Journey Toward Wholeness: A Courage & Renewal® Retreat

For Spiritual Directors

Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM
November 10-15, 2019

I wish you could see what I see out the window—the earth pink and yellow cliffs to the north—the full pale moon about to go down in an early morning lavender sky . . . pink and purple hills in front and the scrubby fine dull green cedars—and a feeling of much space—It is a very beautiful world.”
~ Georgia O’Keeffe

Based on the work of Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal, this retreat designed for spiritual directors, explores issues of transition, vocation, relationship, life passion, purpose, and the unfolding stirrings of Spirit. Through reflection and connection, we examine some of our underlying patterns, the ways we live in alignment with our deepest values and the courage to act with integrity and authenticity.

We welcome people from diverse faith traditions, racial and ethnic identities, genders, ages, abilities and spiritual practices to join us for this retreat. In a safe, nurturing, and confidential environment, we share periods of quiet self-reflection and group discussion, as well as laughter, lightness, and renewal. Guided by core principles and practices, including the belief that everyone has an inner teacher, an inner source of truth, we engage in contemplative practices to support personal and societal transformation.

Savoring the stunning spring beauty of the high desert, we explore poetry, prose, music, gentle guided movement, journaling, stories from various wisdom traditions, and mindfulness meditation practices. Clearness committee, a Quaker process of spiritual discernment, is the capstone of the retreat.

Two off-ranch trips are planned at a modest additional fee: Exhale deeply, relax, and renew at the sacred healing waters of Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa.

Located on the banks of the breathtaking wilderness of the Chama River, savor an early evening of Gregorian chant at the famed Benedictine monastery, Christ in the Desert.

Praise for Journey Toward Wholeness:

“Ghost Ranch is an amazingly beautiful setting for a journey into one’s Divine Spark and Inner Teacher.”

“This retreat has given me a deeper sense of what it means to deeply listen. I have definitely grown as an individual, spiritually and as a spiritual director.”

“A true union of nature and spirit!”

“The experience was more than I anticipated. I felt welcomed, accepted, and held.”

“An exquisite blending of spiritual direction and Parker Palmer’s Courage & Renewal practices. A deeply spirited opportunity to be in community with other soul teachers.”

“A well-conceived, well-planned, and well-executed retreat. A nice balance of head and heart, rest and renewal. Well done!”

Meet Your Facilitators

Valerie Brown, JD, MA, PCC is Courage & Renewal® Facilitator, trained by Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal. She is an international retreat leader, spiritual director, writer, accredited leadership coach, and Principal of Lead Smart Coaching, LLC, specializing in application and integration of mindfulness and leadership.

She transformed her high-pressure, twenty-year career as a lawyer-lobbyist, representing educational institutions and nonprofits, to human-scale work with leaders and teams to foster trustworthy and authentic connections. Her books include, The Road that Teaches: Lessons in Transformation through Travel (QuakerBridge Media, 2012) and The Mindful School Leader: Practices to Transform Your Leadership and School (Corwin, 2014), and several Pendle Hill pamphlets, including Coming to Light: Cultivating Spiritual Discernment through the Quaker Clearness Committee. Valerie is a Quaker and an ordained member of the Tiep Hien Order by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in 2003. As certified Kundalini yoga teacher, she helps leaders discover the wisdom of the body. She leads an annual transformational pilgrimage to El Camino de Santiago, Spain, to celebrate the power of sacred place.

Carol Kortsch was born and raised in Africa, educated in Canada, and worked internationally for 20 years establishing live-in rehabilitation, counseling, and training communities before moving to Boulder, CO where she lives, works, and writes. She is a facilitator trained by the Center for Courage & Renewal and offers retreats from her wilderness soul as a life adventurer and Earth listener. Carol is also a writer and a crazy gardener.


About Our Venue

Located 65 miles northwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Ghost Ranch is a place of magnificent scenic beauty, comprised of canyons, cliffs, plains, grasslands, and streams. This 21,000-acre wilderness ranch is made famous by iconic American painter, Georgia O’Keeffe. Ghost Ranch, an interfaith education and retreat center of the Presbyterian Church (USA), welcomes people worldwide and seeks to enrich lives so that all may experience God through discovery and transformation.

Ghost Ranch is at 6,500 feet requiring some time to adjust to the altitude. Those with significant health problems should consult with their personal physicians as to the safety of being at this altitude in this remote location.

Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center, 1708 Highway 84, Abiquiu, NM 87510


View the Retreat Flyer


Please register online. Participation is limited to 30 people. Early registration is encouraged.


Nov 10 - 15 2019


All Day


$1849 double-occupancy; $2349 single-room


Ghost Ranch
Abiquiu, New Mexico