Relatio’s mission is to love all our neighbors and ourselves through relationship and service.
Relatio is a collaborative project between St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology that is rooted in serving the Ballard neighborhood. Students of The Seattle School live in intentional community on St. Luke’s campus, using their education, skills, and gifts to serve the Ballard neighborhood through supporting existing ministries and designing new initiatives.
Relatio is the Latin root word of relationship, refer, relate. The name reflects our commitment to location and the connections between people and places as well as our commitment to relationships between people and their stories.
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” – The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians, Ch 1 v9-11
Paul understands that love connects knowledge—which students are growing in through the academic rigor of graduate studies—and “depth of insight.” At The Seattle School, discernment and self-understanding are understood as prerequisites for healthy leadership; depth of insight expands and deepens head knowledge. And all of this work is pursued for the culmination of The Seattle School’s mission “to serve God and neighbor through transforming relationships.”
The Seattle School partners with St. Luke’s Episcopal to offer a contextual learning opportunity in central Ballard. Kate Davis (MDiv ‘15) serves as the Program Director.
The program provides residents with:
- a site to gain real-world experience in parish life and programs in a diverse and growing neighborhood;
- a program director to assist in developing intentional community and meaningful projects;
- housing, all utilities included, on St. Luke’s campus for $480/month (furnishings available at no extra cost).
Residents are expected to:
- agree to a communal rule of life and be engaged in intentional community with the other residents;
- participate in potluck all-resident meetings every 4-6 weeks;
- meet one-on-one with the program director every 4-6 weeks;
- attend worship service at St. Luke’s at least once each month so the community can check-in and be prayerful of them and their work;
- complete Safeguarding God’s Children and Safeguarding God’s People trainings to maintain safe environments;
- complete a learning agreement to work an average of 5 hours/week at St. Luke’s on their projects for the benefit of the parish. Projects could include preparing and serving food at Edible Hope, which serves breakfast to 200 people every weekday, facilitating the arts table with our meals guests, caring for children during worship service, church administration, or in our urban garden. We are open to your project ideas and look forward to hearing about your desires!
Voices from Relatio
I moved to Seattle from Houston, TX in 2017 to begin the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program and pursue my dream to be a trauma and abuse counselor. At St. Luke’s, I serve in the Edible Hope kitchen preparing and serving the food we serve to our homeless and impoverished brothers and sisters in the community. Engaging with this community has given me even more motivation and passion to see mental health and trauma engaged in a way that invites true restoration instead of quick fixes. This program has provided a space and community to be in after moving all of the way from Texas, space for me to build relationships with the other residents who provide safe community for me and also challenge me to apply what I am learning at school about engaging trauma with the guests at Edible Hope kitchen. — Mary Krambeer
I started at The Seattle School in 2016 to pursue a degree in Counseling Psychology. I chose to study at The Seattle School because I care about an education that is intentional and formative concerning education and character and develops robust clinical skills. At St. Luke’s, I help by tending to the property and I am currently embarking to obtain a grant that would result in an ethnographic study of Ballard’s unhoused community in order to hear from their perspective what is needed from the services currently offered at the church. I’d recommend Relatio because I have been challenged to understand who I am in the world, in this neighborhood in particular, and in a community where we genuinely care about each other’s hearts and minds. — Mason Judy
I am a recent graduate of The Seattle School (MACP ‘17), now also pursuing an MATC. I have been a part of Relatio since August of 2016. My work at St Luke’s consists mostly of being a welcoming presence at home, in the neighborhood, and at church on Sunday mornings. As a way of building community with our neighbors, I garden at the cottages where we live, in our plot in the SLUG (St. Luke’s Urban Garden), and on the church grounds. At church I serve in a variety of capacities including greeter, lector, writing prayers, and sharing a children’s message. Gardening and serving at church keep me grounded and allow me to live fully into my natural being while I daily learn what it means to love my neighbor as myself. — Maddy Miller
Commonly referred to as “the cottages,” the housing at St. Luke’s has 5 bedrooms. The cottages are located between the St. Luke’s parking lot and St. Luke’s Urban Garden (SLUG).
One cottage has 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a laundry room, and a living room. The other cottage has 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a dining room, and a kitchen. Although the cottages are two buildings separated by a driveway, together they make one full, shared living space.
To apply to be a resident in Relatio, download and complete the Application and Verification of Enrollment & Good Standing forms. Submit via email to the Director, Kate Davis. The application process includes an interview with at least two current residents. An additional interview may be required. Once your application has been received, the Program Director will confirm and schedule your interviews.
If you have questions or would like a conversation to discern if Relatio is a good fit for you, please contact the Program Director, Kate Davis.
Frequently Asked Questions
That rent is ridiculously low for central Ballard. That’s plus utilities and parking, right?
All utilities are included, parking is free in the cottages’ two driveways, and room furnishings are available at no extra cost, if you need them.
Do I have to be a student of The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology?
Yes. But if you’re not a student, or study elsewhere, we’d love to be connected to you in other ways! St. Luke’s is a growing center for innovative ministries and we’d love to discern with you if our site is right for your project or involvement.
Can I start even though I’m already part way through my academic program?
It’s encouraged! Returning students often get more out of Relatio as they aren’t simultaneously doing the intense personal work that the first year requires.
Can I start as an incoming student?
You can, especially if you have experience in urban ministry or working with homeless, mentally ill, and/or addicted individuals. You should also plan on having a counselor or spiritual director in Seattle.
What if I’m a part-time student?
No problem. Part-time students are eligible to apply too.
Can this be my field experience or apprenticeship for school?
Yes. We do not, however, offer supervision for MACP internships.
When are rooms usually available to move in?
Relatio participants usually start sometime in the summer, depending on when they’re moving to Seattle or when their current lease ends. Rooms generally become available in July and August.
Is Relatio for one year only?
Not necessarily. We re-evaluate continuation at the end of the first year. Generally, students who have not yet graduated have wanted to continue and have been welcome to stay until they graduate.
What other ways is the school connected to the church?
Many students attend St. Luke’s. A group of students in Cultural Identity & Locatedness do ethnographic research on behalf of the church, and the institutions are currently in conversations about developing more experiential learning opportunities on the church campus. Also, a couple of people are on staff both at St. Luke’s and The Seattle School.
What can I do to help my application stand out?
Include staff or volunteer positions with previous churches, non-profits, or social enterprises. Tell us about your vocational hopes and how you would use your time in Relatio to further your professional goals. Share about how you hope to use your education and skills to impact the community and the world. Most importantly, let your personality shine through—we want to know you and discern with you if Relatio is a good home for you.