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Russ and Kandy Veenker


Russ has spent over twenty years of ministry with the Mountain Learning Center counseling families, couples, and individuals in the spectacular retreat environment of June Lake, California.


Russ has over thirty years of formal ministry experience having served as a youth minister, interim pastor, church-planting pastor, chaplain, church and para-church consultant, and conference speaker. Some of these ministry positions have been concurrent with his work at the MLC.

He is a graduate of both Dallas Theological Seminary and Fuller Theological Seminary with a special emphasis during his doctoral studies on the care, nurture, growth and development of clergy.  He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor (Board of Professional Christian and Pastoral Counselors).  He has ministered around the globe working with high impact church leaders as an Associate Staff Member with Christian Associates International.  He is a frequent speaker at clergy gatherings and is known for his academic and clinical expertise in the stresses and hazards of vocational ministry.  As a speaker and counselor he addresses many aspects of pastoral health including stress and burnout; self-care; depression; anxiety; sexuality; psycho-social developmental transitions; marriage/family development; and ministering to troubled individuals with personality disorders.

Kandy serves as the Executive Director of the MLC.  With an educational and vocational background in business, she directs the administrative, financial, and hosting aspects of the ministry.  Her creative and hosting gifts generate the gracious physical space for clergy clients to grow in an atmosphere of love and warmth.  She regularly accompanies and ministers with Russ in his travels when the grand-children’s schedule permits.

Russ and Kandy have been married for over thirty years and have two adult twin boys, Jeremy and Jason.

Over two thousand people have visited and been exposed to the ministry of the MLC.

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