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The Courage & Renewal Academy for Leaders


Sustainable, courageous leadership hinges on your ability to know your own values and act on them. When you’re true to yourself, and true with others, that authenticity translates into trust. And trustworthy relationships translate into more effective, wholehearted leaders, teams and results.

The Academy for Leaders is a unique professional development program that will transform your leadership, helping you ignite your courage to lead from within.

Join like-minded peers from across all professions and take a deep dive into the heart of leadership. Through storytelling, reflection and facilitated discussions, you’ll have an opportunity to reflect on your work, renew your energy and passion for your cause, and strengthen your leadership within a community of practice.

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The Courage & Renewal Academy for Leaders is for you if…

  • You want to take your leadership to the next level and you’re game for the challenge of introspection toward self-growth.
  • You are rethinking how you want to offer your leadership to the world, whether you are in a new position, in transition, or hoping to renew your sense of meaning and purpose.
  • You would appreciate learning with a community of diverse leaders from across professional sectors to discuss the hard work of solving complex social issues.
  • You resonate with the Circle of Trust® approach and the ideas of Parker J. Palmer—or you see the potential and want to know more.

Academy for Leaders Program Agenda

The Academy will engage a 30-person cohort in a professionally facilitated three-part process that unfolds over six months. The Courage & Renewal Academy for Leaders is designed for and enhanced by the participation of people like you: experienced organizational and community leaders from diverse professions—including education, health care, business, public service, nonprofit, philanthropy, and religious life.

Retreat #1 will explore principles and practices that support authentic and courageous leadership. Over four days, you’ll experience and explore the Six Foundations of Trustworthy Leadership. Then you will focus your intentions by creating a plan to practice them in your life and leadership. We will also hold Clearness Committees. You’ll learn how to:

Click to Download "Six Foundations of Trustworthy Leadership"

  • Clarify your purpose and integrity through an ongoing inner journey
  • Ask honest, open questions and apply deep listening
  • Hold paradox and tensions in the face of complexity and uncertainty
  • Build trustworthy relationships in communities and organizations
  • Appreciate the value of “otherness”
  • Grow through seasons of personal, professional and organizational change

Monthly Peer Learning Circles Over the following six months, you will practice implementing that plan within the realities of your organizational/community roles. You will receive support through monthly Peer Learning Circle teleconferences in which groups of 4-5 participants provide opportunities for mutual sharing, listening and learning. Learn more about Peer Learning Circles.

Retreat #2 is when you’ll come back together with your close-knit, trustworthy cohort for a final four days. You will share your case stories, gather the collective wisdom of the group, affirm your learnings, and identify opportunities to further apply the Courage & Renewal approach in your life and leadership. We will also hold Clearness Committees.

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Get more details for each upcoming cohort:

2018 Academy for Leaders in PA 

Residential retreat I:  April 12 – 15, 2018
May—Oct:  Monthly facilitated Peer Circle teleconferences
Residential retreat II:  Nov 1 – 4, 2018
Cranaleith Spiritual Retreat Center – Philadelphia, PA

2018-19 Academy for Leaders in MN

Residential retreat I: October 25 – 28, 2018
November—March: Monthly facilitated Peer Circle teleconferences
Residential retreat II: April 25 – 28, 2019
Oak Ridge Hotel & Conference Center – Chaska, MN


Voices of Participants

See video stories from the earlier Academy for Leaders.

Is the Courage & Renewal Academy for Leaders the place for YOU? Click to learn more.