Read for .

Take an online journey through four soul-shaping, Christ-centered books.

Oct 2019–May 2020

Registration for the 2019-20 is now closed. Sign up to be notified about the 2020-2021 Book Club!

Membership Includes

Lighthouse Exclusive content from the author or seasoned guide.
Notebook Schedule, study guides, podcasts, essays, and email reminders.
Notebook Thoughtful online discussion with other Book Club members.
Map Optional in-person discussion groups in many locations (and growing!)

“Far too much to mention.”

That's how one participant answered, What was the most meaningful thing you received from the Book Club? Others said...

“Exposure to diverse thoughts and opinions. Incredible depth of some respondents.”
“I was introduced to books that I normally would not read. It stretched me spiritually. It was a growing and great experience.”
“Broadened my diversity experience in the Church.”
“Finding like-minded Christians trying to thrive in a consumer-driven environment”
“Insights into Love, perseverance thru suffering, thankfulness, non-violence (submission rather than retaliation), understanding the thinking of ancient times...”
“I really loved how these books helped me to more fully understand the presence of God in my life and begin to include Him more in my daily experiences.”
“Personal growth and that of others in the club. Our group members' relationship to Jesus went into overdrive!”
“I was challenged to rethink my walk with the Lord and draw closer to him through more meaningful prayer and transformation of my mind.”
“In addition to reading four books (yay!), I have noticed my shift in thinking.... becoming closer to Jesus. It was very beneficial.”
“It was wonderful to meet with a group of people who were reading and wrestling with the material alongside me. It made for rich conversations. Others took notice of things that I missed.”

Meet the Facilitators

Philip Yancey

Philip Yancey

Philip Yancey is an American Christian author. Fourteen million copies of his books have been sold worldwide, making him one of the best-selling evangelical Christian authors. Two of his books
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Emilie Griffin

Emilie Griffin

A former broadcast producer and marketing consultant, Emilie has authored several books including Clinging:The Experience of Prayer, Doors Into Prayer, The Reflective Executive, Wilderness Time, Souls in Full Sail and
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Mimi Dixon

Miriam Dixon

Miriam (Mimi) Dixon began her ministry in 1979 serving as an associate pastor at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Seattle, Washington. From April of 1985 to May of 2019 she served
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Larry Becky June2018 Copy

Rebecca Willard Heatley & Larry Burtoft

Rebecca and Larry worked closely together to bring Dallas Willard's teaching series on Psalm 23 (originally shared in 1991 with "a little flock of ragtag Christians" who gathered in Van
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Philip Yancey

Philip Yancey

For Philip Yancey, writing is a way to explore faith. He explains: “At times we all ask questions such as ‘Where is God when it hurts?’ or ‘Does prayer make any difference?’ As a freelance writer, I get to investigate such issues full-time. It’s my calling, to honestly explore such questions, and I feel privileged to do so in print.”

Yancey has authored over 25 books, in which he has wrestled with God, with the Church, and with fellow believers. After surviving a church background of what he now calls “toxic faith,” he ultimately came to know a God of grace and beauty. With a journalistic, story-telling style, he invites readers to accompany him as he probes the deepest mysteries of the Christian faith, and challenges readers to live as followers of Jesus.

Many have done so. His books have sold more than 15 million copies in English, and have been translated into 40 languages worldwide. Philip’s bestselling titles include What’s So Amazing About Grace? and The Jesus I Never Knew. His most recent book is Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God’s Image, released August, 2019.

Philip Yancey and his wife lived in downtown Chicago before moving to the foothills of Colorado, where they enjoy mountain climbing, skiing, wildlife, and many other delights of the Rocky Mountains.

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Emilie Griffin

Emilie Griffin

Emilie Griffin is the award-winning author of many books on the spiritual life, including Wonderful and Dark Is This Road: Discovering the Mystic Path and Doors into Prayer: an Invitation. She is also the series editor of the HarperCollins Spiritual Classics. Emilie Griffin travels often to give workshops and retreats and is a beloved member of Renovaré's Ministry Team.

A native of New Orleans, Emilie is married to William Griffin, a writer, editor, and publishing veteran who is an authority on C.S.Lewis. Both Griffins were founding members of the Chrysostom Society, a national writers group formed in the 1980s. Emilie also speaks conversational Latin fluently.

The Griffins live in Alexandria, LA.

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Mimi Dixon

Miriam Dixon

Miriam (Mimi) Dixon began her ministry in 1979 serving as an associate pastor at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Seattle, Washington. From April of 1985 to May of 2019 she served as senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Golden, Colorado. She earned both her MDiv and DMin degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary. Mimi is on the Renovaré Board of Directors and teaches for the Renovaré Institute. She actively promotes Christian Spiritual Formation, crediting Richard Foster and Dallas Willard for their influence in her life and ministry. The Interior Castle has become an essential resource in Mimi's life with God for the past several years, and Mimi is excited to help Book Club members become better acquainted with Teresa of Ávila and the help she offers.

