Emmaus Certificate in Formational Leadership

Our vision in Emmaus is to see the Body of Christ growing up into maturity in the Holy Spirit,
rooted in Jesus and established in an experiential knowledge of the love of God in Christ.

Equipping Spiritual Leaders to serve from a listening heart...

Are you called to facilitate spiritual formation ministry in your setting?
Do you want to lead others in such a way that they grow in the grace and knowledge of God in Christ Jesus?

Many Christians know a lot about God and the Bible, but their relationship with God remains shallow. Emmaus can help you change that in your setting by equipping you to provide the kind of leadership that allows people to become more open to receiving the love of God the Father, to being renewed in obedience to Jesus and more discerning of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

Emmaus Certificate in Formational Leadership Program

The Emmaus Certificate in Formational Leadership is a two-year program for leaders who desire ever-deepening attentiveness to the presence of God, and to God’s promptings within and around them. This formative training is for those who appreciate they need to be more attuned to God, to their own souls, and to the people they seek to serve.

Given responsibility to lead a nation, Solomon was invited by God in a dream to ask for one thing. He asked, literally, for a hearing or listening heart, translated as an “understanding” heart – 1 Kings 3:9 (NASB). Being in possession of a listening heart is a singular gift for those who serve in the Kingdom of God.

Our Emmaus program is designed with an emphasis on equipping spiritual leaders to listen, and consequently, to be agents of increasing transformation in their own leadership contexts.

Each retreat provides a spiritually enriching environment for ongoing encouragement and growth in the spiritual life, in discernment and renewal. It is our hope that by engaging with one another in unhurried, reflective and contemplative ways, we will develop a lifestyle of spiritual formation that will impact both our personal walk of intimacy with Christ and inform our influence as leaders in our ministry contexts.

The certificate program includes:

  • Six thematic retreats over a 2 year period
  • Spiritually formative leadership curricula
  • Community-based learning and interaction
  • One-on-one mentoring and spiritual companioning
  • Reading and reflection assignments
  • Doing spiritual formation ministry in your setting

See the full Certificate in Formational Leadership requirements here.

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Fostering a Lifestyle of Formation, Discernment and Renewal

Formational Leadership is the term we use to identify a way of leading that actively seeks to instill in God’s people the maturity in Christ that God intends for us.

A formational leader is a person who is participating in the ongoing work of becoming conformed to the image of Christ and leads others in how to do the same. Accomplishing this takes more than teaching biblical principles or getting people to sign up for another program. Formational Leadership involves accompanying people in the process of being spiritually formed in and by the Holy Spirit. It requires a way of being present and attentively attuned to the actual work of God in the soul, and learning to cooperate in that work as it is taking place in real time.

Listening (rather than telling) is the primary leadership posture; discernment (rather than taking charge) is the dynamic in the leader’s role. The fruit of this disciplined and mature leadership presence is the formation of persons and communities of grace, humility, compassion who increasingly yearn after God and hunger and thirst for righteousness. These are people who are open-handed and open-hearted, who are in possession of a capacity for unity amidst diversity, for mercy in judgment, for tenderness with the weary. They are learning to abide in Christ, to walk by the Spirit, to love God with all their heart, mind and soul, and to love their neighbors as themselves.

  • A listening community of sacred companions
  • State of soul sharing that serves as our re-introduction to one another each retreat
  • Scripture, prayer and reflective disciplines 
  • Developing a personal Rule of Life as a foundation for discipleship that is empowered by the Holy Spirit
  • Worship times as a community
  • Spacious times of silence and solitude for prayer, Scripture reading, personal reflection, a walk in the woods or perhaps a nap
  • Spiritual direction opportunities
  • Teaching on spiritual formation and leadership topics relevant to the retreat theme
  • Contemplative practices to deepen and enrich your soul
  • Community listening to enhance listening skills and an awareness of your true self in Christ
  • Collegial learning that will impact your leadership perspectives
  • Confidence as a spiritual leader, following the example of Jesus
  • Courage to lead as a change agent, practicing ways to humbly and graciously serve others in transformations of their own
  • Conviction to lead as a discernment-based decision-maker
  • Hospitality and facilitation for six retreats over a two-year period
  • Training, teaching, worship times, practical resources, and a contemplative community in which you will be equipped to grow in formational leadership
  • Mentoring and spiritual companionship between each retreat as you explore ways to apply what you’re learning in your ministry setting

Emmaus offers a robust non-degree continuing education opportunity for pastors, chaplains, ministry leaders and all those in vocational ministry settings. Participants will receive encouragement in their personal and spiritual growth, leadership development, instruction in spiritual formation and soul care, as well as experiential training in skills related to listening and discernment, decision making and companioning others. Each participant will be required to create a Ministry Application Plan (MAP) which involves exploring tangible ways of bringing the benefits of the Emmaus program into their own ministry settings.

