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Recreation and Community

Opportunities abound to enjoy social activities such as birthday parties, touring trips and other get togethers and outings. Each month, a tour is arranged to one of the destinations for which California is famous. These trips provide chances to play and renew mind and body. Participants choose the level at which they want to participate. For many, these activities are a memorable highlight of their sabbatical.

Known for its spectacular natural beauty, moderate climate, and diverse cultures, the San Francisco Bay Area is an ideal location for your sabbatical. The entire area is rich with recreational opportunities including museums, parks, sports venues, concert halls, and interesting neighborhoods for walking and shopping. The Pacific Ocean is a short distance away, and Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountains are a few hours away. New Directions trips are planned to Yosemite National Park, the Monterey Peninsula, the Napa Valley wine country, and Muir Woods National Forest. Within walking distance of the New Directions residence is Zellerbach Hall at the University of California. This venue attracts world-class musicians, dancers, and performers from around the world. For more information on entertainment in the Bay Area, click here.

Year-round, temperatures average in the 60s Fahrenheit (around 20 degrees Celcius), with the winter months only slightly cooler.

The Jesuit School of Theology is a member of the Graduate Theological Union. Here there are eight divinity schools plus centers for the study of Buddhism, Islam and Judaism. You will enjoy your sabbatical in a rich ecumenical and inter-religious setting. The faculty for these schools are among the best in their fields. The GTU attracts students from around the globe, and this diversity of cultures adds greatly to the breadth and richness of the sabbatical. To find out more about the GTU, navigate to the GTU website.

New Directions Sabbatical students qualify for discount membership at the local health and wellness center, located in downtown Berkeley. This state of the art facility contains three swimming pools, a weight and strength training center, two gymnasiums, a Mind-Body center, an aerobics studio, and clean, family-friendly locker rooms. Learn more at

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“From the moment I touched down after the splendid flight into California, I remember such wonderful moments...the experience was unforgettable and life-giving. Not least was meeting up with so many new and good friends with whom I am still in contact.”
—Bridget M. Arscott, RLR
London, England
Carrie Rehak image

Carrie Rehak

Director of the JST Renewal Program & Field Education Supervisor
Phone: (510) 549-5046
Office: Room 104