The Becoming a Transforming Church® Retreat

Equipping You to Cultivate a Community of Spiritual Transformation

Designed for pastors and leaders who long for their churches to become centers for spiritual transformation.

November 1-3, 2021

Chicagoland area

In this retreat, leaders will …

  • Catch the Vision

    of what it means to be a transforming church

  • Learn from the Experiences

    of pastors who are leading transforming churches

  • Develop Strategic Approaches

    for spiritual formation that work in your setting

  • Experience Transforming Worship

    and why it is essential to the vision

Sessions and Themes

  • Life Together in Christ:  A Vision for Transforming Church
  • A Practicing Community:  Living from the Center Out
  • A Sabbath Community:  Living in Shared Rhythms of Work, Rest and Renewal
  • A Worshipping Community:  Embracing the Eucharistic Life
  • A Reconciling Community:  Participating in God’s Heart for Justice in our World
  • A Discerning Community:  Pursuing God’s Will Together
  • A Missional Community: Discovering an Integrated Approach to Formation and Mission in the Church

Become a community in which people experience transformation just by being a part of it.

"Spiritual transformation is central to the message of the gospel and therefore central to the mission of the Church … and yet people are not routinely experiencing transformation in and through their churches."

—Ruth Haley Barton

This retreat will contain teaching and presentations, rhythms of fixed-hour prayer, solitude and community, stimulating conversations with other leaders about best practices and costly mistakes, guidance for discerning next steps in your setting, and opportunities to make connections with others in your region and/or denomination.

Designed for those currently in senior leadership roles

  • Senior pastors/clergy
  • Executive pastors
  • Members of your church’s decision-making body
    (elders, deacons, vestry, session, consistory)
  • Executive leaders of Christian organizations
  • Denominational leaders

Senior pastors are encouraged to attend with other members of their senior leadership group.


Topics and Schedule*

Monday through Wednesday, November 1–3, 2021

Includes healthy refreshments and all meals noted in the schedule. Please, no technology or recording during teaching or prayer sessions. Download PDF of schedule.
*Schedule subject to change

12:00 pm: Arrival and Check-in

1:00 pm: Life Together in Christ: A Vision for Transforming Church


3:00 pm: A Practicing Community: Living from the Center Out


5:00 pm: Evening Prayer

5:30 pm: Dinner

7:00 pm: A Sabbath Community: Living in Shared Rhythms of Work, Rest and Renewal


8:45 pm: Night Prayer / Great Silence

8:00 am:  Morning Prayer/Break Silence

8:20 am: Breakfast

9:00 am: A Worshipping Community: Reclaiming Sunday Services as a Primary Transformative Experience


10:45 am: A Reconciling Community: Participating in God’s Heart for Justice in Our World

12:15 pm: Mid-day Prayer

12:30 pm: Lunch

1:00 pm: Solitude, Rest, and Reflection

5:00 pm: Evening Prayer

5:30 pm: Dinner

6:30 pm: The Deeper Conversation—Elective Opportunities (see below)


8:15 pm: Night Prayer

9:00 pm: Reception and Conversation (in teams)

8:00 am: Morning Prayer

8:20 am: Breakfast

9:00 am: A Discerning Community: Pursuing God’s Will Together


10:45 am: A Missional Community: Integrating Formation and Mission in the Church 

12:00 pm: Leaving Service

1:00 pm: Departure

Breakouts to “Go Deeper” on Key Aspects of Transforming Church

Choose one of several practical break-out sessions on key aspects of becoming a community for spiritual transformation. Taught and facilitated by alumni and friends of the Transforming Center, you will be able to learn from their ups and downs, their best practices, and the hard-won wisdom gained from painful mistakes. If you are coming with your team, we encourage you to split up in order to take advantage of the variety of topics available, and then reconvene to share your learnings.

The Deeper Conversation: Elective Opportunities

  • The Critical Journey: Understanding and Resourcing Stages of Faith
  • Fostering Transforming Community In and Through Small Groups
  • Got Resilience? One Church’s Journey—the Ups, the Downs, and Everything in Between
  • Planning Transforming Worship Services
  • Spiritual Formation with Children and Young People
  • Translating Spiritual Formation in an Urban Environment
  • A Baptist Pastor's Journey with His Gay Son



The Becoming a Transforming Church Retreat will be held at the Q Center in the Chicagoland area. Q Center is nestled on 95 beautiful acres along the Fox River in St. Charles and is accessible to the two Chicago airports, O'Hare and Midway.

