Grow in Service/Gap Year

For people who want to serve others authentically, compassionately, and effectively.


THOSE OF US who are drawn to working in service with others sometimes face unexpected challenges.

WE WANT TO SERVE well, but may get lost in day-to-day difficulties. The work is often rewarding, but also can be exhausting and frustrating.

HOW DO WE STAY with it? How do we manage our own emotions - frustration, anger, resentment, sense of futility - and stay open to the fulfillment that drew us to this work in the first place?

Because that's what we want, isn't it?

THE GROW IN SERVICE COURSE will, in seven classes, address these challenges and encourage you to work through them for yourself.

There are no easy answers or simple solutions.

This is a forum for deep thought and inner confrontation.

It's for sharing the joys and difficulties of being in service to others.


"I wish I'd had this kind of in-depth course before I started my year of service. It touches on so many of the issues I faced and would have helped me navigate them more skillfully.

Cristina Flagg-Cousins / MSW

"In Carol's candid portrayal of the highs and lows of life at Miriam's House and within herself, she helped illuminate my own blind spots and areas of needed growth. After taking [Grow in Service], I have new tools to better know and care for myself and to better understand, value and care for those I serve."

Jill S. / Lydia's House board member and volunteer


Here's how the course works:

Sign up today.

Tomorrow, an email will offer you access to pre-course information: How to get the most out of this course.

The next day, Class One: Introduction to Authentic Service


Class Two: Our Needs and Expectations and How They Affect our Work

Class Three: Implicit Bias and Its Affect on Serving Others

Class Four: Social, Economic, and Class Justice and Why You're Here

Class Five: Self-Care and Burn-out

Class Six: Boundaries and Behavior

Class Seven: Wrap-up and Encouragement



Order your copy HERE

I wish I had taken a course like this at the beginning of my Americorps term in Washington, DC!

Carol draws on an incredible depth of personal experience, and integrates a wide range of resources with conversational videos that make it easy to think honestly about some of the most important and difficult components of being in service. You will exit the course not only with tools to better serve others, but strategies to best care for yourself.

Tracy Shirey

Americorps Member, 2014-16, Washington AIDS Partnership

Purchase HERE

PLEASE NOTE: This is an OPTIONAL purchase.

This journal is available for free in Word format if you prefer not

to purchase the hard-copy.


Video talks (10 - 15 minutes)

Supplementary Resources*

Downloadable Journal

Discussion Forum

Optional Webinar or Skype Session (+$)

*PDF downloads, TED Talks, Articles, Virtual Booklets and more

Your Instructor

Carol D. Marsh
Carol D. Marsh

Carol D. Marsh was Founding Executive Director of Miriam's House -- a residence for Washington, DC's homeless women living with AIDS. Marsh lived and worked at Miriam's House until December 31, 2009, when chronic migraine disease forced her to resign.

Under her leadership, Miriam's House was home for more than 150 women and 30 children, and won the 2003 Washington Post Excellence in Nonprofit Management Award.

In August 2014, Marsh earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College. Her thesis was Nowhere Else I Want to Be: A Memoir, published in January 2017. Learn more HERE.


Awards for "Nowhere Else I Want to Be: A Memoir"

  • GRAND PRIZE WINNER (Nonfiction): Authors Talk About it 2017 Book Contest;
  • FINALIST: National Indie Excellence Awards (Memoir), 2017;
  • FINALIST: Next Generation Indie Excellence Awards (Autobiography/Memoir), 2017

Marsh's essays have been honored as the Winner of the 2016 New Millennium Writings Literary Nonfiction Award; as Honorable Mention in the 5th Anniversary Contest (2016) of the literary journal, under the gum tree; and as Honorable Mention in Soundings Review's 2014 First Publication Contest. Other essays have appeared in Los Angeles Review, Lunch Ticket, bioStories, and Jenny Magazine.



Frequently Asked Questions

Will I be tested and graded? Will there be assignments to submit?
The GROW IN SERVICE is only for your support, encouragement and challenge. You will not be tested or quizzed. You will be asked to complete a survey at the end of the course, but other than that, there will be no assignments to submit.
How long will the Grow in Service course last?
Eight weeks from the day you enroll. The classes are posted every seven days, and you'll get an email reminder for each one.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
Your honest assessment and feedback are important to us! Please contact us using the green button to the bottom left of your screen if you're unhappy, or have criticisms about certain aspects of the course.


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