International Grail: Communities-with-a-Heart
International Grail: Communities-with-a-Heart

International Grail: Communities with a Heart (RSS3-04.02) - Sold out

This summer course strengthens the impact of yourself, your community and your organization, by deepening drives, training dialogues and silence that connect and inspire, and by offering a model of eight interconnected cornerstones through a critical reflexivity model for communities with a heart.

Duration: Two-weeks (It is possible to apply just for the first week.



    This course is sold out, applying is no longer possible 

    How can we create inspiring, inclusive and courageous communities that embrace vulnerability, and give voice to the marginalized (e.g. marginalised communities, women, children, refugees, animals, trees, water)? How can we stimulate our organizations to become a life-giving, tender and impactful force in society? 

    We live in disruptive times full of chaos and uncertainty. Transformation is required in many fields. This course begins with the reality of radical disruption in everyday life. Or more precisely, it starts with vulnerabilities that manifest itself through experiences of disruption. These experiences can happen to individuals, groups, an entire society, or even the whole world. Disruptive experiences knock the ground from under your feet. It can be both positive and negative experiences. The question then, is:

    • Who are you when nothing is as it was before? 
    • Who can you become, and who can help?

    You are invited not to deny or run away from our vulnerability, but to embrace it: Fragility, uncertainty, unpredictability, dependence, and porousness, however difficult they often can be, are sources of deep insights. 

    Communities with a heart

    Disruptive experiences bring us into borderlands, also called liminal spaces, full of risks, anxiety suffering and change. They make our vulnerability manifest, but also reveal new perspectives and creativity. In order to find our way through these disruptive experiences we need communities with a heart. Communities that can arise spontaneously when people who have suffered these disruptive experiences find each other and begin to share their stories.
    Our experiences of radical disruption, and the stories we tell about them, are always embodied experiences and are affected by power relations. They take place in particular contexts, times and places and are therefore unique. Yet sharing our experiences with each other opens possibilities for moving forward, for rediscovering ourselves in community. 

    Eight cornerstones

    Communities with a heart can also be created in different forms. In this course a model of eight interconnected cornerstones of communities with a heart is presented. They form an octagon (Greek: octagōnos, eight-angled), and together they form the foundation, or heart, of communities with a heart. In this course these eight interrelated cornerstones will determine the order of the course days, and will be combined with other analytical, dialogical and wisdom tools like the Critical Reflexivity Model, the Capability Approach, Mindfulness and the Wisdom of Rituals.

    Starting date

    01 July 2024, 9 am
    Educational method
    Main Language
    01 July 2024, 9 am - 12 July 2024, 5 pm
    Prof. dr. Yvonne Sliep
    Dr. Ina Conradie
    Prof. dr. Monica Maher
    Dr Mary Heidkamp
    Unique code


    Type of education
    Entry requirements
    See the requirements in cost and admission
    Study load (ECTS)
    Radboud Summer School

    Startdate: 1 July 2024 - 5 July 2024
    ECTS credits: 2 ECTS. For more information see credits and certificate.

    Course programme

    The schedule of the course relates to the eight cornerstones: facing disruptions openly, being silent, speaking boldly and practicing multi-voiced listening, minimizing risks and optimizing opportunities, dreaming, setting direction, working cooperatively, and being willing to fail and start over. 

    The educational content of the course will be a mix of home assignments, lectures, excursions and group work to deepen the reflection and to connect the intellectual and practical input to the own context. Students will be asked to present their learning outcomes in creative and illuminating ways. This course enables you to increase your impact on a personal and community level.

    2-week course

    Please be aware that this is a 2-week course. This means you can join the social activities during these 2 weeks. 

    • Weekly schedule and social events

      The weekly programme of Radboud Summer School is carefully designed for the best experience. On this page you will find the timetables and social events.

    Watch what our participant says about this course!

    Course list

    Overview courses and disciplines

    Course list

    Philosophy, Religion and Ethics

    Course list
    Christa Anbeek

    Prof. dr. Christa Anbeek

    Prof. dr. Christa Anbeek is extraordinary professor for the International Grail Women and Care for the Future at FFTR Radboud University. 

    From 2012-2023 she was a professor of Liberal Theology at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. She was an associate professor of existential philosophy at the University for Humanistic Studies in Utrecht. Before this, she worked as an assistant professor in the field of religious studies, with a specialization in Buddhism, Christianity and the interreligious dialogue. The main focus of her research is on the relationship between religions, philosophies and the meaning of life, especially with regard to serious life events and disruptive experiences. 

