Introducing the Cathedral College of Faith & Culture

The Cathedral College of Faith & Culture, launched in 2022, is the gateway for public programs at Washington National Cathedral. We gather God’s people to cultivate spiritual growth, to nurture the next generation of faith leaders, and to rekindle a sense of grace and generosity in the nation’s civic life. 

Rooted in hospitality and powered by imagination, we partner with visionary leaders to deepen understanding and build community through public programs, online platforms and residential conferences and retreats.

The College convenes people from all walks of life to find connection and common ground. We’re committed to building bridges through education, conversation and compassion.

The Work We Do

The Cathedral College of Faith & Culture aims to engage, energize and equip people from all walks of life with spiritual resources to help build up the Kingdom of God.

 As the programmatic arm of Washington National Cathedral, the College creates opportunities to gather God’s people, in both large and small ways, to forge deeper relationships with God and with one another.

 The College aims to be an incubator of excellence and innovation to help the 21st century church adapt and thrive in a rapidly shifting culture. As a center for conversation, study and innovation, we will help shape a vision for Christianity that is grounded in love, justice and compassion.

The Values That Drive Us

​​As a matter of faith, we believe we cannot be in right relationship with our Creator until we are in right relationship with each other. The College is a place where bridges can be built, community can be formed and where, together, we can become ambassadors of compassion, grace and justice.

 We believe that we can repair the ruptures in our civic life when we can learn to see–and treat–each other as beloved children of God. We envision an America and a church where we can be stretched to open our hearts and minds to perspectives that differ from our own.

 In order for the Church to thrive in the 21st century, we believe in cultivating a generation of leaders who can translate ancient truths to new audiences. These visionaries are unafraid to experiment with innovation, they embody authenticity and they embrace effective communication.

Our Three Priorities

The Institute for Music, Liturgy & the Arts

Drawing on more than a century of Cathedral excellence in gathering God’s people for worship, the Cathedral’s Institute for Music, Liturgy & the Arts will help shape church music, preaching, liturgy and artistic expression for the next 100 years. We will be the stewards of a sacred tradition that has inspired and transformed Christians for centuries.

The Institute for Spirituality & Leadership

Rooted in the ancient tradition of pilgrimage and restorative retreat, the Cathedral’s Institute for Spirituality & Leadership will nurture spiritual growth for clergy, religious communities and anyone seeking a deeper connection with God’s life-giving Spirit.

The institute for Ethics & Public Engagement

Capitalizing on the Cathedral’s unique position at the intersection of civic and sacred life, the Institute for Ethics & Public Engagement will create opportunities to form communities of commitment, sustained engagement and grace-filled dialogue that facilitates difficult conversations.

About The Virginia Mae Center

The renovated Virginia Mae Center is a premiere venue for the Cathedral College of Faith & Culture, a gathering space and a hub of activity to support the Cathedral’s public programming. Through residential programs, retreats, pilgrimages and conferences, the Virginia Mae Center is a convening point to undergird our strategic priorities of Welcoming, Convening, Deepening and Serving.

The Virginia Mae Center’s intimate spaces offer opportunities for contemplation, reflection and life-changing encounters with God and with one another. In stillness and in community, we will build connections to equip God’s people to bring hope to a wounded world. 

Centrally located within the tranquility of the Cathedral Close, the Virginia Mae Center is a place of learning, pilgrimage and spiritual renewal, a safe venue for difficult conversations, and a healing space for all who enter its doors.

The 30,000-square-foot Virginia Mae Center is fully accessible, and features overnight accommodations for up to 46 guests. Our facility is fully digital, allowing us to share programming with participants regardless of geography. The building features meeting and conference rooms; a dining refectory; enclosed courtyard; commercial kitchen; en-suite bathrooms; chapel and learning labs.