History

“…It is for us to provide hospitable and inspiring opportunities for people to listen and respond more boldly to the Spirit at work in them…[and] to encourage people to connect what is happening with them to God’s larger movements in the world…” –Tilden Edwards, Shalem’s Founder & Senior Fellow

Shalem’s spiritual lineage is rich and deep, and many
historical spiritual figures, well-known and not so well-known,
have influenced Shalem’s writings, programs and life together.

 

 

Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation was given birth by the Rev. Dr. Tilden H. Edwards, Jr., an Episcopal priest who offered Shalem’s first contemplative retreat in spring of 1973 and then, from his own spiritual journey, was led to form the Shalem Institute.

At the heart of those beginning years were Shalem’s weekly contemplative prayer groups that met in different locations around metropolitan Washington, DC, and attracted a variety of men and women from different faith traditions and different professions.

These early years are chronicled in Holy Meeting Ground, a compilation of interviews and Shalem newsletter excerpts that describe what many were seeking and found through Shalem programs and writings.

For 40 years, Shalem has continued to offer retreats, workshops, and groups in the Mid-Atlantic area as well as in other regions of the US.  In 1978, Shalem started its first in-depth program for supporting and nurturing spiritual directors/companions and now has three other in-depth programs.  Recent years have seen Shalem’s programs expand outside the US to Korea and South Africa and our new online spiritual resources, which are available worldwide.

Shalem’s spiritual lineage is rich and deep, and many historical spiritual figures, well-known and not so well-known, have influenced Shalem’s writings, programs and life together.