Exploring Your Spiritual Journey

Exploring Your Spiritual Journey


Exploring Your Spiritual Journey (EYSJ) provides intentional time to slow down and listen to what God is calling you to do in the midst of every-day living.

EYSJ is for:

  • Those wishing direction in lay ministry
  • Anyone seeking ordination

Take time to:

  • Walk with others as you explore your spiritual journey
  • Identify your gifts
  • Understand what God is calling you to do
  • Identify the tools you will need for your ministry
  • Develop a plan to gain the skills you will need
  • Interact with qualified facilitators on a regular basis

The Exploring Your Spiritual Journey (EYSJ) Program is for any person who is seeking to understand God’s work in his or her life. If you feel there is more to life than day-to-day living, then EYSJ may help you discern how God is calling you to live.

Exploring Your Spiritual Journey is a discernment process that responds to the calling of the Holy Spirit and honors lay ministry as well as ordained ministry. The inclusion of people discerning a special direction in lay ministry together with those who sense a call to ordained ministry will enrich all who seek a focused and deepened ministry to serve as Jesus taught in the church and in the world.

During the EYSJ year, in the midst of a Christian community, you will walk with a group of fellow seekers reflecting on God’s call and on what it means to keep covenant with God. Reflection and prayer lie at the heart of this program. Through reflection and prayer you are led to a closer walk with God, in quietness to hear what God asks of you. In this community you will share a common life of discernment and exploration. You will reflect on your spiritual journey, identify your spiritual gifts and determine the resources, training and experience you will need to effectively carry out the unique ministry you have discerned.

The EYSJ year begins with the Opening Retreat, a 24-hour experience of spiritual reflection and sharing with others who are also seeking God’s purpose in their lives.

EYSJ Workshops

Note: There will be two EYSJ programs running simultaneously. One will be held in the Jackson, MI area, and the other will be in the Metro-Detroit area. The retreat for both groups will take place August 16-17th at Emrich Retreat Center, in Brighton.

Detroit AND Jackson Workshop Dates:

Sessions 1 & 2 – August 16 & 17 (at the retreat)
Session 3 – August 31
Session 4 – September 14
Session 5 – September 28
Session 6 – October 19
Session 7 – November 2
Session 8 – December 14
Session 9 – January 4
Session 10 – January 25
Session 11 – February 22
Session 12 – March 14
Session 13 – April 4
Session 14 – April 25
Session 15 – May 16
Session 16 – May 30 (if needed)

Each session will run on Saturdays from 9:00am to 12:00pm

Location: To be finalized by August.

Course fee: $1,000. Scholarships are available as are monthly payment plans. A $50 deposit is required to process the application.

For further information, please read this Short Guide to the Exploring Your Spiritual Journey Program and the Spiritual Director’s List

EYSJ Payment and Cancellation Policy

Tuition for the Exploring Your Spiritual Journey (EYSJ) program is $1,000 for the 11-month program. Your $50 refundable deposit is due with the application and will be applied to your tuition. This confirms your place in the retreat. By the start of the retreat in August, 50% of the full year’s tuition is due. By January, the remaining 50% must be paid in full. If you need financial help, we can: 1) spread out the payments over the course of the year and 2) provide scholarship assistance.

Payment Plan:

For those with demonstrated financial need, payment plans can be arranged by contacting Mark Miliotto at or 313-833-4427.

Scholarship Information:

Our philosophy is that lack of funding shall not be a stumbling block for attending a course. Scholarship funds are available from our generous donors and we make these available through a sharing approach: “1/3, 1/3, 1/3” This means your congregation will be asked to fund 1/3, you will fund 1/3 and Whitaker Scholarship Fund will fund 1/3. To apply, contact The Rev. Vicki Hesse at and complete the Scholarship Application for your program.

Cancellation Policy:

Tuition deposits for EYSJ are fully refundable before the retreat. After the retreat, the maximum refund will be 50% of the tuition amount.

Questions? Email Vicki Hesse at

You can now register online. Filling out the form below, along with your $50 deposit will hold your place in the class. (You can also elect to pay whatever amount you desire, if you wish to pay more than the $50 deposit)