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About the Center for Courage & Renewal

Our mission
is to create a more just, compassionate and healthy world by nurturing personal and professional integrity and the courage to act on it.


Good work is done with heart as well as knowledge and skill, done with a depth of commitment that brings integrity and courage to the workplace. But workplace culture can make it risky to reveal our hearts. So we hide them – and sometimes lose them.

By supporting teachers, medical professionals, clergy and others who want to reclaim their hearts, we bring new life to them, their work, and the people they serve.

– Parker J. Palmer

Distrust, stress, isolation, and burnout are robbing society of what’s possible when people bring integrity and humanity to the places where they live and work.

As a result, we are losing competent and compassionate individuals in some of society’s most crucial roles—educating children, caring for patients, serving congregations, leading teams and organizations, and fostering civic community. The costs are substantial as once-committed people lose their sense of purpose and passion, grow disillusioned and disengaged, and eventually drop out.

To create a more just and compassionate world—and sustain the leadership we need for such a world —  we need more people who can work together to solve pressing, complex problems. Responsibility can no longer rest solely with designated leaders. It requires all of us to claim our leadership roles and responsibilities.

Courage & Renewal programs cultivate the heart and soul of leadership, encouraging people to “lead from within.” Courage & Renewal programs help people:

  • Lead and act with courage on their true callings
  • Develop trustworthy relationships
  • Cultivate practices to sustain themselves and inspire others for the long haul
  • Work together to transform the institutions they serve

The Center for Courage & Renewal and its growing global network of Courage & Renewal Facilitators help people lead lives of courage and integrity by offering online resources, in-person retreats and personal/professional development programs. Our Facilitators lead programs using the Circle of Trust® approach, based on the work of author and activist Parker J. Palmer.

See more about the Center’s history.

Read about courageous leadership in action

Shawn DoveHumble As A Lamb, Bold As A Lion!
Shawn Dove was managing the Campaign for Black Male Achievement and almost burned out. Then facilitator Estrus Tucker helped Shawn reclaim his passion. “The process transformed a fading spark in my heart into flame to answer the current leadership call on my life…” Read his story »

catalyst-herdleypaoliniOffering Antidotes to Physician Burnout
Herdley Paolini, Director of Physician Support Services at Florida Hospital, is tackling the crisis of physician burnout through Courage work. “I have physicians who…say, ‘This has changed my life. I was at the bottom. I could not think of practicing one more day, before I came to this retreat. I now feel renewed. And now my staff say they don’t recognize me.’” Read her story »


Kelly-CamakInspiring Students to Discover Their Gifts
Kelly Camak is an educational coach who’s using Courage & Renewal to help teachers inspire their students. “Such transformation happened because he was able to focus on his talents, and see how that applied to his work in a way that wasn’t academically intimidating. It was really powerful.” Read her story »

Courage to Lead Inspires a Shift

Sandra Copley was feeling totally disillusioned in her job with the Santa Barbara Public Health Department before Courage & Renewal changed her whole outlook on leadership. “I began to gently hold and nurture my role as a leader…And accept my worth as a unique force in the community. My paradigm shifted.” Read her story »

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