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Come to an Institute Retreat

You can go deeper with Jesus in emotional health and loving relationships on an immersive retreat.


Typical Christian activities and trying to believe and do what’s right are not enough to overcome your hurts and struggles and develop healthy rhythms in your life, relationships, and work. To develop a flourishing life you need training in Jesus-centered psychology and spirituality, care from mentors and friends you can trust, and practical tools.

About the
Soul Shepherding Institute

About the Soul Shepherding Institute

Life-changing community and learning in four, 5-day retreats. 

The Soul Shepherding Institute was created in 2009 by Drs. Bill and Kristi Gaultiere, therapists and spiritual directors, who were personally mentored by Dallas and Jan Willard. With their staff they provide you with life-changing experiences and learning in gatherings of about 40 Christian leaders on five day retreats.


You will leave each retreat feeling drawn closer to Jesus, supported by friends, rejuvenated, and equipped with the tools you need to flourish in your spiritual life, relationships, and ministry or work. Can’t come in person? All retreats are also available online through Zoom!

Retreat Benefits

  • Jesus-centered psychology for emotional and spiritual growth
  • Dallas Willard’s insights on spiritual formation and soul care
  • Guided experiences in Scripture meditation and prayer
  • Spiritual direction groups (and pastor only groups)
  • Individual spiritual direction sessions
  • Friends who listen, care, and pray for each other
  • Rest and solitude in a beautiful location to help you hear God’s voice
  • Retreats are also available online through Zoom

4 Retreats

Spiritual Formation
The way to overcome stress, hurt, and sin is not “believe and do what’s right,” it’s through apprenticeship to Jesus in his easy yoke. Learn the model and tools for growing in Jesus’ rhythms of grace to cultivate intimacy with God, emotional and relational health, and fruitful ministry.

Spiritual & Psychological Development

The spiritual life is not one-size-fits-all. Each stage in the journey needs different teaching, ministry, and disciplines. Our unique LIFE in CHRIST model of spiritual and emotional growth provides customized coaching for you and the people you shepherd to thrive with Jesus.

Soul Care Ministry

Our distinctive Christ-centered psychology sheds light on the stress and struggles that can defeat life with God. Learn how to use our distinctive Soul Shepherding tools for personal growth and ministry to others in spiritual direction, small groups, teaching, and church ministry.

Relationally Healthy Leadership

When we minister or lead out of ego, self-reliance, or hurry, it depletes our soul and hurts the people we love. The most effective leadership and ministry follows the way of Jesus—it’s loving, relaxed, joyful, empowered, and effective. Learn key practices to help you lead from a healthy soul.

Questions? Talk to Us!

You can connect with a member of our team via email or Zoom!

What Institute Graduates Are Saying…

Drs. Bill and Kristi Gaultiere have brought a monumental impact for Christ to me, my marriage, my family, my staff, and my church. My wife and I were trained together in their Institute and have made it a required training for all our pastoral staff.

The design of the retreat included… an effective organizational strategy session that Bill helped plan and facilitate. Bill’s love for Christ, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, and collaborative spirit are a tremendous encouragement to our executive team.

Through Bill and Kristi’s vast knowledge and readings, they take us to places where we can really go deep with Jesus.

Churches and Organizations We've Helped

Over 500 Christian leaders from twenty different countries have participated in the Soul Shepherding Institute retreats. This includes pastors, ministry spouses, spiritual directors, coaches, therapists, church planters, missionaries, member health providers, business leaders, and other leaders.

Upcoming Institute Retreat Dates

We expect to offer more than ten Institute retreats in 2024. We invite you to attend any retreat (for the first one you need to apply) or you can do all four retreats at one location in a cohort over 18 months.  If you’ve already applied, register for an Institute retreat today!

Spiritual Formation

Spiritual & Psychological Development

Soul Care Ministry

Relationally Healthy Leadership

Certificate in Spiritual Direction: Starts in March of each year but registration is open until July 1st.  Attendance at required Soul Shepherding Institute retreats can start anytime.

Certificate in Coaching:  Starts in April of each year but registration is open until July 1st. Prior completion of the Certificate in Spiritual Direction is required. Attendance at the required additional (fifth) Institute retreat can be scheduled anytime.


$1,100* early bird price (60 days ahead) for each 5-day retreat

$1,200* regular price for each 5-day retreat.

What’s Included: Training, lodging, food, digital notebook, and spiritual direction groups.

OR pay just $369 per month* for 24 months for all 4 Institute retreats plus the online Certificate in Spiritual Direction program.

*Additional costs for individual spiritual direction sessions, books, and private room on retreats.

**Pastors and missionaries can apply for partial scholarship assistance. We offer a 25% discount for a spouse attending the same retreat.

Custom Retreats/Training

Customized retreats and trainings are available for church staff teams, missionary groups, elder boards, pastor couples, intensives, and Sabbaticals.

$500 per hour or $3,000 per day for Drs. Bill and/or Kristi Gaultiere.

$300 per hour or $1,800 per day for another Soul Shepherding staff speaker.

Contact us for more information.

Grow Your Ministry!

Certificate in Spiritual Direction Program

Take your learning one step further with our popular 2-year certificate program in the ministry of spiritual direction.

This online training program builds on the Institute retreats and:

    • Equips you to serve as a Spiritual Director 
    • Gives you monthly groups that feature live teaching and discussion
    • Teaches you empathy and soul care ministry through experience and practice
    • Provides you community with other leaders and support from Soul Shepherding supervisors

The program is led by Drs. Bill & Kristi Gaultiere and a team of Sr. Spiritual Directors they’ve trained. It meets the qualifications of the Evangelical Spiritual Directors Association.

Cost: $369 per month* for 24 months for all 4 Institute retreats and the online Certificate in Spiritual Direction program.

Soul Shepherding