Our Goal

“Serve those who serve God”

Founded in 1977, the Intentional Growth Center (IGC) is a nonprofit organization that serves as a continuing education and renewal center for both clergy and laity. Located in the historic Atkins House, IGC designs and offers courses and growth experiences at picturesque Lake Junaluska in the mountains of Western North Carolina, and in other locations throughout the country. Approximately 16 seminars and workshops are offered each year and more than 1,500 participants benefit from sessions dealing with Bible studies, ministry skills, spiritual retreats, and personal growth.

The Atkins House is the historic second home of Bishop James Atkins, the first Superintendent of Lake Junaluska Assembly, which now houses IGC's offices. Located at 959 North Lakeshore Drive, this three story house retains the charm of the early 1900’s while being in the heart of the Assembly’s missional activity. Along with housing the offices of IGC, the Atkins House also provides comfortable bed and breakfast facilities and a meeting room for individuals, families, or small groups.

Learn more about the Atkins House


Located in the picturesque Lake Junaluska mountains of Western North Carolina, IGC serves as a continuing education and renewal center for both clergy and laity.


IGC offers numerous growth experiences, including dozens of seminars and workshops each year that serve more than 1,800 participants.


Our goal is to increase pastoral and congregational effectiveness in order to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Give to IGC

At IGC, we serve those who serve God.

IGC is able to provide continuing education and spiritual enrichment to clergy and laity thanks to support from generous donors like you. Your gifts allow us to train Interim Ministers, support youth as they become faithful members of the UMC, and develop new programs to address the ever-changing needs of the church and the world.

Support our mission

Our Team

Photo courtesy of David L. Davis.
Leslie Butters

Chief Operations Officer

828-452-2881 ext. 720


Leslie Butters
Melanie Gordon

Lead Consultant, Children’s Ministry and Faith Formation


About Melanie

Laurey-Faye Dean
Bailey Butters

Marketing & Communications Director


Bailey Butters
Bobbie Ammons

Atkins House Hostess


Book your stay at the Atkins House

Amy Ney

Road Scholar Program Coordinator

828-452-2881 ext. 384


Claude Kayler

About Claude

Chief Ministry Officer

828-452-2881 ext. 385


Get Updates

Subscribe to our email newsletter and be among the first to hear about our offerings for continuing education, renewal, and spiritual growth. We value your privacy and will not share your information. You can opt out at any time.

Subscribe Now

Want more info?

To learn more, please contact us and we'll be happy to provide more information about IGC's programs, workshops and opportunities.