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Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups & Retreats: Story Map & Testimonials

To learn more about this program, click here or on the left hand side bar for information on Timeline & Components, Fees & Academic Credit, Staff, Testimonials and Application Form.

New Story Map!  Listen to the audio stories of our graduates from around the world.  Read Testimonials below.

Click on each diamond on the map below and press play on the center of the video to hear experiences of our graduates in the Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats program and how the program is alive in their work today.  View the map on a separate page here.

We'd like to express out endless gratitude to our graduates for sharing these wonderful stories!

Appreciation from our Graduates

"One of the most significant experiences in my spiritual journey ..."

by Dennis Adams

Participation in the Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups & Retreats Program has been one of the most significant experiences in my spiritual journey and my pastoral ministry.  It opened my eyes to spiritual practices that have deepened my longing for God and my sense of living in the Presence.  For much of my life I felt like a square peg in a round hole because my need for solitude and quiet didn't fit the typical religious experience of our culture.  I spent most of my ministry as a pastor trying to shape my ministry around the "action norm."

Through my experience at Shalem I heard God's call to an entirely different ministry that has its center in contemplative prayer—yes, teaching and facilitating groups, but more than that, personally living and ministering out of a contemplative center that includes one morning a week in our chapel in prayer.  The thing that is truly wonderful is that our congregation affirms it and a good number of members have begun to want to know more about the contemplative life.

Dennis M. Adams is a graduate of the 2005 class of Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups & Retreats Program.

"Shalem ... redirected the course of my life."

by Phil Stone

The Shalem experience in many ways redirected the course of my life. My career had been focused on the management of high technology firms. My education was highlighted by an MBA.  At Shalem I had to "unlearn" a lot before I could learn that "less is more" and that as a leader I am "a conduit for the Divine." I am not in charge! I also had to become comfortable with silence.

My entire "career" now is about my spiritual journey—seeking the Divine in prayer, silence, retreats, others and the Internet. Shalem provided me with both the confidence and new leadership tools to leave my old career and take up what I enjoy on a full-time basis.

Shalem has energized me to do what I enjoy both for self fulfillment and also to plant a few seeds of contemplation in this crazy world. Its wonderful teachers have taught me to look within and listen to that still, quiet voice that always whispers lovingly that all is well.

Phil Stone is a graduate of the 2005 class of Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups & Retreats Program and serves on Shalem's Board of Directors.


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