Pendle Hill’s Resident Program is unique and powerful. Why? Students come to live, learn, and work in spiritual community and experience themselves and others in new ways. The Resident Program is supported by worship at the beginning and ending of each day. Each student has a spiritual nurturer as a companion and resource. Community is enriched by living and working together every day.
Pendle Hill takes seriously the body as well as the mind and spirit; the prophetic and the contemplative; the world around us as well as the inner life. Our curriculum focuses on the whole person as an engaged participant in the world.
Students, teachers, and staff live together in community – a precious living laboratory for recognizing and reflecting that of God in one another. We support each other in many ways: with caring, wisdom, wide-ranging experience, conversation, challenges, prayers, and more. Life-long friendships are formed among us.
Each student has a private room on Pendle Hill's beautiful 23-acre campus in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, 12 miles southwest of Philadelphia. Classes are held in comfortable rooms like our sun-filled library, art studio and conference center.
Life at Pendle Hill is centered in our daily Quaker meeting for worship. This half hour of quiet waiting may be enriched by spoken ministry, prayer, and song as the Spirit moves those who are present. In this expectant listening for God, people of diverse faiths often find the Divine Presence which binds all life together. This daily shared practice helps us bring worship and prayer into all aspects of our community life.
At Pendle Hill everyone shares in the work of the household, particularly work that makes our community meals possible. Shared work expresses our commitment to the community as a whole as well as to each other. Members of the Resident Program, along with staff, are responsible for meal setup or cleanup, care for public living spaces, and group projects during our regular Wednesday Work Morning. Work, assigned appropriately for individual abilities, requires about eight or nine hours per week for all students. Some residents may work additional hours as part of a financial assistance arrangement.
Courses at Pendle Hill create a space for spiritual deepening, intellectual stimulation, and the possibility of genuine personal transformation. Classes are "meetings for learning," where students and teacher seek to be guided by the Inner Teacher and help to build an engaged learning community.
The curriculum consists not only of courses, but also of daily meeting for worship, our shared work, individual spiritual nurture, reflection groups, social witness opportunities, and community life itself. We affirm the profound link between contemplation and action, between body and soul, between deep engagement in the world and care for the life of the Spirit.
Fall term includes programs to orient individuals and groups to project work, where students can explore ideas that are of interest to Quakers and other spiritual seekers. The Weekly Seminar, led by the Dean of Studies, will culminate in a project that can be shared more broadly. Winter Term focuses on spiritual seeking and discernment. Spring Term highlights earthcare and sustainability, offering students the possibility of earning a Permaculture certification. Throughout the year, courses are offered in Quakerism and in the arts.
While Pendle Hill does not give grades or confer credentials, some schools may give credit for work done here if the student pursues that option.
Students are encouraged to bring a “project” to work on and share during the Core Seminar. This project may be a writing or art project, it may focus on an element of personal or spiritual growth, and/or it may include research on a particular topic. Each project is unique to the individual who brings it to Pendle Hill.
Query: What have you been longing to do? What has been on your mind and heart? If you could focus your attention on a project, what would it be?
Query: What is God calling you toward at this time in your life? What do you feel led or drawn to do?
Depending on what each student brings, there may be synergy or collective attention that develops within the Resident Student body. Whether a project is personal or collective, students will develop their work during the Weekly Seminar and will be asked to present the results of their work at the end of the term.
Worship and study find expression in service and social witness. Pendle Hill's educational program supports a "contemplative/active" community where we strive to live the Quaker testimonies concerning peace, integrity, equality, and simplicity. We recognize that service is reciprocal – those who seek to serve others often find that they are the ones who receive the most.
At Pendle Hill, community is formed anew each term as students bring their unique gifts, experiences, and intentions to their cohort. Some students bring pre-planned projects to work on while they are here. Some are on leave from teaching, ministry, organizing, or other work and are eager to find new inspiration through engagement with our rich community. Some hold jobs or volunteer commitments while they take courses. A diverse community life is an integral aspect of our curriculum. We welcome people from all traditions who are interested in meeting the needs of the world and Quaker ways of encountering spiritual life.
Pendle Hill supports a contemplative and active community. The rhythms of work, worship, and study in community undergird an educational program that alumni describe as powerfully transformative.
Eating together in community is an important part of life at Pendle Hill – a time for students, staff, and visitors to gather in conversation and friendship in our community dining room.
Our cooks, whose work is a ministry of love and concern, promote community well-being by serving nutritionally balanced meals with a sense of joy and good taste. Most foods, including bread and other staples, are homemade, and we make extensive use of organic fruits and vegetables from our garden and a local Community Supported Agriculture initiative. Many of our dinners are vegetarian and include protein sources from grains and beans. Other dinners include free-range meat or poultry, or fish chosen with conservation in mind. All meals include vegan and vegetarian options.
The final week of each term is a time to share the fruits of our work and to express the culmination of each person's experience. Presentations by individual students and groups take many forms: papers or other written work, art and craft exhibits, and performances.