We offer two programs:

Personal Spiritual Deepening: Noticing the Sacred in Everyday Living
Next Intake:  TBA
The program will take place over 5 weekends.
Location:  Tatamagouche Centre, NS.
Program Dates: TBA

Contemplative Leading and Spiritual Guidance Formation:
Next Intake: TBA
The program will take place over two, week long residencies.
Location:  Tatamagouche Centre, NS.
Program Dates: TBA

Contemplative Pathways is dedicated to providing programs and creating community to hold space for the sacred as it informs our everyday living.

The design of the Contemplative Pathways Programs (formerly the Atlantic Jubilee Program) owes a great deal to the thorough and developmental work of the Shalem Institute of Spiritual Formation in Washington, D.C.  This institute has done much to bring the ancient art of spiritual direction and guidance into the twenty-first century, and also to develop modern ways to authentically cultivate this gift and calling in people. If you wish to know more about this pioneering institution and its programs you can check out their website at

Although Contemplative Pathways is modelled on the Shalem experience, it is not a Shalem program.

Contemplative Pathways programs seek to develop:

  • Contemplative Presence:  a prayerful openness and loving responsiveness to the movements and mystery of God/Sacred.  This presence is an all-encompassing way of being with oneself and the world that embraces all thoughts, feelings and actions.
  • Contemplative Leading:  brings contemplative presence into the specific situations of our ordinary lives whether in relationships, groups, or organizations.  Contemplative leading has the explicit intent of honouring and empowering others to listen deeply for God/Spirit’s movement, thus enabling group decisions and action to unfold through this collective deep listening.
  • Spiritual Guidance Formation Training:  learning the process of accompanying another on his/her spiritual journey, listening to that person’s life story with an ear for the movement of the Spirit, and supporting the other to find their own basic experience, to trust it, and to work with it.

Educational Philosophy And Style

IMG_1092This program is planned and led with the belief that we learn best from experience and from reflection on that experience. We will stay as close as possible to our lived experience of God, however we name or image God, and the lived experience of others. We will sharpen our reflection on that experience for the sake of ever-new understanding and action in both individual and social dimensions.

Through study, reading and reflective writing, we will consider the works of others throughout the centuries and current times who have reflected on the human spiritual journey. Time will be given for the purpose of integrating that wisdom with our own understanding and practice.

Participants are expected as adult learners to take responsibility for their own learning and to become more clear with the assistance of spirit and each other about what needs to happen in the deepening of their own journey, their life in the world, and their sense of calling to the work of spiritual guidance and contemplative leading.

The human spiritual journey has an inner depth and individual dimension, as well as an outer social, and community dimension…one seamless whole. This program seeks to take the whole of the human spiritual journey seriously, both in understanding and in practice.


Major Program Themes:

In both programs, the major themes explored include:

1. The Human Spiritual Journey, the Human Situation and Condition

  • spiritual growth, formation and development: how it happens and how we assist or hinder it in ourselves and others
  • learning and growing spiritually
  • brokenness and healing, captivity and freedom (of individuals and society), and the individual and community nature of the journey
  • our own stories and the larger story
  • gender, sexuality and family in the spiritual journey
  • the human spiritual journey and our planetary home
  • justice, peace and compassion for the human experience
  • reflection on theology and spirituality

2.  Spiritual Practice: Prayer, Meditation, Contemplation and Relationship with God in Ordinary Life

  • forms, practices and experience of prayer, modern and ancient, in different spiritual traditions, and in the lives of great spiritual leaders
  • praying through body, mind and emotions
  • praying in solitude and in engagement with everyday life
  • praying in the “absence” of God, and in the practice of the “presence” of God, becoming more clear on the intent of spiritual practice in your spiritual tradition, and in your own experience
  • prayer as an opening to, and an immediate given-ness to, God in the current moments of ordinary life
  • praying for others, individually and socially (intercessory prayer)
  • practice of retreat and sabbath

3. Discernment

  • noticing, valuing and responding to who we are in God and the movements of God in everyday human life, individually and socially
  • recognizing more clearly and responding more truly to what is of God, and moving away from or confronting what is not, and how do we tell the difference

4. Contemplative Leading and Spiritual Guidance

  • bringing contemplative presence alive in one’s work, social contexts and personal relationships
  • nurturing contemplative presence as a loving response to one’s sense of God’s prayer for the world and its on-going evolution
  • what to look for and expect in one-on-one and small group spiritual guidance
  • spiritual guidance formation as a specific ministry and expression of contemplative leading