The Certificate in Community Storytelling provides practical tools that draw individuals and communities together in meaningful and healing ways.–Shannon Savage-Howe 2019 participant

Personal storytelling is one of the most intimate forms of communication. Telling our story in community has the potential to bridge divides, cultivate trust, and inspire action by inviting those gathered to better understand what others have lived, suffered, and overcome. All human divisions could be healed if we would only take the time to listen to one another’s stories.

The Hearth offers an intensive certification program in community storytelling for those interested in the transformational power of stories. The Certificate in Community Storytelling offers a variety of experiential exercises, individual skill-building, practical teaching, online discussion groups, and written and online resources. Individuals who complete the certification course will:

  • Understand how stories function in our personal and public lives.
  • Learn how to create transformative events that deepen relationships within a local community or organization.
  • Explore narrative practices that promote individual growth, social awareness, and community action.
  • Learn how to create a variety of public story-sharing platforms that engender trust and vulnerability.
  • Gain concrete skills for community storytelling including story recruitment, event promotion, audience building, public participation, media integration, and fundraising.
  • Learn how to craft personal stories for speaking, teaching, and facilitation.
  • Increase skills for coaching groups and individuals in personal storytelling.
  • Discover methods for amplifying the voice of marginalized populations.
  • Learn how to apply storytelling techniques within personal, professional, and community settings.

Because of the stay-at-home / shelter-in-place measures that have been enacted to help us prevent the spread of COVID-19, the initial intensive will take place online, using a Zoom platform during April 19-24. Online sessions will involve lecture, small group sharing, and group discussion. Sessions will be two to two and a half hours each, held once on Sunday (April 19) and twice a day for the rest of the week. Additionally, included in the program:

  • There will be advance work to prepare for the training intensive: suggested reading lists, simple exercises, and video links will be provided.
  • During the intensive, participants will be given supplemental reading and video links to support the online work, with approximately 1-2 hours of additional reading/viewing each day.
  • A Google group will be established to share documents and for offline conversation.
  • All participants will receive 6 months of online group teaching (90 minute gatherings once a month)
  • All participants will receive 6 months of personal story coaching (one personal phone call/zoom meeting a month)
  • Once sequestering has ended, participants will be invited to attend a three-day training in Ashland to share their projects, meet the peers in their cohort, receive constructive feedback and learn additional content.

We have given this a great deal of thought and believe we can deliver a substantive and even potentially transformative training, in spite of – in fact, making the best of – the challenges we are all currently facing. Registration remains open until April 5th.

Whether you do this course for personal or professional reasons, it will give you hope for humanity.–Khaliqa Baqi 2019 participant

“In a time of increased polarization, it is storytelling that can connect us.”

– Mark Yaconelli

The Certificate in Community Storytelling: 2020

Apr 19, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - Apr 24, 2020 @ 5:00 pm

Register for the 2020 Certificate Program

How To Register

On the registration page, click the REGISTER button to get started. Use your credit or debit card in a secure transaction via PayPal. You will receive an email confirmation of your registration and payment.

Program Pricing:

  • $1,495, includes the weeklong intensive, 6 months of coaching/consultation, and a culminating 3 day in-person gathering in Ashland in Fall 2020.

Payment may be made in full at the time of registration, or payment may be split into two parts with a $250 non-refundable deposit at the time of registration and balance due by April 5th 2020.

Register for the 2020 Certificate Program


Mark Yaconelli

The Hearth offers a week-long intensive Certificate in Community Storytelling for those interested in learning and applying the transformational power of stories in personal and professional settings. This specialized certification program will assist community and organizational leaders in learning a variety of skills, techniques, and processes for producing community storytelling programs and using stories to meet important objectives. The program will be held online from April 19 – 24th,  with additional coaching and six months of personalized online training, troubleshooting, and structured discussion with The Hearth founder, Mark Yaconelli. An 3 day, in-person training event will be held in Ashland in Fall 2020, at no additional cost to participants.

What is The Hearth?

The Hearth is a nonprofit organization that uses transformational storytelling to help communities and organizations deepen trust, celebrate individual courage, address social problems, and strengthen group identity and purpose.

About The Hearth