If you are currently matriculated in an accredited college, university, or seminary, the requirements of Selah’s Certificate Program in Spiritual Direction and Emmaus’ Certificate in Formational Leadership may suffice as “Independent Study” courses for your degree program. LTI team members are available to serve as advocates as you complete necessary paperwork at your academic institution.

Take care how you listen.
Words of Jesus to his disciples from Luke 8

Application Process & Tuition

Emmaus 2022 – 2024 is now accepting applications.

Fill out and submit the online application along with a $50 application fee.

Tuition: $2,900 for the ONLINE two-year certification program. $250 non-refundable deposit is required upon acceptance to either program. A monthly payment plan is available as well as limited scholarship aid. 

Cost includes materials and instruction, plus personal mentoring, as well as overnight lodging and meals if in the retreat setting. Each participant is responsible to acquire approximately six books per year.

Contact Jeremy Stefano at Jeremy@ltinc.org for any questions.

Retreat Locations & Dates

What Others Are Saying

Abigail Carroll
Abigail CarrollPastor of Arts and Spiritual Formation, Church at the Well, Burlington, VA
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Every part of the Emmaus experience--the reflection papers, the rule of life, the mentor conversations, and more--proved not just valuable to me in my spiritual leadership journey, but transformative. These “assignments” catalyzed the spiritual growth I was experiencing, helped me learn a vocabulary of the soul I previously lacked, and have remained practically valuable to me in life and ministry following completion of the program.
Gary Franklin
Gary FranklinVision and Teaching Pastor, Grace Church, Fayetteville, GA
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In 2018 four members of the staff leadership team from our GA church enrolled in Emmaus together. My desire as lead pastor was to place our team in an environment that would shape and deepen each of us as spiritual leaders. The experience was so rich for our team! Our shared desire was to reproduce what we experienced with our church family. Emmaus played a pivitol role in equipping us with a vision for sustaining authentic spiritual formation in our ministry context.
Rusty Ward
Rusty Ward
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"The yearly rhythm and format of Emmaus recalibrated my soul toward God, fueled my desire to pursue God and heightened my awareness of God. Emmaus has equipped me to experience more of the fullness and variety that God offers to all who earnestly seek Him. The expertise of the faculty and the experience of the Emmaus program have enabled me to discover and connect with my God, myself and my Emmaus community in levels of awareness and relationship that I truly believe would not have been attainable in other settings. I have laughed and cried more passionately in this safe place than anywhere else, as together we have plumbed the depths and mined the sacred treasures of honesty and vulnerability toward spiritual formation. Emmaus has been nothing short of transformational for me and I will never be the same."
Jeff Schuliger
Jeff SchuligerElder/Pastoral Team, Hillside Church, North Vancouver, Canada
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"The spiritual friendships I've formed though my involvement with Emmaus have been places of real encouragement—not only for me personally but also as a reminder for what God is doing in the hearts of other church leaders. One specific way that this community has encouraged me is by reminding me (and softly exhorting me!) to honestly and faithfully lean into who God is calling me to be, which has freed me up to more fully do what God is asking me to do. Words like freedom, grace, wisdom, rest, authenticity, and joy come to mind as I reflect back upon my experience with
Dave Ripper
Dave RipperLead Pastor, Crossway Christian Church, Nashua, New Hampshire
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"The most important task of spiritual leadership is hearing Jesus. Without his voice, our congregations are only hearing our voices. And that's not saying much. Discerning the voice of Jesus amidst the wordiness of our world is rarely a solitary act. It takes others. But not just any group of people—or even any Christian group of people for that matter—but a listening, unhurried, transforming community. Through LTI's Emmaus Spiritual Leadership Community, I received the gift of being surrounded with trusted voices that enabled me to hear the most trusted Voice when I needed to hear it most. These voices helped silence the blather of fear, so my wife and I could respond fearlessly to the Voice of Love. Our family, our future, our ministry will never be the same."

