Retirement Integrity Circles

Small green sprout growing from the middle of an old tree stump

Retirement Integrity Circles are for any retired or soon-to-retire pastor aged 60–75 who desires to meet with other retired pastors to explore questions of spirituality, calling, wellbeing and more in this part of life. Each cohort will be made up of six pastors and will be led by a trained consultant.

Develop a new way of thinking about this time of your life

Originally, “retirement” meant to withdraw or retreat. In the Retirement Integrity Circles, we will move toward a new way of thinking about this period as the “third third” of our lives. In the first third of life (until about age 30), we focus on incubation; education; preparation; and exploring identity and purpose, intimacy and relationships. In the second third of life (about ages 30 to 60), we focus on family and career. And in the third third (ages 60 to 90), we focus more on generativity, meaning and spiritual integrity. In this third third of life, God wants us to flourish — to live in shalom. 

In a confidential environment, you will be invited to share about your experience of and hopes for this time of life. Other members of the circle will respond to you using a gentle, contemplative process that helps you reflect on the kind of life you want (and God wants for you) in this season. 

The first session will take place in person on campus at AMBS. This daylong gathering will include a time of being acquainted with one another, developing hopes and goals for the program, discussing the framework of the third third of your life, and beginning to share. The following gatherings will take place once a month on Zoom with two people sharing each time, along with spiritual practices and check-ins. 

The cohort will be led by Dan Schrock, DMin, a Core Adjunct Faculty member at AMBS, a spiritual director, and a wellness specialist for The Corinthian Plan of Mennonite Church USA. During his 30-year career as a pastor, he worked in four MC USA conferences in assistant, solo and co-pastor roles.

Retirement Integrity Circles logistics 

The first cohort of Retirement Integrity Circles will meet for the first session in person at AMBS on Nov. 9–10, 2021, from 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday until 11:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, and then will meet monthly on Zoom on the first Wednesday morning of the month from December 2021 through June 2022 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET.

  • Nov. 9–10: 1 p.m. ET Tuesday until 11:30 a.m. ET Wednesday at AMBS*
  • Dec. 1: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET on Zoom
  • Jan. 5: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET on Zoom
  • Feb. 2: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET on Zoom
  • March 2: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET on Zoom
  • April 6: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET on Zoom
  • May 4: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET on Zoom
  • June 1: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET on Zoom

The early registration cost is $1,000 per participant if you register by Oct. 1, 2021. After that the cost will be $1,100, with a final registration deadline of Oct. 15, 2021.

*Registration fees cover the cost of the program for the year, as well as food and lodging for the first session. Participants will need to cover their own travel costs to and from AMBS.

Learn more

Have Questions? Email Julia Schmidt, Program Administrator, at [email protected] or call 574-296-6245.