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Eden Lead: Ministry Cohort

Eden Lead is a one-year, relational
development journey for leaders.

Give us a year and we’ll help you experience more of what you were made for in life and leadership.

Eden Lead helps leaders audit their current reality, gain new awareness and intentionally deepen in relationship with God, themselves, and others.

Three Retreats Annually

The Eden Lead Year is a year-long development journey cohort consisting of three retreats focused on:


of God

September 12-15, 2023

Encounter God as better than we believed Him to be. 


of Self

February 12-15, 2024

Embrace the beauty and limits of who you are as the beloved of God.


Pace &


April 22-25, 2024

Establishing Eden-like habitat for a life of relational flourishing.

Eden Lead is less like watching Cross-fit on YouTube and more like going into a relational, Cross-fit gym to work muscles in service of the connected life

Meeting with spiritual director

Spiritual Direction Monthly

A spiritual director is someone who meets with you one-on-one for an hour each month to help you “pay attention to the active presence of God…

Participate in a weekly triad with two of your trusted friends

We are formed, malformed, and reformed in relationship, not primarily by reading or thinking.
Eden Triads are weekly meetings with three people…

Engage in personal pace and practices daily

Much of this will be personally tailored to your stage, desires, and desperations in the season. Your Eden Facilitators and spiritual director will help…

Throughout the Eden Lead Year you’ll experience:

  • Relationally safe environments conducive for souls (which are very shy) to open up to love
  • A reformation of your own emotional image of God.
  • Resources, retreats, and relationships that will deepen all your relationships
  • A local “triad” that meets weekly and monthly with a spiritual director
  • Opportunity to Identify positive and negative aspects of your formation and move toward wholeness
  • Takeaway insights and practices that you’ll apply daily with God and weekly with others

Join us in Greensboro, NC!

St. Francis Springs Prayer Center

September 12-15, 2023 | Knowledge of God

February 12-15, 2024 | Knowledge of Self

April 22-25, 2024 | Pace and Practices

Eden Lead Year – Ministry (Begins Fall 2023)

$4,000 with your own room -or- $3,500 with a roommate

(installment options available) and includes…

– 3 Retreats with Eden Facilitators (Duke Revard & Chuck Gschwend)
– Training for weekly Triad with local friends
– Capacity is 54 leaders (or 18 Triads)
– Men & Women are included, Triads are same gender
– Personal Pace & Practices Plan

Eden Lead
Ministry Cohort

Are you a pastor or pastoral staff member; director of spiritual formation, discipleship, or Christian education; denominational leader; elder or deacon; or other ministry leader? If so, this cohort is for you.

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The majority of our retreat spots are reserved for people who are in an active leadership role in their church, their ministry organization or the marketplace. 


The cost to attend our Eden Lead Year varies depending on the location of that retreat.


The fee includes everything you need while on retreat: a private room and bath, eight meals and daily refreshments. That is in addition to the Eden Lead Year formation which is a balance of: audits, content, ongoing practices, stories, and group discussions to provide a right-brain experiential (re)training.


Throughout the Eden Lead Year you’ll experience:


  • Relationally safe environments conducive for souls (which are very shy) to open up to love

  • A reformation of your own emotional image of God

  • Resources, retreats, and relationships that will deepen all your relationships

  • A local “triad” that meets weekly and monthly with a spiritual director

  • Opportunity to identify positive and negative aspects of your formation and moving towards wholeness

  • Takeaway insights and practices that you’ll apply daily with God and weekly with others


Once you’ve submitted your preferred retreat, we will contact you with more information about attending. If you have questions at any point, you can contact info@edenteam.org. Complete this application form and pay the $25 application fee to attend a single retreat and experience a taste of feeling more at home in the love of God.

Knowledge of God | Sept 12-15, 2023

Knowledge of Self | Feb 12-15, 2024

Pace and Practices | April 22-25, 2024

The Eden Lead Ministry Cohort - EL#1 will be held in the Greensboro, North Carolina area located at the St. Francis Springs Prayer Center.  

* Future retreats will be hosted in various locations throughout the United States. Costs of retreats will vary based on venue costs.

