is the fact that cult mind control as a sociological model has been utterly discredited." However, Hanegraaff's assertion contradicts current scholarship such as Kathleen Taylor's book Brainwashing: The Science Of Thought Control (Oxford University Press, 2004), which gives credit to mind control as a sociological and psychological model and distinguishes it from religious faith.
ESOAL renamed to PEARL
In September 2010, local Texas news station KLTV reported a three-part story on the Honor Academy's optional "ESOAL" retreat (an acronym for the "Emotionally Stretching Opportunity of a Lifetime"). The yearly 48 to 90 hour event would test participants with extreme exercise, sleep deprivation, unpleasant food and other military training techniques in order to "stretch" participants "emotionally and physically." Some interns who participated in the event describe it as abusive and authoritarian, questioning the spiritual value of activities like rolling down a hill repeatedly. Injuries including cuts, bruises, infections, sprains, dislocations, and exposure were reported by an area doctor, raising concerns about the event's safety.
In response to the KLTV news story, Teen Mania leadership promised to form an independent committee to investigate the charges of safety violations. The committee presented their report to the Honor Academy Administration on June 13, 2011. In a video announcement from his blog, David Hasz, the director of the Honor Academy, explained that ESOAL had "changed dramatically and metamorphosized(sic) over the years" and would now be called PEARL (an acronym for Physical, Emotional, and Relational Learning). Hasz said that the revamped event will be "similar to the last several years," but the military rank names that previously were used have been replaced with team-building names.
According to Honor Academy director David Hasz, "PEARL is not designed to be 'the event' that will spiritually change [participants] forever," and is "a small part of the Honor Academy."
Doug Duncan described the renaming of ESOAL to PEARL as "a bit of a whitewash," believing that the central idea of the event is still about thought reform. The Tyler Morning Telegraph reported that each participant of the 2011 PEARL was required to visit an on-site clinic after completion of the event. Of the 272 participants, 42 were said to have physical concerns "such as feeling faint, sprained ankles or knees, or potential breathing issues."
As of July 13, 2012, Teen Mania Ministries have since suspended ESOAL/PEARL, indefinitely. In a statement, Hasz maintained that "those lessons learned through ESOAL and PEARL will still be taught" at Honor Academy. The intern who founded the Recovering Alumni website says she considers this "a small victory" but remains "concerned about the Teen Mania environment as a whole." 
Battle Cry Campaign
Teen Mania's Battle Cry Campaign has been criticized by mainstream media for its use of military metaphors and imagery, politicizing faith and cultural issues, and using statistics some believe are "greatly exaggerated."
- Kuruvila, Matthai Chakko (2007-03-10). "Christian teens flock to BattleCry". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-07-01.
- Melanie Korb (2014-02-05). "Teen Mania's Youth Ministry Relocating to Dallas". Charisma News.
- "Teen Mania’s Mission Statement". Teen Mania Ministries Corporate web site. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
- Schultz, Tamra (December 3, 2001). "Acquire the Fire: Workshop for a New Revolution of Music". ninetyandnine.com. Retrieved 2007-07-01.
- Amanpour, Christiane; Julie O'Neill, Taylor Gandossy (August 23, 2007). "Teen Christians campaign against pop culture". CNN. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
- "Teen Mania’s Statement for Financial Accountability". Teen Mania Ministries Corporate web site. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
- Acquire the Fire TV (atf.tv) (TV series). Teen Mania Ministries / Daystar Television Network. December 9, 2006. Edited telecast of "BattleCry" stadium events recorded in Detroit on 2006-04-08 and in Philadelphia on 2006-05-13.
- Teen Mania web page Our Outreach
- "Honor Academy: Becoming an Intern". Honor Academy. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-07-01.
- "Faith-Filled Teens Take Radical Counter-Culture Message to Tens of Thousands of Peers Across United States". DeMoss News Pond. 2006-08-25.
- Rebecca Hoeffner (2014-02-07). "Ministry moving headquarters to Dallas". Tyler Morning Telegraph.
- Miscellaneous notices, Canada Gazette (Government of Canada)
- Teen Mania Ministries. "Battle Cry: Battle Cry Partners". Archived from the original on 2006-12-07. Retrieved 2006-12-09.
- Teen Mania Ministries. "Battle Cry: Summit Schedule". Archived from the original on 2006-11-29. Retrieved 2006-12-09.
