Heart Longings: An Invitation to the Contemplative Path

Live from a place of calm and love in these turbulent times

Class of 2022 in session

Does your heart long for a deeper connection to God within a community of like-hearted souls?

Program runs November 2021 – June 2022

Early Bird Deadline: September 17, 2021
Regular Deadline: October 15, 2021


To learn about upcoming offerings, join our mailing list.

Heart Longings: An Invitation to the Contemplative Path, is an eight-month program that invites you to ground in a place of calm and love with the support of community through retreats, monthly gatherings, small group time and spiritual direction. The program begins and ends with 24-hour retreats and meets monthly on Saturday mornings in between.

Free Info Sessions

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

Heart Longings Timeline & Topics

Nov. 5-6, 2021: “Staying Grounded in the Storm: Contemplative Living” opening retreat (from 5 PM ET on Friday to 5 PM ET on Saturday)
Dec. 4, 2021: For Everything There Is a Season: Waiting, Listening, and Acting (10-1 ET)
Jan. 8, 2022: Building the Beloved Community (10-1 ET)
Feb. 5, 2022: Listening and Seeing: Music and Art as Contemplation (10-1 ET)
Mar. 12, 2022: Walking as Prayer: Body and Nature (10-1 ET)
Apr. 2, 2022: Sacred Activism: Contemplative Grounding for Social Change (10-1 ET)
May 7, 2022: Earth Awareness (10-1 ET)
June 3-4, 2022: “Staying Faithful to the Journey: Gifts and Challenges” closing retreat (from 5 PM ET on Friday to 5 PM ET on Saturday)

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


The opening and closing retreats as well as the monthly gatherings all meet on Zoom.

“I am so glad that I took the brave steps to join Heart Longings during a real time of uncertainty for me. It has been one of the better decisions I have made for my well-being. I had no idea how much I needed such a diverse group in which to experience and explore the world during such a crucial time. It gave me a new sense of purpose while creating new friendships and restoring my faith and hope in others…”

-Glen Vinson, Bowie, Maryland


Margaret Benefiel

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Brenda Bertrand

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Trish Stefanik

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  • Regular price: $1,400

Need-based tuition assistance is available. For more information, contact Trish, trish@shalem.org.


Applications are no longer being accepted at this time. Contact Trish at trish@shalem.org with any questions.


Trish Stefanik is the Registrar for Heart Longings: An Invitation to the Contemplative Path and can be contacted at trish@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.