Spiritual Formation

Spiritual Formation

To find out more about this semester’s schedule click here.

What Does the Rivendell Spiritual Formation Program Offer?

Our Spiritual Formation program is tailored to meet the unique spiritual needs of the academic community. We focus on personal transformation and faith integration through:

  • Spiritual Formation Scripture Studies (large and small group discussions)
  • Individual Mentoring
  • First Friday Series: Faculty Lectures, “Finding God at Yale”
  • Visiting Author/Scholar Lecture Series
  • Retreats
  • Colloquia

What is Spiritual Formation?

Spiritual Formation is the process that enables Christians to move from knowledge to practice as we seek to fully identify as Christ followers in the world. You will develop practices that serve to ground you in a greater sense of identity and purpose as a Christian––especially through the enormous challenges of academic and professional life.

Who May Participate?

We welcome graduate, professional students, post-docs, and spouses. A variety of disciplines and departments are represented in our fellowship to foster cross-discipline discussion and community.

Spiritual Formation Scripture Studies on Friday Nights

These weekly Friday night Spiritual Formation meetings make up the majority of our programming. As we examine the truths and lies we believe about God, our culture, and ourselves, we learn how to see ourselves through the lens of Christ and how to be intentional about living a more faith-integrated life.

Towards that end, the scripture studies emphasize practical ways to foster spiritual formation in our busy lives. Spiritual disciplines such as Contemplation and Lectio Divina are taught for those who would like to employ them as their own daily habits.

Following a catered meal and large group lecture on the evening’s scripture focus, time is spent in small group discussion and personal reflection.

First Friday Series: Faculty Lectures, “Finding God at Yale”

Once a month, we invite faculty from the various graduate and professional schools to share from their own faith journey, how they integrate their faith with their work and life here at Yale. These First Fridays take the place of our typical Spiritual Formation meeting, complete with a catered dinner. Q&A follows the presentation.

We also annually invite an author to share and discuss one of their publications.


We kick off the school year in the fall with a Seaside Day Retreat that is open to students, post-docs, spouses, and staff. All Yale graduate and professional Christian fellowships are invited to attend. This fall’s retreat will be held on Saturday, September 19. More information on the location and format of this year’s fall retreat will be released closer to the date.

During the spring semester, we host an Evening Prayer Retreat to practice various Spiritual Formation disciplines.

For more information on Spiritual Formation, contact Rivendell Spiritual Formation Directors:
Sue Smedley –
Karen Mahan – 

Location: 291 Edwards St, New Haven, CT 06511.

The following map shows parking locations near Rivendell:


“The spiritual formation program at Rivendell has kept me anchored and at peace amidst the challenges of graduate study. It has been a constant reminder that my identity and happiness are not found in what I do, but in Christ. Mentors are readily available to assist Yale students in their academic and spiritual journeys. Additionally, the sense of ‘community’ is authentic. The Rivendell Spiritual Formation program is not an opportunity to be passed up!”

– Jane Meditz, M.A.R. ’17, Yale Divinity School