Please consider carefully your selection prior to registering as there are no refunds for online classes similar to a transaction you would make to purchase a digital album or book or a consultation with a professional. There are no exceptions to this policy. We have discerned this as the best way to keep our work sustainable.
We have this strict policy in place to reduce the heavy burden of administration as we do not have enough support to handle this and thank you for your understanding and support for helping the Abbey to thrive. If you become ill and cannot participate, please know the materials stay available to you for indefinitely, so you can always return to them at a later time. This is one of the gifts of the online format.
Live programs all have nonrefundable deposits to hold your space. Once the final payment due date has passed the entire payment is no longer refundable either. Please purchase trip cancellation insurance for retreats or pilgrimages to cover yourself in case of an emergency. This is a requirement for your participation.
To get to know more about the Abbey's approach there are many free or low-cost ways to find out more about what we do: read the Abbey blog, subscribe to the Abbey email newsletter, sign up for the free 8-day e-course on becoming a Monk in the World (by subscribing to the newsletter), or purchase one of Christine's books. If you already feel a kinship to the Abbey's approach to the spiritual life and are willing to invest your time and energy in the practices suggested by the online courses, the journey will be a transformative one. We always welcome constructive feedback on any of our classes or offerings.
If the class is in a limited enrollment online community/discussion-based format you may transfer your payment to another program up to one week prior to the course starting date. Within one week of the class start date we are unable to transfer you to a later date unless we have someone on a waiting list who can take your place. (Please note this applies only to limited enrollment online classes, all other online classes and live classes have different policies ).
We cannot transfer enrollment for self-study classes as you receive all of the materials upon registration.
For live programs, we can only transfer enrollment if we are able to fill your space.
Currently we accept payment by credit card through Paypal. We do not have the capability to take your credit card number by phone. If credit card payment is not possible, we do accept checks either in US$ or in Euros. Please contact Christine for the payment address. We can also accept bank transfers and payment in Euros if preferred.
A computer which allows you to download PDF and audio files (MP3s), listen to audio (or an MP3 player), view videos (usually posted to a private YouTube link), an email account for the email inspirations or notifications, and a commitment to your spiritual journey. For some discussion-based classes you will also need to sign into Ruzuku and you will receive more details about these upon registration. Unlike in-person classes, online learning requires more self-motivation because there is less accountability. In discussion-based classes the community formed in online forums is very real and can transcend the barriers of time and space.
If you are not familiar with the Ruzuku online platform and format and have concerns about navigating the retreat website, please consider subscribing to our email newsletterwhich gives you access to our Monk in the World online class hosted on Ruzuku so you can test it out beforehand. Refunds are not given for technological challenges, but Ruzuku does have great support for participants. If you are able to navigate websites, receive email, listen to recordings, and stream videos on YouTube you should have what you need.
For those classes which are not discussion-based, we encourage you to meet regularly with a soul friend, a spiritual director, or a small faith group to share the journey of discovery together.
Abbey of the Arts has limited funds to assist those experiencing economic hardship and supporting people in ministry to those on the margins. These funds are primarily offered for online classes. Unfortunately, we have much less flexibility for the budgets of our live programs because of the costs involved with lodging and space rental.
Please email us to inquire about the possibility of financial assistance for one of the online class offerings.
Include the following information:
- who you are and a brief description of your background
- which class you would like to take and your specific interest in the subject
- what other financial resources you will be drawing upon to support your participation (these might include churches, other scholarship programs, work funds for continuing education)
- what specific scholarship amount you are requesting.
Registration in the class entitles you to hold one copy of the material for your own personal use. Please do not share the password with anyone who has not made a payment for their own access to the materials. We ask that you respect the work, time, and resources we have invested.
This depends on the context and the extent of use of the material. Generally if you would like to share one of the ideas presented or a single handout we ask that you include full attribution and copyright information. Please email Christine for more information and to request permission for use of any materials beyond personal reflection.
For the classes offered during a specific timeframe the material is generally available for several months following the class, but please make sure to download and save anything you will need or want to refer to later.
For self-study online classes the website will be available with the files indefinitely. We will contact you with notice if that ever changes.
Anyone who has a longing to commit to deep inner work and is able to access the materials in their online format. Many of the class participants are artists, ministers, spiritual directors, and others involved in soul care or creative pursuits, but anyone is welcome who feels a sense of resonance with the class descriptions and a longing for deepened contemplative and creative practice.
An open heart and a spirit committed to regular practice. Just like any spiritual path, what the Abbey offers only has effect when integrated into your life which takes some discipline and commitment. Be gentle with yourself however and remember St. Benedict’s advice to "always begin again."
Please check your spam folder. Moments after you submit your payment an automatic confirmation is sent out from the Abbey for your class (this is in addition to a payment receipt). If you registered for an self-study class this has your class access information.
Also, please make sure to let us know if you registered for the class using a different email account than the one where you want materials sent.
Please note that due to the high number of requests we receive, in general the answer is no unless the item for review is available in an electronic format, and even then, we have very limited time to give to other projects.
We are always deeply honored when you share this work with others. Thank you for all of your support.
We occasionally get questions asking about the way we decide how much to charge for Abbey offerings. Some folks believe that spiritual direction and spiritual resources should always be offered for free. Money can bring up lots of issues and conflicts for folks, especially when it comes to ministry.
Program fees are based on the length of the program, administrative costs, and whether it is limited enrollment (where you get more focused attention from Christine and/or other facilitators.)
1. This is our full-time work
We feel deeply blessed to be able to do what we love for a living. While being self-employed brings a great deal of freedom, it also means paying for our own retirement fund, health insurance, and vacation/sick days in addition to all of the daily expenses of life (we live quite simply in the monastic way) and the many administrative expenses associated with running a website like this one, in addition to simply keeping up with email correspondence and writing blog posts and newsletters.
2. A fee brings sustainability
For many years Christine worked full or part-time in addition to building her personal work. It was exhausting. She did it for the love of it, but it was not sustainable long-term to work in this way. Everyone needs a balance of work and leisure, time for Sabbath and silence, especially a monk in the world! If we are to maintain our integrity as leaders of a spiritual community, we will not allow ourselves to be stretched thin.
3. A fee supports ongoing education
We have many years of very fine education. Christine is grateful for the opportunity to complete a PhD program, and John a Masters degree, but it was not without significant financial cost. We also believe in the need for continuing education for anyone in ministry. Christine also meets with a spiritual director and a supervisor regularly to maintain her own openness and transparency in this work and continue in her growth. These commitments always nourish the programs she is able to offer.
4. A fee brings clarity
Charging for programs brings clarity to our relationship. When you come to a program we lead, you know that our attention is devoted to your enrichment and formation. You don't have to wonder if we are expecting something in return for our time.
5. Money is a way of expressing what you value
When you pay for something, you must keep re-evaluating whether it is worth the expense to you. Payment is a reminder that there is an exchange of energy happening. We are devoting our time to creating quality programs and you are devoting your time to practice.
Yes, the Abbey earns a very small percentage of the amount of your Amazon order when you use these links at no extra cost to you. The funds received from this go directly to fund scholarships to Abbey programs. We greatly appreciate your support in this simple way.