Can't find what you're looking for?

Jeremy Stefano

Director of Emmaus, Selah Faculty-at-Large, & Minister of Spiritual Formation

Jeremy offers spiritual direction, leads retreats, teaches on spiritual formation topics and serves as the director of Emmaus, a Certificate Program in Formational Leadership. He also works with students of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary at the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building. The heartbeat of Jeremy’s calling is to encourage Christian leaders in the cultivation of their relationship with God. He has served various churches as pastor and interim pastor. He and Bethany, his wife of 32 years, have been blessed with eight children and three grandchildren. They make their home in Massachusetts. He has a Licentiate in Theology from the Cape Town Baptist Seminary in South Africa, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Regent College in Canada and a D.Min. in Leadership and Spiritual Formation from Portland Seminary in Portland, OR. “Friendships have been a source of grace in my life. It is a gift to serve in LTI alongside those who value the priority of rich and enduring relationships with each other.

Articles by Jeremy Stefano

Steve Macchia

Founder & President

Steve is a graduate of Northwestern College (IA) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div. and D.Min.). His prior ministry includes serving on the pastoral staff at Grace Chapel (Lexington, MA) and as president of Vision New England. Since July 1, 2003 Steve has served as founder and president of Leadership Transformations, director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building, and adjunct faculty in the Doctor of Ministry department at Gordon-Conwell. He is the author of sixteen books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective),  Baker bestseller Becoming a Healthy Church, and Crafting a Rule of Life (IVP). He lives in the Boston area with his wife Ruth and is the proud father of two grown children, Rebekah and Nathan, daughter in-love Ashley, and papa to his beloved granddaughter, Brenna Lynn. “My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

Detailed Biography
Articles by Stephen Macchia
Author Website
Schedule a one-on-one with Steve

David Wu

Selah Senior Faculty, Emmaus Faculty

David serves as Senior Faculty of Selah, LTI’s Certificate Program in Spiritual Direction, and Emmaus, LTI’s Certificate Program in Formational Leadership. He is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div.,’11) and Selah. Prior to his ministry with LTI, David was involved with overseas missions in East Asia, church planting, and pastoral ministry in the local church. David is passionate about creating prayerful and hospitable space for others to listen to God, whether through leading worship corporately, facilitating soul care retreats, or one-on-one spiritual direction. For fun, David enjoys long hikes, playing the guitar, gluten-free cooking, and pulling weeds. David and his wife and three kids make their home in Sugar Land, Texas. “I first encountered LTI at a soul care retreat during a very low point in my life and ministry. LTI was my spiritual paramedic at just the right time. Today I am so grateful to serve with this incredible team of loving and compassionate soul care-givers.

Jovin Adjeitey

Jovin Adjeitey

Emmaus-Online & Selah-East

Jovin is from Ghana, West Africa and serves in ministry with InterVarsity in the Red River Region (TX, OK, AR, LA). Though her master’s degree (University of Houston) is in Hospitality, things took a turn when the Lord led her in a different kind of hospitality than expected. She cares deeply about serving the nations here in America. It has been a thrilling journey as she lives in a different culture (USA) and serve many cultures. She spends her workdays now serving in the area of Spiritual Formation and Prayer and delights to lead others to experience God’s life-changing love and power through the ministries of prayer, the Word, and attentive listening. She trained as a Spiritual Director through Leadership Transformations’ Selah Certificate Program. For fun, she enjoys a good cup of tea and loves to express hospitality through cooking for others. “The ministry of LTI was meaningful to me during a Kairos moment in my life. I am blessed to serve with this remarkable team.

