In the frenzy of building families, ministries, and businesses, how do we cultivate intimacy with God?
What if there was a way to discern the still small voice of God in the deafening noise of our culture? What if this was the place from which our leadership could emerge…
- in our churches?
- in our work?
- in our service?
The Transforming Center exists to guide pastors, leaders, and influencers, in establishing sacred rhythms to sustain their life in leadership.
A Transforming Community® is a retreat-based spiritual formation experience with nine quarterly retreats.
For over 15 years we have welcomed groups of men and women who long to experience God in the depths of their souls. Each retreat in this two-year experience includes substantive teaching on spiritual formation themes and practices, guided experiences with spiritual disciplines, and significant engagement in community with influencers from diverse backgrounds and theological traditions.
The content of each retreat is grounded in Scripture and in the richness and diversity of our Christian heritage. Reclaim practices and experiences that spiritual seekers down through the ages have used to open themselves to God’s transforming work.
Create space for God
Each technology-free retreat includes extended silence and solitude so you can rest and pay attention to what’s going on in your own soul so you can lead from that place.
Make time to listen and respond
People change incrementally....over time...with others...in the context of spiritual disciplines that open us to God. Each retreat invites you to engage a spiritual discipline, giving you time over the quarter to practice what you learned and integrate it into your own life.
All in a beautiful setting
Retreats are held at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Chicagoland located with access to major airports.
Application deadline is September 1, 2021
Transforming Community 18 begins October 24-26, 2021
“When should I make a retreat? When there is no time to do it, that’s when you most need to unclutter the calendar and go apart to pray. When the gridlock of your schedule relentlessly forbids it is the time you most need a retreat. That is when your heart beats against the prison walls of your enslavement and says, ‘Yes, Lord, I want to spend time with you.”
Emilie Griffin, Wilderness Time
The Transforming Community experience is a generous investment in your relationship with God. Over the course of this two years you will receive guidance for cultivating a deeper connection with God and the support to establish a way of life that can sustain it.
Program cost for tuition, room, and board
26 monthly installments
Does not include application and registration fees or travel costs.
$50 application fee
$250–$350 registration fee*
Pay registration fee by May 15, 2021 and secure your spot at $250.
(The $250 fee increases to $300 after July 15, 2021, and $350 after September 1, 2021)
*This non-refundable fee is due upon acceptance to secure your spot in the Community
4:00 P.M.Arrival and Check-in
5:45 P.M. Dinner
7:00 P.M. Gathering Prayer
7:30 P.M. Session
9:00 P.M.Night Prayer/Great Silence
6:30-8:15 A.M. Breakfast on Your Own
8:30 A.M. Morning Prayer/Break Silence
9:00 A.M. Session 2
11:00 A.M. Session 3
12:00 P.M. Mid-day Prayer
12:30pm: Silent Lunch
1:00pm: Solitude, Rest and Reflection
5:15pm: Evening Prayer
6:30 P.M. Small Groups
9:00 P.M. Night Prayer and Worship
9:30 P.M. Celebration Reception
6:30-8:15 A.M. Breakfast on Your Own
8:30am Morning Prayer
9:00am: Session 4
11:00am: Session 5
12:00pm: Leaving Service
Travel Information & Directions
University of St. Mary of the Lake
1000 E Maple Ave, Mundelein, IL 60060
Mundelein is approximately 40 miles northwest of downtown Chicago.
American Taxi offers flat rates to/from the airport if you book in advance. If you are looking for a transportation service outside of Uber, Lyft or car rental, West Suburban Limousine has consistently positive review and offers scheduled rides to anywhere in Chicagoland.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions we receive about the Transforming Community®experience. If you can’t find your answer here, please contact Dina Coffey at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (630) 588-8133 x302.
Retreatants stay at University of St. Mary of the Lake's guest rooms, offering attendees a place for rest and solitude. This beautiful campus will provide an excellent environment for your retreat experience and is conducive to rest and reflection.
All meals are provided (dinner the first night through breakfast the last morning).
Teaching & Practice
Ruth is the primary teacher and retreat leader for the Transforming Community experience along with others from the Transforming Center team. She is joined by the Transforming Center worship leader and supported by a serving team who’ve completed the Transforming Community at least once.
Retreats are scheduled quarterly to provide adequate opportunity to engage both the content of the retreats and the spiritual practices that increasingly open us to God over time. Guidance and resources are given for the months between retreats. At the end of a two-year community experience members develop a “rule of life” that will sustain them in all aspects of their lives.
