What is CLA?

Contemplative Leaders In Action (CLA) is a two-year faith formation and leadership development program rooted in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.  While the program nurtures individual growth, it also strives to develop a cohort of leaders who can bring the dynamics of faith and justice to lead their families, co-workers, and communities.


Who is CLA designed for?

CLA is designed for young adult professionals age 25-39.  Each year twelve to fifteen emerging leaders representing diverse professions will be invited to participate. Participants will share certain key characteristics: a capacity for self-reflection, several years of work experience, a personal commitment to serve the common good, demonstrated leadership potential, and the willingness to pursue spiritual and professional growth.  Development of community is crucial to the success of this program.  Participants must have the ability to genuinely engage in respectful conversation and shared reflections thereby contributing to their cohort’s experience and formation.


Who is behind CLA?

The program sponsor in Southern California is the Loyola Institute for Spirituality, an organization that accompanies people in their journey toward a life-giving relationship with God, self, and others throughout Orange County and beyond.  CLA is also offered by the Jesuit Collaborative in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Atlanta and through Magis at Seattle University.


How will CLA benefit participants?

 The goal of CLA is to have participants:

  • Build a community of peers from various occupations

  • Learn Ignatian techniques for making good decisions, for praying, and for daily effectiveness

  • Polish their communication and leadership skills

  • Reflect on their strengths, weaknesses, and role in the world

  • Discuss the current state of our world and figure out where and how they want to help lead


What happens in the program?

In general, the program includes:

  • Monthly meetings with discussions on suggested readings and occasional presentations from guest speakers on topics, such as Ignatian spirituality, leadership, and Catholic social teaching

  • An annual weekend retreat

  • Introduction to one or more experienced professionals with whom to discuss the challenges of living a faith-filled life

  • Opportunity for regular spiritual direction

  • A capstone project in year two (click here for a full description)


These activities will take place over a two-year time frame, although the program will not meet during summer months.


The first cohort, 2014-2016, is comprised of 12 participants,

each one bringing his or her story and experience to CLA

to be enriched by the time-honored tradition of Ignatian leadership.