• 26 Oct 2023 - 24 Aug 2024
  • Gull Lake, MI

Leading From Within: Nurturing the Heart of the Leader (A Seasonal Retreat Series)

This series of four seasonal retreats invite us to renew heart, mind, spirit, and explore the inner landscape of our lives. Together, we create confidential and courageous spaces for learning and growing together, in solitude and community.

Together, we will explore soul and role drawing upon the work of Parker Palmer in the retreat framework he originally created for Courage to Teach. This Circle of Trust® retreat is the immersive experience offered in the Courage & Renewal® approach. 

“The question we most commonly ask is the ‘what’ question – what ideas form the essence of teaching (leadership, living)? When the conversation goes a bit deeper, we ask the ‘how’ question – what methods and techniques are required to teach (lead, live) well?  Occasionally, when it goes deeper still, we ask the ‘why’ question – for what purpose or to what ends do we pursue teaching (leading, living)?  But seldom, if ever, do we ask the ‘who’ question – who is the self that teaches (leads, lives)?  How does the quality of my selfhood form or deform the way I relate to my colleagues, my work, my world?  How can institutions sustain and deepen the selfhood from which good teaching (leadership, living) comes?”
         ~Parker J. Palmer, in The Courage to Teach

Our Leading from Within Retreat Series consists of four seasonal retreats, each taking place from Thursday evening to Saturday noon. The retreats center around exploring our personal seasons of selfhood, vacation, life, and provide a gracious space to listen deeply to ourselves, to others, and to be listened to.  We create our circle through community and laughter, solitude and silence, rest and journaling, art, poetry, and a mindful immersion into nature.

There will be a Clearness Committee at each retreat after thorough instruction and preparation.


Fall Retreat:  October 26-28, 2023
Winter Retreat:  February 15-17, 2024
Spring Retreat:  April 11-13, 2024
Summer Retreat:  August 22-24, 2024


Check in 4:00 PM
Welcoming Reception 5:00 PM
Dinner 6:00 pm
Opening Circle 7:30 – 9:30 PM

Optional Silence in Community 7:30 AM
Breakfast 8-9 AM
Sessions 2 & 3: 9:00 – 12:00
Lunch 12:00 PM-1:00 PM
Rest and Reflection – 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Session 4:  3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Dinner:  6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Session 5 and Clearness Committee:  7:30 – 9:30 PM
9:30 PM – ? Laughter and relaxation in Community

Optional Silence in Community: 7:30 AM
Breakfast: 7:00 – 8:00 AM
Session 6 & 7:  9:00 AM – 12:00 PM


This retreat series will be held at the Kellogg Biological Conference Center and Manor House attached to the Kellogg Biological Station on the shores of Gull Lake on the ancestral land of the Potowatomi.  It is adjacent to the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, halfway between Detroit (135 miles) and Chicago (165 miles) and 16 miles from Kalamazoo, Michigan.  All retreatants will have their own small apartment.  The accommodations which are used by students and professors are spacious, but simple.

Cost of the retreat series is $300 deposit + 4 retreats @ $475 each = $ 2200.00

The deposit is nonrefundable after the retreat series begins.


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