The Fetzer Institute

The Fetzer Institute
Kalamazoo, Michigan


We envision a world where everyone understands we are all part of one human family, and feels a sacred sense of connection to ourselves, each other, and our planet.

In the world we seek, everyone is committed to courageous compassion. By boldly loving, we can be a powerful force for good in the face of fear, anger, division, and despair.

The Fetzer Institute is a growing community of people who see we’re part of something more. We believe the connection between the inner life of spirit and outer life of service and action holds the key to lasting change.

We explore the mysteries of ourselves and our universe through spiritual and scientific inquiry. We work for personal and societal transformation—encouraging the spiritual growth of all people and supporting inclusive communities and institutions around the world.

We aim to inspire and serve a global movement grounded in connection that transforms the world into a more loving home for all.

We are building the spiritual foundation for a loving world.

Our Work

Around the world, people are experiencing symptoms of isolation and division: we may lack a sense of purpose; feel fearful, angry or hopeless; or act only in the interest of ourselves or our group.

But we believe in the possibility of a different world: A world where we understand we are all part of one human family, and know our lives have purpose. Where we feel a sense of connection to ourselves, each other, and our planet. And where we love boldly, transforming the world into a more loving home for all.

Spirit is at the heart of this transformation, and serves as the animating force for all we do.

To live into this world, we are inspiring and serving a movement for:

  • Personal transformation: Encouraging spiritual development for all people.
  • Societal transformation: Supporting inclusive communities and institutions around the world that are grounded in spirit.
  • Scientific and spiritual inquiry: Exploring the relationship between science and spirituality to support a fuller understanding of our existence.

At Fetzer, we are part of a web of individuals and organizations around the world engaged in this common work. For that reason, we are committed to working collaboratively through long-term partnerships grounded in a common vision for a more loving home for all.

Our partnerships support work in a variety of disciplines and issue areas. Learn more about our current work addressing democracy and civic life.

From isolation and division
to sacred relationship and community.

Retreat Facilities

The Fetzer Institute offers opportunities for retreat to the public and to those with whom we are in partnership.

These special places were designed to facilitate purposeful work as well as contemplative practice, to foster a sense of community and well-being, to promote interaction and dialogue when needed, and to exemplify harmony with nature.


GilChrist, the retreat center of the Fetzer Institute, supports individuals and groups committed to deepening their experience of the sacred in everyday life. Come to GilChrist for structured or unstructured retreats of prayer, meditation, study, work, and rest in a quiet setting where natural beauty strengthens our human capacity for compassion, gratitude, reverence, and creativity.

Located on 67 acres of woods and rolling meadows in Three Rivers, Michigan, we are just one part of a unique environment that nurtures contemplative practice. Guests staying at GilChrist enjoy the option to visit and attend open events with our neighbors at the Hermitage, the Apple Farm Community, Saint Gregory’s Abbey, and the Peace Chamber.



Events at Seasons, the Fetzer Institute’s meeting facility, are convened in partnership with nonprofits, public agencies, universities, and other foundations and are by invitation only. These gatherings reflect the programmatic priorities of the Institute and are consistent with its mission and values.

Seasons is a meeting facility where guests come together in dialogue to identify strategies, create solutions, and develop community. Architecturally designed as a place for retreat and renewal as well as a space for community and conversation, the facility offers many opportunities for inward reflection and outward engagement.

Seasons includes a meeting house, 24 individual lodging units, a group dining room, a shared living room and other informal gathering spaces. The structures that comprise Seasons were designed with materials from the Great Lakes basin and with as little impact on the surrounding woods as possible.

The atmosphere of the meeting place, the attitudes of the participants and the process that creates the shared meanings are all critical in establishing the soil where the seeds of our creativity can take root and grow.



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