California Christian Marriage Retreats

No matter how deep your struggles, our intensive California Christian marriage retreats offer a path to healing.

Upcoming California Christian Marriage Retreats

May 31- June 2, 2024

Los Angeles, CA

Registration $1495

Early Registration: $1395 before 4/30/24

Ayres Hotel Costa Mesa/ Newport Beach
325 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
$149 per night room rate (block)

Premier Venues for California Christian Marriage Retreats

Ayres Hotel, Costa Mesa/Newport Beach

This 4-star hotel is located in Southern California, in Orange County. Orange County is one of the most diverse and exciting destinations in the world, famous for its spectacular scenery and cool climate. Costa Mesa is known as the City of the Arts. Newport Beach is a top-rated destination choice, known for its beautiful stretch of sandy beaches. It’s easy to feel close to God and your spouse in this spectacular setting. It is the perfect place to experience ‘A New Beginning,’ an Intensive Christian Marriage Retreat.

Intensive California Couples Counseling Retreat Weekend

program begins friday at 7:00 pm and concludes on Sunday at 4:00 pm

An Introduction to the Retreat

A New Beginning Intensive Christian Marriage Retreat in California is designed for couples who are struggling in their relationship. Couples learn how to communicate their deepest feelings and needs in a safe, non-threatening environment.

When you attend our retreat, you are never asked to share details of your marriage with other couples. This confidential setting allows you to share only with your spouse and one of the marriage counselors or coaches.

Our emphasis on Biblical truth allows you to seek and grow closer to God over the weekend. Through the teaching, many couples realize that they have left God out of their marriage. We specifically address how to bring Jesus Christ into the marriage.

Couples are able to work through issues that have been blocking their relationship and heal past hurts. They learn how to appropriately convey their emotional upsets to their spouse. They also learn how to listen to their spouse’s hurt feelings and show understanding and empathy in a productive manner.

The couple leading the California weekends are both licensed counselors.

First Day - Laying Down the Foundations of Faith and Commitment

We begin every day of our California marriage retreat with worship and prayer, focusing on our Creator, God. We believe in laying a solid Biblical foundation for a healthy marriage. On Day One, we look at God’s plan for marriage and what went wrong. We examine the stages of marital decline and the root causes. 

Second Day - Improving Communication and Deepening Connections

Saturday begins with an exploration of our emotional needs and their importance in our relationship. We then explore emotions and how to appropriately share our upset feelings with our spouse. The next session focuses on empathy—listening, validating, understanding, and empathizing with our spouse’s upsets and hurts.

Furthermore, we will model and demonstrate what true Biblical forgiveness entails and how to achieve it, especially for the most significant hurts. Saturday evening will be dedicated to a major restoration project, during which most couples experience a profound level of healing.

During this time, you’ll have the opportunity to meet privately with one of our trained marital coaches or counselors. They will spend approximately 75 minutes with you to ensure success with the project.

Third Day - Crafting a Shared Vision for Your Journey Ahead

On Day Three of our California Christian marriage retreat, we assist you in developing a personalized plan for making attitude and behavioral life changes. We equip you with the necessary tools to take those crucial next steps toward a healthier, happier, and more godly marriage moving forward. During this day, we will closely examine the attitudes that need to change and focus on creating a plan for progress in specific areas, outlining how to accomplish these changes.

One of the key activities at our California intensive marriage retreat involves writing a heartfelt letter to your spouse, expressing appreciation and acknowledging their significance in your life. We will also explore what is required for success in your marriage and how to cultivate love and intimacy.

After completing our weekend marriage retreat in California, many couples share that they have experienced significant emotional reconnection. They have genuinely listened to their partner’s pain and understood them, often for the first time. Couples have been able to leave behind old grievances and are now prepared to move forward together, united in purpose. They have gained valuable tools for communicating on a deep and intimate level. Most importantly, many couples report feeling a renewed connection with God and a recommitment to their life and marriage in Christ.

 

The Distinctiveness of Our Retreat Approach

embracing authentic truths

Discover practical, proven Biblical tools for your marriage, along with a process that can restore your feelings of affection for each other, bring lasting change, and make your marriage loving again. Jesus Christ can help us as we restore and strengthen our relationship. Regardless of your beliefs or where you are spiritually, you are welcome in this safe, non-judgmental retreat.

experiencing genuine renewal

You’ll gain practical tools and relationship skills that help you improve communication, understand each other’s needs, and find practical ways to meet them. This will minimize frustration and enable you to experience greater fulfillment in your relationship.

gaining insightful realizations

You’ll gain insights and understanding to accept each other’s differences and learn how to leverage those differences to create more harmony and closeness in your relationship. 

