Living School FAQs

To apply to the Living School, follow the steps here.

The Living School accepts applications from around July 1 to September 30 each year. Prospective students can order application packets July 1 through September 15. Applicants will receive notice of their application status at the beginning of February. Applicants will not be notified during the review process, nor should an applicant inquire about their status during this period. To see the exact dates of the application process click here.

Please visit our Discernment Steps page to see the ideal criteria for a prospective student.

Adults who fit the ideal criteria will be given preference regardless of age.

Students who fit the ideal criteria will be given preference regardless of religious background.

The school year begins in July with an online orientation, followed by a symposium in late July or August. Students must attend all three of the symposia during their two-year tenure at the Living School.

The general format of the courses is a mixture of disciplines. An outline of the units for the school covers can be reviewed here.

Students are required to attend three annual symposia and one onsite intensive. Click here to view the Program Calendar.

Living School students can expect an average of 35 hours a month when they are at home. When students are on site they can expect full days (10-12 hours). Learn more about at-home study and on-site sessions.

The Living School’s two-year program is an intentional combination of on-site study (New Mexico-based sessions) and at-home study (online). This maximizes the relationship between personal and communal practice and study. It also reflects the latest industry findings that a combined learning model is most effective for programs like ours. For these reasons, students in the two-year program are required to attend all on-site sessions (the intensive and three annual symposia). See the Living School Program Details for more information. If you determine that you cannot participate in the Living School’s two-year program, you may be interested in taking self-paced, individual online courses. Learn more about Online Education here.

The Living School will admit an average of 165 students per cohort for a maximum enrollment of approximately 500 students who will be active in various stages of the program.

In addition to the recommended 35 hours a month for online course work, study, and contemplative practice, several days will be spent on-site in Albuquerque. Click here to see an estimate of travel time required.

Students are encouraged to seek assistance from their local support networks for tuition and travel expenses. Students may apply for limited tuition assistance within the Living School Application. All scholarship decisions are made after students are accepted. Assistance is granted based on financial need.

The Living School finds inherent value in spiritual direction. Two spiritual directors are available during each symposium and on-site intensive for an additional fee. Students are highly encouraged to be in spiritual direction in their local community. Visit Spiritual Directors International to find a spiritual director in your area.

Students will be responsible for paying for their lodging during all on-site sessions. We will ensure that students have access to the lowest room rates possible at area retreat centers or hotels. Students will be given details about local lodging options a few months before each symposia and intensive. During the intensives, all meals will be included. At the symposia, the Living School tuition fees cover daily breakfast and lunch and one dinner. Students will pay for all other dinners during the symposium. There are a number of grocery stores and restaurants in close driving proximity to the campus/venue.

Students will not need a vehicle during the annual symposia or the intensives; everything will be available on-site.

Students will need reliable access to a computer that meets these requirements for the online courses taken during the at-home portions of the program.

Students will learn directly from Richard Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault, and James Finley in small and large learning environments. Both the intensive and the annual symposia provide students with opportunities to learn in person with core faculty, invited teachers, CAC staff, and fellow students. One-on-one time should not be expected with any of the faculty.

If you are unable to find the information you’re seeking elsewhere on the Living School web pages, you may send your question via email to [email protected]. Please allow up to three business days for a response.

The work of the Center for Action and Contemplation is possible only because of friends and supporters like you!

Learn more about making a donation to the CAC.