SCL – The Fine Print

Our SCL Guiding Principles:

Our training flows from a Trinitarian and Christocentric foundation. We believe in the triune God, confessing God as Creator of all, Jesus as God revealed in the flesh, and the Holy Spirit as the gift of God who empowers us to enter into God’s redemptive work in the world. We guide people to embrace the contemplative life, encouraging you to honor Sabbath and observe life-giving rhythms, drawing you toward healthy, embodied spiritual practices, nurturing self-awareness and vocational clarity, and ultimately, launch Kingdom enterprises.

  • we thrive spiritually when we live more in step with desire rather than duty
  • concrete, rhythmic spiritual practices are essential to spiritual growth
  • spiritual practices help us uncover our deeper desires
  • spiritual maturation is holistic, so attention is given to the mind, heart, and body
  • spiritual growth is slow and life-long, so time together breathes and feels unrushed
  • growth in self-awareness deepens our experience of God’s love
  • community catalyzes, accelerates and deepens the impact of spiritual growth
  • the inner, contemplative journey prepares us for mission

Our SCL Guiding Values:

  • we pay attention to desire over duty
  • we go slow, providing space, room to breathe, time to consider and reflect
  • we do our principle work together, not in isolation
  • we create an atmosphere of safety, trust, and vulnerability
  • we inculcate practices to shape habits of mind, heart, and body
  • our leaders model what is taught and encouraged
  • we enjoy the table, seeing food and fellowship as central to life

Your SCL Commitments:

Commit to the Entire Journey: A SCL experience is a progressive journey in transforming your soul and engaging in a closer relationship with God. Because of this, we ask for you to commit to the entire cohort experience both in time and in the whole cost to receive its full benefit. We understand there may be a retreat you must miss, but regardless of missing, the cost for the cohort is all one fee.

Practice the Practice:  Each quarter has a focus and practice, and it’s extremely important engage God through that practice at least weekly if not daily over the weeks following each retreat. Our habits grow desire and shape what kind of lovers we become. Engaging in the practice for the quarter is where the beautiful work of God begins.

Read the Books: If you’re not a reader by nature, that’s okay. There will be only one book we will ask you to read prior to attending module one, and after that, there will be only one book per module assigned for outside reading. After each module, you will be encouraged to go home and slowly read that one book we’ve discussed. Your readings are designed to deepen both your understanding and application of the material we covered during our retreat, plus you can spend the next two months praying/processing/pondering and living out the truths found in the book!

Write a 1-Page Reflection: This simple reflection, turned in just prior to each weekend session, captures your spiritual experience since the last time together. It’s a great opportunity to notice and name God’s work in you.

Meet with a Spiritual Companion:  If you want to meet with a trained spiritual director on a monthly basis (usually for $50-60), we can connect you, but it’s also fine just to meet with a spiritual companion with whom you can share, over a cup of coffee, your life in God and the joys and challenges of the module focus. (Perhaps that’s someone within the group.)


Our SCL History:

What was once a small equipping ministry in Cincinnati designed for raising up a handful of church leaders in spiritual direction, Sustainable Faith has now become a multi-dimensional, cross-denominational ministry that rewards its two-year graduates with a certificate reflecting that the student has met the demanding requirements of most spiritual direction professional networks worldwide. One recent report has deemed Sustainable Faith as “the largest spiritual direction training group in North America!”

timreist-2 Tim Reist, founder & trainer of Soul Space

In 2011, Tim Reist was invited to go through The Transforming Center, a two-year spiritual formation journey in Chicago, led by Ruth Haley Barton. This invitation came at a time of burnout and transition for Tim, after twenty years of ministry at a megachurch. After finishing his two-year journey, Tim then attended the Sustainable Faith School of Spiritual Direction, eventually joining our team of trainers in spiritual direction. In 2013, Tim felt an invitation to offer a two-year contemplative journey to those around him. Twenty people in the Peoria, IL area signed up for this experience called Soul Space and entered into the inaugural cohort from January 2014 to October 2015.  Since then, four more cohorts in Peoria IL have developed, two cohorts in Louisville KY, and invitations to Chicago IL and Tulsa OK are currently in the hopper. As of this writing, over 150 people have now experienced the blessings of Soul Space, experiencing a renewed life and union with God in ways they never expected!

After a decade of training up hundreds of men and women in the ancient disciplines of spiritual direction, we at Sustainable Faith realize the increasing need for similar training opportunities for countless others who are just beginning to hear and respond to Jesus’ invitation to slow down, better care for their souls, learning to live a life that reflects the Master’s simple invitation to “come and rest” in Him. Bringing our School of Contemplative Living (AKA Soul Space) to more locations around North America is our response to this growing need.