Going Deeper: Clergy Spiritual Life and Leadership Program

Are you yearning to re-connect with your original call and passion?
Would you like help in listening more attentively to the Spirit in your life and ministry?
Do you want support from a caring peer community?

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

For clergy of all denominations, congregational 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 18-month clergy program was created to address these spiritual challenges and is 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 congregations. Beneath the pressures of ministry, clergy find encouragement to unhook from stress, to be present, to rest in God’s 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 congregational 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 to do something new right now? Find the support you need to explore where God is leading you.


Application Deadlines
Extended deadline: April 30, 2018

Program Dates
May 2018 to October 2019

First Residency: July 10-17, 2018
Second Residency: August 6-13, 2019

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.

This class is closed, but we are happy to talk with you about your interest in the next class! Please contact trish@shalem.org or 301-897-7334. Information and applications for the new class will be uploaded here soon.

Price of Program

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 Administrator, at trish@shalem.org (301) 897-7334.