Going Deeper: Clergy Spiritual Life and Leadership

Clergy Program Re-envisioned and $1000 price reduction
Scholarships available


Do you yearn to reconnect with your original call and passion?
Are you searching for a more grounded way of embracing and responding to the challenges 
and blessings of ministry?
Would you treasure a supportive and caring colleague group with whom to share your journey?
Are you looking for a new way to live and lead faithfully?

If these questions stir your heart, then the Spirit might be inviting you to consider Going Deeper: Clergy Spiritual Life and Leadership.


For clergy serving as pastors of congregations or as chaplains, expectations can often be overwhelming. Balance is hard to find, burnout is all too common, and clergy can feel especially isolated and torn in many different directions. With too much to do and the desire to do everything perfectly, a life that should be centered in God and committed to spiritual practice is all too quickly overtaken by stress and time management issues.

Shalem’s clergy program was created to address these challenges and provides an opportunity for clergy of all denominations to go deeper within themselves, to let go into their spiritual heart and to open into what is being invited, for themselves and their communities. Beneath the pressures of ministry, clergy find encouragement to “unhook” from stress, to be present, to rest in God’s Divine Presence, and to receive and recover the prayerful ground of their spiritual center.

The program’s structure of peer and lay listening groups creates a way to journey together and discern next steps that is very different from task force and committee work. The two eight-day residencies offer a space for refreshment and renewal, with plenty of time for prayer, contemplative practice, sharing joys and challenges, and worship together.

When clergy find nourishment for their own spiritual needs, they discover this makes a difference in their leadership and in the life of their congregations. The more clergy learn to live out of their spiritual center, the more they are able to be present and responsive, open to what is invited. Through attentive listening to and awareness of the Spirit’s movement, they learn to live and lead in a different way.

Living open to the Spirit in personal and community life can provide the foundation needed for authentic vision and action. Both the structure and content of Going Deeper: Clergy Spiritual Life and Leadership offer a contemplative orientation that encourages an immediate openness to God’s grace and freedom to embrace a new way of being, both personally and collectively.

Might God be calling you into a deeper spiritual life? Find the support you need to explore where God is leading you now.

Timeline & Components

Application Deadline
Deadline: June 7, 2020

Program Dates
July 2020 to September 2021

First Residency: August 13-20, 2020 (via Zoom)
Second Residency: July 5-12, 2021

Program Components
Two Residencies with At-Home Work

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 eight-day residencies, which include presentations on contemplative prayer and leadership, fellowship with peers, worship, and spacious time for rest, reflection, and renewal. The first “residency” will be held via Zoom. The second residency will take place at Bon Secours Retreat Center just north of Baltimore, Maryland.

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.

Residencies include:

    • 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.

A 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.


WCharles_headshotWinston B. Charles
Winston, Director of the Program, is a graduate of Shalem’s Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Program and Transforming Community: Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups & Retreats Program. As an Episcopal priest, he served congregations in South Carolina, New York City and North Carolina before retiring in 2009. He continues to offer spiritual direction, teach contemplative spirituality and lead retreats.

Price & Apply Now

Registration is now closed.


Click below to download the brochure, which includes more details, a full listing of current staff, and an application form.

Feel free to contact Trish Stefanik, Program Administrator, at trish@shalem.org (301) 897-7334.