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Program Details

The Living School for Action and Contemplation is a two-year program of the Center for Action and Contemplation. At its core, the School’s curriculum is grounded in the Christian contemplative tradition that guides our core faculty, Richard Rohr, James Finley, Barbara Holmes, Brian McLaren, and Cynthia Bourgeault (emeritus). Our faculty holds that Scripture as validated by experience and experience as validated by Tradition are essential elements in developing a spiritual worldview; this grounds their teaching approach.

The school has a particular emphasis on Fr. Richard’s Franciscan heritage. In keeping with the Franciscan Alternative Orthodoxy, the Living School program emphasizes an embodied lifestyle and teaches practices that open us to a more conscious union with Divine Reality.

Foundations of the Living School

In addition to the influence of the Franciscan Alternative Orthodoxy and the Perennial Tradition, Fr. Richard has highlighted particular aspects of his lineage and themes that are foundational to the Living School curriculum. Click here to learn more about the lineage and themes.

Living School Curriculum

Learn more about the Course Units (including an intensive and online study) and Living School Disciplines (such as experiential practice, reading, and developing a rhythm of life) within the program.

Living School Structure

The design of the Living School blends solo, at-home study with sessions held in community; many of the educational disciplines will be practiced in both settings. Learn more about the Living School structure and participation.


If selected as a student, you are expected to meet the following criteria to successfully complete the Living School program:

  • Attend all three symposia and one intensive;
  • Complete all assigned online units, including readings;
  • Participate in the online student discussion board;
  • Be actively engaged with your assigned small group;
  • Engage in an act of solidarity that embodies a contemplative stance and stretches your ego-base of operation;
  • Develop a rhythm of life that will sustain your contemplative development after the Living School.


The merits of the Living School stand on the Franciscan Alternative Orthodoxy and the Perennial Tradition as taught by Richard Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault, James Finley, Barbara Holmes, and Brian McLaren. A certificate of completion will be given to each graduate of the Living School for Action and Contemplation.

Continuing Education Credits may be available within a student’s field. An accepted student may request a syllabus from the Living School to provide to their continuing education office. The Living School will not coordinate the certification process beyond providing the syllabus.

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