Join and Build the Empathy Movement 

Take the Empathy Circle Facilitation Training

   Learn to Facilitate an Empathy Circle in Just 4 Sessions

The Next Free Online Training Begins April 6th

4 consecutive Saturdays April 6th - April 27th, 2024. Sessions are 2.5 hours each.

10 AM PT/1:00 PM ET. Check here to find your world time: World Clock

February 2024 Training is online. You will receive the Zoom Link when you register.

Email Bill Filler to join the April 6th Cohort at paddlinman@yahoo.com

You can also email Bill to be added to our email list to learn about future trainings and events.

Empathy Circle Facilitator Training and Introductory Empathy Circles: Is There a Cost?

The circles and trainings are free and open to all and donations are welcomed. 

The only prerequisite is to attend at least two Empathy Circles prior to attending a training. 

For a list of dates and times to attend an Empathy Circle, see our Events Calendar to find drop-in Introductory Empathy Circles held on various days and in different time zones.

Want to Donate? 

If you would like to make a donation, see the donate section below.

Time Commitment 

In addition to attending 4 sessions of 2.5 hours each, there are weekly assignments to complete that may take 1-2 hours.  We will also pair you weekly with an empathy buddy to practice empathy.

Certificates of Completion

We give Certificates of Completion to everyone that attends all required training sessions. 

The Empathy Circle and Facilitator Training fit into a larger vision of a Culture of Empathy: A vision and dream of building a culture based on mutual empathy among all people around the world. The Empathy Circle is a wonderful first step to practice, develop, and increase your deep listening and empathy skills. 

Building a Supportive Community

For a brief introduction, watch this 9-minute video. Being in an Empathy Circle will provide you with the full essence of this practice. A description does not equal the experience of sharing an Empathy Circle in community with those you know and those you have yet to meet. We are building an empathic community and support network.  We offer Empathy Buddy calls and a Social Media Community. We seek and receive opportunities to assist in facilitating circles. We share in the many ways empathy is spreading around the world.

To learn more, view the 26-minute video below.

March 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd Note: This training is timed for people in Europe, Africa, and Asia (1pm GMT)


Future Trainings

Next Online Training: 4 Consecutive Saturdays in April beginning April 6th, 2024

March International Training

March 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd Note: This training is timed for people in Europe, Africa, and Asia (1pm GMT)

Next in-person training

at Santa Barbara Empathy Center

March 9th and 10th

If you are interested in any of the trainings, email Bill Filler at paddlinman@yahoo.com

Want to Donate?

We offer the training free of charge. All Empathy Circle Facilitators presenting the training are volunteering their time. If you want to contribute to a Culture of Empathy and spread the Empathy Circle practice around the world, you can donate to Edwin Rutsch on PayPal. Read more about Edwin below.

At this time donations are not tax-deductible.

Edwin Rutsch founded the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy to promote and foster the value and experience of empathy. Edwin is building a movement to support a global culture of empathy. When you come to our empathy circles, you see people attend from all over the world.


Edwin and his brother Charles Rutsch are establishing an Empathy Based Educational Retreat Center in Santa Barbara CA. A major aspect of the retreat center will be working to bridge personal, social and political divides through the use of mutual listening, empathy, constructive dialogue and education. 

If you have an organization, business, or community group and would like to offer the training, we can facilitate a training for you. Contact EdwinRutsch@gmail.com 

This is an Open Source Empathy Training. This means we invite anyone to use this training curriculum and resources to hold their own trainings. You can use, study, change, distribute and build on it. Just give credit and link back to this training website. We invite you to also help co-host, co-design, co-develop and co-promote the training for the mutual benefit and well-being of humanity and the planet.  

Our Vision 

Our vison is a global culture of empathy that is based on the foundational values of mutual empathy, openness and care.  We believe a global culture based on empathy would contribute to the wellbeing of humanity and the planet.     

Our Mission

Our mission is to raise the level of empathy on the planet by training all 8 billion people to be able to take part in and facilitate Empathy Circles.