Cultural Design Program

Everything can begin with you. You are the foundation of any change that will happen in your society.

Thich Nhat Hanh

We create a culture that thrives when we practice thriving ourselves. The 8-month cultural design program is for adults who are willing to change, desire to live more fully, and want to create a culture where all life thrives.

Habit will sustain you
whether you’re inspired or not. Habit is persistence in practice.

Octavia Butler

When we practice something over and over, we get better at it. To strengthen a new way of life, we need long-term places to practice and people to practice with, including inspired and experienced mentorship. We also need principles to guide us in taking better care of our lives and support to create the conditions for others to do the same. 

With practice, thriving can become a habit for a person, a community, and a place.

Cultural Design Program

The Cultural Design program is an 8-month program for adults who want to build vital culture starting with themselves. This program has both an in-person and low-residency option and is informed by Sourced Design.

Primary program components:

  • In-person intensives (dates TBD)
  • Monthly mentoring from Springhouse staff
  • Peer mentoring twice per month
  • Two 2-hour courses weekly from 10am-12pm ET on Monday and Wednesday beginning October 11th (see school calendar for school closures)
    • Trimester 1: A Common Language: Unity in the Design
    • Trimester 2: Practice in Place: Assessment and Application
    • Trimester 3: Building Culture: Continuity and Perspective
  • Design project

Find more detailed descriptions for each component below. Out-of-town participants, please see our travel document for Springhouse Visitors.

In-Person Intensives 

The purpose of these intensives, held at Springhouse in the fall and spring, is to bring participants together in-person to begin and end the year in a meaningful way. Participants will be invited to ground themselves in the power of Life through practices like meditation, dance, and singing; have courageous conversations about themselves, our current cultural challenges, and their cultural work; and build a vital container for learning for the coming year.


Mentoring is a core part of our cultural design and educational model. We cultivate personhood and learn about culture-building through the practice of monthly one-to-one mentoring with an experienced Springhouse staff member and through peer mentorship with a fellow participant in the program. Peer mentors are asked to meet at least twice a month and will have a curriculum to guide them in their learning.

Course Work

Courses will include various methods of learning including the creative arts, community dialogue, book discussions, delivery of new information, and more. Each trimester ends with a Reflection on Learning, during which each learner has space to creatively integrate their learnings from the course.

Design Project

Participants will complete a comprehensive design project to reflect how they have integrated their learning throughout the program. Through the project, they will apply what they have learned in their lives and communities. They will study the context of their communities and place and develop a plan to foster vitality through Sourced Design.

Who is this program for?

We are looking for individuals eager to build healthy culture, beginning with themselves.

Ideal participants are:

  • Willing to surrender to a new way of living
  • Seeking community and guidance to support this new way of living 
  • Have experience doing personal development work in therapy or other structured support
  • Able to meet their basic physical, emotional, and financial needs without excessive stress
  • Capable of clear and direct communication and are able to take responsibility for themselves 
  • Able to adapt to unexpected changes by adjusting to new circumstances
  • Interested in creating a culture where all life thrives

Application Process

To apply for this program, please send a letter of intent to Sarah Stabler ( The letter should address the following:

  1. What calls you to this program at this time in your life?
  2. Describe a time when you surrendered to a power greater than yourself
  3. Share a story about the power of community
  4. Share about one element of our dominant culture that troubles you

Application Deadline: June 30th, 2024

(Final decisions made by July 20th, 2024)

Tuition: There are set tuition rates for our Cultural Design Program, and we remain committed to ensuring that no one is turned away for a lack of funds. We have three tuition rates for this program:

  1. Pay-It-Forward Rate: $9,000 Default payment schedule is $1,000/mo for 9 months (October – June)
  2. Sustaining Rate: $7,000 Default payment schedule is $778/mo for 9 months (October – June)
  3. Supported Rate: We remain committed to accessibility, and no one is turned away due to a lack of funds. If you cannot afford either of the rates above, please review our Supported Rate Packet and prepare for a tuition meeting with Chris.

Sourced Design Program Facilitators

Dr. Jenny Finn (she/her)

Executive Director

Jenny Finn has designed structures that foster vitality in people, communities, and organizations for nearly 30 years. She holds a Ph.D. in Sustainability Education and is a co-founder of Springhouse. Jenny Finn’s research, mentoring, and teaching invites people to strengthen the relationship they have with themselves in order to serve the world with greater clarity, courage, compassion, and creativity. Her work has taken many forms including non-profit leadership, trauma and hospice care, chaplaincy, clinical private practice, community-building through the expressive arts, and education. Jenny lives on a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband Andy and their many furry friends, and she is the mother of Andrew and Lizzie. She loves riding the Peloton bike, swimming, spending time with family and friends, and watching a good British mystery.

Sarah Stabler (she/her)

Associate Director

Sarah moved to Floyd in 2017 to get involved with Springhouse’s adult programming and became a full-time staff member later that year. She holds a bachelor's degree in Religion with a focus in Buddhism and Western philosophy from Colorado College. Before coming to Springhouse, Sarah studied permaculture design at Quail Springs Permaculture; completed an 18-month sustainable agriculture fellowship with the Allegheny Mountain Institute in 2016; and worked in the field of garden-based education. In 2021, she completed a master’s degree in Ecological Design Thinking at Schumacher College, where she loved meeting people from around the world and exploring where theory and practice meet. Currently, she is the Associate Director at Springhouse, where she leads the High School Program and co-facilitates the Cultural Design Program. She also leads Sacred Dance and loves working on Springhouse’s sustainability efforts alongside dedicated teenagers.