North Dakota Teen Challenge

North Dakota Teen Challenge


Teen Challenge is a national network of faith-based rehabilitation programs founded by the Reverend David Wilkerson in New York in 1958. North Dakota Teen Challenge, located on a residential street in western Mandan in the south of the state, offers long-term, Christian residential treatment for adult men and women aged 18–80 who are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. The center welcomes individuals “from every ethnic, socio-economic, and religious background.”

Among other Teen Challenge facilities in the vicinity are Minnesota Teen Challenge and Teen Challenge of the Midlands in Omaha.


Prospective clients must fill in and submit an application form; it can take up to two weeks to process this form. All clients must have a physical exam before or immediately upon admission. Residents spend up to 30 hours a week in compulsory devotions, chapel, individual discipleship, and classes; there are also optional activities on top of this core classload. Individual counseling is offered on a bi-monthly basis.

The program lasts at least 12 months, split into four phases. Throughout the program, the focus is on spiritual and emotional wellness, rather than the psychological, psychiatric, or medical components of addiction. The program’s offerings are: Biblical instruction, classes and other learning environments, and a supportive atmosphere.

In phase one, which lasts 14 weeks, residents attend classes and acquire tools that will help them to understand why they drank or drugged and to recognize and change their destructive beliefs and thoughts. In phase two, which lasts 12 weeks, residents dig deeper into their own reasons for drinking or taking drugs, and begin to heal the wounds incurred during their addiction. Phase three, another 12-week block, sees residents turning their attention to the future, using their gifts and talents and creating solid sober lifestyles, while also learning more about Jesus. And in the final level, Transition, residents spend a further 12 weeks securing employment and housing and finding ways to give back to their communities.

A re-entry program provides aftercare in the form of regular mentoring or counseling, temporary housing, and help finding a local church.


There is currently no information provided by the facility regarding its treatment staff.


North Dakota Teen Challenge is a large facility, with space for 60 men and 40 women in strictly gender-separate settings: communication between the sexes is banned. Residents sleep in dorms and complete daily chores. In their spare time, they may go to the full on-site gym, use an Xbox, read, or use the phone, though phone time is limited. Among the center’s favored leisure activities is a choir that travels to churches around North Dakota.

Families and friends are welcome to visit on Saturday afternoons, and at a certain point through the course, residents gain the right to make off-site visits. However, no girlfriends or boyfriends may visit.

Residents are required to be tobacco-free both on- and off-site. In addition, many medications are banned at the facility, including Suboxone, methadone, and other recovery-oriented medications.


The single loved one polled by to date would recommend North Dakota Teen Challenge. “They continue to help him stay on the right path and for that I am truly thankful,” they wrote anonymously of their brother, giving the facility five stars for its overall effectiveness and indicating that their brother had stopped abusing his substance of choice and improved his attitude, self-awareness, and career prospects.

Secondary sites yielded mostly positive coverage at the time of this writing: six five-star ratings on Facebook (where the facility can manage its own page) and a one-star rating on Google.[1] [2] “This group spoke at our church this weekend. Wonderful group of people & varied life stories. All with one powerful connection – the love of God,” T.L. wrote on Facebook in the only piece of commentary that accompanied these ratings.


“A rewarding and encouraging environment,” wrote an anonymous employee in a five-star rating on, the only staff review was able to uncover at the time of this writing.[3]


There’s a $40 application fee, following which, clients must pay a $500/month lodging fee. The first monthly payment is due at the time of admission. For qualifying individuals involved in the criminal justice system, funding is available through the Department of Corrections.


North Dakota Teen Challenge Reviews

  • Treatment Effectiveness
I have not had any personal experience with this facility but my brother is out of Rehab and has been for months and is doing very well. He actually is still living there and working so they continue to help him stay on the right path and for that I am truly thankful.