Next year’s Institute will be held July 1 to August 1, 2020.

Be a Monk

2019 Monastic Institute a ‘Phenomenal Experience

Here is what the 2019 Mepkin Monastic Institute participants had to say about the program and why they would recommend the experience to others.
2019 Monastic Institute Initiates a Phenomenal Experience
“I loved this experience. Here are the reasons I would recommend it with highest marks: 1.) Spiritual challenge-this will test you in a good way. You’ll learn so much in the safety of a healthy, loving community. 2.) Authentic experience-a monastic immersion like no other; full inclusion. 3.) Beautiful environment 4.) With huge library & spiritual direction, plentiful resources for growth in faith & life. 5.) experience of healthy, balanced living.”

“Yes, absolutely! Ideal for those seeking a comprehensive experience of Christian life-and all of its major components-apart from the dominant culture.”

“If anyone wondered why anyone would ever enter a monastery, I would offer up the experience of this month at Mepkin. The sense of community here and the “mutuality” and the love that lies therein are rare in the world, I think. To people who are already inclined to a God-centered life, I would say that this opportunity to be daily immersed in prayer, both in church and throughout the day, is a gift beyond measure.”

“New experience, spiritual revival, sense of self within community, rest, clarity, discernment.”

“For anyone of a contemplative bent, this program offers an intensive retreat experience including formation. It is a perfect setting and opportunity to do discernment work for any major life changes.”

“This program offers a most wonderful immersion into every facet of monastic life. It is a gift of grace. A month anywhere else would be insubstantial compared to this eternal and timeless experience.”

“I think this is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy with a beautiful life, without the “danger” of commitment. I think many people will benefit from this opportunity to find themselves within God and community.”

“Absolutely! It isn’t for everyone, but of you have an interest in authentic spirituality, silence, monastic life, or anything along those lines, this is where you need to be. You will grow.”

“Yes, it is a life-changing experience. The brothers are very open and represent an intelligent Christianity, not a dogmatic view often found in the world. Very refreshing.”

“The deep discipleship and tradition of the Cistercian life. More prayer, more silence, more Christian life and practice in a world that no longer sees this life as important. “

“God’s manifestation of His love to everyone; it’s really worth the try and experience.”

Reflections from Mepkin’s first Monastic Institute


Mepkin Affiliate Programs

Monastic Institute

During the month of July men and women have the opportunity to fully participate in monastic life as it is lived at Mepkin Abbey through our Monastic Institute. Participants will explore the Rule of Benedict and the Core Elements of Cistercian monastic life and what relevance they may contribute to providing rich inter-spiritual experiences for those of various religious traditions. They will engage fully in all the activities of the monks: formal prayer seven times a day, personal prayer, manual labor, some community meetings, spiritual companioning, formal classes and contemplative dialogue. The Institute also serves as a requirement to begin the residency program. For more information or to request an application, contact:

Monastic Guest Program

Mepkin Abbey offers an opportunity for men of any faith tradition to have a month-long immersion experience of monastic life. Monastic Guests come for a sabbatical or often as a personal transition time while sharing fully in the daily routine of monks from Vigils at 3:20 AM to Compline at 7:30 PM. They are provided with a room and private bath within the monastic enclosure. For more information or to request an application, contact:

Monastic Residency Program

This program, for men of any faith tradition, entails a temporary commitment of a year as an affiliate member of our Mepkin Community, living the Cistercian way of life. Those accepted into the program engage fully in all the activities of the monks. These include, liturgical prayer seven times a day, personal prayer, manual labor, some community meetings, spiritual companioning and formal classes. Those interested are required to attend the Monastic Institute Program. For more information or to request an application, contact

The Mepkin Affiliate program is for:

  • Those wishing to have an integral experience of monastic life as the monks live it.
  • Those discerning a call to full membership in a monastic order.
  • Divinity students or seminarians who would like to explore this aspect of our Christian heritage and what relevance it may have to today’s world.
  • College students wishing to take a gap year or a time to prayerfully discern their future.
  • Those already living in an intentional community or wishing to be part of one.
  • Those who have recently retired or have some distance from the experience of the death of a spouse and others in a time of transition.
  • Members of other religious orders and diocesan priests.
  • Those on sabbatical, particularly those serving in ministry.

2019 Monastic Institute