Skip to content »

Retreat and Small Group Leadership Training

October 1 - November 9, 2018

Instructor: Rev. Dr. Brenda K. Buckwell, Obl. OSB
Course Fee: $200.00 (includes 2 CEUs)

Times are changing!

We live in unprecedented time of nation, global, and community change. We live in an opportune time as the Spirit of God Awakens new possibility. A time when:

  • The Sunday School programs of Modernity no longer engage folks.
  • The need for safe space and holy listening skills are imperative to build community.
  • People live on the circumference of life and yearn for deeper connection.

Blaise Pascal, the 15th century philosopher and mathematician stated: “There is a God shaped emptiness within us that only God can fill."1 Through this class participants will discover tools for creating safe space, contemplative listening and seeing beyond the circumference of life in community to engage the true self. Techniques of Holy Listening and Storytelling, ancient and contemporary prayer practices and group spiritual direction will be experienced.

For successful completion of 2 CEUs students will:

  1. Post three insights and wisdom from readings and weekly presentations. Due each Wednesday
  2. Respond to two classmates postings weekly. Due each Friday
  3. Plan one (1) teaching outlines for small group experience of formation. Due Sat. Oct. 27, 2018
  4. Prepare and post one (1) outline for facilitating a spiritual life retreat. Due Sat. Nov. 3, 2018
  5. Share one (1) small group leadership experience online for this class.  Due Wed. or Fri. Nov. 7 or 9, 2018

The student will need the following to participate in this class:

  1. To sign up for Zoom.us for a video conference group. Simple instructions for sign up will be on the Moodle class site.
  2. Books: 
    1. Buckwell, Brenda. 2015. The Advent of God’s Word: Listening for the Power of the Divine Whisper. Woodstock, VT. Skylights Paths Publisher. ISBN #978-1-59473-576-9
    2. Prechtel, Daniel L. 2012. Where Two or three Are Gathered: Spiritual Direction for Small Groups. Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing. ISBN # 978-0-8192-2772-0
  3. Student will lead his/her small group teaching experience on Zoom for classmates. Sign up times will be on class Moodle site.

Rev. Dr. Brenda Buckwell, is an international educator; national retreat leader, author, spiritual director and coach who seeks to unleash the power of Christ empowering leaders and expanding awareness of God.  Brenda is adjunct faculty in spiritual formation at Ashland Theological Seminary and online for Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary and CenterQuest. With 20 years of practical application of spiritual direction, Brenda has expanded her skills to coaching through the International Coaching Federation to provide spiritual coaching for result oriented spiritual growth.  An ordained elder in the United Methodist Tradition, Brenda has served as local church pastor, co-founder of Hearts on Fire: The Fellowship of UM Spiritual Directors and Retreat Leaders and is founder of Living Streams Flowing Water, where she currently works.  Brenda received her online teaching certification from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.  Brenda is mother of two married children and grandmother “amma” of three grandchildren.  Two creative spiritual practices that she engages in frequently are swimming and ballroom dancing.

You can withdraw from the course in writing via e-mail to erin.moore@garrett.edu. Refunds will be provided according to this schedule:

  • Withdrawals received more than 45 days prior to the course's start date will receive 100% of the amount paid.

  • Withdrawals received between 44 to 30 days prior to the course's start date will receive 75% of the amount paid.

  • Withdrawals received between 29 to 16 days prior to the course's start date will receive 50% of the amount paid.

  • No refunds will be issued for withdrawals received 15 days or less before the course starts.

1 The full quotation: “What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself ” (Blaise Pascal, Pensees, trans. A. Krailsheimer [New York: Penguin, 1995], 10.148).