Q Center
1405 N 5th Ave.
St. Charles, IL 60174


All sessions will be held at Q Center. Accommodations will be provided by Q Center. The cost of the accommodations and all meals is included in the retreat price.


“The church is like a swimming pool in which all the noise comes from the shallow end. But most of the wisdom is to be found in the deep end, among those who have taken the time and cultivated the habits and disciplines to learn to swim in deeper waters. If we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, then we need the kind of sustained learning that leads us into the deep end of the pool.”

—W.H. Vanstone, Anglican Theologian


The goal of this retreat is to support your ongoing journey of transforming leadership
and to equip you to lead your own community to become a transforming church.

Super Early Bird Rate
Available until May 31, 2021

Private room (2 nights) and five meals, Monday dinner through Wednesday breakfast ($400)

Refreshments throughout

All materials included

Total Cost: $725

Early Bird Rate
Available until July 30, 2021

Private room (2 nights) and five meals, Monday dinner through Wednesday breakfast ($400)

Refreshments throughout

All materials included

Total Cost: $775

Regular Rate
Available until September 10, 2021

Private room (2 nights) and five meals, Monday dinner through Wednesday breakfast ($400)

Refreshments throughout

All materials included

Total Cost: $825

In-Person Team Discounts

This retreat is most effective if you come with your leadership team.

  • Receive a $75 per person discount when you register 3 or more from your church or organization.
  • Receive a $100 per person discount when you register 5 or more team members.

Note: The registration form will calculate the discounts based on the number of people you register.

Questions? Contact transforming church administrator Dalene Strieff or call her at (630) 588-8133 ext. 303 during regular business hours.

Click here to view our cancellation policy.

If it is necessary to cancel a registration for a retreat, please provide as much advance notice as possible so the Transforming Center can offer the available space to another retreatant. Registration fees cannot be transferred to another retreat.

If a request for cancellation is received thirty (30) or more days prior to the start date of a retreat, a refund of the retreat cost minus a $50 administrative fee will be issued.

If a cancellation request is received less than thirty (30) days prior to the start of a retreat, 45% of the program cost will be refunded.

No refund will be given if a retreatant leaves early or arrives late. Out of consideration for others on the waiting list, please make a commitment to attend the entire retreat.

Please note that the Transforming Center cancellation policy does not apply to the nine Transforming Community retreats.  Upon acceptance into a two-year Transforming Community, the commitment to pay for the entire community experience—whether present or absent at any of the nine retreats—is understood.

If you have questions or would like further assistance to register for a Transforming Center retreat, please contact us at (630) 588-8133 or for more information.

Virtual Options for Teams

Getting your team away on a retreat is the best way to maximize your experience, but we are making a virtual option available. Online registration includes simulcast of plenary and breakout sessions.

If you have an questions about how to host a virtual event for your leaders in your setting, please connect with Charity Barton McClure via email or by phone at 630-588-8133 ext. 309.

Want to think through your virtual event?
Download our virtual retreat schedule to help you make the most of the experience.

What Is a Transforming Church?

A transforming church is a community of men and women gathered around the presence of Christ for the purpose of spiritual transformation so they can discern and do the will of God. As a community, they affirm that being conformed into the image of Christ for the sake of others is central to the message of the gospel and therefore central to the mission of the Church.

A transforming church is cultivated intentionally by leaders committed to an ongoing process of transformation in their personal lives and in their congregations. Becoming a transforming church is not primarily about programs; it is a culture shift that emanates from the leadership center, resulting in the ability to develop strategic alignment and focus.

“That we may present everyone mature in Christ… for this we toil and struggle with all the energy he powerfully inspires within us.”

Colossians 1:28–29

Travel Information & Directions

Q Center

1405 North Fifth Avenue, St. Charles, IL 60174

St. Charles is approximately 45 miles west of downtown Chicago.

If you are looking for a transportation service outside of Uber, Lyft, or a car rental, A-1 Airport Limousine is a preferred vendor of Q Center. They offer ride shares to minimize costs, as well as solo rides.

A-1 Airport Limousine Service, Inc.

Schedule via online portal


1-800-354-5849 or

1-630-833-3788 option 2