YALLI: Young Adult Life and Leadership Initiative

“It was so helpful to go deeper, to be quiet, to be able to hear what I’m being called to do… and to share this experience with others.”
—A Participant

  • Overview & Background
  • Timeline & Components
  • Staff
  • Price

A program to nurture the spiritual life and strengthen the contemplative foundation of leadership for young adults

YALLI: Young Adult Life and Leadership Initiative is for young adults (approximately ages 25-40) who seek a deeper spiritual foundation for their lives and work and who welcome the support of a like-minded community. This program is grounded in the Christian contemplative tradition yet it draws on the wisdom of many religious traditions to offer support for everyday living. In the midst of the challenges of the 21st century, this program provides concrete help in the struggle to live authentically with compassion, strength and vision.

Who Should Apply?
YALLI: Young Adult Life and Leadership Initiative is designed for those who are:

  • Approximately between the ages of 25-40;
  • Desiring to deepen the spiritual foundation of their personal and professional life;
  • Seeking a mutually supportive spiritual community with other young adults;
  • Drawn to exploring the contemplative tradition, including prayer and meditation practices;
  • And willing to learn within a broad ecumenical Christian framework that also welcomes the wisdom and practice of other faith traditions.

Program Dates

September 2016 December 2017
Program includes at-home work, two residencies and a final paper.

At-Home Preparation: September 2016

First Residency: October 27-30, 2016
Dayspring Retreat Center, Germantown, MD

Second Residency: May 25-28, 2017
Dayspring Retreat Center

Final Gathering: November 4, 2017
Shalem Library, Washington, DC

At-Home Completion December 30, 2017
Final integration paper due

Program Components

At-home work includes:

  • A personal spiritual practice, including a daily discipline of prayer/meditation/
    presence for God;
  • Participation in Shalem's online education programs;
  • Monthly reflections about your spiritual life and leadership with your staff mentor,
    who will be a resource for you throughout the program;
  • Peer reflection sessions with other participants that meet in person or by telephone every
    four to six weeks for mutual support, accountability and encouragement;
    Shalem will provide guidelines for reflection. The first session will be guided by the staff
    mentor; other sessions are scheduled by participants.
  • Selected required readings, plus many optional readings, on spiritual life, leadership,
    environmental concerns and peace-making initiatives;
  • An opportunity to design and carry out an independent project, supervised by a
    Shalem mentor; and
  • A final reflection paper based on your experience in the program.

Program Residential Retreats:

We will have two four-day residential retreats at Dayspring Retreat Center, Germantown,
Maryland – a sacred place set aside for silence, solitude, reflection and prayer in the midst of
nature. All rooms are singles; linens are provided. These retreats are formative in building
spiritual community and deepening spiritual practices. They will also include seminars on
discernment, contemplative leadership and a silent retreat.

A Certificate of Completion is awarded at the end of the program to all participants who have met
the program requirements.

For more information, download the Detailed Program Brochure.

Hayley O'Connorhayley
Hayley, Co-director of the Program, is a Presbyterian pastor serving Fairmile Parish Church in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is a graduate of Shalem's pilot YALLI program and Shalem's Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Program. She co-led Shalem's young adult pilgrimage to Edinburgh and is also part of Shalem's pilgrimage leadership team.

Edinburgh-Bill StoneWilliam (Bill) Stone
Bill, Co-director of the Program, is a Presbyterian pastor serving Greenback Parish Church in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is a graduate of Shalem's YALLI pilot program. He co-led Shalem's young adult pilgrimage to Edinburgh and is also part of Shalem's pilgrimage leadership team.

For a full listing of current staff for this program, please download the Detailed Program Brochure below.

Although registrations have closed for the 2016-2017 class of YALLI: Young Adult Life and Leadership Initiative, check back here for details for next year’s class.

Price of entire program:
$3,050 (includes start-up materials, program staff and administration and residency fees).

For more information on tuition and residency fees, installment plan, and tuition assistance, please download the Detailed Program Brochure below.

Detailed Program Brochure

Feel free to contact us at info@shalem.org or (301) 897-7334 for more details.