As Shelterwood Executive Director, Rujon Morrison leads program operations, the team of Shelterwood Directors, intake assessments and much more. “Keeping an open mind is key,” Rujon says, “We can always get better, we can always create something more excellent as we face new challenges.” Meet Rujon Morrison, and discover how she leads Shelterwood’s work in transforming lives and restoring families.
What she loves most about Shelterwood: “I love working with young people. Whether it’s Healing for the Nations, our spiritual retreat for students, or our leadership development program for our Young Adult Mentors, I enjoy seeing these young men and women grow in character and maturity.”
Before Shelterwood: Rujon studied psychology, education, science, leadership and organizational development. She launched her career in education serving students with learning and behavior disorders, and also worked as an educational consultant in the Southeast for more than 10 years. She continued her work with adolescents, as the Educational Director at Georgia’s Brawner Psychiatric Institute, where she initiated inpatient program models and led the educational department. She later became the Institute’s Clinical Program Director.
After a serious car accident, Rujon’s eight-month-old child developed a seizure disorder. “All of this training set me up to be the mom of a special needs child,” Rujon says.
Rujon made a career change from secular mental health to a Christian model, serving as Clinical Program Director for a Christian hospital serving one of the nation’s largest juvenile court systems. With all of her experience and passion, Rujon enjoys consulting with other programs, guest speaking at conferences, writing and serving NATSAP (National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs) as Chair of the Best Practices Committee.
What brought her to Shelterwood: Rujon and her husband, Steven, left their corporate jobs and started Healing for the Nations, a retreat ministry. “After the recession, we both prayed and asked God what he wanted us to do,” Rujon says. In 2011, Jim Subers, a long time friend, had just been named Shelterwood President and CEO. Jim called and asked if Rujon would join him as the new program director. “He is really persuasive!” Rujon says with a laugh, “But we needed to pray about it. Jim invited us to see Shelterwood, and we fell in love. God provided clarity that we were called to serve youth here.”
Day in the life: As Executive Director, Rujon ensures that Shelterwood has an excellent program that brings long-lasting healing and change. Additionally, she leads the program’s team of directors. “Team building, creating an excellent program, that really brings long-lasting healing and change — that is paramount for me,” Rujon says. In addition to her focus on planning and team development, Rujon enjoys engaging with the students and their parents.
When she was a teen: Rujon began leading at a young age. From cheerleading to basketball, baseball, tennis and track, she was grateful to be very involved in high school. “I was busy. I was the good girl, but as the daughter of a psychiatrist, I could be mischievous at times.” she smiles. “I was really honored to be able to do everything I did.”
Family: Rujon and Steven have been married for 33 years and have six children. “We’re a blended family — yours, mine and ours,” Rujon says. Their oldest child is 47 and youngest is 31. They have enjoyed spending time with their eight grandchildren and the therapy community they have built through the years.
Outside work: “I can’t get enough of gardening and painting!” Rujon gardens in the Shelterwood garden and her own. She also cherishes traveling and visiting different members of her family.
Best part of her role at Shelterwood: “I love being part of growing people and seeing God move and work in their lives. It is meaningful to see everyone on campus really be challenged, discover more of who they are, grow in confidence and find their place in the Kingdom.”
Interested in learning more about the Shelterwood team? Explore more profiles here.