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Facilitator Preparation Program

The Courage & Renewal Facilitator Preparation Program is a two-year leadership and mentoring program for preparing facilitators to lead retreats and other programs based on the principles & practices of the Circle of Trust® approach. The Center for Courage & Renewal carefully prepares facilitators who have the qualities, capacities and skills required to hold and guide a process that allows people to engage their deepest hopes and fears in a community of shared exploration.

The facilitator’s role in a circle of trust is easily defined: to be first among equals in creating and protecting a space where everyone’s soul can feel safe. But that role is not so easily played. It requires grounding, training, mentoring and experience. Deeper still, a facilitator must understand the solemn responsibility that accompanies a work in which people are invited to make their souls vulnerable and promised that they will be done no harm.

—Parker J. Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life

The Center prepares facilitators to do in-depth work with all persons who wish to live and work more wholeheartedly and to act with courage and integrity. We also welcome facilitators who wish to work specifically in serving professions such as education, healthcare, religious life, and non-profit and community leadership.

In addition to planning and facilitating retreats, the facilitator plays a crucial role in introducing and establishing this approach in their community. Once prepared, facilitators find ways to create institutional and/or community partnerships from which to “grow” this work (i.e. they do not “work” for the Center). Thus, being a Courage & Renewal facilitator combines leadership and facilitation with responsibility for program development in the facilitator’s community or profession. Once an individual is accepted into the Facilitator Preparation Program s/he also joins other Circle of Trust facilitators around the U.S., in Canada and Australasia in a network called the Courage Collaboration. The Courage Collaboration is a resource and leadership-rich group that operates as a community of learning and practice with and for each other.

Watch this video to hear Parker Palmer discuss how facilitators offer the gift of safe space and transformation.

Steps To Becoming A Courage & Renewal Facilitator

North American Facilitator Preparation Program

  1. Prior experience with Courage & Renewal retreats: We have found that the more personal experience of this approach that a potential facilitator has, the better. Those interested in becoming facilitators will ideally have attended two or more Courage & Renewal retreats, one of which should have included a Clearness Commitee. Go to the retreat calendar.
  2. Attendance at a Gateway Retreat for Prospective Courage & Renewal Facilitators: The next Gateway Retreat will be held November 13-16, 2014. There is an application process for this retreat. For more information on this retreat go to this page and/or download the flyer, then register here for the Gateway retreat by July 18: Your confirmation email will contain additional information for submitting a complete application. You’ll be prompted to complete a personal statement in response to a few questions and to submit a brief vitae/resume.
  3. Apply for the 2015-2016 Facilitator Preparation ProgramDownload and read the flyer for the 2015-16 Facilitator Preparation Program. Then go to this link to register, which is your first step in the application process:  Details about the next steps are in the flyer. Applications are due by December 15, 2014. Selections made by January 10, 2015.
  4. If selected, participation in two 5-day facilitator preparation retreats, a year of mentoring with an experienced facilitator, and participation in an ongoing community of practice with cohort members and mentor facilitators. Dates for preparation retreats are March 18-22 and June 24-28, 2015.

Australasian Facilitator Preparation Program

Steps toward enrollment in this program are the same as above.

We will begin our second Australasian Facilitator Preparation Program in May 2014.

Also see our web page for Courage & Renewal in Australasia.

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