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Whidbey Institute


The Whidbey Institute for Earth, Spirit, and the Human Future is an inter-religious organization and a distinctive learning and retreat center committed to providing diverse educational offerings that contribute to positive spiritual, ecological, and cultural transformation. It is located on Whidbey Island in the Pacific Northwest bioregion on seventy acres of evergreen forest and meadow-land known as Chinook, with administrative offices in the nearby town of Clinton. The Center features a restored 1900 era farmhouse, the new Thomas Berry Hall, a meditation sanctuary, labyrinth, medicine wheel, ropes course, retreat house, several rustic cabins, and an expansive network of nature trails. Seeking to bring together individuals with common concerns and commitments, the Institute welcomes people of all religious traditions and spiritual paths to participate in its events and programs.

The Institute has many year-round programs. Our Way Forward is a growing community of people dedicated to the vision of the Earth Charter who meet on the first Sunday of each month to foster collaborate efforts and support creative action strategies throughout the Northwest. Beginning its sixth year in January 2004, Spirited Work is a dynamic, co-creative, self-organizing learning community composed mainly of professionals from the Northwest and beyond. Using open space technology and the seasonal archetypes of cultural anthropologist Angeles Arien, Spirited Work inspires and supports the vision of a more just, sustainable, and hopeful future. The Leadership for the New Commons program gathers a diverse group of professionals four times a year to collectively develop a new vision of bioregional leadership capable of working for a sustainable future within an interdependent and increasingly complex world. The Seasons Program for Women As Leaders brings together women from diverse professions, communities, and backgrounds four times a year to foster the experiences, talents, and insights of women as agents of change and healing and to support women’s work on behalf of the Earth community. Through the Bountiful Table program, people gather to discuss social and environmental concerns particularly around issues of food security, heath, and sustainability. Annual Iona Retreats and Conferences bring groups to the ancient Island of Iona in Scotland to draw wisdom and inspiration from the Celtic tradition for the renewal of spiritual life in the context of a religiously-diverse, interdependent Earth community. In conjunction with Schumacher College in England, annual summer courses are led by a faculty of leading thinkers and innovators on such issues as ecology, economics, holistic science, spirituality, and philosophy. In collaboration with the Forum on Religion and Ecology, the Whidbey Institute also offers Religion and the New Cosmology Thomas Berry Seminars on a nearly annual basis.

Religion Inter-religious: Indigenous Tradition
Geographic Location North America
(Pacific Northwest Bioregion)
Duration of Project 1993–Present
History Built on the foundation of its predecessor organization, the Chinook Learning Center, which was founded in 1972, the Whidbey Institute was established in 1993. Along with the restored original farmhouse and outbuildings of a nineteenth century Finnish homestead, the new Thomas Berry Hall and mediation sanctuary link the legacy of the past with commitment to the future. Since its founding, numerous programs, conferences, and retreats have been offered throughout the year on Whidbey Island and in Seattle. In addition to continuing its current programs, the Institute is developing new program areas for 2004.
Mission Statement The Whidbey Institute, an educational center, learning community, and unique meeting place, offers programs dedicated to connecting one’s inner life to service and work in the world on behalf of Earth, Spirit, and the Human Future.
Partner Organizations The Whidbey Institute works informally with various groups and organizations in the Northwest region and nationally.
Long-Term Goals None Listed
Bibliography None Listed
Additional Research Resources None Listed
Contact Information Whidbey Institute
P.O. Box 57
Clinton, WA 98236
Ph:       360.341.1884
Fax:     360.341.1899
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)