Application Instructions

2020-2021 Classes

APPLICATIONS are Postponed for now until a decision is made about timing for the next in-person class. If the decision is made to go forward in 2022 (the earliest possibility at this time)THE APPLICATION PERIOD FOR THE 2022-2023 CLASSES WILL BEGIN JANUARY 15, 2022. 

Letters of recommendation are due by AUGUST 15, 2022.  Classes begin mid-September 2022 and end in June 2023.

Tuition:  $975   Application deposit:  $100 (non-refundable, deducted from balance due)

To apply for the Program, you may either

  • complete the On-Line Application Form


  • submit your application by postal mail or by email attachment by following the instructions below. 

(for sending via postal mail or email attachment)

Submit a cover sheet with your application including the following information:

  • Your Full Name
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number(s) where you can most easily be reached
  • E-mail address (indicate preference if more than one)
  • Name of person from whom you have asked for a letter of reference
  • Whether you are requesting financial aid and a brief description of the personal or family circumstances under which you require financial assistance to take the program.
  • How you heard about the program
  • Whether you are currently affiliated with an organization or facility at which you are or will be doing your companioning and, if so, the name of that organization or facility. If you have no such affiliation please indicate if you would like assistance in identifying potential companioning opportunities.

Please include a two-page, double-spaced essay, telling us about yourself in relation to the Program, using the following reflection questions as a guide for the content of your essay. Include any other information you deem relevant.

  • What changes, nudges, invitations do you notice in your life right now that seem to relate to your consideration of this Program?
  • What about the Program particularly attracts you?
  • What hesitations do you feel about participating in the Program?
  • Given your past life experience and knowledge of yourself, what can you tell us about your willingness and capacity to be in a learning, dialogic community with others of different experiences and faith traditions?
  • Are you currently, or have you recently experienced any unattended issues of upheaval, loss, or turmoil in your life that might affect your full participation in the Program?
  • Are there any other factors that might affect your participation in the Program, e.g. ongoing health issues, handicap accessibility, needing help with transportation, planned travel, etc.?
  • Given your life as much as you can envision it for the next year, including your present commitments, can you make a commitment to complete the requirements of the Program? Please review the list of meeting dates for the location to which you are applying to be certain you can attend all scheduled meetings.

Please send a Recommendation Form to a person of your choosing who can send to us directly a letter of recommendation about you by August 15, 2022. See “Downloadable Documents” (above right on this page) to either print or download a copy of this form. Electronic (i.e. email) responses are welcome.

We prefer that you email your application materials electronically to: Alternately you may send your application hard-copy (cover sheet, essay, and any other relevant information) by U.S. Postal mail to:

Companioning the Dying: Opening Fully to Living
c/o/ Lee Anne Blank, 617 Edmonston Drive, Rockville, MD 20851

Upon receipt of your application materials and a reference letter, we will respond in a timely fashion so that you can plan accordingly.

Please keep in mind that if finances are an obstacle for you, some limited scholarship aid is available based on need.  Flexible tuition payment plans may also be available based on need. Scholarship aid or alternate payment plans should be requested at the time of submitting your application. You will be informed of the amount of any financial assistance approved with your letter of acceptance into the program.

Upon acceptance into the Program, tuition will be due by start of first session.

If you have any questions, please contact us and we will be happy to respond.


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Recommendation Form


A Poem by Steve Garnaas-Holmes

That without a word you sat with me in grief, me wounded and alone, robbed beyond grasping, you silent and present, beyond grasping— this was love.

That you did not save me but accompanied me,

that when I fell apart, confident in the whole you did not try to glue back the pieces,

that you did not protect me from my pain, my heart’s crucial kneading, did not root around in the ashes looking for blame,

that you resisted the temptation of explanation, the ruse of a plan, some clever dramatic device as if the click of some little metal piece into place could dismiss what was happening in my heart,

that you set me no timetable, that you planted no fence beyond the strong horse of my anguish,

that you withheld your dexterous knowhow, so readily shouldered the weight, accepted the nails of powerlessness, dared the nothingness empty-handed,

that you were still there as the petals fell, patient for the rolling away of the stone—

this is how you loved me, helpless, raw and given.

This is how you love me still, since love that has passed through death will never die again.