Retreats & Conferences

Eye of the Heart Center Writing Programs

The Eye of the Heart’s writing programs tend to both writer and writing, trusting that the fruits of creative endeavors nourish both our lives and the wider world.  Because we do our most effective work within a caring community, all programs build connections between participants.


Elizabeth’s Offerings

Writing Your Sacred Journey: Stories to Transform Self and World

In Person:  Monthly on fourth Fridays from 1:30-3:30 p.m. (4/28; 5/26; 6/23)
4101 Harriet Avenue in Minneapolis

Online:  Monthly on fourth Mondays from 6:00-8:00 p.m. CT (4/24; 5/22; 6/26)

Join Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew to explore the art and practice of spiritual memoir writing.  Each session will give participants the opportunity to write, time for conversation, inspiration from model writers, and insights about craft, content, and practice.  These monthly practice sessions are meant for writers of all levels, including absolute beginners.  New participants are encouraged to take Elizabeth’s introduction to spiritual memoir workshop or read Writing the Sacred Journey.  Because practice sessions are not consecutive, you can drop in as you’d like.  Over three years, the curriculum covers the significant aspects of the craft of writing memoir, common themes, and the invitations to transformation inherent in the practice.


Writing the Sacred Journey: Introductory Workshop on Spiritual Memoir



During this self-paced, two-and-a-half-week independent study, writers can view Elizabeth’s video lectures, respond to writing prompts, and immerse themselves in the genre and practice of spiritual memoir through readings and a community forum.


Diving Deep and Surfacing: A Spiritual Memoir Writing Intensive

June 18-22, 2023

Online and in-person

What happens when writers practice craft techniques for the sake of spiritual discovery and growth? In this five-day retreat for writers, we’ll explore craft challenges common to spiritual memoir writing that are also opportunities for deepening spiritual practice. We’ll look at scene creation as an opportunity for attentive listening, at reflective writing as a form of contemplation, at character formation as an opportunity to withhold judgment, and at thematic development as a way to participate in meaning-making.

Writers will be supported by a writing community, receive guidance from an experienced instructor including an opportunity for a one-on-one conversation, and have abundant creative solitude. Each day will include three hours of instruction, discussion, and writing exercises focused on the day’s topic. Participants will both hone their writing skills and widen the contemplative dimensions of their writing practice.

This retreat is for writers who have a foundational understanding of spiritual memoir, having read Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir or taken an introductory class. Please come with a writing intention, an idea for a project, or a work-in-progress.



Issachar Fund Scholar’s Retreat

The Issachar Fund is pleased to offer clergy, scholars, writers, thought leaders, and artists a retreat opportunity in a cottage near Lake Michigan for research, reflection, writing, and production of scholarship or creative work in alignment with their Foundational Questions.


Collegeville Institute

Each summer, the Collegeville Institute opens its doors to pastors, ministers, lay leaders, and other thinkers and writers for week-long, intensive workshops geared toward various levels of writing skill, genre and interest.

The Glen Workshop

Situated in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Glen Workshop is equal parts creative workshop, arts festival, and spiritual retreat. The Glen’s arresting natural environment is contrasted by its casual and inviting crowd of artists, writers, musicians, art appreciators, and spiritual wayfarers of all stripes.


Calvin Center Festival of Faith & Writing

The Festival of Faith & Writing is a biennial celebration that draws more than 2,000 people from across the world to the campus of Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Rooted in Reformed theology about common grace and the goodness of creation, the Festival of Faith & Writing creates space for meaningful discussion and shared discovery among people with different religious beliefs and practices. Over three days every other April, the Festival brings diverse voices together to offer thoughtful reflection through lectures, readings, conversations, films, workshops, concerts, plays, and more. It’s an absolute feast for readers, including those who also write.

Writing for Your Life

Writing for Your Life produces in-person writing conferences featuring leading authors and industry experts presenting on various topics in the areas of “how to write” “how to get published” and “how to market”. You do not need to be an experienced writer to attend. Their conferences have a reputation for very high quality speakers, collegiality, and a lack of competitiveness among attendees, so please do not be intimidated if you have not yet published much.

Wild Goose Festival

“At Wild Goose, people flock together to celebrate a way of life rooted in faith, justice, creativity, and beauty. It’s like a family reunion where you meet relatives you never knew you had. It’s a wild and wonderful convergence of stimulating conversations, campfires, music, kids, art, lawn chairs, prayer, fun, dance, frisbees, tents, food, sunshine, rain, laughter, and fresh air. There’s nothing like it, and I look forward to it as one of the best weeks of my year.” -Author Brian McLaren