Compassion Training Open to Public

This is going to be a powerfully transformative program. Prison Fellowship Canada is going to allow 13 participants from the public.  If you have any desire to do this, sign up. Spaces will fill quickly.–Mark

The Center for Engaged Compassion Invites Participants in 9 Month Program in Radical Compassion

The Center for Engaged Compassion has been commissioned by Prison Fellowship Canada to develop and facilitate a compassion formation program.  This newly developed program facilitated by Frank Rogers, Andy Dreitcer, and Mark Yaconelli is now open to the general public. The program involves three, three-day retreats held in San Francisco, California followed by weekly practices taught through online forums and instruction. The exploratory course is entitled “The Way of Radical Compassion: Practicing the Spiritual Path of Jesus,” and will begin September of 2012 and end May of 2013. The program is designed for Christian leaders seeking practical methods for helping people live compassionate lives. Participants will learn tested, grounded strategies for:

  • Experiencing God as a source of love
  • Developing self-compassion
  • Transforming difficult emotions
  • Relating to friends, family members, strangers, perpetrators, and even enemies with genuine compassion (without ignoring or belittling your own needs and experience).
  • Reconciling victims and perpetrators, broken families, groups in conflict—without diminishing anyone’s dignity
  • Engaging in social actions that confront injustice from a grounded place of love rather than reactive anger.

As a participant in the program, you will experience three, in-depth, spiritual retreats that involve contemplative practice, reflective exercises, group discussion, group spiritual direction sessions, presentations on compassionate living, and daily worship. All retreats begin at 5pm Thursday evening and end at noon on Sunday.

  • Retreat 1 (September 13-16, 2012): “Jesus’ Path of Radical Compassion” will focus on exercises that deepen understanding and experience of God’s love.
  • Retreat 2 (December 6-9, 2012): “Living as the Beloved” will help participants learn to experience themselves as capable of radical love.
  • Retreat 3 (March 7-10, 2013): “Loving Your Enemy” will focus on practices that help people engage others with the compassion of Jesus.

Between retreats participants engage in simple spiritual practices through online instruction (using video and audio downloads).  Students will also have access to online forums for sharing experience and wisdom with other participants.  Each participant will also receive individual feedback and consultation from program instructors.

Participants who complete the 9 month course will take away the following:

  • A greater ability to embody compassion toward self, other, and enemy.
  • Practical exercises for helping people deepen their relationship with the Sacred.
  • Leadership skills and curriculum for facilitating groups interested in compassion formation
  • Practices and teachings to assist churches in developing compassion-based ministries (particularly for those within the criminal justice system).

Participants: The majority of students in the project are from Prison Fellowship Canada and Claremont School of Theology. Other grant funded participants include members of The Simple Way, Renovare, The Beatitudes Society, Greenbelt Festival, and the Task Force of Global Health.  There are 13 spaces available to the general public.

Application Process: There are only 13 spaces available to the general public which will be given on a first come basis.  There are no academic requirements to participate in the program. Participants must commit to the entire 9 month training and attend all three retreats at Mercy Center in Burlingame, California (ten minutes from San Francisco International Airport). To apply, email Mark Yaconelli at

Location: All participants are required to attend three, three-day retreats held at Mercy Center in Burlingame, California (10 minutes from San Francisco Airport).  All other exercises and instruction will take place online.

Cost: The program is greatly subsidized by Prison Fellowship Canada.  Total cost for participation is $1580 which includes room and board at all three retreats, all program materials, and online instruction.

Academic Credit: It is possible to complete the program for academic credit as 1 or 2 stand-alone courses, as part of a Certificate or degree, or for Continuing Education Units (CEU’s). Students seeking academic credit will need to fill out an application to Claremont School of Theology. The cost for academic credit or continuing education units are as follows:

No academic Credit Academic credit fall only (3 units) Academic credit spring only (3 units) Academic credit spring and fall (6 units) Cost with 1 CEU (minimum) Cost with 10 CEU (maximum)
$1580 $2580 $2580 $3580 $1680 $2580

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