Eden Lead Ministry Cohort will cost $4,000 for the entire year with your own room or you can pay $3,500 to share a room for the entire year.

Yes. We offer a variety of payment options that can be tailored to your situation.

The registration fee includes all room and board and materials for all 3 retreats which cover 3 nights each. Participants will be responsible for travel expenses to and from retreats. Participants will be responsible for payment directly to a spiritual director for monthly sessions throughout the year.

The fee for any cancellation or change to the Eden Lead (hereafter "Cancellation/Changes") will apply in the following noncumulative manner:


  • The entire registration fee* for a "no show" or Cancellation/Change within 5 days of a retreat;
  • A $600 fee* for Cancellation/Change within 12 days of the workshop;
  • A $450 fee* for Cancellation/Change within 3 weeks of the workshop
  • If we are able to fill your spot with someone on the waiting list, we will adjust this Cancellation/Change fee.

A Spirit-filled follower of Jesus for at least five years who has influence. The program is entitled “Eden Lead” with the conviction that the best way to renew the church is to seek the renewal of her leaders. 


We build our retreats and cohorts for both marketplace and ministry leaders, both female and male. Eden Lead is ideal for those who are hungry for more with God, who are experiencing a low ceiling in their relationships, or who simply sense that there has to be more to Christianity than they are currently experiencing. 


If you have been formed enough in Christ to be an imperfect but committed disciplemaker…


If you are hungry to experience more with God than you’ve known…


If you are willing to admit your neediness before God… 


…you’re a great candidate for Eden Lead.

We are formed, malformed, and reformed in relationships, not primarily by reading or thinking. Eden Triads are weekly meetings with three people of the same gender whose goal is to seek God together. Members learn to show up with each other and God to acknowledge the truth about their inner selves. Genuine spiritual friendships will develop as people grow in vulnerability in this safe environment. During our Eden Lead Year each participant will meet weekly with an Eden Triad and meet during the retreat with a Triad as well. We’ll train you on how to engage with your Triad as you build transformational relational skills on retreat. Here are three options of what that might look like:
  1. Ideal Option: Sign up with two other local spiritual friends to experience the Eden Lead Year together, both at home (weekly) and while on Retreat.
  2. Second Option: Participate at the Retreat with an assigned triad and recruit two other local friends to meet with you weekly in person (even though they are not part of the Eden Lead Year.) 
  3. Third Option:  Meet with your Triad both at retreat and between retreats, online. 

Much of this will be personally tailored to your stage, desires, and desperations in the season. Your Eden facilitators and spiritual director will help you to establish a personal Rule of Life that is specific to you. This will involve prayer, curiosity, and experimentation. You will build on the pathways you’re finding are most helpful for connecting with God, yourself, and others.

Reach out to Eden’s Spiritual Director, Chuck Gschwend (cgschwend@edenteam.org) to explore possible options. We will do our best to advise you towards an arrangement that works for you personally without diminishing the essential aspects of the Eden Lead experience.

Each of the three retreats are 3 night, 4 day retreats. We will send you start and end times upon registration for your specific travel preparation and planning.

Send an email to info@edenteam.org and the administrators will answers any questions that you may have.

Affirmation of the Lausanne Covenant and the Apostles Creed.

Eden’s Theory of Change

We’ve all experienced various attempts to answer the question “How do people change?” Our working Theory of Change includes…

First, humans were created in the image of a Triune God and are inherently relational. God is a community of persons who have been seeking the highest good of the other since eternity past. This is why the Scriptures can say “God is love.” Humans are therefore formed, malformed and reformed in relationships with God and others. We need new relational experiences of love to be conformed into the image of Christ.

We are not primarily driven by knowledge or the will, but by the heart. We are creatures of desire. We are creatures of love, meaning our lives are pointing towards what we love. Bruce Waltke states, “From the viewpoint of the writers of the Bible, the heart was the central organ that moved the rest of the body.  It denotes a person’s center for both physical and emotional-intellectual-moral activities.” We find paying attention to our deepest heart desires and desperations is essential for human transformation.

