About Us

About Us

Over the past 30 years, Open Hearts Ministry has extended our curriculum to communities, families and individuals across the world. We have trained people in 49 states and 60 countries to authentically love God and love each other while equipping others to do the same.

Grown out of the founder Sandy Burdick’s story of pursuing healing, Open Hearts Ministry began as a group of about 20 people studying Dan Allender’s workbook from the Wounded Heart seminar he held at their local church. That precipitated a small group ministry in the church and the need for material. A team of women gathered and wrote the first material for a small group ministry to the sexual abuse victim. The ministry grew rapidly to include a week-long equipping seminar called The Journey, birthed in 1993.

Originally focused on women, Open Heart’s curriculum expanded to include men in 1997 as well as young-adult groups in 2011. Our curriculum now engages recovery and restoration in the midst of all kinds of soul-harming experience.

With a current network of Journey leaders headquartered around the world, Open Hearts Ministry exists to meet the needs of your community with our curriculum—facilitating trainings from New Braunfels, Texas to Istanbul, Turkey. In the United States, we host a twice-a-year Journey at Maranatha (Muskegon, MI) to help your church or organization embrace stories of harm with greater curiosity and compassion.

Life is a path marked by hurt, hope and struggles.  At Open Hearts, we train you to engage people along that journey in deeper and healthier ways.

Through a safe and confidential group process, our curriculum leads you through your own stories of pain, disappointment and abuse, equipping you to share the care you receive with others. We teach you to share and listen honestly. We show you how to practice good self-care. We seek to love like Jesus, with empathy and forgiveness.

We help you create authentic community where people are heard, loved and healed together.


Christ-like Love. We strive to love like Jesus, bringing empathy, forgiveness and hope.

Storytelling. We invite people to connect by sharing what has happened in their lives with one another. 

Depth of Care. We equip others to sit in the most vulnerable spaces of a person’s life, because all of someone’s story deserves kind and grounded care.

Group Safety. We promise boundaries, confidentiality and direct resolution of conflict in every group we lead.

Community Process. We honor gradual stages of intimacy and building of trust in the groups we lead.

Church Equipping. We exist so believers across the country and beyond are better equipped to bring care and build connection in their faith communities.

Local Leadership. We train so people feel empowered to shape their personal communities in hopeful and lasting ways.


You will engage in a biblically based, tried-and-proven curriculum. You can trust our process.

You will learn about your caring strengths and weaknesses. 

You will experience emotional pursuit and care.

You will engage places of past hurt with your group.

You will receive honest feedback.

You will share with and respond to other people in ways that feel new.

You will grow, and some of the changes will feel disruptive.

You will be equipped to offer what you have experienced to others.

You will be encouraged to lead with the care you have felt as you return home.


We train leaders to listen and care about people’s pain, because that is how Jesus has loved us.

We train leaders to engage with honesty, safety, and heart because people desire real and deep community.

We train people of all life stages and professions—pastors, students, mothers, nurses, elders, CEOs, small group leaders—because each person is called to lead with love somewhere in their life.

We train leaders to enter their own life journey with an intensive, group-based curriculum, because people cannot offer what they have not experienced.

We train participants to use our curriculum locally or to care more kindly in their own context, because there isn’t one right way to do community.

We train people to speak their hurts and own their faults, because every person has been hurt and has caused hurt.

We train leaders to respond to the full spectrum of hurt, because each person’s pain matters—whether it stems from disappointment in a friendship, divorce, daily depression or past sexual abuse.

We train leaders to honor whatever someone shares, because each person should get to decide for themselves what they are ready to share in a group.

We train people through a number of different seminars—to receive and offer care—because each person’s life is a journey, and growing community is a process.