From time to time, when individuals wish to be trained as trainers but do not have a common sponsor, Listening Hearts conducts a seven-night overnight Training Week for Trainers at a retreat facility in Maryland or Virginia. The curriculum includes a reading list, two retreats, and several practicum sessions that give instruction on teaching methods, program procedures, and resource materials, equipping participants to train discernment ministry teams in their own faith communities.
Prospective trainers must be well formed spiritually, committed to the principles put forth in Listening Hearts: Discerning Call in Community, and have leadership ability.
Summary of Content
The Training Week begins with two consecutive retreats. These cultivate prayerful listening and introduce a wide range of ways to encounter God. Because a Christian’s call is rooted in baptism, the first retreat “Pondering the Implications of Baptism” draws participants more deeply into their lives in God. Since human timetables often impede our readiness to await God’s voice, the second retreat, “God’s Time vs. Human Time,” invites them to contemplate the fullness of time. Five or six discernment sessions with a mentor give real life experience in group-discernment. Following each gathering for discernment, a reflective review session provides insight as to what works well and what does not. Once trained, the group trains discernment ministry teams that can lead book discussions, retreat days, educational activities, and serve in discernment groups for persons wrestling with issues, large or small, of any nature including personal relationships, professional concerns, or moral dilemmas.