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2017-18 Academy for Leaders in CA

Thursday, November 2, 2017 - Sunday, May 6, 2018

Mary & Joseph Retreat Center

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Retreat 1:
November 2 – 5, 2017
Monthly Calls:
December – April

Retreat 2:
May 3 – 6, 2018

Mary & Joseph Retreat Center
Rancho Palos Verdes, California
(45 min. from LAX Airport)

Tuition: $2,000* plus
Lodging & Meals: $650-$1250

*Reflects the $400 Early Bird discount if registered by September 6, 2017

(Financial aid and payment plans available)



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.

This program is for you if…

  • You need courage to bring your voice and integrity to your work—and would value not only new practices, but also a new way of being more present and resilient.
  • You want to take your leadership to the next level and you’re game for the challenge of introspection toward personal and professional growth, trusting it will also benefit those around you.
  • You are rethinking how you want to offer your leadership to the world, whether you are in a new position, in transition with your life and work, or hoping to renew your sense of meaning and purpose.
  • You would appreciate learning with a community of diverse leaders who want to bring their whole selves to the hard work of solving complex social issues.

"quote-LI have gained personal and professional insights because of the transformative learning experiences with my Academy for Leaders cohort and facilitators. The wisdom of every person engaging in this integral work has been profound.”
—Kathryn Byrnes, PhD, Mindfulness in Education Netwok Board President

Click to hear more testimonies from Academy alumni

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What to Expect

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.

The Process: The Academy will engage a 30-person cohort in a professionally facilitated three-part process that unfolds over six months.

  1. Retreat #1 will explore Courage & Renewal principles and practices that support effective 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 more fully practice them in your life and leadership. We will also hold Clearness Committees. You’ll learn how to:
  • Click to Download PDFClarify 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
  1. Monthly Peer Learning Circles: Over the following six months, you will practice implementing these intentions within the realities of your organizational/community roles. You and your fellow participants will receive support in five-member Peer Circles. Five facilitated Peer Circle teleconferences will provide opportunities for mutual sharing, listening and learning.
  2. 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.

Program Dates

Calendarorange200x200Residential retreat I: November 2 – 5, 2017
December—April: Monthly facilitated Peer Circle teleconferences
Residential retreat II: May 3 – 6, 2018

Both residential retreats open at 2:00 pm on Thursday with an optional meet and greet, followed by the first session at 3:00 pm. The retreats conclude with lunch on Sunday at noon.
Participants are expected to attend both retreats and participate in monthly calls.

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Costs & Registration

Single Room Double Room Commuter
Lodging & Meals*
$1250 $950 $650
Early Bird Tuition**
$2000 $2000 $2000

Tuition Early Bird discount available through September 6, 2017. After that, tuition is $2400.

Lodging & Meals rates based on the actual venue costs. Commuter rate includes meals only.

Air/ground travel costs are participants’ responsibility.

A $400 deposit secures your registration. Tuition plus lodging & meals costs are due after acceptance into the program. We are committed to fielding a diverse cohort of leaders to participate. To help make the program financially accessible, we can: set up payment plans for you and/or your employer; support your application for outside funding; and provide limited financial assistance from our scholarship fund.

To apply for financial assistance, complete our online form:
To set up a payment plan, call the Center at 206-466-2055.

Cancellation Policy: See here

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Meet Your Courage & Renewal Facilitators

Rachel Boechler, Ph.D., founder of OnPurpose Consulting, works in the education and non-profit sectors to assist leaders and organizations in transformational change efforts. As a teacher, leader, coach and consultant she supports individuals and organizations in operating from a place of integrity, core purpose and passion in order to realize their true potential. Rachel has over 25 years of experience in K-12 education, in addition to serving as a university professor and business leader. Rachel has been a Courage & Renewal facilitator since 2000 and served on the Center’s Board for seven years. Rachel finds joy in reading, early morning walks, yoga, the arts, and travel. She resides in Shorewood, WI with her husband Brian and their two rescue dogs, Zoe and Puck.

Kelly Camak Niccolls lives her calling for social justice through her work and faith. She leads circles and retreats for educators and young leaders as a facilitator for the Center of Courage & Renewal and is currently a school administrator supporting a school community facilitating meaningful student learning. Kelly lives in Washington State with her husband and son.

Rick Jackson, co-founder and Senior Fellow of the Center for Courage & Renewal, focuses primarily on developing programs for leaders and partnerships/special projects with kindred organizations. Rick has been facilitating Circle of Trust retreats since 1996 with people from a variety of backgrounds and professions. Rick consults and speaks with non-profit organizations and foundations on a range of topics, including sustaining the identity and integrity of teachers and leaders, community leadership development, and strategies to foster long-term social change. He was an executive with the YMCA for 25 years.

About Our Venue

Mary & Joseph Retreat Center is situated in an environment of serenity and natural beauty, with eight acres of beautiful gardens and a labyrinth located in a peaceful outdoor setting. Comfortable accommodations offer quiet space for reflective work. Located in LA County in Rancho Palos Verdes, the retreat center is easily accessible to travelers flying into Los Angeles International Airport.

5300 Crest Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 |

If you have questions about the Academy, please contact us at or call us at (206) 466-2055.flierdownload

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