Register by Friday, June 1st for the 2018 Vita Consecrata Institute!


Click Here to download the 2018 VCI Brochure


Session I (July 2 – July 13)

CONL 624 The Vows According to St. Thomas Aquinas

Rev. Brian Mullady, O.P.

This course will present the rich scholastic tradition on the consecrated life as presented by St. Thomas Aquinas. It will examine questions in the Summa Theologiae as well as other works of Saint Thomas on consecrated life such as On the Perfection of the Spiritual Life and the Contra Retrahentes. It is intended to give a unified theological vision of the nature of the consecrated life as it relates to all theology.

SPIR 632 Christian Prayer and Contemplation

Rev. Thomas Nelson, O.Praem.

Prayer has always been seen as an essential means to Christian perfection. But what is Christian prayer and how does it differ from non-Christian prayer? What forms and expressions does it take and how do we grow in prayer. These questions and many more will be answered in this course. This course will first look at prayer as it is presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It will then treat the Interior Castles of St. Teresa of Avila and look at mental prayer beginning with meditation and culminating in infused contemplation. It will also illustrate how growth in the spiritual life is effected and manifested by growth in prayer.


Session II  (July 16 July 27)

SPIR 635 Spiritual Direction

Rev. Thomas Acklin, O.S.B. & Rev. Boniface Hicks, O.S.B.

This course will show the place of spiritual direction in the Christian spiritual life. It will discuss what is spiritual direction and how it differs from spiritual accompaniment and psychological counseling. It will cover various topics such as the qualities that should be found in spiritual directors and those directed, the role of retreats and religious experiences in spiritual direction, the discernment of spirits and vocational discernment. It will also give practical advice for the ministry of spiritual direction.

CONL 710 The Institutes and Conferences of St. John Cassian

Rev. Cassian Folsom, O.S.B.

This course will present the ancient monastic wisdom of the Desert Fathers as presented in the Institutes and Conferences of John Cassian. It will examine the key conferences and books of the Institutes and draw from them practical lessons on how to live the consecrated life today. It is intended to convey the pristine spirit, fervor and teaching on the consecrated life as lived and taught by the Desert Fathers.

* As a bonus, during the last two days Dr. Theresa Burke will give a presentation entitled From Grief to Grace: Healing of the Heart.



To Register
For more information and to register online for the summer program, go to the Christendom College website or call the Graduate School at 703-658-4304.

First-time students should begin by contacting the IRL at 847-573-8975, or email the IRL staff: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . If you are a first-time VCI participant, in addition to registering with the Graduate School of Christendom College, please submit to the Institute on Religious Life the following three items:

Letter of recommendation/permission from your religious superior or ordinary stating: (a) express permission for you to attend; and (b) how he or she foresees you may personally benefit from the program and how it might enrich your community.Brief history of your vocation (2-3 paragraphs on a separate sheet of paper). Brief summary of your educational background and/or ministerial experience (2-3 paragraphs on a separate sheet of paper).

IRL Blog

Vocation Blog

A blog about vocations to the consecrated life.
  • The Vocation to the Eremitical Life       By Sister Janet of Beit Mery Hermitage Soon after the conversion of the Emperor Constantine and his legalization of Christianity in the Edict of Milan in the year 314 CE., Some Christians began to feel that the spiritual fervor that was present during the Age of Martyrdom was being … Continue reading Ever Ancient, Ever New: The Vocation to the Eremitical Life →

  • The Contemplatives of St. Joseph, a monastery for men founded in 2010, now have a women’s branch. Over the years, founder Fr. Vito Perrone had to turn women away seeking to join them in their contemplative yet active life. But now, there are 3 women in formation with more to surely come because they seem … Continue reading Contemplatives of St. Joseph Add Women’s Branch →

  • On March 18, 2018, the Norbertines of St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, California, broke ground on a new abbey. And why do they need a new abbey?  Because the community, with 51 priests and 36 seminarians, has outgrown their space. Yes, 36 seminarians! The instability of the land at their current site, the lack of … Continue reading Norbertines Break Ground on New Abbey →