May 11, 2016 – May 14, 2016 all-day
Pendle Hill

Academy for Leaders: A 6-Month Leadership Institute by the Center for Courage & Renewal

Dates:  with Rick Jackson  –  April 14-17, 2016 & October 27-30, 2016, Plus monthly Peer Learning Circle calls

Location:  Bainbridge Island, Washington—IslandWood (near Seattle)

Dates:  with Gayle Williams  – November 10-13, 2016 & May 11-14, 2016

Location:  Pendle Hill, Wallingford, PA


“New leadership is needed for new times, but it will not come from finding more wily ways to manipulate the external world. It will come as we who serve and teach and lead find the courage to take an inner journey toward both our shadows and our light—a journey that, faithfully pursued, will take us beyond ourselves to become healers of a wounded world.”

–      Parker J. Palmer, Author, Activist, and Center for Courage & Renewal Founder


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.

The Academy for Leaders is a unique professional development program that will transform your leadership, helping you ignite your courage to lead from within.

The Academy for Leaders isn’t just for formal leaders. The Center for Courage & Renewal believes that the world needs a new kind of leadership, the kind that means having the wisdom and courage to see what is needed and do it. It means acting on your core values, engaging others to do the same as you work together to move common goals forward. It means bringing your whole self to the complex tasks of collaboration, education, healing and change.

Academy for Leaders photo

If you have ever asked yourself, “how can I contribute to something greater than myself?” you are a new leader.

The Courage & Renewal Academy for Leaders is designed for this new leadership. Imagine a trustworthy space where you are free to explore questions like: What do I offer the world? What inspires me, challenges me, and gives my life meaning? What are my strengths and limitations? How can I lead with compassion? How do I stay true in the midst of trials?

Join like-minded peers from across all professions and take a deep dive into the heart of leadership. Through storytelling, reflection and facilitated discussions, you’ll have an opportunity to reflect on your work, renew your energy and passion for your cause, and strengthen your leadership within a community of practice.

Lead authentically. Lead with integrity.

More information:  Academy for Leaders

Register at:  www.couragerenewal.org/academy


Retreats & Facilitation Services

Coaching & Consulting Services

Conflict Resolution & Mediation Services

Named one of the best courageous books of 2014 by the Center for Courage & Renewal, this book is for educational leaders who feel overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted, and offers explicit practices to help readers avoid burnout and become the mindful, poised, effective leaders they were meant to be. Loaded with real-time encouragement with portraits of educational leaders who are incorporating mindfulness practices, like attentive breathing, mindful walking about the school building, or calming pauses in the office throughout the school day, this book is a must-have guide.

Valerie Brown and Kirsten Olson. Corwin, December 2014. 344 pages.

The Road that Teaches: Lessons in Transformation through Travel.

Not your average travel guidebook, this book explores some of the world’s great pilgrimages, destinations, and the author’s reflections on the lessons she learned from them. Read this book to discover how travel can be transformational, how to be more mindful while traveling and every day, the adventures of traveling alone, the delights of encountering new people and places, ancient pilgrimage journeys and sacred travel worldwide.

Valerie Brown. QuakerBridge Media, 2012, 152 pages. Also available from QuakerBooks.

Heartfulness: Renewing Heart, Mind, and Spirit on Retreat and Beyond Valerie

Valerie Brown guides readers toward renewal of mind, heart, and spirit by encouraging them to take time away from the busyness of their lives through retreat. Drawing on her experience as a retreatant and retreat leader, she introduces readers to opportunities for personal restoration within a variety of focused retreats. She wonders how Friends experience of expectant waiting influences the retreat process and how retreats influence expectant waiting. She encourages the “big questions”—What has meaning and purpose in my life? What am I avoiding? What brings me most alive?—and offers specific practices for retreatants to cultivate in everyday life.

Valerie Brown. Pendle Hill Pamphlet #421.

Quakers are advised to begin worship by “centering down.” This is the first step in a Friend’s intention to wait in “holy expectancy,” to be drawn by the Light into communion with God. Centering prayer is also a practice used by Christian mystics to prepare for contemplation, and “centering” describes the meditation of a Buddhist in pursuit of that deep awareness called “mindfulness.” Valerie Brown is an explorer and teacher of centering practices, a Buddhist, and an active Friend. Drawing upon her own experiences and wide studies, she describes for Friends how these various traditions can offer us a better understanding and preparedness for our precious, elusive, mysterious, and simple practice of centering into worship. Discussion questions included.

Valerie Brown, Pendle Hill Pamphlet #407. 2014.