Discernment Steps

We ask that you enter into an intentional discernment process to assess your readiness for the Living School. There is potential for positive transformation as a result of your involvement in this program, which can challenge the status quo of your own psyche, spirituality, worldview, and relationships with others. Before applying, please take the following steps.

Reflect on your openness to the Franciscan Alternative Orthodoxy, the Perennial Tradition, and the Lineage, Themes and Educational Disciplines of the Living School. All these elements are foundational to the curriculum.

Read the following criteria of an ideal candidate, discerning your compatibility and readiness for the Living School. We suggest that you look at your situation in relation to these qualifications. Applicants who meet most of these criteria will be given priority for admission. If you have any hesitation or questions about applying after reading these, please send an email to [email protected].

You are an ideal candidate for the Living School for Action and Contemplation if you:

Feel called to a deeper place from which you can work for positive change in the world, regardless of the risk or fear you may feel about that calling.

Know that answering your calling requires a process of change and a shifting in perspective that entail letting go of your ego and allowing your Spirit-centered self to emerge.

Desire a serious academic and experiential program with a mix of peers and are open to the multiple faith traditions and sources of wisdom that make up the Perennial Tradition.

Understand that the Living School exists solely to create the conditions for potential awakening. Because moments of awakening are gifts that we receive rather than achieve, you know that your responsibility is to bring an open mind and heart to the program.

Are capable of allowing your attention to be drawn to things you might dismiss under other circumstances, and to let go of anything that may get in the way of finding and acting out of your True Self.

Understand that the Living School community arises from a common center in God where all involved—faculty, staff, and students—contribute to supporting a sustained orientation to that center. The Living School has no expectation of creating additional student communities outside of the active, two-year period of program coursework, class material, and related discussions. Students will, however, be free to initiate other forms of community with one another using their own time and resources, so long as each student’s privacy and unique journey are respected.

Acknowledge the role that contemplation plays in non-dual consciousness and are engaged in some form of contemplative practice (i.e., centering prayer, lectio divina, meditation, yoga, etc.).

Have an awareness of your union with Divine Reality and all beings that has moved you beyond the use of labels as a means of separating yourself from other people. You know that you are “the other” and that the other is you.

Have learned through personal experience that darkness, failure, relapse, death and woundedness are your primary teachers, rather than ideas or doctrines.

If you are married or in a committed intimate relationship, it is important that your partner is part of this discernment as well. The Living School immerses students into a potentially transformative process that can allow the discovery of who you most truly are in the world. This evolution may not necessarily be shared by those you are close to. If/when changes occur in your own life, they may affect your relationship with your partner. Prior to applying, discuss the basic structure and purpose of the Living School with your partner in a spirit of inclusion and commitment to your relationship. Ideally both you and your partner have established healthy practices that limit judgment and exclusion while nurturing empathy and mutual support, even in the midst of differences and conflict.

Inability to do the following would restrict your full participation in the Living School Program:

Spend a few hours outdoors for the purpose of experiential coursework related to understanding Divine Reality and the natural world.

Ensure that your computer has the appropriate technical requirements for full functionality for the online courses.

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