Sarah Ciavarri

Some of the biggest things to know about Sarah -

  • She loves being part of the 'a-ha' moments in the lives of those she serves and seeing the Holy Spirit bring healing

  • She believes if you can change your patterns you can change your life . . . and your legacy

  • Helping church leaders heal and reclaim vitality in ministry is one of Sarah's biggest joys

  • She is on this wholehearted journey too

Sarah is a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation, a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator, Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator-Consultant and a Lutheran pastor (ELCA).  She supports congregations and church leaders by leading retreats and workshops and coaching on the connections between Dr. Brené Brown's research and faith.  Sarah has the unique honor of being an ordained clergy member serving as a Case Consultant with the Daring Way™.  She has completed 4 units of Clinical Pastoral Education and is also trained as a Healthy Congregations facilitator. 

From her years as a parish pastor, Sarah sees the incredible links between the Daring Way™ and Rising Strong and helping people grow in their faith, their gifts, and linking courage and faith.  The big daring dream God's put in Sarah's heart is to transform congregations and the church with this work.  Shame and the church have a long history . . . with God's help, it might be time to write a new ending.  

As a chaplain, Sarah has worked with elders for nearly 17 years and knows the pain that comes with looking back and wondering, "what if?"  and also has had the privilege to listen to and journey with some amazingly hopeful elders who face their third chapter of life with peace, a sense of well being, and connection.   


When Sarah learned of Dr. Brené Brown’s work on shame and vulnerability it was reflected in what she saw in these hopeful elders; they had shame resiliency and could lean into uncertainty and risk.  It also gave language that is so helpful in creating safe spaces in congregations for people to really be authentic and alive.  Since becoming trained as a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator in November of 2012, Sarah has worked with individuals and groups to bring clarity and skills to living more authentically, with greater grit, bounce-back-ability, and courage.  

In February of 2014 Sarah became a Case Consultant with the Daring Way™ which means that she works with candidates new to the Daring Way™ to help them integrate and synthesis their learning into their own context.  As a case consultant, Sarah brings the unique perspective of also being an ordained clergy member and knowing the landscape of where shame, fear, judgment and isolation lurk for those in church leadership.  In this capacity, she's been humbled to have the joy of helping clergy and other faith leaders bring the Daring Way™ into the life of their congregation or ministry context - amazing to be part of the journey!

Sarah brings compassion, active listening, clarity, and discernment to help clients identify the messages that say they aren’t enough so that they can instead hear their own voice of strength. 



  • pastors/church leaders and seminarians

  • those who carry wounds because of church

  • those interested in connecting soul and role

  • those in life transitions due to health changes

In addition to her work with coaching clients, Dare to Lead,™ and The Daring Way™ Sarah also is the Director of Spiritual Care at Augustana Care Health and Rehabilitation of Apple Valley and the Apple Valley Villa.  

Sarah earned a Master of Divinity in 2001 from Luther Seminary where she was a Presidential Scholar and is an ordained Lutheran pastor (ELCA).  Her undergraduate degrees in psychology and Spanish are from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN where she was a vocal scholar.  Sarah has also served as a chaplain in rural, inner city, and suburban care centers, as well as in a correctional facility and 6 years as a parish pastor.  

Sarah enjoys public speaking and frequently presents on shame resiliency, joyful living, and the importance of our stories.  Sarah is really passionate about exploring the connections between spirituality and the radical Gospel message with understanding vulnerability, resiliency and living wholeheartedly.  If you'd like to know more, check out the devotions tab.

To feed her soul, you can find Sarah dancing in the kitchen, composing silly songs for her two young children, tandem biking with my hubby, soaking up God's presence, connecting with friends and . . . occasionally sluggin’ through a shame storm!

Sarah also is a songwriter exploring the themes of connection, the soul, and being enough.  The song shared below reveals some of shame’s messages.  There is power in knowledge; simply by recognizing shame's MO, we can lessen shame’s grip on our lives.  

Shame can be a HEAVY subject but this presentation was delivered with a positive attitude and humor! What a joyful and wonderful work, Sarah. You’ve given us new air to breath!”
— Workshop participant