Going Deeper: Clergy Spiritual Life and Leadership

Support for the spiritual heart of clergy of all denominations

August 2023-September 2024

Are you looking for a new way to live and lead faithfully?

Program runs August 2023-September 2024

Early Bird Deadline: March 15, 2023
Regular Deadline: April 30, 2023

Going Deeper: Clergy Spiritual Life & Leadership Program addresses the challenges of a life that ideally is centered in God and committed to spiritual practice but is all too quickly overtaken by stress, isolation, burnout and time management issues. Going Deeper provides an opportunity for clergy of all denominations to focus intentionally on the inner work that can foster a transformation of heart and embody a Spirit-led practice of ministry. In the face of administrative and cultural pressures, clergy are invited to “center down,” as Howard Thurman describes, and listen for the Spirit’s guidance in challenging times.

info session phone

Free Info Session

Join us on Zoom to discern about the rightness of this program for you. Talk with the Director and recent grads. Register by clicking on a date below.

Going Deeper Timeline

Much of the work of Going Deeper: Clergy Spiritual Life and Leadership happens at home within the context of one’s ministry. The program is anchored by two in-person residencies, which include presentations on contemplative prayer and leadership, fellowship with peers, worship, and spacious time for rest, reflection, and renewal.

Program Duration: August 2023 – September 2024
1st Residency: August 1 – 5, 2023
At-Home Work: August 2023 – July 2024
2-day Zoom Gathering: January 25-26, 2024
2nd Residency: July 23 – 27, 2024
Final Project Due: September 16, 2024

Program Components

At-home work includes:

  • Readings focused on contemplative presence and spiritually-grounded leadership;
  • Personal spiritual practice supported, if possible, by a spiritual director or spiritual direction group and, where helpful, by keeping a spiritual journal;
  • Periodic reflections, deep listening and caring support with a peer group of participants;
  • A visit to an innovative, risk-taking church of your choosing;
  • Creation of a listening group of laity from your congregation for spiritual deepening and mutual support;
  • At least two days of solitary retreat time;
  • A final integration paper that allows you to look back with God over your experience throughout the program in order to learn what has been of value to integrate into your life and leadership.

Retreat Topics

  • Fellowship and stimulus of other contemplatively-minded clergy;
  • Rest, renewal and guided silent retreat;
  • Presentations with individual and small group reflection on various themes central to discovering how to live and lead from the spiritual heart, such as
    • Nurturing Spirit-led leadership in yourself and with your faith community
    • Personal and congregational ways for discernment based on deep listening
    • Experiencing new and ancient practices of contemplative prayer
    • Dealing with conflict and anger from a contemplative heart that holds compassion and courage in equal measure
    • Listening for the Spirit’s shaping of the future of the church
    • Collegiality with spiritually-motivated congregants and other clergy
    • Touching the Holy across faith lines
    • Engaging social action with a contemplative heart
    • Presence to God in worship
    • Discernment as spiritually-grounded decision-making;
  • Inspiration drawn from the lives of past and present spiritual leaders;
  • Honest spiritual community and the beginnings of a network of mutual support and practical learning.

Certificate of Completion is awarded upon completion of all program requirements.

Chaplains may obtain Continuing Education Units for completing this program. Past graduates have been granted CEU’s for Shalem’s programs by the Association of Professional Chaplains.


The residential retreats will be held at Bon Secours Retreat and Conference Center in Marriottsville, MD. You will have a private room with bathroom. The center and grounds have walking paths through woods and fields.

Bon Secours bridge

“Listening to the guidance of wise spiritual mentors, interacting with Clergy colleagues all over the United States, learning new and varied spiritual and centering practices, and experiencing the deep nurture of silence all became transformative.”

-Scott Landis, San Diego, CA



Link to bio


Link to bio

(View the Program Brochure in a larger screen here).


  • Early Bird price: (through March 15, 2023): $6,990
  • Regular price: (after March 15, 2023): $7,360

Need-based tuition assistance is available. For more information, contact Chris at chris@shalem.org



Chris Jeffery is the Registrar for Going Deeper: Clergy Spiritual Life & Leadership Program and can be contacted at chris@shalem.org.


Our mission is to nurture contemplative living and leadership.


Grounded in our understanding of God’s desire for peace, wholeness and well-being, we envision a world transformed by contemplative living and leadership in which all people honor one another and creation, recognize their unity and interconnectedness, and courageously seek to live out of this reality.