The human heart is hard to change. Our hearts are shy and strongly resist direct efforts to change them. Have you ever tried to change someone's mind about a political issue through rational argument? Has anyone’s mind ever changed via an insult on social media? Augustine was aware long ago, the human heart is hard to change. 

After the fall of humanity, we’re wired in such a way that judgment kills love. When we feel judged, we put up walls and resist feedback both consciously and unconsciously. Any theory which depends upon simply telling people what’s wrong with them and then expecting change will be constantly ineffective and frustrating. Augustine  in his Treatise on the Spirit and the Letter states the Law merely teaches us of a disease without healing it. The Apostle Paul in Galatians refers to The Law as a tutor showing us how badly we’re failing the test. Awareness is essential, but it alone does not heal us. Rather, it grows our desire to encounter the Great Physician who dispenses the medicine of grace with great attention and care tailored to the ailments of each person.

People will only open up when they encounter the love of God through the ministry of the Spirit. The good news in Christ with the coming of the Holy Spirit God has already come and is present to us in love. Romans 5:5b… ”God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” We now have new hearts, empowered by God Himself slowly beginning to desire what God desires, which is always our highest good.

We are transformed from one degree of glory to another as we behold “God Actual.” The enemy has actively worked to distort our understanding of God from the beginning. Broken images of God will slow our growth in connecting deeply with God. Human transformation requires deeply formed mistrust of God to be raised to the level of conscious awareness so that we can see God more as He actually is. Increasingly this looks like living at home in the love of God (I John 4:7-12).

A spiritual director is someone who meets with you one-on-one for an hour each month to help you “pay attention to the active presence of God that is in you, around you, and for you.” Our curated list of recommended spiritual directors have gone through years of training to care for the souls of God’s people. They meet a huge need in the body of Christ. Leaders need regular time that is spacious and quiet in order to attend to the voice of God. Sadly, The soul is often the most neglected part of the leader’s life. It is a tragic irony that spiritual leaders, entrusted with the care of other’s souls, usually do not adequately take care of their own. Here is a very short article that explains more: https://desertdirection.com/2022/07/27/every-leader-should-have-a-spiritual-director/.


A typical session with a trained spiritual director will involve them sitting with you in prayer and with curiosity seeking to discover what God is inviting you into with Him in the moment or season. This is different than biblical counseling but a great help for growing in intimacy with God and in spiritual discernment. 


Eden Lead participants will be asked to engage monthly with spiritual director. The typical cost of a spiritual director is $100 per session. We believe many leaders will discover the value of this key spiritual investment and will continue with their spiritual director years after completing the Eden Lead Year. 


We have a trusted list of spiritual directors to refer, but participants are required to reach out and to hire their own spiritual director. Eden does not manage this relationship or get involved with payment.

We are currently working on a 3-year journey for churches to intentionally seek renewal, and this will require several internal facilitators from the church being trained to enculturate new ways of being with God, ourselves, and others in relationship.


The Eden Project exists to help people to connect deeply with God, self, and others. We have a heart for the church and want to walk alongside leaders to rebuild the relational habitat we were created for. We believe this work will lead to renewal throughout the Body of Christ. In order to see widespread change we will need to see leaders renewed first.


In Luke 6:12-13, Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray through the night. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles. This is how Jesus builds his church. Jesus selected key leaders to develop, in intimate relational spaces, over long periods of time. This was not done in large batches quickly or digitally.


In order to address the gaps we see in the church, we envision a spiritually vibrant community of Eden Lead retreat facilitators to host retreats in churches all over the world, helping leaders come home to the love of God. We deeply desire to be part of the “answer” to Henri Nouwen’s prophetic “central question” for this age:


“The central question is, are the leaders of the future truly men and women of God who possess an ardent desire to dwell in God's presence, to listen to God's voice, to look at God's beauty… and to taste fully God's infinite goodness?"

We strongly discourage non-participants from joining as this is a personal retreat for your development. There will be individual exercises that would be diminished if you were distracted by other relationships and obligations during the time.

Yes. We will serve healthy and nutritious meals; and they try to accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions. We inform the kitchen/catering staff when we have individuals in our group who have some special dietary needs. This will accommodate vegetarian and gluten-free options for those who specified that when registering.