Gain insights from marriage facilitators, coaches, and counselors who are not only serious and focused on problem-solving but also real, engaging, transparent, and fun. They share personal examples that you can relate to and provide tools that you can readily apply. Gain invaluable insights into the attitudes and actions that restore love and rejuvenate your marriage.

Tailored Confidential Assessments for Your Marriage

Every couple has the opportunity to meet privately with our trained marriage counselors or coaches while working through the major restoration project. The counselor or coach spends about 75 minutes helping and guiding the couple as they address and heal hurts in their relationship.

Prior to coming, every person completes the Marriage Inventory Questionnaire, which is analyzed and reviewed by the team leading the weekend.

Discovering Retreats Beyond California

Restore Your Marriage and Make It Loving Again

Real Stories from Real Californian Couples

Before this weekend, I needed to validate my feelings by dredging up the past like a "trump card" in every argument. Through a series of financial infidelities I had lost all trust for my husband and had lost all hope that this marriage could be saved. Since God led me to this retreat, I feel that we have now created the foundation we wished we had to begin with. Amazing weekend!
Audrey
Married 8 years
This was a wonderful weekend for us as we have been happily married for 23 years and struggled the last one and a half years. We had lost connection due to expectations of family, work, health, life. We were taking each other for granted. This encounter really helped us to refocus on each other and God in our life and marriage. It helped us to reconnect and renew our marriage and friendship.
Loch
Married 24 years
I would highly recommend this program to newlyweds, prior to needing intervention. I think if we had known the content of the program earlier in the relationship we may not have ended up where we are now. These are great tools and I will definitely recommend it to other Christian couples.
Francis
Married 2 years

Preparing for a Transformative Retreat Experience

To enhance the quality of your experience at our Christian marriage retreats in California and ensure your readiness for the weekend, there are several important steps you can take to maximize your success:

  • Take care of any loose ends now that could potentially distract you from fully engaging in the weekend. Complete any pending projects, delegate tasks, and communicate with friends and family to inform them of the dates you will be unavailable.
  • Keep your focus – We recommend a “media fast” for the weekend. Please refrain from bringing your laptop or iPod and limit the use of your cell phone. If you must stay in contact with loved ones, kindly request that they only call in case of emergencies.
  • Avoid Conflict – Avoid sensitive discussions about marital issues. Give each other some space.
  • Prioritize rest and get to bed early this week to ensure you are more resourceful during the weekend. The Marriage Renewal Weekend is an intensive marriage restoration experience, with each day filled with instructional sessions and private interactive projects and exercises.
  • Dedicate time for prayer and seek God’s guidance in your life and marriage as you embark on this journey.
  • Approach the weekend with an open mind, a teachable spirit, and a willingness to actively participate and learn.
  • Reduce stress by planning your travel time to the retreat. Leave early and arrive ahead of time to minimize stress and ensure a smooth transition.

Meet Your Retreat Leaders

Cornerstone was founded by Roy & Sue Milam in 1995. They have been married for 35 years. They share a passion for restoring marriages and helping couples build strong marriages and family relationships. Roy Milam has a Master's degree in counseling, is a Marriage and Family Pastoral Counselor and an Ordained Minister. He authored "The Truth About Divorce".

Sue Milam is also an Ordained Minister with a BS degree in Organizational Communications. She is trained in Counseling and Transformation Prayer Ministry. They have 3 grown children together and 2 from Roy's previous marriage, as well as a granddaughter.  Through their Christian Marriage Retreats, they have taught hundreds of weekends and have taught thousands of couples how to heal the hurts in their relationship, resolve conflicts and live together in oneness and unity. They live in Conroe, Texas.  

Four speaker couples work with Roy and Sue:


Andy and Donella Cecrle reside in Santa Ana California. Andy is a licensed professional counselor in the State of Texas and is an Ordained Minister. Donella has a Masters in Social Work and has served as CEO of a non profit organization. Both are passionate about helping couples restore and heal their relationships. They have helped hundreds of couples find renewal in their marriage. They have 2 adult children.

Dave and Sue Nofziger reside in Defiance, Ohio. Dave has a Masters in Counseling  and Theology and is an Ordained Minister and licensed Social Worker and has been a Pastoral Counselor for over 35 years. Dave is the director of Hope Alive Counseling Services and is the author of "Brain Washed, Transforming your Self Image through the Amazing Love of God". They have 2 grown daughters and 3 grandchildren.

