Flourishing in Ministry Midwest Series: A Circle of Trust® Experience for Ministry Leaders

November 9, 2020 - November 10, 2021
Nov. 9-11, 2020 May 10-12, 2021 Each retreat starts at 3:30 PM and ends with lunch.
Offered by
$1500 for all three retreats $1400 if paid in full before first retreat
Siena Retreat Center

Because the concern about traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic, the dates of this series have been revised. It will now begin in November 2020. Applications are still being taken.
Nov. 9-12, 2020* (new beginning date)
May 10-12, 2021
Nov. 8-10, 2021* (new final date)
Each retreat starts at 3:30 PM and ends with lunch.


This is an invitation to step away from your daily work to explore your inner life, to reconnect with your calling and passion, and to join a global movement that believes that leadership begins from the heart of who you are. This is a different kind of leader development program. There are no assessments, instruments, or strategic planning workshops. Instead, the focus will be on building trustworthy relationships, with ourselves and the people in the circle, through a process that is intentionally ecumenical, cross cultural and multi-aged.

Flourishing in Ministry retreat series are a chance to be part of a group that includes both emerging (those in their first 10-15 years of ministry) and experienced leaders, coming together to cultivate a trustworthy experience of community. While we expect that the groups will have more emerging leaders, we welcome applications from those in any season of ministry. This program is rooted in the Circle of Trust® approach developed by Parker Palmer, led by trained facilitators (who are also experienced pastors and congregational leaders themselves) from the Center for Courage & Renewal.

The event series is underwritten by the Lilly Endowment’s Thriving in Ministry grant program. Rather than helping pastoral leaders build one-on-one relationships with experienced mentors, role models, and exemplars who have a slim chance of sharing the particulars of their ministry context, we will provide an experience/model of mutual mentoring based on our Circle of Trust® approach.

Flourishing in Ministry is for you if you are either an ordained/authorized minister/faith leader in a formal leadership role and any of these describe you.

  • You long for a space to reflect and renew.
  • You are going through a life or career transition, or wish to deepen your commitment to current settings/situations.
  • You long for a space that encourages an ‘undivided’ life where all aspects of your complex leadership identity are valued and welcome — including your ethnicity, gender, gender expression, age, denominational tradition, personality type (just to name a few).
  • You are feeling a sense of isolation and seek a trustworthy community of belonging or would like to expand your relational connections in community.
  • You care about thriving, vibrant, engaged and relevant communities of faith in the world.

These retreats are open to all authorized leaders (clergy, pastors, deacons, elders, etc.) in local congregations/faith communities. While most participants will identify within the Christian tradition, these circles will honor the important Courage & Renewal touchstone — speak your truth in ways that respect other people’s truth. Participants will be invited to share into the circle honestly – with their joys, concerns, doubts and curiosities. The focus will be on nurturing one’s own inner leadership and building supportive and trustworthy communities, honoring the spiritual wisdom tradition and theological language that emerges for each participant.

Reflection from a participant in a previous Courage & Renewal Retreat Series: 

“It is rare to find a place or space where you are able to truly share all of yourself – open, honestly, truthfully – without fear of judgment, or effect on your professional future.  And at the same time, make deep connections with other people who understand the struggles that are present for young clergy in this work.  It is a blessing to be able to bring all of yourself to a place and to have it be fully received and valued by those around you.”

Categories: Leadership  |  Retreats  |  Spiritual Direction