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

  • Overview & Background
  • Timeline & Components
  • Staff
  • Price

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;
  • And willing to learn within a broad ecumenical Christian framework that also welcomes the wisdom and practice of other faith traditions.

Check back here for specific dates.

Program Components

At-home work includes:

  • A personal spiritual practice, including a daily discipline of prayer/ meditation/ presence for God;
  • 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 telephone 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;
  • 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 four-day residential retreats at Washington Retreat House, Washington D.C.- a sacred space in the midst of the city run by the Franciscan sisters. 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.

For more information, download the Detailed Program Brochure.

Hayley O’Connorhayley
Hayley, Co-director of the Program, is an ordained PC (USA) minister living in northern New Jersey. She has recently returned to the States after spending seven years as an Associate Minister in Edinburgh, Scotland. She serves as a consultant for Ministry Architects working with churches in strategic planning and sustainable ministry. She is a graduate of Shalem’s Young Adult Life and Leadership Initiative (YALLI) and Nurturing the Call: Spiritual Guidance Program and has helped organize and lead pilgrimages to Edinburgh, Iona and Paris.

Edinburgh-Bill StoneWilliam (Bill) Stone
Bill, co-director of the program, is a pastor serving The First Presbyterian Church of New Vernon in New Jersey. He is a graduate of Shalem’s Young Adult Life and Leadership Initiative (YALLI), co-led Shalem’s young adult pilgrimage to Edinburgh and is also part of Shalem’s pilgrimage leadership team. After living in Scotland for seven years, Bill continues to enjoy exploring Celtic spirituality and spending time outdoors with his West Highland Terrier, Dougal.

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

Check back here for details on future costs, application dates and residency dates.

Detailed Program Brochure

Feel free to contact us at info@shalem.org or (301) 897-7334 for more details.