Welcome — The Living School for Action and Contemplation

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Do you seek contemplative grounding and purpose?
Do you long for wisdom elders and companions to share your spiritual journey?
Are you willing to be shaken and changed at your very foundation?

The Living School for Action and Contemplation offers a unique opportunity to a select group of students to deepen engagement with their truest selves and with the world. Discover your authentic identity and grow your capacity to embody this calling in the world. Through rigorous study and contemplative practice, awaken to the pattern of reality—God’s loving presence with and in all things. Embrace a rich heritage of faith from the Christian mystical tradition.

Learn from four of the greatest living contemplative teachers, Living School core faculty Richard Rohr, James Finley, Barbara Holmes and Brian McLaren.

Living School Overview

This two-year program includes:

  • at-home reading, reflection, contemplative practice, and course work;
  • online dialogues and teachings;
  • three annual symposia with core faculty and invited teachers;
  • one five-day intensive with Richard Rohr and Brian McLaren;
  • optional second-year intensive with Cynthia Bourgeault or James Finley (subject to availability);
  • interactions with fellow students.

The Living School welcomes applicants who are committed to both contemplation and action, who are willing to receive the lessons of darkness and suffering, and who are open to profound transformation and change of consciousness.

The Living School is an “emergent” or para-school, on the edge of the inside; it is not affiliated with any church or institution of higher education. As such, formal degrees or certification are not offered. The reward is the experience itself—learning and practices that can support students’ continued growth as fully human, God-indwelled beings.

Student Experiences

“The Living School is a new synthesis of Christian learning for which I believe the world is waiting.” —Mark Longhurst, 2013-15 cohort

“The Living School really does speak to our situation and the world we find ourselves in. There’s so much trauma, so much suffering, so much need for people to feel connectivity. The material has really been wonderful for me to use in my life as a physician, as an administrator, and in the things I do in community.” —Ophelia Garmon-Brown, 2013-15 cohort

“Being guided by Richard Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault, and Jim Finley feels like I’ve hit the jackpot. I have never been so moved by or connected to the Trinity, to the Incarnation, and to evolution as I am right now. I’ve so often been brought to tears, through my Living School studies, by the tenderness of God’s crazy love.” —Traylor Howard Portman, 2014-16 cohort


Applications are currently closed, but will reopen in 2022.


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