Student Story: Transforming Communities and Kairos

May 30, 2022

While applying to the Transforming Center in Wheaton, IL, Dawn (Kairos alumna) discovered that she could simultaneously work on a Master of Arts degree while being a part of the Transforming Center’s Transforming Community.

Dawn recently shared her experience and how the partnership between the Transforming Center and Kairos helped further her theological training.

Dawn’s experience:

At my first Transforming Community retreat, Sioux Falls Seminary President Greg Henson gave a presentation on how participation in a Transforming Community could help students work toward proficiency in some Kairos program outcomes. Ruth Haley Barton, the Founding President and CEO of the Transforming Center, also shared the positive benefits of theological training and their mutual commitment to the partnership. She then challenged those of us thinking about doing both programs to pray about what the Lord would have us do…. Many bells started ringing in my head, and as I met with the Lord during the afternoon of solitude, I felt the Lord inviting me to let Him do the work in my heart He desired to do without the pressure of school.

I hit pause on seminary and entered fully into Transforming Community for my own heart formation, which was the best decision for me. About six months from completing Transforming Center, I began the Kairos Listening People to Life Training in Spiritual Direction certificate program and the Kairos Master of Arts program—neither were what I had initially thought I would pursue, but both were most exciting to study after learning what I did in Transforming Community. 

Without a doubt, the Transforming Community experience and the Certificate of Completion for Training in Spiritual Direction laid an important foundation on which to build theological training. The partnership between Transforming Center and Kairos worked well and both had influences in preparing me for my next steps in life and ministry. Transforming Community was integral for my own spiritual formation and the experience I took with me into Kairos was a great help in my Master of Arts program.

The Transforming Center defines itself as “communities of men and women who gather around the presence of Christ for the purpose of spiritual transformation so we can discern and do the will of God.” To learn more, visit

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