Intensive Counseling for Lasting Change

Our accredited counselors have decades of experience in Biblical Counseling for complex, personal struggles.

Twelve Stones is a non-profit Biblical Counseling Ministry

that specializes in 3-day Intensive Counseling Retreats that equip people to create lasting change.

Years of Ministry



Individuals Served

Apprentices Trained in Biblical Soul Care

Our Counseling Philosophy

We exist to provide compassionate and Christ-centered counseling in community to the most hurting.

Our vision is to return soul care to the church by providing Christ-centered crisis counseling, heart changing resources, and replicating transformative intensive counseling around the world.

Our Values

Here’s what we believe:


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Christ Centered

We believe lasting change is relational, not mechanical or formulaic. Therefore, only through a personal and abiding relationship with Christ can someone experience life transformation. Connecting and deepening a counselee’s understanding and experience of this relationship is at the core of our counseling.

Biblically Based

We believe that as a result of our sinfulness we are all incapable of seeing or living our lives as we should. Therefore, God has graciously provided revelation and direction through His Word so we can see and live as He intended. For more information on the Biblical Beliefs Guiding our Counseling, click here.

Spirit Directed

We believe life transforming counsel is more than an exchange of information or implementation of new practices. Therefore, we depend on the Holy Spirit to direct, illuminate, and empower both our counseling and application of it to a counselee’s life.

Community Connected

We believe God created us to be dependent on Him and interdependent on one another so that struggles are shared not hidden. Therefore, God’s primary place of transformation is embedded in the local church. Inviting advocates into the counseling help us build deeper community and a bridge back to the referring church.

Intensive Focused

We believe we live in a fragmented and distracted world which makes it difficult to slow down and deal with heart issues. Therefore, we believe that unplugging from the usual hustle and bustle of daily life to have an unrushed, yet focused time for counseling can often be the catalyst for change.

Identity Anchored

We seek to ascribe God-given worth and intrinsic value to all people. Therefore, at the heart of our counseling is a passion for unpacking what God’s Word says about a person’s identity.

Our Team

During your retreat, you get partnered with a well-trained, experienced Biblical Counselor with an advanced degree in counseling.

Scott O’Malley

Scott O’Malley

Executive Director

Scott has been with Twelve Stones since 2007. He holds a Masters in Biblical Counseling and is certified with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. He and his wife Tara were married in ’92 and have 8 children, one of whom is adopted.

Wendy Mattner

Wendy Mattner


Wendy holds a Masters in Counseling. She has over 20 years of experience as a biblical counselor, teacher, and guidance counselor. She and her husband Jeff were married in 1982 and have three married daughters and 9 grandkids.

Craig Mercer

Craig Mercer


Craig is originally from Northern Ireland but has been with Twelve Stones since 2010. He holds a Masters in Biblical Counseling. He and his wife Lisa have been married since 2003.

Andy Woodall

Andy Woodall


Andy has been in Pastoral Ministry and Biblical Counseling for over 20 years. He holds a Master of Divinity Degree and is currently the Pastor of Counseling at Chapel Pointe in Grandville, MI. He and his wife Julie have been married since 1994 and have 4 children.

Dennis Gruening

Dennis Gruening


Dennis has a Masters in Biblical Exegesis and is certified with the Association of Biblical Counselors. He has been with Twelve Stones since 2018. He and his wife Deanna were married in 2003 and have 3 kids. In May 2021, Dennis and his family relocated to his native country to replicate Twelve Stones in Germany.

Garrett Higbee

Garrett Higbee


Garrett is the President and Founder of Twelve Stones Ministries. He earned a Psy. D. in 1990 and was saved two years later. He specialized in marriage and family therapy before trusting Christ and His Word for all things related to counseling. He has been a teacher and trainer in
biblical counseling for over 25 years. He and his wife Tammy have three children. In the Fall of 2022, Garrett and Tammy launched an extension site of Twelve Stones in Westfield, IN that focuses exclusively on leader care. Learn more at

Mark Schuitema

Mark Schuitema


Mark has been in full time ministry for over 20 years, working with CRU and serving as a pastor at two different churches. One of his responsibilities was overseeing adult discipleship which included biblical counseling, congregational care, and small groups. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Religion, Theology, and Philosophy as well as a Masters in Student Affairs Administration.  Mark is also working on completing a counseling certificate from the CCEF School of Biblical Counseling. He and his wife Emily have been married since 1999 and have 4 children.  


If you’d like to grow in your ability to care for the most hurting around you, we offer a six week, on-campus apprenticeship program designed for people just like you.

During those six weeks, you’ll observe approximately 100 hours of counseling with us and take part in one-on-one mentoring by one of our counselors. The apprenticeship may be completed all at once or over a three-year period to fit your needs and schedule.

Please download our Apprenticeship Manual for more detailed information.

Are you ready for the apprenticeship?

Gain Hope for a different Future

Here’s how:

Step One:

Book Your Retreat

You don’t have to walk through your struggles alone. Apply for a retreat and begin your path to healing.

Step Two:

Attend Your Retreat

Join us at our restful retreat center for three days of in-depth counseling. Here, you’ll experience a deep relational connection with your counselor, freedom from distractions, and focused time for careful assessment, Biblical insight, and practical planning for a brighter future. You’ll bring an advocate with you, who will help you implement your plan when you go home, so you feel supported long after your retreat.

Step Three:

Move Forward With Hope

Return home with renewed hope and a clear path forward. We’ll equip you and your advocate with resources and help you follow a practical plan to continue the work you started at Twelve Stones.

Free Download

Three Signs an Intensive Counseling Retreat is Right for You

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