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Triptykos in Canada

Compassion Training Open to the Public

by Facilitator on May 30, 2012

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 RogersAndy 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 WayRenovareThe Beatitudes SocietyGreenbelt 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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Center for Engaged Compassion Commissioned by Prison Fellowship Canada

Prison Fellowship Canada (PFC) has commissioned Claremont Lincoln’s Center for Engaged Compassion (CEC) to develop a Compassion Formation Project for work with communities and persons connected to the prison population in Canada and worldwide, with the help of a two-year commitment of $300,000 from the Debbie and Donald H. Morrison Family Foundation.

Staff from the CEC will develop and facilitate a formation program entitled “Cultivating Radical Compassion in an Unforgiving Age” for key leaders and congregations within PFC’s “Healing Communities” initiative.   PFC’s philosophy of “Justice and Transformation” attends to inmates’ social, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual needs, as well as those of their children, family and community. It also helps them work on paths of healing to accept accountability for their actions and work to right the wrongs against the victims of their crimes.

Mark Yaconelli, the CEC’s new Co-Director for Special Projects will head up this PFC/Morrison Foundation Compassion Project, along with Claremont professors and CEC Co-Directors Andrew Dreitcer and Frank Rogers. The project is grounded in the “radical compassion” formation curriculum that Rogers and Dreitcer developed and have been teaching for a number of years.

Yaconelli is a well-known writer, speaker, spiritual director, youth worker, and facilitator of Hearth Stories. Interviews and profiles of Mark and his work have appeared in the national media including the Wall Street JournalABC World News TonightNew York Times Online, and Washington Post Online. Feature articles on his work with teens have appeared in The Christian Century, Immerse, Group Magazine, Youthworker Journal, and many other religious publications.

The Center for Engaged Compassion, along with other Claremont Lincoln University Centers, applies spirituality and ethics to real-world problems. The CEC’s partnership with Prison Fellowship Canada expands Claremont Lincoln University’s work with prison-related populations that has begun at Rockhill Farm, a national-award-winning President’s Initiative empowering former felons, gang members, and recovering addicts to become positive contributors to society.

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Frank Rogers: “Reaching Out to God”

by Facilitator on March 9, 2012

The Center for Engaged Compassion has been commissioned by Prison Fellowship Canada to develop a compassion formation curriculum.  The curriculum will be titled “Cultivating Compassion in an Unforgiving Age.”  There will be an announcement about this project coming within the next few weeks. As part of the project, we will be working with individual congregations who are seeking to become “Compassionate Communities.”  Last weekend Frank Rogers and Mark Yaconelli traveled to Smithville, Ontario to St. Luke’s Anglican Church.  Ellie Clitheroe is the pastor of St. Luke’s and also the Executive Director of Prison Fellowship Canada.  Ellie invited us to meet with her congregation which hopes to participate in the Compassionate Community Project.  We arrived on a Saturday night just in time for an all-church dinner at which Frank Rogers was invited to stand and speak on the subject of compassion.  A church member recorded the talk while kids played, church members visited, and homemade pie was served.  You can watch the talk below.

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