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Are you a newcomer to Courage & Renewal? Would you like to lead a more authentic, wholehearted life or perhaps renew your passion and purpose for your life’s work… or get clarity about what gives your life and work deeper meaning?  You’ve come to the right place.

You can sample from the many online resources to see what Courage & Renewal is all about and to learn more about the Circle of Trust approach. From here, you can explore Parker Palmer’s teachings, read about the Center’s actions and impacts, and gather inspiration to lead a more courageous life.

Connect Who You Are with What You Do

“I want my inner truth to be the plumb line for the choices I make about my life —about the work that I do and how I do it, about the relationships I enter into and how I conduct them.”
— Parker J. Palmer

Watch a video with Parker

Do you want to show up in your life’s work with more of your true self? If you’re able to do that, you’ll likely become more fulfilled in the work you do, and also serve the people you want to serve better. Here is our founder, Parker J. Palmer, talking about the very foundation of Courage & Renewal work, which is the idea of living “an undivided life.”


Get Inspired

Here is a variety of free resources to help you explore how to live and work with courage and integrity:

  • Learn from Parker J. Palmer’s writings, speeches and podcasts
      • Here’s a sample podcast: Standing in the Tragic Gap
        What does it mean to stand in the “tragic gap,” the gap between the difficult realities of life and the knowledge of what is possible? In this podcast, Parker Palmer speaks about the tragic gap, and about the importance of having a capacity to stand in it, especially for those who want to help make this a better world.

  • Subscribe to our monthly Words of EnCOURAGEment newsletter
  • Join us on Facebook and Twitter. Also follow Parker on Facebook.
  • Enjoy the Courageous Quotes Library:  In case you didn’t notice, each time you click on a different page in our website, a new quote appears in the top corner (or at the bottom on our mobile web).

Create a Trustworthy Community

Learn How to Create a Circle of Trust — Read “A Hidden Wholeness”

Parker J. Palmer’s book A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life is the DIY manual for learning how to create the safe conditions of a circle of trust where small groups gather in community or professional settings to explore questions of vocation, life and authentic leadership.*


*For larger groups or extended programs (such as retreats), a skilled facilitator is important. Learn more about facilitators.

If you liked A Hidden Wholeness, try another book in our collection, such as Let Your Life Speak, The Courage to Teach, or Leading from Within.

Reading A Hidden Wholeness is a good first step until you are ready to attend an in-person retreat experience.

Then check out Courage & Renewal programs for Life & Work.

Explore What Makes the Circle of Trust Approach So Unique

The practices and principles of the Circle of Trust approach guide all our programs, workshops and consulting practices.  While you may see these elements in other programs, our unique combination of these principles and practices can transform the way you relate to other people in your life, your work and your community.

principles-poster600Here’s a poster PDF that summarizes the Courage & Renewal principles. These form the foundation of the Circle of Trust approach that you will experience at any program or retreat.

Get a Taste of Profound Discernment: The Clearness Committee

One of the most unique experiences you’ll have at a Courage & Renewal retreat is the Clearness Committee. A two-hour discernment process developed by the Quakers, it is a method that helps us hear our own inner wisdom while drawing on the wisdom of other people.

The Clearness Committee can help you to learn the value of asking open, honest questions, to experience how everyone has an inner teacher, and to see what happens when we commit to the ideas of no fixing, advising, saving or correcting one another.

Read Parker’s Guidelines for the Clearness Committee.

In this video, Stephen Lewis, a Courage & Renewal facilitator and board member, talks about the power of good questions and a community that knows how to pose them.

Meet People Who Are Leading Courageous Lives

Meet past participants and see how they transformed their lives, relationships, organizations, schools and congregations by implementing Courage & Renewal practices.

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 »

catalyst-amy-web350From Good to Great in the Classroom
Amy Swenson talks about the remarkable power of trustworthy relationships between students and teachers, and how Courage & Renewal helped her see that. “For the first time she saw her students as human beings, not as the subject matter. ‘I had shown up in my teaching, and as a result, my students did as well. Now as I open up and tell them my stories, they do the same.'” Read her story »

Develop Five Habits of the Heart

“If We the People are to help heal our ailing democracy—and if we do not, who will? —we need to develop five crucial habits of the heart.”
— Parker J. Palmer, Healing the Heart of Democracy

Habits posterDrawing on Parker Palmer’s latest book, we’ve compiled a variety of online resources including videos, blogs, writings and guides, to help you cultivate the habits of the heart.

Get Courage & Renewal in Person

“If we are willing to embrace the challenge of becoming whole…we cannot embrace that challenge all alone, at least, not for long; we need trustworthy relationships to sustain us, tenacious communities of support, if we are to sustain the journey toward an undivided life.”

— Parker J. Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness

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The best way to learn about what it means to live with courage and integrity is to participate in our programs. Many of our facilitators offer short retreats, workshops and inexpensive options open to people from all walks of life.