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ORGL 522 – Leadership and Community

St. Andrews Abbey in Valyermo, California

Includes a 5-day residency at St. Andrews Abbey in Valyermo, CA

What is the meaning and purpose of life? How is need for such meaning and purpose encountered in a community? How does the leader develop a community to facilitate individual growth and collective success? Through study, experience, and scholarship, students explore how to create structures and processes for sustaining and transforming a community. At the Benedictine monastery of Saint Andrew’s Abbey, students become participant observers in a five-day immersion designed to explore, practice, and come to an expanded understanding of the role and purpose of the leader’s involvement and commitment to building and sustaining a meaningful and purposeful community.

The Program Details:

  • Program Type: Short-term, faculty-led program administered by Gonzaga University
  • Dates: Offered in Fall and Spring terms
  • Eligibility: Graduate Students
  • Estimated Cost: $940 per credit
  • Housing: $400 per week for boarding at St. Andrew’s Abbey
  • Program Fee: $100
  • Transportation Fee: $50 – $100 – cost dependent on number of students
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Application Deadline : February 1, 2018
  • Apply Now
  • Financial Aid: Gonzaga and federal financial aid can be applied towards this program

Residency Dates

  • Spring B 2018: The stay at the monastery is from April 9-13, 2018.

The online-based course includes a one-week stay at St. Andrew’s Abbey located in Valyermo, California, in the upper Mojave Desert, about an hour’s drive from Burbank. The first half of the online learning prepares students for their participation in the community life of the twenty monks at St. Andrew’s, and the second half of the online learning uses monastic life as a metaphor for experiences in all organizational communities. The course concludes in a paper written by each student that applies his or her learning to the very practical (and non-monastic) realities of organizational life.

  • $940 per credit
  • $400 for the week of boarding at St. Andrews Abbey
  • $100 program fee
  • $50 – $100 transportation – cost dependent on number of students
  • $50 application fee

*Airfare not included

Special Reunion/Retreat at St. Andrew’s Abbey for Gonzaga Students

Friday, April 6th – Sunday, April 8th, 2018

For those who have already taken the community course and been to St. Andrew’s, there will be a reunion retreat held April 6th – 8th, 2018, at the monastery (other students who are not able to find room in their schedules to take the community courses, but would like to experience the monastery are invited to attend this retreat as well).

Retreat Description: This retreat follows those of the last few years on Stability and Obedience – vows that Benedictine monks take on entering the community – to focus on the meaning of “Constant Conversion” for contemporary leaders.

Presenter: Dr. Michael Carey is an oblate, or lay associate, at St. Andrew’s Abbey in Valyermo, California. He is the Dean of the Virtual Campus at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. He has taught leadership studies at the graduate level for nearly 30 years at Gonzaga and is currently working to ensure that Gonzaga’s graduate programs online follow in the tradition of Jesuit education that stretches back to St. Ignatius of Loyola. But his first love is St. Benedict and the community of St. Andrew’s Abbey, which he has been connected to since 1971.

Retreat attendance is limited by the space available in the Guest House.

To Register:
Call (661) 944-2178
Abbey website:

*The September reunion retreat is currently full.

Program information subject to change.

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