You can earn a certificate in “Spiritual Formation and Soul Care Ministry” from Soul Shepherding, Inc by completing our two-year TLC training program. TLC stands for “To Love Christ” because our focus is cultivating intimacy with Jesus in our personal lives and ministries of leadership and caring. Through apprenticeship to Jesus we’re learning to bring all that we are and all that we do into the Kingdom of God.
TLC features four retreats of five days that are themed on Spiritual Formation in God’s Kingdom, Spiritual and Psychological Development, Soul Care Ministry, and Spiritual Leadership.
Launched in 2013, 41 Christian leaders have experienced TLC already, including pastors, ministry spouses, missionaries, business professionals, spiritual directors, and counselors. A TLC group is pictured on the left. For more information about our TLC Retreats visit “TLC Retreats for Pastors and Leaders.”
You can complete TLC without earning a certificate, but it’s recommended because you’ll learn and grow more and there’s no additional cost! Written papers are focused on furthering your personal and ministerial formation in Christ. They can be informal in style and as short as 1-2 pages. There are four categories of requirements:
1. Write 4 TLC Retreat Reflection Papers
After completing each of the four TLC retreats and its pre-retreat packet of “Readings and Handouts” (about 100 pages for each retreat) write a Reflection Paper.
- Here’s an example of a Reflection Paper: “Spiritual Formation (Reflection Paper).”
2. Read 10 Books and Write a Reading Log for Each
Read ten books during the two years of TLC and write a Reading Log for each.
- Here are the two TLC reading lists: “Reading List for TLC Certificate” and “Reading Classic Devotional Books.”
- Here’s an example of a Reading Log: “Aelred of Rievaulx: Spiritual Friendship.”
3. Complete 4 TLC Projects
Each TLC Retreat/Training features a project in which you apply what you’ve learned to your personal life or ministry and then write a summary or reflection on your experience.
- TLC1: VIM Plan. You can use this template: “A VIM Plan to Be More Like Jesus.” Here are two completed examples: “My VIM Plan for Teaching Like Jesus” or “My Rhythm of Life with Jesus.”
- TLC2: Write or Map your Journey with Jesus. You’ll see options for how to do this in these two articles: “LIFE in CHRIST Questionnaire” and “Mapping Your Spiritual Journey.”
- TLC3: Soul Care or Spiritual Direction Verbatim. Here’s an example: “Spiritual Direction Verbatim.”
- TLC4: Spiritual Formation Ministry Implementation. Here’s an example: “Spiritual Leaders For Christ.”
4, Participate in 12 Soul Care Appointments
On each of the four TLC retreats you’ll meet privately with Bill or Kristi for a Soul Shepherding conversation (these are included in the cost of TLC). Additionally, between retreats make arrangements to meet with a psychotherapist, spiritual director, pastor, or spiritual mentor/friend for an additional eight meetings. (Bill or Kristi can suggest referral options.) Complete a total of 12 Soul Care appointments by the end of TLC and write a summary or reflection on your experience of receiving spiritual care and guidance. (To help you write this paper you might want to journal some notes after your meetings.)
Customize Your TLC Training
The TLC experience is meant to be customized to your personal needs and the focus of your ministry. So the teaching sessions on the retreats are conversational in nature to give you opportunity to ask questions that help you apply the material to your life and ministry. Also you have a range of choices for the books you read and your four TLC Projects. Your individual Soul Shepherding appointments with Bill or Kristi will help you to personalize and apply your retreat and learning experiences to your life and leadership.
For instance, you could focus your TLC certificate training in areas like Pastoral Leadership, Soul Care Ministry, Spiritual Formation Groups, Spiritual Direction, Christian Counseling, Healing Prayer Ministry, or Spiritual Leadership (in business, ministry, or family).
Earn a Certificate in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care Ministry
A TLC Certificate would look nice in your office on your desk — here’s what it looks like!