    Yvonne Sliep

    Prof. dr. Yvonne Sliep

    Prof. dr. Yvonne Sliep School of Psychology, University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. 

    Prof. dr. Yvonne Sliep is affiliated to the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa in the School of Psychology where she has worked for the past 20 years. She is also a research fellow at the Institute of Justice and Reconciliation to develop the nexus between Peace Building and Mental Health on a global, country, organisational and community level. She developed a critical reflexive model that has been applied in post-graduate studies, national programmes and in policy. Her narrative research experience includes exploring how the Personal is the Professional which she also offers as a module for the Masters programme at her University. The narrative paradigm is the foundation of her work on organisation level in post-conflict countries. 

    Ina Conradie

    Dr. Ina Conradie

    Dr. Ina Conradie Research Fellow, Institute for Social Development, University of the Western Cape, South Africa. 

    Dr Ina Conradie is affiliated to the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, where she coordinated the South-African-German Centre for Development Research between 2010 and 2018. Her own research deals with poverty and under-development, with the aspirations of the poor, and with how aspirations can activate agency. She works within the theoretical framework of the Capability Approach. 
    She has also been involved for a number of years in the Training for Transformation work of the Grail, based on the educational principles of Paulo Freire. She has done extensive qualitative research among marginalised women, and her publications deal mainly with this work. As a social work educator earlier in her career, she also has an interest in the interface between the personal and the collective, as well as the public sphere. She recently published a first novel, written against the background of dispossession and colonisation in South Africa. 

    Monica Maher

    Prof. dr. Monica Maher

    Prof. dr. Monica Maher is Founder/Director of the Ecuadorian Faith Network and Visiting Professor in the Sociology and Gender Studies Program of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences-Ecuador. 

    From 2016-2022, she served as the Latin America Program Coordinator of Friends Peace Teams. A facilitator of the Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP), she has facilitated workshops on nonviolence and trauma healing across Latin America. 
    Dr. Maher is former Associate Director of the Human Rights Studies Committee of Harvard University, Horace De Y. Lentz Memorial Lecturer at Harvard Divinity School, Rotary International Peace Fellow at Chulalongkorn University-Thailand, and Fulbright Scholar in Honduras and Ecuador. She holds a master's degree in divinity from Harvard University, a master's degree in international development from the American University in Washington, D.C., and a master's degree and PhD in Christian social ethics from Union Theological Seminary of New York City. She is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, trained yoga teacher and Zen Sensei. Her most recent book is a coedited volume on Religion, Sexual Violence and Peacebuilding: Feminist Practices of Intercultural Transformation. 


    Dr Mary Heidkamp

    Dr Mary Heidkamp President/Founder of Dynamic Insights Consulting and Coaching since 1999. 

    Dr Mary Heidkamp has been leading organizations for the last 35 years. From 1989 through 1999, Mary served as the Director for the Campaign for Human Development in Chicago providing grants and technical assistance to organizations addressing the root causes of poverty, bringing about social change in their communities. She is the co-author of Moving Faith into Action (1990, Paulist Press) “a guide for organizing congregational groups for community action.” 
    Mary holds a doctorate from McCormick Theological Seminary with a specialization in executive leadership and organizational development. She teaches a variety of courses at University of Illinois-Chicago and for years conducted leadership and management seminars through the University of Illinois-Chicago’s School of Public Health to more than 200 public health leaders. Mary has completed 5 full marathons and two triathlons.

    This course is sold out, applying is no longer possible 


    • Regular: €945 (application deadline 15th of May)
    • (It is possible to apply just for the first week instead of two weeks, contact christa.anbeek [at] (christa[dot]anbeek[at]ru[dot]nl))

    Includes: your course, coffee and tea during breaks, a warm lunch every day, Official Opening, Official Closing (with some drinks and snacks).

    Excludes: transport, accommodation, social events and other costs. 

    Discounts and Scholarships


    Level of participant: 

    • Advance Bachelor
    • Bachelor
    • Master
    • PhD
    • Postdoc 
    • Professional

    Admission requirements: 

    • Study: Anbeek, Christa (2024). Embracing Vulnerability. In search of communities with a heart. Nijmegen: Radboud University Press (forthcoming). 
    • Making a home assignment to prepare for the course.

    Admission documents: 

    • Motivation letter
    • CV

    Cannot join us this year? 

    We can keep you informed about the 2025 course program! Do you want to broaden your knowledge in 2025 over courses about sustainability, law, research methods & skills, data science and more. Get an email when the new proposal is ready. Because you have a part to play!

    Keep me informed