Earn academic credit through our partnership with Sioux Falls Seminary.
For those interested earning academic credit in concert with their Transforming Community experience, we are pleased to inform you that the Transforming Center has formed a partnership with Sioux Falls Seminary, located in Sioux Falls, SD. Through the Kairos Project, an alternative educational track, participants in a Transforming Community® can fully integrate their transforming leadership journey with one of several academic options, including a graduate certificate, Master of Arts (Bible and Theology), Master of Arts in Christian Leadership, Master of Divinity, or Doctor of Ministry. Each option provides students with an opportunity to focus their studies in spiritual transformation while providing them a mentor team to customize the entire educational journey.
Affordable, accessible and relevant
These certificates and degrees are comparatively affordable, accessible from anywhere (some degrees require intensives on campus), relevant to the context of the student, and faithful to God’s call to an ongoing process of transformation. This structure allows students to pursue their degree or certificate while staying fully active in ministry, invested in their day-to-day lives, and committed to a life of missional engagement.
All accepted Transforming Community applicants must also apply to Sioux Falls Seminary. There is no set deadline for applications, as Transforming Community applicants may apply prior to the launch of their communities, at any time during their communities, or even after the completion of their communities.
For more information about this opportunity through the Transforming Center please contact David Hughes at email@example.com.
To learn more about the Sioux Falls Seminary and these offerings, visit sfseminary.edu/kairos, email Nate Helling at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 800.440.6227. If you wish to apply, go to www.sfseminary.edu/apply.
Each community is a diverse group of men and women who are seeking to learn how to be in God for the world. For 15 years, these communities have discovered unity within diversity in profound ways because of their willingness to journey together intentionally.
We embrace a liturgical style of worship that is highly participatory, giving everyone a chance to read and respond to Scriptures, pray and be formed by the prayers of the church, listen to God in the silent spaces, and join their voices with others in song.
After submitting your application, you will receive an email at your email address confirming your application has been received and providing a copy of your application for your files.
Once your application has been received, you should hear from us within two weeks time. If at any point you have questions regarding the two-year Transforming Community, please don’t hesitate to email Dina Coffey at email@example.com or call (630) 588-8133 x302”
We reserve the right to accept, decline, or delay admission based on our attempts to achieve a balance of vocation, gender, race, and Christian faith tradition. The Transforming Center also reserves the right to assess each applicant’s readiness for the Transforming Community experience and to decline admission based on our assessment.
Upon acceptance into the Transforming Community, you will receive an invitation email which will include payment information for the non-refundable registration fee. The registration fee secures your place in the community.
Signing up for nine retreats over 2 years is a significant commitment and that is intentional. Transforming Community is for those who know that their deepest desires will not be met by reading another book, attending another conference or listening to another podcast. Transformation does not happen overnight. People change incrementally….over time…with others…in the context of spiritual disciplines that open us to God. Quarterly retreats provide a regular respite that we might not otherwise take and they create the space needed to integrate these disciplines into your life in a meaningful way.
In addition to a commitment of time, Transforming Community is also a financial investment. Because of the comprehensive nature of this program and the fact that it spans two years, there is a significant cost associated with a Transforming Community experience. The fees include everything you need while on retreat: a private room and bath, five hot meals, healthy and plentiful refreshments throughout the retreat, all retreat materials, plus a beautiful reception each Monday night. That is in addition to the six teaching sessions, eight worship services, spiritual guidance for your solitude times, and group spiritual direction.
While attending and participating in each of the nine retreats is what we hope each participant will be able to experience, there may be a situation that is unavoidable. In the event you are unable to make one of the retreats that you have committed to, we do have a process for making it up that takes into account both the content and retreat experience.
Sometimes it can be helpful to talk through these kinds of questions or concerns with someone. If you find yourself wrestling with a desire to join this community but have hesitations about making the commitment, please reach out to Dina Coffey at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 630 588-8133 ext 311 – she would be happy to talk with you.
We understand that one of the reasons a two-year commitment can be overwhelming is that it’s impossible to plan and predict how our lives will unfold during that time. In each of our communities there have been those who have experienced unexpected significant life change both personally and professionally (ie: change of jobs, death of a family member, birth of a child, a move). If you are feeling drawn to join this Transforming Community our hope is that you would trust yourself to God and to the community for this two-year journey and whatever it may bring. Even in the midst of life’s changes our commitment is to discern God’s will together with you.