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JST Renewal Program: A Sabbatical Experience

Three students smiling and sitting by a flower bush

We invite ordained, vowed religious, and non-ordained (lay) ministers, who are depleted or in-transition, and other faith-based care providers, change-makers, teachers, and leaders seeking theological updating and spiritual renewal to join us for our Renewal Program. The Renewal Program provides a holistic, sabbatical experience of contemplative rest, theological renewal, and spiritual transformation, available in-person or online for one or two semesters. Sabbatical participants at JST join a dynamic community rooted in the Ignatian tradition that is committed to academic excellence in the vibrant location of Berkeley, California.

Program Dates

Fall: Mid-August – Mid-December

Spring: Mid-January – Mid-May

Application Deadlines

 Fall startSpring start
International students (in-person) July 15 December 1
Domestic and online students May 15 September 15

Our program includes:

  • A curated, holistic sabbatical experience of weekly workshops, community-building, and opportunities for prayer, especially designed for renewal in mind, body, and spirit.
  • Up to six units of one-to-three unit graduate theology courses, for audit or for credit, for professional and ministerial development and theological updating.
  • An opening and closing retreat. 
  • Excursions to San Francisco Bay Area attractions.*
  • Ongoing spiritual direction with one of our vetted directors (every two to three weeks, throughout the semester).
  • Access to a treasure trove of resources through the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) and Santa Clara University (SCU) libraries.
  • Welcome and participation in the larger JST-SCU and GTU community offerings.
  • Additional resources (e.g., for Wellness, Ignatian Spirituality, etc.)

*Everything except for the excursions are offered online, including the retreats. 

Renewal Course

For those who do not have the resources for a full sabbatical experience, we also offer the following option:

An audit-only, asynchronous course for renewal in mind, body, and spirit, with opportunities for real-time and in-person interaction

This asynchronous, curated, holistic sabbatical experience offers weekly workshops, with opportunities for discussion, community-building, reflection and prayer, for ordained, vowed religious, and non-ordained ministers, who are depleted or in transition, and other faith-based care providers, change-makers, educators, and leaders seeking personal and professional development, theological updating, and spiritual renewal. This course can be taken for one or or two semesters. The one-unit option includes five sessions and the three-unit option is for a semester-long experience that includes a closing self-paced retreat. 

Fall: “New Wine, New Wineskins: Sabbath and Sabbatical” 

Spring: “Global Church/Planetary People”

Contact Carrie Rehak at for session dates.

“ JST Renewal Program: A Sabbatical Experience is ideal for religious, clergy, and laity discerning transition in ministry, including those preparing for or completing leadership positions. Among the gifts of this fine program are: outstanding theological and spiritual resources for personal and ministerial growth; companions at the same stage of life's journey; and thoughtful guidance in interpreting and preparing for the Church of the 21st century.”
—Sandra M. Schneiders, IHM
JST Professor Emerita of New Testament and Spirituality
Apply Now!
Carrie Rehak

Carrie Rehak

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