Going Deeper: Clergy Spiritual Life and Leadership Program

Do you wish to deepen your spiritual life and open yourself more fully to God?
Do you yearn to lead from your spiritual heart and from a revitalized sense of call?
Are you searching for an inspiring faith community of peers?

If your answers are yes, then the Spirit may be calling you to Go Deeper with Shalem’s Clergy Spiritual Life and Leadership Program.

  • Overview
  • Timeline & Components
  • Staff
  • Testimonials
  • Price and Apply Now

A serious concern for spiritual life and leadership across all denominational boundaries is re-forming our understanding of personal spiritual life, leadership, and the church. Indeed, we might say that this is an ecumenical movement of the Spirit. Many clergy living in the midst of this climate of change in their personal and church lives are being called to deeper spiritual grounding.

Although our other Shalem programs connect with certain dimensions of congregational spiritual leadership and many clergy participate in them, none give the context of the local church as the explicit and shared focus.

Going Deeper: Clergy Spiritual Life and Leadership Program is for clergy of all denominations and geographic locations who serve on the staffs of local churches or whose ministry involves the local church.

This 18-month Program offers a dedicated time for nurturing one’s own soul and for deepening one’s contemplative orientation as a congregational spiritual leader. A contemplative attitude encourages immediate openness to God’s grace in the shifting situations of daily life and, where called for, freedom to embrace both personal and collective risk-taking. In this sense, contemplative does not refer to a narrow, separate path but rather to an undergirding dimension of the way we live our lives, open-to-the-Spirit-in-the-moment in personal and congregational life. A contemplative orientation provides a steady spiritual foundation for authentic living, vision and action.


Program Dates
May 2017 to October 2018

First Residency: July 11-18, 2017
Second Residency: August 14-21, 2018

Program Components
At-Home Work & Two Residencies

Participants do much of the program work in their own communities, coming to the Baltimore/Washington area for residencies twice during each program.

At-home work includes:

  • Readings focused on contemplative presence and spiritually-grounded leadership;
  • A personal spiritual practice, supported, if possible, by a spiritual director or spiritual direction group and, where helpful, keeping a spiritual journal;
  • Periodic reflections about your life/leadership with an ecumenical peer group of participants;
  • A visit to an innovative, risk-taking church of your choosing;
  • Creation of a listening group of laity from the congregation;
  • At least two days of solitary retreat time;
  • A final integration paper that allows you to look back with God over your experience.

Residencies include:

  • Fellowship and stimulus of other contemplatively-minded clergy;
  • Rest, renewal and guided silent retreat time;
  • Short lectures/dialogue, individual/small group reflection on various themes (sampling follows):
    – Nurturing Spirit-led leadership in yourself and the congregation
    – Appreciating personal and congregational ways for discernment
    – Listening for the Spirit’s shaping of the future church
    – Collegiality with spiritually-motivated congregants and other clergy
    – Touching the Holy across faith lines
    – Presence to God in worship and preaching
    – Discernment and decision-making
    – Following the leadership of Christ’s spirit as revealed in Scripture, tradition and experience
    – Spiritual leadership in the social arena;
  • Inspiration drawn from the lives of significant past and present spiritual leaders;
  • Honest spiritual community and the beginnings of a network of mutual support/practical learning.

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

For more details about the program including at-home work, residency topics, peer groups and other program components, please download the Detailed Program Brochure.

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.

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

Although registrations have closed for the 2017-2018 class, we would be happy to talk with you if you are sensing a call to this program. Please contact Trish Stefanik as soon as possible (301-897-7334 or trish@shalem.org) to see if it still might be possible to include you in this class.

Download an Application Form to send in with the $45 Application Fee (non-refundable).

Program cost $6,615

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

Detailed Program Brochure
Clergy Brochure Icon

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