Institute Retreats for Pastors and Leaders

Spiritual Formation and Soul Care Retreats in Southern California!

Led by Bill & Kristi Gaultiere

Ministry wears most people out. Whether it’s the grind of preaching every week, the weight of leadership, church conflicts, or compassion fatigue eventually we all feel it. We need TLC.

The vision of Soul Shepherding’s TLC program is “To Love Christ” in daily life, leadership, and ministry.

We (Bill and Kristi Gaultiere) help you to unhook from the stresses and noises of your ministry and life in order to be immersed for five days in God’s beauty and grace in nature and a community of pastors and leaders. By listening to and caring for your soul we show you how to make space to hear God’s voice, be renewed spiritually, and engage in soul training activities that will transform your life and ministry.

The TLC Program is inspired by what we’ve learned from years of being personally mentored by Dallas and Jane Willard and by Ray and Anne Ortlund. We limit each cohort to about 16 pastors, pastors’ wives (or husbands), missionaries, counselors, spiritual directors, and other ministry leaders. All teaching, guided experiences, and spiritual direction is personally provided by us. (We are psychotherapists, spiritual directors, and pastors. You can learn more about us here.)

Instead of merely teaching the content — as life changing as the ideas are! — we guide you into experiences with those ideas that facilitate greater intimacy with Jesus — not just on retreat, but every day.

TLC is especially helpful for ministry couples to experience together, but you can participate without your spouse or as a single person.

TLC Group 2013Spiritual Formation and Soul Care Ministry

TLC is an 18-month program of experiential learning that features four retreats (five days each) and personalized spiritual mentoring in between retreats. We assist the Lord Jesus in personally caring for and guiding you through extended blocks of “TLC Time” (solitude and silence with Jesus), interactive teaching, guided experiences, individual spiritual direction, and small group sharing/prayer.

You’ll receive a 100-page packet of TLC readings and exercises prior to each retreat. The curriculum for the four retreats integrates Christ-centered spirituality and psychology to form a progression of learning and transformation for your soul and ministry:

  • Spiritual Formation: Living as an apprentice to Jesus in the Kingdom of the Heavens today and developing a personal rhythm of life and VIM Plan for transformation.
  • Spiritual and Psychological Development: Growing in spiritual and psychological stages of growth, including navigating Dark Nights of the Soul.
  • Soul Care Ministry: Understanding people, their problems, and how to assist Jesus in helping people through teaching, counseling, healing prayer, spiritual direction/mentoring, and small groups.
  • Spiritual Leadership: Hearing God’s voice and being led and empowered by the Holy Spirit in ministry, including implementing Christian spiritual formation and soul care into your ministry.

You’ll be amazed at how transformational TLC is! And you’ll be greatly refreshed. You will not experience the typical “conference overload” because each day features very generous spaces of “TLC time” for quiet soul space, conversation with friends, or a nap!

TLC Group Laughing


Since we launched this training program in 2013 over 60 pastors and leaders have experienced renewal and growth through our TLC Retreats. People have come to us from all over the United States, Canada, Mexico, Columbia, China, and New Zealand. Some participants have used TLC and mentoring from us to start their own soul care ministry to pastors and leaders (let us know if this interests you).

“TLC is the most helpful leadership training program I’ve participated in and it’s a bargain!”
Ron Thompson
Senior Pastor ~ Twin Cities Church ~ Lake Tahoe, CA

“I am so thankful to God for bringing you into my life. Your spiritual direction and TLC retreats change every part of the way I live, think, love, and work. Bless you!”
Eileen Callahan
Psychotherapist & Facilitator for Cloud & Townsend Leadership Intensives ~  Newport Beach, CA

“I like the team teaching that Bill and Kristi do. It models shared leadership, male and female. It also opens up different pathways to apprehend the presence of Christ.”
Rev. Dr. Jeff McCrory
Little Brown Urban Mission Hub ~ Long Beach, CA

“Yippee! That’s how my soul is responding to Jesus after TLC. My heart says “yes” to be being Jesus’ affectionate apprentice. I feel known in my secret places and filled up with empathy. My wife and I have received spiritual fathering and mothering that we can pass along in our own ministry call.”
Rev. Aaron and Laura Damiani
Immanuel Anglican Church ~ Chicago, IL

“Thank you Bill and Kristi! It’s so obvious that this is your life and not just a program that you put on. Your love for the Lord, each other, and us has been a profound blessing.”
Suzanne S.
Missionary ~ China

“The last thing I wanted was another ministry conference/training. My wife and I were enticed by TLC for one reason: we saw in Bill and Kristi a vibrant, authentic, transcendent life with Jesus. Two years later we are walking with Jesus in a level of intimacy that has transformed our marriage, family, and ministry.”
Steve & Cathi Phillips
Lead Pastor and Children’s Pastor ~ Journey Christian Church ~ Irvine, CA

“My compassion tank was empty when I cam to TLC, but my experience of empathy has been so enriching and enlivening!”
Stu Krogman
Pastor of Hope Ministries ~ CrossRoads Church ~ Alberta, Canada

“TLC has transformed my entire life! It is totally ‘out of the box.'”
Susan Wood
Leader of 30 Bible Study Leaders ~ Community Bible Study ~ Seattle, WA

“TLC brought my theology from my head to my heart… It has slowed down my hurried life and thoughts. Today I am a more loving, giving, kind, and patient person.”
Mark Harvey
Business Owner and Missions Team Leader ~ Irvine, CA

“I couldn’t keep going in ministry. The teaching and vulnerable sharing helped me press in closer to Jesus. I am renewed!”
Linda Gawthorne
Missionary ~ Wycliffe Bible Translators ~ Colombia

“If you’re hungry for Jesus and want a community of like-minded Christ-followers to journey with you in spiritual transformation TLC is specially designed for you. It will satisfy your soul!”
Mildred Gerner
Pastor’s Wife and Spiritual Formation Teacher ~ King of King’s Church ~ Omaha, NE

“I felt like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon… The learning practices helped me into a deeper walk with Christ and soul connections with others in their journey.”
Patricia Niednagel ~ Missionary ~ South America


Our five-day TLC retreats for men and women in ministry are offered in the spring and fall of each year in a large home in the mountains of Lake Arrowhead, CA. (Here are some photos.)

We also offer a TLC retreat in January each year at a large home in the hills of Coto de Caza, CA. Each venue is beautiful, hospitable, spacious, and relaxing. We serve delicious and healthy home cooked meals and snacks (some not so healthy!).


For no additional cost you have the option to earn a certificate in “Spiritual Formation and Soul Care Ministry” from Soul Shepherding, Inc.


Only $900 per person for each five-day retreat covers everything — lodging, food, materials, and spiritual direction. $3,600 is the total cost for the 18-month certificate program. Payment reserves your space. Checks are made to “Soul Shepherding” in one lump sum or in four payments before each retreat. (If needed you can apply for a partial scholarship.)

Pleases mail a check or use our online Donate page. (We’re sorry, but because of the small size of each retreat we are not able to offer refunds.)

Upcoming TLC Retreats for Pastors and Leaders

Five times per year Soul Shepherding offers 5-day TLC retreats in Southern California and we start a new TLC cohort of pastors and leaders in the spring of each year. Check out the upcoming dates.

Other Soul Shepherding Retreats for Pastors

Periodically, we offer “Still Waters” day retreats and other events for pastors and ministry leaders. These are posted on our Events/Calendar.

We also customize Soul Shepherding retreats for pastors with their spouse (for instance as part of their Sabbatical), church staff team, or other ministry leader groups.


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