Todd and Erin Stevens are a dynamic couple, with Todd serving as Senior Pastor at Mt. Vernon Church in Columbus, Mississippi, while Erin has excelled in her role as Executive Director of a Non Profit, with Todd holding an MBA. Together, Todd and Erin Stevens lead marriage workshops, co-authored the book "How to Pick Up a Stripper," and are dedicated to helping couples strengthen their relationships. They have three sons, with one still living at home.

Philip and Elizabeth Varjas have served together in Cornerstone Ministries since 2003. They have taught numerous marriage classes, retreats and seminars. Philip and Elizabeth have been counseling couples from their church for over 20 years. They live in Houston, Texas and have 2 adult daughters and a son still at home.

The leaders of the weekends do not practice as therapists or diagnose mental health diseases or disorders. If you are suffering from addiction it is best to get into treatment before attending our programs.

Strengthening California's Christian Marriages


Our Mission

We desire to see marriages that are strained and hurting brought back to health, intimacy, love, and trust. We aim to help couples restore and strengthen their marriages, building them and their families on the timeless truths of Jesus Christ and the Bible, alongside the latest research on marital relationships. Our goal is to make our services accessible to everyone who wishes to restore and fortify their marriages, not just for themselves but for future generations as well.

Our Vision

We envision husbands, wives, and families across our nation—once hurting, broken-hearted, and discouraged—being healed, restored, and strengthened in their marriages. We see couples equipped to relate to each other more happily, lovingly, and intimately, in line with God’s plan for marriage. We witness couples transformed by God’s Spirit, love, and truth, strengthened in their faith and growing closer to God and each other.

Our Strategy

Healing Hurting Marriages: Our strategy for healing hurting marriages includes hosting Christian couples retreats in California, offering intensive weekend retreats, providing faith-based counseling, and creating online programs. We focus on addressing spiritual, interpersonal, and relational issues, complemented by a four-session follow-up program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Currently, our retreats are held in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, near Los Angeles.

Absolutely. Regardless of your current faith journey, you are welcome. Our retreats are non-denominational, grounded in biblical truth. We welcome participants from all Christian denominations.

We believe in the transformative power of Jesus Christ to strengthen and renew relationships. Jesus said, ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ (John 10:10). Through this and other Scriptures, we guide couples to understand and apply biblical principles to overcome their challenges and enhance their lives together.

Absolutely, engaged couples, as well as couples living together, are welcome to attend our weekend intensive retreat.

Our Cancellation and Refund Policy for the couples intensive counseling retreat in California: Your registration fee is refundable, minus a $50 per person processing fee, provided it is canceled in writing at least 30 days prior to the Marriage Renewal Weekend you are registered for. Registrations made or canceled less than 30 days prior to the event are not refundable for any reason.

However, your registration will be transferred to another Marriage Renewal Retreat (costs for lodging and meals not included), within one year of the date of the retreat you were originally registered for. Please understand that while our mission at Cornerstone Marriage & Family Ministries is a Christian one, we are obligated to operate in accordance with business practices just as businesses are. In order to serve our clients, we make advance commitments to secure adequate meeting and lodging space, support personnel, counselors, program materials, and resources.

Please understand that this is not intended to be in any way uncaring or harsh. Still, it is a business reality that the ministry is obligated to, and one we ask you to accept when registering for an event. Thank you for understanding and agreeing to these terms.

Our Cancellation and Refund Policy: Your registration fee is refundable, minus a $50 per person processing fee provided it is cancelled in writing at least 30 days prior to the Marriage Renewal Weekend you are registered for. Registrations made or cancelled less than 30 days prior to the event are not refundable for any reason. However, your registration will be transferred to another Marriage Renewal Retreat (costs for lodging and meals not included), within one year of the date of the retreat you were originally registered for. Please understand that while our mission at Cornerstone Marriage & Family Ministries is a Christian one, we are obligated to operate in accordance with business practices just as businesses are. In order to serve our clients, we make advance commitments to secure adequate meeting and lodging space, support personnel, counselors, program materials and resources. Therefore, we simply cannot make exceptions to our cancellation policy, but must adhere to this policy without exception, including emergencies. Please understand that this is not intended to be in any way uncaring or harsh, but it is a business reality that the ministry is obligated to, and one we ask you to accept when registering for an event. Thank you for understanding and agreeing to these terms.