Beverly Byron


Beverly was born and raised in Boston, MA. After graduating from Cornell
University she earned a Master of Social Work Degree from Atlanta University. Her
spiritual foundation was shaped at Twelfth Baptist Church where she was a lay
member of the ministerial staff and was involved in and/or led many ministries
including teaching all ages, counseling team, short term missions trips, evangelism,
and discipleship. Her spiritual growth was also influenced by Inter Varsity Christian
Fellowship, CRU, Billy Graham School of Evangelism, Destiny ’87, and Ambassadors
Fellowship. She is involved in the evangelism and prayer ministry of the church she
attends in Roslindale. She is the proud mother of a young adult daughter who is an
entrepreneur, radio broadcaster, youth pastor and social worker. Beverly enjoys
crocheting, reading and spending time with family. She delights in creatively
sharing God’s love, encouraging people to have an intimate relationship with God
and with people. “LTI has had a significant and lasting impact on my spiritual
life through the intentional time of retreat, refreshing, renewal, revival, reflection
and rest at the Emmaus experience.

Beth Case


Beth is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, the University of Illinois-Chicago, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She serves as Pastor for Caring Ministries at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church. She grew up in the midwest as one of four daughters of a pastor and a stay-at-home mom. Beth spent a few years coaching college women’s basketball before her God-given passion for people led her into full-time ministry. She has served in children’s, student, and music ministries, as well as in discipleship, teaching, and compassionate care. Beth earned her certificate in spiritual direction through Selah. It is her heart to companion others as they notice the nurturing nearness of God and pay attention to God-paced rhythms for life-long ministry. Beth loves to be outdoors and active. She marvels at God’s artistry in creation, God’s grace throughout history, and God’s beauty in each person. Journeying with God is pure adventure!  “I encountered LTi through Pierce Discipleship during seminary. I experienced God’s healing through the soul-level companionship of Pierce fellows and a deeper awareness of our always-present God.” 

Gayle Heaslip

Gayle Heaslip

Spiritual Formation Associate & Selah Faculty

Gayle Heaslip has a degree in counseling from Gordon-Conwell Seminary and having completed Selah’s spiritual direction training program, she is drawn to walk alongside others as they grow into the fullness of life the Lord supplies through both trials and triumphs. In addition to working with LTI and offering spiritual direction to individuals and groups, she is a priest in the Anglican Church of North America, serving a missional fellowship in Falmouth. Gayle delights in the ever-changing beauty of Cape Cod where she lives with her husband and close to their three grown children and eight grandchildren. Good books and conversation, hiking, writing and photography, and time alone to ponder are God’s gracious gifts to her. “I have been deeply formed over many years through LTI within its listening, companioning community, and I’m honored to walk with others in the Emmaus and Selah programs as we become more attentive and responsive to God’s presence.

Marcos Leon

Marcos Leon

Emmaus-Online & Selah-West

Marcos has served as a Team Leader for Faithwalking since 2007. He facilitates and coaches the Faithwalking curriculum in English and Spanish, leads the communications team, and oversees the training for coaches. Marcos is also part of the Emmaus Online faculty team at LTI. Additionally he serves as a counselor and has a passion for spiritual direction. Marcos was born and grew up in Ecuador, but now lives north of Houston in Porter, TX with his wife Julie and four children. He loves nature, good stories, and road trips with family. His education includes a Masters in Hotel Administration in Spain and a Masters in Counseling from Houston Graduate School of Theology. He also received his training on the Enneagram from Crosspoint Ministry and is a graduate of LTI’s Selah program. “Selah facilitates an encounter with God. The integration of a solid biblical foundation in the teaching, the humble spaciousness of the discipline of silence, and the faith-filled loving attitude of the leaders invites the soul to listen to the Spirit of the Living God.

Suz Skinner

Suz Skinner

Spiritual Formation Associate

Suz received her degree in Art Education from Pennsylvania State University, received theological education from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary through CCO and IVCF campus ministries, and completed the Selah Certificate Program in Spiritual Direction. After serving in campus ministry, Suz has also served on church staff teams, in both youth ministry and adult discipleship ministry. In addition, Suz has worked as a visual arts instructor, for over two decades. Currently, Suz serves LTI at the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and on the faculty team for the Emmaus: Certificate in Formational Leadership. As both an artist and a spiritual director, Suz offers creative soul care and spiritual direction in her art studio. Five clever grandkids, along with their loving parents, continually bless Suz and her husband, Joel. Suz loves to fill her kitchen with friends and good conversation and is always refreshed by an oceanside walk. “God continues to use the grace-filled people and the attentive spaciousness of LTI to shape me for Christ’s Kingdom.