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Resources for Clergy and People of Faith

Welcome to our resource round-up, a virtual space we hope will equip you to take the foundations of courage and renewal work and apply them in your congregational or community setting.

Learn more about our Courage & Renewal programs for clergy and people of faith.

See all upcoming programs for clergy & people of faith.


Haven River Inn in Comfort, TX offers a FREE TWO-NIGHT STAY to full-time Christian clergy and their spouses per year. Mention Courage & Renewal when you book.

Featured Video

Parker Palmer describes the “tragic gap” as the gap between the reality of a given situation and an alternative realty we know to be possible because we have experienced it. In this video from The Work of the People, he speaks of Christianity as a spiritual path that requires us to stand in this tension with hearts open. Click the image below to view.

standing in the tragic gap

Curriculum for Clergy and People of Faith

Season of Civility resources. The Wisconsin Council of Churches, the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee and other partners sponsored a “Season of Civility” in 2012 and created a web page of great resources to supplement our Healing the Heart of Democracy work:

The Active Life Leader’s Guide (Kindle version only) (HarperCollins, 2011), based on the book of the same name by Parker J. Palmer, is available as a Kindle ebook for those interested in guiding a small group through this important work.

Practicing Spirituality with Parker J. Palmer is an e-course led by Fred and Mary Ann Brussat at Participants receive a daily email with a short passage from one of Parker’s books along with a suggestion from the Brussats on how to practice that thought during the day. (The live course ran from September 4th – October 13th, 2012 but archives are available.)

Writings on Spirituality from Parker J. Palmer

parker-blogParker J. Palmer—founder and Senior Partner of the Center for Courage & Renewal—is a lifelong writer, teacher, and activist on issues in education, democracy, leadership, community, and spirituality. He has published a dozen poems, some 200 essays, and nine books, including several best-selling and award-winning titles. A practical philosopher rooted in the Quaker tradition, Parker draws on a wide variety of faith traditions in his writing on spirituality, including Christianity, Judaism, Taoism, and humanism, among others. Learn more about Parker J. Palmer.

The links below go to You can also ask for these books at your favorite bookseller.


Parker-Palmer_Healing-the-Heart-of-DemocracyaltHealing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit (Jossey-Bass, 2011) by Parker J. Palmer. At a critical time in American life, Palmer looks with realism and hope at how to deal with our political tensions for the sake of the common good—without the shouting, blaming, or defaming so common in our civic organizations and faith communities today.


Parker-Palmer_Hidden-WholenessaltA Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life (Jossey-Bass, 2009) by Parker J. Palmer. Mapping an inner journey that we take both in solitude and in the company of others, Palmer describes the form of community practiced at the retreats and programs of the Center for Courage & Renewal. Defining a “circle of trust” as “a space between us that honors the soul,” he shows how people in settings ranging from friendship to organizational life can support each other on the journey toward living “divided no more.”


Parker-Palmer_Promise-of-ParadoxaltThe Promise of Paradox: A Celebration of Contradictions in the Christian Life (Jossey-Bass, 2008) by Parker J. Palmer. In this probing and heartfelt book, first published in 1980, Palmer examines some of the challenging questions at the core of Christian spirituality. How do we live with the apparent opposition between good and evil, scarcity and abundance, individuality and community, death and new life? We can hold them as paradoxes, not “either/ors,” allowing them to open our minds and hearts to new ways of seeing and being.


Parker-Palmer_Let-your-life-speak Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation (Jossey-Bass, 2000) by Parker J. Palmer. “Is the life I am living the same as the life that wants to live in me?” With this searching question, Palmer begins an insightful and moving meditation on finding one’s true calling. Sharing stories of frailty and strength, he shows that vocation is not a goal to be achieved but a gift to be received.


The Active Life: A Spirituality of Work, Creativity, and CaringParker-Palmer_Active-Life (Jossey-Bass, 1999) by Parker J. Palmer. The Active Life is a deep and graceful exploration of a spirituality for the busy, sometimes frenetic lives many of us lead. Telling evocative stories from a variety of religious traditions, including Taoist, Jewish, and Christian, Palmer shows that the spiritual life does not mean abandoning the world but engaging it more deeply through life-giving action. He celebrates both the problems and potentials of the active life, revealing how much they have to teach us about ourselves, the world, and God. For those interested in guiding a small group through this work, The Active Life Leader’s Guide (HarperCollins, 2011) is available as a Kindle download.


Parker-Palmer_To-Know-As-We-Are-Knownalt To Know as We Are Known: Education as a Spiritual Journey (HarperCollins, 1993) by Parker J. Palmer. This primer on authentic education explores how mind and heart can work together in the learning process. Moving beyond the bankruptcy of our current model of education, Palmer finds the soul of education through a lifelong cultivation of the wisdom each of us possess and can share to benefit others.


Parker-Palmer_Company-of-StrangersaltThe Company of Strangers: Christians & the Renewal of America’s Public Life (Crossroad Publishing Company, 1981) by Parker J. Palmer. In this award-winning book, Palmer offers a compelling vision of a disciplined inward search that strengthens our commitment to our communities. He reminds us that a truly profound spiritual life leads us toward the God who makes us a community.


Related Title on the Spirituality of Parker J. Palmer

Buy at Amazonalt40-Day Journey with Parker J. Palmer (Augsburg Books, 2008) by Henry F. French. Drawing from Parker J. Palmer’s published works, series editor Henry French selects 40 inspiring passages from Palmer’s writings that reflect Palmer’s spiritual journey and invites readers to explore their own spirituality under the guidance of scripture, prayer, and journaling.