New Creations Boarding School offers a Christian residential program for teenagers (boys & girls through age 18) and is located in Richmond, Indiana. New Creations has been serving families and investing in youth since 1969.
Founded by Tim and Bonnie Cummings, New Creations originally began as a traveling youth choir and church. In 1971, a residential program for youth was begun with the Cummings opening up their home to hurting youth. In 1976, New Creations moved to their present location at the intersection of 1-70 and U.S. 40, where they presently are located on a campus of 590+ acres (half in Ohio, half in Indiana).
Their campus includes several lakes, hiking trails, camping facilities, dormitories, cabins, gym, horse ranch, classrooms, sanctuary, staff housing, ball fields, cafeteria, game building, and much more.
My Personal Take
I have personally visited the campus six times since January 2007 (my most recent visit was in November of 2015) and have been quite impressed overall with the ministry. I have had tours of virtually all of their facilities – including the girls & boys dormitories, classrooms, gymnasium, church, riding stable, lake, horse trails, etc. – as well as eaten several times in their cafeteria with the students. The staff is genuinely dedicated to investing themselves into the teens they serve.
It’s not a huge boarding school – from the perspective of numbers – but they have a lot of potential with their facilities and the very scenic land which they own. It’s also relatively affordable, when comparing the monthly cost to similar styled residential programs. At the time of this writing, the monthly tuition/boarding cost at New Creations is around $2800. It’s definitely not “cheap” to run a facility like this, and they rely significantly on outside monetary and material donations to run everything and to keep student costs to a minimum.
The types of teens at New Creations – and they accept both boys and girls, though they keep the genders quite separated – range from your stereotypical “troubled teen” to teens with milder issues, such as those who may have been bullied at home or those who needed to be separated from friends that were being a negative influence. New Creations also welcomes international students as well as missionary children whose parents want them to spend their high school years in the States.
If you are searching for the right boarding school, probably your best bet will be to browse through the New Creations Boarding School blog and then schedule a campus visit. Do keep in mind that they are very much a Christian boarding school – not merely in name – and Christ is proclaimed in everything they do.
I’ve had the chance to speak with a number of their students and ask them blunt questions about life at the school and in the dorms. I’ve found the students to be at different stages in the program; some newer students were still in the adjustment phase, getting used to being in a new residential facility; students who had already been there several months were showing positive signs of improvement, with some having made significant changes in their lives and even taking leadership roles (which was very encouraging to me).
Many of the “alumni” attribute their time at New Creations (and usually credit some individual staff member being key to guiding them toward God) with a major turning point in their life. It’s awesome to see God at work in their lives.
What New Creations Boarding School Students Are Saying
“My name is Colette. I’m 16 and I have been at NCC for 15 months. The Lord has really moved in my life since I have been here. I came from a broken home that really didn’t mix well, and my mother was out of my life.
“I was reeking havoc in my household and hurting my family constantly. I was selfish, had no compassion, and didn’t know anything about serving people. I manipulated everyone and everything.
“Before I came to NCC, I had gotten saved, but my family wasn’t Christian so I couldn’t go to church and I really didn’t know anything about Jesus so the fire died.
“I knew I was doing wrong, but I had no tools to stop it. My dad made the decision for me to come here, and it was the best thing he has ever done for me.
“I was handed the opportunity to discover, experience and be chosen by the Lord, and I have definitely taken it. Jesus is teaching me compassion and servitude. I care for people and can actually love them. The relationship I have with my father gets better with every phone call.
The Lord has shown me where He wants me, and I have plans to graduate high school from NCC and then go into ministry to serve Him and the people of the world. I am so excited for what He has for me, and there is no other way that would have ever happened without the Lord moving through New Creations.”
Note: New Creations Boarding School closed July 2016. The founder and his wife, Pastor Tim & Bonnie Cummings, served troubled teens for 47 years.