School of Contemplative Life



We note two important points here. First, the School of Contemplative Life (SCL) is a communal journey, not a solo trek. Over the course of this formative period in your life, you’ll travel with a cohort. That cohort will be instrumental in the change you experience, which is only natural. After all, we’re not islands; our lives are entangled for better or worse — and in this case better. In short, we provide you with an important band of sisters and brothers.

Second, although the quarterly retreats are valuable, they’re not the epicenter of this formative experience. They launch you into a practice that gets deepened in the interval between the retreats. The guided retreats provide a framework for understanding both conceptually and experientially exactly what you’re getting into for the next 3 months and why it’s so important for your own spiritual formation.

SCL is set up as a two-year experience, but you can commit to Year 1 and Year 2 separately. In committing to either year, you’re saying yes to all four retreats for that year, not just the ones that may interest you more. Each retreat builds slowly upon the other and on the spiritual practices you engage in between retreats. The first four focus heavily on one’s inner work. The last four help one become aware of how the inner work touches the outer world, culminating in a Rule of Life and a stronger sense of mission. All retreats have a consistent rhythm of communal, experiential learning followed by individual communion with God and time to process afterward. We recommend that married couples book separate rooms.

The 8 Modules

Module 1 Soul Rest
Focus: Retreat / Discovery
Key Practice: Sabbath

Module 2 Soul Space
Focus: Silence & Solitude
Key Practice: Silent reflection & prayer / Periods of Solitude

Module 3 Soul Feeding
Focus: Nourishment via Scripture
Key Practice: Lectio Divina & Imaginative Prayer

Module 4 Soul Connecting
Focus: Body
Key Practice: Centering Prayer, Breath Prayer, Prayer Walking

Module 5 Soul Awareness
Focus: Self-Awareness
Key Practice: Self-examination via the Enneagram

Module 6 Soul Healing
Focus: Inner Healing
Key Practice: Attachment Inventory / Healing Steps

Module 7 Soul Knowing
Focus: Discernment
Key Practice: Clearness Committee / Group Spiritual Direction

Module 8 Soul Making
Focus: Contemplative Activism
Key Practice: Developing a Rule of Life

Participant Agreements

  • Commit to the entire year (4 guided retreats)

  • Practice the practice – not only at the retreat but more importantly during the interval between retreats

  • Read the books – a leisurely pace of approximately 1 book every 2 months

  • Write a 1-page reflection prior to each retreat

  • Meet with a spiritual director or companion monthly (not required but highly recommended)


  • The reduced cost for this pilot year (Year 1) is $850. Books, transportation and the quarterly overnights at a retreat center are additional costs.

Registration Process

  1. Fill out a brief application.

  2. Have a phone conversation with the cohort leader in your desired location, confirming your desire to participate.

  3. Submit a deposit to secure your spot. (Deposits are refundable up until 1 month prior to the start.)

  4. If social distancing is still required when Fall 2020 cohorts begin, the first module will be held online.

Please REGISTER with the green button to the right.