YALLI: Young Adult Life and Leadership Initiative

“It was so helpful to go deeper, to be quiet, to be able to hear what I’m being called to do… and to share this experience with others.”
—A Participant

Apply now!

Join a free informational conference call to discern with the co-leaders Dawn Peck and Anne Grizzle about the rightness of this program for you. Sign up for the call below. Thursday, January 16, 2020, 12-1pm ET. 

Here is a link for your convenience: https://myaccount.maestroconference.com/conference/register/92RUZAYF60ZXH1XT


A program to nurture the spiritual life and strengthen the contemplative foundation of leadership for young adults

YALLI: Young Adult Life and Leadership Initiative is for young adults (approximately ages 25-40) who seek a deeper spiritual foundation for their lives and work and who welcome the support of a like-minded community. This program is grounded in the Christian contemplative tradition yet it draws on the wisdom of many religious traditions to offer support for everyday living. In the midst of the challenges of the 21st century, this program provides concrete help in the struggle to live authentically with compassion, strength and vision.

Who Should Apply?
YALLI: Young Adult Life and Leadership Initiative is designed for those who are:

    • Approximately between the ages of 25-40;
    • Desiring to deepen the spiritual foundation of their personal and professional life;
    • Seeking a mutually supportive spiritual community with other young adults;
    • Drawn to exploring the contemplative tradition, including prayer and meditation practices;
    • Willing to learn within a broad ecumenical Christian framework that also welcomes the wisdom and practice of other faith traditions;
    • At a point in life that is not full of overwhelming crisis, emotionally or vocationally.

Timeline & Components

Extended Deadline
January 30, 2020

Program Dates
The program begins with the First Residency. A reading list to begin at-home preparation will be provided in January 2020

First Residency: April 30-May 3, 2020
Bellfry Retreat Home near Lexington, VA

Second Residency: March 18-21, 2021
Bellfry Retreat Home near Lexington, VA

Final Gathering: Saturday, November 13, 2021
Shalem Office, Washington, DC

At-Home Completion: September 30, 2021
Final integration paper due

Program Components
At-Home work includes:

    • A personal spiritual practice, including a daily discipline of prayer/ meditation/ presence for God;
    • At least one personal 24-hour, silent retreat per year as the start of a lifelong habit;
    • Participation in Shalem’s online education programs;
    • Monthly reflections about your spiritual life and leadership with your staff mentor, who will be a resource for you throughout the program;
    • Peer reflection sessions with other participants that meet in person or by Zoom conferencing every four to six weeks for mutual support, accountability and encouragement; Shalem will provide guidelines for reflection. The first session will be guided by the staff mentor; other sessions are scheduled by participants.
    • Selected required readings, plus many optional readings, on spiritual life, leadership, environmental concerns and peace-making initiatives; a bibliography will be provided;
    • Brief reflection papers on the readings;
    • An opportunity to design and carry out an independent project, supervised by a Shalem mentor; and
    • A final reflection paper based on your experience in the program.

Program Residential Retreats:

We will have two three-day residential retreats at The Bellfry Retreat Home near Lexington, VA. All rooms are singles; linens are provided. These retreats are formative in building spiritual community and deepening spiritual practices. They also will include seminars on discernment, contemplative leadership and a silent retreat.

A Certificate of Completion is awarded at the end of the program to all participants who have met the program requirements.


Kendrick Curry
Kendrick Curry, Co-Director of the Program, is an inner-city pastor (15 years now at Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church), and thus very sensitive to Kingdom issues as they relate to the city, and at the same time is deeply contemplative. He is a graduate of Going Deeper: Clergy Spiritual Life and Leadership, and he has led contemplative retreats around the DC, Maryland and Virginia metropolitan area.

Anne Grizzle
Anne Grizzle, Co-Director of the Program, is a spiritual director, family therapist, and ordained Episcopal priest. Anne serves as faculty for Shalem’s group spiritual direction program, chaplain at Boys Home of Virginia, chair of Leighton Ford Ministries mentoring, and co-chair of World Vision’s campaign toward ending extreme poverty. Anne has authored three books and numerous articles. She experiences closeness to God wandering in the woods and listening for poetry in the early morning.

Dawn Peck
Dawn Peck, Co-Director of the Program, is a graduate of Transforming Community: Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups & Retreats Program, a retreat leader, spiritual guide, and Developmental Pediatrician. She serves on the Board of Ordained Ministry of the United Methodist Church and is passionate about the intersection of theology and deep spirituality, interfaith dialogue, and helping parents learn to parent from their spiritual heart.

Price & Apply Now





To fill out the application, click “Apply Now.” On the following page, click “Checkout”
to be taken to the online application form. Fill out the online application form and pay the $45
non-refundable application fee. The registrar will then be sent the form when you are complete.

Please see the brochure for detailed information on tuition and residency fees, installment plan, and tuition assistance.

Program Price

(If available, a single room request might be able to be honored. There would be an associated extra fee of $500.00. If you are interested, please contact Michelle at MAbbott@executivesoul.com.)

Click below to download the brochure, which includes detailed information, including a full listing of current staff.

Feel free to contact Michelle at mabbott@executivesoul.com or call us at (301) 897-7334 for more details.