Crossing the Threshold:
Contemplative Foundations for Emerging Leaders

For those who are between 25-40 and seek a deeper spiritual foundation for their lives 

April 2023-November 2024

Do you sense a call to greater authenticity and grounding in God as the source of your life and leadership?

Program runs April 2023-November 2024

Extended application deadline: April 6, 2023


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Crossing the Threshold is designed for those who are

  • Approximately between the ages of 25-40
  • Desiring to deepen the spiritual foundation of their life and work
  • Seeking a supportive spiritual community
  • Interested in contemplative practices, including prayer and meditation
  • Willing to learn within an ecumenical framework that includes wisdom from many traditions
  • In a season of life where mental, physical, and spiritual health will be supported and engaged by the addition of this personal investment (not during a time of overburdened schedules or overwhelming personal crisis)

This program provides authentic connection and support through one-on-one mentoring, confidential peer groups, retreats, book resources and writing, and additional spiritual formation opportunities through Shalem’s short-term programs.

Free Info Sessions

Join us on Zoom to discern about the rightness of this program for you. Talk with the Director and recent grads. There are no sessions scheduled at this time.

Crossing the Threshold Timeline

The program begins with the First Residency. A reading list to begin at-home preparation will be provided in advance.

First Residency: April 27-April 30, 2023
On Zoom

Second Residency: March 7-10, 2024
On Zoom

Final Retreat Day: November 9, 2024
On Zoom

At-Home Completion: September 30, 2024
Final integration paper due

Program Components

At-home work includes:

  • A personal spiritual practice, including a daily discipline of prayer/ meditation/ presence for God
  • At least one personal 24-hour, silent retreat per year as the start of a lifelong habit
  • 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 every four to six weeks for mutual support, accountability and encouragement; Shalem will provide guidelines for reflection. Peer groups will be facilitated by a staff person for the duration of the program.
  • Selected required readings, plus many optional readings, on spiritual life, leadership, environmental concerns and peace-making initiatives; a bibliography will be provided
  • Brief reflection papers on the readings
  • An opportunity to design and carry out an independent project, supervised by a Shalem mentor
  • A final reflection paper based on your experience in the program

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


The residencies will be held on Zoom.

“Instead of focusing on what God was inviting me to, I was focusing on what I wanted to be invited to. And it wasn’t working. This form of control is the enemy of the contemplative life. It’s what the brain craves. All of this striving and ‘should-ing’ taught me how little was actually within my control, and that as a contemplative, I would have to be more flexible….”

-Co-leader Aryn Davis (Speaking about her experience in the Crossing the Threshold program (formerly YALLI))



Link to Bio


Link to Bio


  • $1,980

Need-based tuition assistance is available. For more information, contact Chris at




Chris Jeffrey is the registrar for Crossing the Threshold: Contemplative Foundations for Emerging Leaders and can be contacted at


Our mission is to nurture contemplative living and leadership.


In 2025, Shalem will be a dynamic and inclusive community, empowered by the Spirit, where seekers engage in transformation of themselves, their communities, and the world through spiritual growth, deep connection, and courageous action.