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Larry Becky June2018 Copy

Rebecca Willard Heatley & Larry Burtoft

Rebecca and Larry worked closely together to bring Dallas Willard's teaching series on Psalm 23 (originally shared in 1991 with "a little flock of ragtag Christians" who gathered in Van Nuys, CA). They will be collaborating this coming spring to guide us through Life without Lack in a deeper way.

Rebecca Willard Heatley has been engaged in furthering the work of Dallas Willard since becoming his ministry assistant in January of 2000. Her work includes establishing Dallas’ website ( in 2001, assembling the articles collected in The Great Omission (2006), transcribing and editing The Allure of Gentleness (2015), and co-editing Life Without Lack (2018 with Larry Burtoft). Her ministry efforts also include working with Dallas Willard Ministries to expand the visibility of Dallas’ work, helping with the efforts of the Dallas Willard Research Center and serving on the board of the Apprentice Institute.

Larry Burtoft has been married to his wife, Lotus, for 49 years, and together they raised three sons. Those sons are married and raising another six sons and one granddaughter. Both Larry & Lotus were born in Southern California, moving to Colorado Springs, CO in 1993, where they now reside.

Having graduated from Biola University and Talbot Theological Seminary, in 1983 he received his doctorate from the University of Southern California, where Dallas Willard served as one of his dissertation advisors. He has ministered as a pastor in multiple churches and taught in various academic settings, including Azusa Pacific University, Fuller Theological Seminary and Denver Seminary.

Larry was the pastor of Valley Vista Christian Community in Van Nuys, CA, where Dallas came to deliver the series of talks that became Life Without Lack (2018), which Larry co-edited with Dallas’ daughter, Becky Willard Heatley.

Now retired, Larry is dabbling in art, working his way through Dallas’ The Disappearance of Moral Knowledge, and involved in leadership and teaching at his church.

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Soul-Stretching Books

Chosen by Renovaré for the 2019-2020 Season

Fw Final Cover
Session 1 October 14–November 30
Fearfully and Wonderfully : The Marvel of Bearing God's Image
by Philip Yancey, Paul Brand
Philip Yancey Facilitated by Philip Yancey
Doors Into Prayer Cover
Session 2 December 2–February 1
Doors Into Prayer : An Invitation
by Emilie Griffin
Emilie Griffin Facilitated by Emilie Griffin
Interior Castle Book Cover2
Session 3 February 3–March 21
Interior Castle : (Christian Classics Edition)
by Teresa of Avila
Mimi Dixon Facilitated by Miriam Dixon
Life Without Lack
Session 4 March 23–May 16
Life without Lack : Living in the Fullness of Psalm 23
by Dallas Willard
Larry Becky June2018 Copy Facilitated by Rebecca Willard Heatley & Larry Burtoft
Person Posting Online

Kind Online Discussion

The Internet can be a scary place sometimes, especially when it comes to discussing close-to-the-heart topics. The Renovaré Book Club strives to create an online space where people ask without fear, seek understanding, and disagree while treating one another as Jesus would.

You can choose to participate in a members-only forum, a members-only Facebook group, an in-person group, or no group at all and simply follow along and enjoy the resources. It's up to you.

In-Person Groups

Optionally Participate in a Volunteer-Led In-Person Group (Where Available)

Map below shows in-person groups. None close to you? Join the discussion online and/or contact us to start an in-person group. Note: Coordinator contact info is only available after joining. Learn more about local groups...

Map loading...
Use +/- buttons to zoom. Or, see locations as a list.

Questions & Answers


What is Renovaré?

Founded by Celebration of Discipline author Richard J. Foster, Renovaré is a Christian nonprofit that creates resources and kindles communities which help people become more like Jesus. Learn more about Renovaré.

What are the benefits of Membership?

Membership includes reading schedule with email reminders, study guides, podcasts, essays and a members-only discussion forum where you can interact with other members and the Renovaré team members leading the sessions. Membership also includes access to volunteer-led meetup groups in select areas.

Timing (Start Date, Ship Dates)

When does the Book Club begin? Can I join anytime?

Our 2019-20 season will begin on October 14, 2019, with the first week of reading starting on October 21. You may join any time during the season and have access to the bonus features of all four books (articles and podcasts, as well as discussion board conversations).

Due to the event-like nature of the Book Club, memberships are not returnable/refundable. Thanks for your understanding and for your support of the work of Renovaré.

How long will I have access to the Book Club resources and discussions?

Once you join, you will have perpetual access to this season’s resources and access to the discussion forums throughout the summer. We leave everything accessible on the Book Club dashboard through early September.

Once we archive all of the resources, we send members a link to access them going forward. We do not preserve the discussion boards past the summer.


Are books included with Membership?