- Teen Mania Ministries. "Battle Cry: The Battle Cry Alliance". Archived from the original on 2007-01-09. Retrieved 2006-12-09.
- Ron Luce (April 8, 2006). "Battle Cry" Detroit (TV program (live)). Detroit, Michigan: NRB Network.
- Chang, Pauline J. (2005-11-21). "Over 700 Pastors, Ministers Answer 'Battle Cry' to Rescue Youth". The Christian Post. Retrieved 2006-12-09.
- Ron Luce (September 4, 2006). Vision America's "War on Christians" Conference (TV program). Washington, DC: Sky Angel Angel Two channel. Conference session recorded 2006-03-27.
- Duin, Julia (2006-03-28). "'Values voters' call for congressional action". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on 2 January 2007. Retrieved 2006-12-23.
- Ron Luce (September 28, 2006). Values and the Midterm Elections (TV program / DVD). Washington, DC: C-SPAN - National Cable Satellite Corporation. Conference session recorded 2006-09-23.
- National Network of Youth Ministries. "NNYM Cooperating Ministries". Archived from the original on 4 January 2007. Retrieved 2006-12-10.
- GOD TV. GOD TV January 2007 Program Guide. pp. 8, 9, 28, 29.
- Luce, Ron. "BattleCry Powerpoint Presentation (sun_am_ppt_4-12-06.ppt)". Archived from the original on 2006-06-26. Retrieved 2006-12-18.
- Duncan, Wendy and Doug (2011-06-02). "Teen Mania: Sound the Warning Bell on Teen Mania". VM Life Resources. Retrieved 2011-06-02.
- Hoeffner, Rebecca (2011-11-05). "Teen Mania Says Boot Camp Revamped, But Critics Liken Program To Cult". Tyler Morning Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
- "Mind Over Mania". 2011-11-06. MSNBC. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/45131666#45131666.
- Mind Over Mania - CINE
- Schapiro, Jeff. "'Bible Answer Man' Hank Hanegraaff Defends Teen Mania Ministries." The Christian Post. 9 Nov. 2011. Web. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- Taylor, Kathleen (2004). Brainwashing: The Science of Thought Control (1st ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0192804960.
- Chesky, Morgan. "A look inside Teen Mania: ESOAL". KLTV. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- Heath (2008-09-09). "What One Man Can Do, Another Man Can Do: ESOAL's Coming!". Trailerclub.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- Chesky, Morgan. "ESOAL: Past 'interns' reflect on Teen Mania program". KLTV. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- Chesky, Morgan (2010-09-24). "Do ESOAL Activities go too far?". KLTV. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- Chesky, Morgan. "ESOAL forming committee to evaluate program". KLTV. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
- "ESOAL Committee Report". ESOAL Committee. Retrieved 2011-08-23.
- Stoner, Heath. "The Honor Academy Announces the PEARL LTE". Honor Academy Director. Retrieved 2011-08-23.
- "Important Announcement about The Pearl". Honor Academy Director. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Teen Mania Suspends Controversial Program". Tylerpaper.com. 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Teen Mania Suspends Contentious Boot Camp". Tylerpaper.com. 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
- Colston, Chase (2012-07-13). "Teen Mania Ministry Suspends Controversial ‘ESOAL’ + ‘PEARL’ Program". KNUE. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
- "Teen Mania Suspends Contentious Boot Camp". Tylerpaper.com. 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
- Goodstein, Laurie (2006-10-06). "Evangelicals Fear the Loss of Their Teenagers". The New York Times. Retrieved 2006-12-10.
- Gerson, Jen (2006-10-31). "Pop culture versus God: Branded by the light". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2006-12-10.
- Jeff Sharlet (2007-04-06). "On The Media: "Hear Their Roar" (April 6, 2007)" (National Public Radio Show). On the Media. Retrieved 2007-04-07.
- Kuruvila, Matthai Chakko (2007-03-08). "Faith's Battlefield: S.F. event designed to get teens energized about evangelical Christianity divides believers with its combative language and emphasis on culture war". San Francisco Chronicle. pp. A–1. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
- Teen Mania Ministries website
- Global Expeditions
- Acquire the Fire
- Honor Academy
- Honor Academy Alumni
- Extreme Camps
- Teen Mania Canada
- Teen Mania Financial Profile from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability
- Recovering Alumni Community