Order of the Shepherd’s Heart

Eureka Springs, Arkansas, United States

  • Last updated: December 31, 2015 (1 year ago)
  • Listing created on: September 26, 2010

Mission Statement

To be a model of ecological living within a Celtic Christian monastic ethos, committed to nonviolence, egalitarianism, and diversity; practicing radical hospitality, spiritual mysticism, and sustainable living, through a generous orthodoxy.

Community Description

The Order of the Shepherd’s Heart is an ecumenical covenant community which, while being birthed by the Celtic Christian tradition, is a part of the Free Catholic Movement within Christ Catholic Church Archdiocese of the Prince of Peace. We are Celtic in spirit, ecumenical in scope, and celebrate a deeply mystical and sacramental approach to the Christian faith. Shepherd’s Heart is composed of men and women in single, celibate, committed, and or open lifestyles who have been called as a domestic and monastic spiritual family into deep love relationships with and in Jesus Christ. Jesus is our example; the Scriptures are our rule; Love is our law.

The Order does not exist to govern every detail of the members’ lives, but to provide support and love, direction and shared experience, encouragement and constructive criticism in our never-ending quest to become “the glory of God: the human person fully alive.”

True to our motto: “Rege Quod est Devium – Bring Back the Wandering” we strive to offer safe pasture and sanctuary within our Order for all wandering Christians who would seek a more intimate union with God and one another. To these ends we offer our Order to any and all who would want to struggle with us to live such a life of “intentional intimacy,” being radically inclusive and turning no one away.

While recognizing the goodness of all creation and humankind, the life of the community is intentionally counter-culture. We are an alternative society living within and alongside the modern secular society, without being a part of it. We are also an expression of renewal and reform within the Church.

Being inclusive, we practice radical hospitality and do not discriminate and hold no regard for a person’s race, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, preference, relationship status, nationality, socioeconomic class, nor a person’s state of grace. We are fully committed to inclusivity and our support for the LGBTQIAPP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersexual, asexual, pansexual, polyamorous) and anyone who would seek to find a spiritual home within the Shepherd’s Heart is unwavering and unapologetic.

We strive to be a model of ecological living as well as an example of what it means to be a Celtic Christian, following the Prince of Peace in the 21st century. We are committed to nonviolence, egalitarianism, diversity, radical hospitality, spiritual mysticism, sustainable living, and a generous orthodoxy.


  • Type(s): Spiritual or Religious Community
  • Location: To be Determined


  • Status: We do not have land
  • Planned Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house, Yurt, tee-pee, dome, treehouse, or tent, Natural built structues
  • Land owned by: A subgroup of community members
  • Additional Comments:

    We’re looking for land, We ideally would like to have about 100 acres or so.

    We are currently looking for land.

    We currently do not offer cohousing but hope to in the future.


  • Adult Members: 5
  • Child Members: 2
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    For more information about visiting or worshiping with our community please email us or write to us.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    We are always open to new members and those seeking what we have to offer.

  • Additional Comments:

    While there are common spiritual practices we are still an open and diverse community allowing each of us to discover our own path within the context of our Common Rule of Life.

    We come from the Celtic Catholic tradition and we integrate all religions from a Christian base, all Christian denominations from a catholic base, and all religious and monastic traditions from a Celtic base. Celtic spirituality is our mother, but we are children born from it into the world in which we find ourselves. We see our Order as a reconciling agent in the world, integrating a call to solitude with a call to community, a call to contemplation with a mandate from the Gospel to the evangelical life. We also integrate various conditions of life into one spiritual community.

    We hope to offer a K-12 school but also support our local public school. We do offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in religion from our seminary, Whithorn School of Theology.


  • Decision Making: Modified Consensus (everyone agrees, with some exceptions or fallbacks.)
  • Identified Leader: Yes
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    We are shepherded by an abbot who has been elected to that office. He acts mainly as a pastor and spiritual adviser to the group.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: Partial share of income
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    A donation of a tithe is encouraged for the growth of the community.

    By all conceivable means we seek to make our brothers’ and sisters’ burdens lighter, taking into ourselves sacrificially whatever we can, and making their joy more triumphant.

    A donation of a tithe is encouraged for the growth of the community.

Sustainability Practices

  • Current renewable energy generation: 100%
  • Current food produced: 0%, or close to 0%


  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • Dietary Practice: Mostly Vegetarian
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Currently we take most of our meals together but that changes time to time as schedules and or desires change. Breaking bread together is a big part of our community experience.

    Our goal is to produce much of what we consume.

    As a whole we lean toward vegetarianism but diet is left to the individual.

    We hope to add wine making and mead making to our list of activities in our community.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), Christian, Protestant, Lutheran, Catholic

Additional Comments

Our oral tradition informs us that our religious order comes from the Celtic people and the ancient order of the Celi De.

Photo Gallery