No, all books must be obtained separately. (Memberships that include the first book are no longer available.)

If your membership was purchased on or before September 30 and included the first book, you will still need to obtain the final three books of the season.

Books may be borrowed from your local library, purchased at your local bookseller, or purchased using Amazon or CBD links on the Book Club purchase page (links support Renovaré). All of this season’s books are available in e-book format through online retailers as well.

Does it matter which editions of the books I use?

Yes, readers often find it easier to use the recommended editions, as page numbers and other details can be edition-specific. If you use an edition other than the one recommended, you may need to do some adaptation. Note: We are also aware that our readers are increasingly using eBook versions of the texts, and we will do our best to make the reading assignments make sense for the digital versions of our chosen editions as well.

Local Meet Ups

Local meet-ups: how do they work? When do they meet? Does Renovaré facilitate them?

Local meet-ups are organized and led by volunteers. Renovaré publishes the list of volunteer meet-up locations (coming soon for 2019-20) but does not have a direct role in hosting the groups.

Experience in the local groups has generally been very positive. We are delighted to see these communities blossom and grow. We are very grateful to our local leaders for being willing to step forward in this role.

That said, here are a few things to keep in mind:

• Your membership fee covers the study guide, podcasts, essays, weekly reminders, and access to a online community. Local meet-ups are a free bonus to the Book Club made possible by volunteers. Because of that, Renovaré cannot accept responsibility for individuals’ experiences—whether as host or participant—in a local book group.

You must be a member of the Book Club to connect with a local host. We have assured our hosts that their information will only be made available to those who belong to the Book Club. Once you join, you will receive a special link to the coordinators’ names and email addresses so you can connect with them.

Dates and times of meet-ups are set by hosts and may vary from month to month. Members can contact coordinators for time and location details.

We expect our Book Club members to treat one another as Jesus would, with the highest level of honor and respect. Any sort of abuse or harassment will not be tolerated—whether in-person or online.

Thank you!

How do I find out if there is a meetup group in my area?

Please see this map and list of locations. (Note: You can “grab” the map by clicking or tapping on it, and move it around to see various parts of the world.) Members will have access to the names and email addresses of the local coordinators to discuss a time and location.

If there are no groups in your area, you will still be able to join an online discussion group. Once you’re a member, you can also volunteer to become a coordinator for your region.

How The Book Club Works

Who are the moderators of the Book Club? Can I interact with them online?

Each session has a facilitator (either the author or an expert on the book) who will help you grow as you read each title. They provide bonus articles and podcast messages about the book, but they do not engage on the discussion forums. You will have an opportunity to post a question for the facilitator that might be included in each session’s third and final podcast, which is driven by members’ questions.

Our Renovaré staff work together to moderate the discussion board and engage as they are able. New in 2019: Renovaré team members will be hosting monthly video meet-ups. Information on how to pre-register for these will be posted once we launch the Club officially in October.

Finally, our regional meet-up groups are coordinated by volunteer Book Club members.

How do I access downloads and participate in the discussions?

All resources and discussion are through a special Book Club members website. By October 10, 2019 (or the day that you join the Book Club if after October 10) you will be emailed instructions on how to log in.

Who chooses the books?

The leadership at Renovaré meets every spring and maps out the schedule for the year.

What is the time commitment when I join the Book Club? Do I have to participate at a certain time or day of the week?

The Renovaré Book Club can fit just about any schedule. We read each book over six weeks, so the reading “assignments” are not more than 50 pages per week.

At the beginning of each book, our members receive an outline of the proposed reading schedule. Every Monday, we send out an update that includes:

  • A reminder as to that week’s reading assignment
  • A supplementary resource (usually an article or a podcast) from that book’s facilitator
  • (Sometimes) optional bonus resources for members who want to go deeper
  • A discussion question for those who wish to engage in online discussion.

All of the resources, once posted, are available all season. There are no “live” online discussions (members can post at any time), and you may engage as much or as little as you would like online.

Members who participate in a local meet-up led by a volunteer coordinator will gather once-a-month at a time, day, and place determined by the volunteer.

Can I use the Club for my pre-existing book club or small group?

We do not have a flat-fee licensing system for our current Book Club. We will soon be offering Book Club materials for previous Book Club books that you may purchase for your group. We will post more information when that is available.

That said, we’d also love it if any or all of your group were to join the 2019-20 season, and we can certainly set up your own online discussion forum group if you do.

Other Questions

I have another question.

Justine Olawsky is glad to help. Email her at [email protected].

Take an online journey through four soul-shaping, Christ-centered books.

Registration for the 2019-20 is now closed. Sign up to be notified about the 2020-2021 Book Club!

Membership includes reading/study guide, podcasts, essays, online discussion group access, and weekly reminders. Books are not included and may be purchased from local bookseller or online (use Amazon or CBD links on our book purchase page to support Renovaré).