Dr. Kristoph Franz Dobrowolski
B.A., B. Ed., M.Th., Psy.D.
Founder and Executive Director at Sanctum Retreat and Foundation
Retreat Master, Clinical Pastoral Psychotherapist, Chaplain, Educator
Kristoph began his professional career as a recording artist and an actor. After a powerful spiritual awakening in Europe, Kristoph sold everything he had and went off to become a Franciscan brother. He entered the Franciscan Friars and spent a year in noviciate discerning if he was called to a life of priesthood and celibacy. It became clear during this time that he was indeed being called to serve, but not as a celibate. He married, and went on to study theology, philosophy, spiritual direction, and counseling psychology.
After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Bachelor of Education from the University of Winnipeg, Kristoph received full scholarship to complete a Masters Degree in Theology with the concentration in Spirituality and Scripture from St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota - including Jerusalem Studies in Israel. Following several years of counselling and Adult education in full-time retreat ministry at Mount St. Francis Retreat, Kristoph enrolled as a student in the Doctor of Ministry program for a few years at St. Stephen's College at the University of Alberta, but instead of writing a dissertation on retreat ministry, he withdrew from the program to focus on the actual building and founding of a new spiritual retreat - Sanctum Retreat – for which he received an honorary Ph.D. in Spirituality. The retreat has served over 20,000 people over the past 14 years, and enjoys the explicit support of the Alberta Bishops of the Roman Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic, and Anglican churches.
While continuing in his role as Founder and Executive Director of Sanctum Retreat and Foundation (a registered charity), Kristoph returned to his doctoral studies in 2014. Building on his work from his years in the Doctor of Ministry program at St. Stephen’s College, Kristoph completed his Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) from the Graduate Theological – affiliate of Oxford (May 2016).
With over 20 years of counseling, pastoral psychotherapy, and teaching experience, Kristoph has also acted as Dean of Religion at St. Mary's and Notre Dame in Calgary, as well as Director of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Diocese of Calgary.
As a composer and recording artist, Kristoph continues to use his musical gifts to produce recordings for SandalSong designed to help one in spiritual growth - with over 50,000 sold.