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Grace Place Retreat Ministries - Missouri

by John D. Eckrich, M.D.
(St. Louis, Missouri)

Grace Place is not a place but a program offered to Lutheran clergy singly or with their spouses held all over the U.S. It arises out of 30 years of medical practice caring for clergy, parochial teachers and their families, understanding how the effects of chronic stress lead to physical, emotional, relational, spiritual and fiscal disease and to the loss of joy, vibrancy and longevity in ministry.

Grace Place retreats are 4-day, 4-night "pause points" in pilgrim journey and ministry service to reflect on health and relationships, restore and retool for the changing challenges and roles in ministry, and finally to rejuvenate so that one can continue in joy and vigorous service.

Since 1999, we have held over 100 retreats taking more than 2500 church workers and spouses through this guided life long learning program. Post retreat, our attendees can continue their health behavior and education on a highly interactive internet learning site. Our retreats focus on marital, parental and congregational relationships and conflict resolution, personal physical health and balance (including full health evaluation), heart healthy cooking and weight reduction, exercise skills, learning to rest and sanctify leisure, spiritual mentoring and couples devotions, and strong guidance in fiscal health (budgeting, getting out of credit card debt, retirement and educational saving).

Our retreats are heavily underwritten by grants and donations so that clergy and parochial educator couples pay less than 15% of the cost of the retreat, generally less than $350 for the whole week. Please note that these are preventative wellness programs meant to keep fairly healthy people healthy. We are a confidential and very connected program to many other resources for clergy who are strongly dysfunctional, and will help to guide those seeking that type of service. Please call (314)842-3077 or check our website:

John D. Eckrich, M.D., Executive Director

Grace Place is a Recognized Service Organization of LCMS and Affiliated Organization with the ELCA.

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