Participants belong to a covenant group of 5-7 persons who stay together for the entire program. The covenant groups meet three times during every session, and some members stay in touch between sessions. These groups tends to become close knit, and personal sharing in strictest confidence takes place.
In addition to being a powerful support for one another, each meeting is also a practicum in which members rotate responsibility for leading the group in a meditative practice. One or two new meditative practices are introduced in each program session. Staff member Richard Bruesehoff distributes written instructions to leaders prior to each session and meets with these leaders both before and after their covenant group meeting.
"Grace Institute gave me the opportunity in a safe community of friends to focus intentionally on God's relationship with me. In a way the covenant group was an incarnation of the church for me—a model, a glimpse of what can be, of what God had in mind in calling the church into being." — Grace Institute Graduate
"The program was a very meaningful experience for me, and the fact that we experienced so many spiritual practices over the course of the two years was fantastic. The small covenant group was an unexpected surprise for me. I really wasn't sure I would enjoy that time, but it came to be the time I looked most forward to." — Grace Institute Graduate
"The heart of the program is the covenant group. It's a great gift to be able with truth and honesty to share my joys and my sorrows, and experience the discipline of listening to others." — Grace Institute Graduate