Our Project

The Educational component of Experiential Education

 “Each day that we live, we’re taking in new information, ideas, concepts, experiences, and sensations. We need to consciously stand guard at the doors of our minds to make sure that whatever we’re allowing to enter will cause our lives to be enriched, that the experiences we pursue will add to our stockpile of possibility.” ~ Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within

The Power of Experiential Education by Janet Eyler

“Experiential education, which takes students into the community, helps students both to bridge classroom study and life in the world and to transform inert knowledge into knowledge-in-use. It rests on theories of experiential learning, a process whereby the learner interacts with the world and integrates new learning into old constructs.”

The ‘Jesus Method’ as a teacher

Jesus provided us a teaching model based on experiential learning which was gathering a small group of individuals into teaching sessions through life experiences.  The “Jesus Method” incorporates four general points about Jesus’ moral teaching.

The first is that it is aimed at achieving a transformation of moral character; without changing certain traits and attitudes that impede moral responsiveness, moral teaching remains merely exhortative.

Second, moral teaching cannot be moralizing; it must begin with an understanding of moral agency and motivation, and sometimes the way to influence these is not through direct moral instruction, but through other kinds of teaching.

Third, many deep moral insights are gained only indirectly, through reflection on complex and puzzling cases that do not yield simple truths or directives.

Hence, fourth, Jesus’ use of proverbs, allegories, paradoxes, parables and other figurative forms reflects, on the positive side, a desire to cultivate in listeners a breadth and flexibility of moral imagination – and, on the negative side, a willingness to see many listeners misunderstand or not understand at all.

-Nicholas C. Burbules, “Jesus as a teacher.” Spirituality and Ethics in Education: Philosophical, Theological, and Cultural Perspectives, Hanan Alexander, ed. (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press) 2017.

Making a Difference in Our Community


Photograph: Chuck Crow, The Plain Dealer

Each year’s Cleveland Life Institute students will engage in addressing a community issue in partnership with the ongoing work of other programs and governmental agencies.

The Cleveland Life Institute would like to officially announce that our Winter/Spring 2020 semester project will be working alongside Pride Among Daughter’s and Sisters (PADS). Since 2013 PADS has assisted underprivileged girls and women with obtaining personal feminine hygiene items in Cleveland. Prompted by a homeless woman, individuals began to donate to this important and overlooked need. Over the years, PADS has donated to individuals, shelter homes, safe houses, women in foster care, and drug rehabilitation homes. Pride Among Daughters and Sisters is a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission statement is to provides sanitary pads, tampons, and feminine hygiene products [including incontinence products} to underprivileged girls and women to promote pride, dignity and confidence. Delesia Robinson is the founder of PADS which was nominated by AJC Cleveland for the 2015 Isaiah Award for Human Relations.

The Cleveland Life Institute (CLI) is an educational program to teach social entrepreneurship through bridging practical, team and community building classroom exercises combined with community experts as guest lecturers, to demonstrate how to create and grow a sustainable nonprofit organization. Our fourteen-week program covers the basic information to demonstrate how to organize, file, and create a business plan. Among the topics discussed include legal issues, fund raising, grant writing, creating partnerships and making a community impact. Each semester, CLI forms a partnership with another nonprofit for our students for a real-world application to our educational experience.

Our Winter/Spring 2020 program begins on January 29th and will be limited to just 15 students. During this semester, we have reduced our normal semester fee of $395 to just $75. Our classes are held at the First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland on Wednesday nights starting sharply at 7 p.m. CLI will have up to eight guest lectures from various community and business leaders to present aspects of the business plan. The guest list will be forthcoming. A beautiful graduation certificate will be presented upon graduation in May. CLI also fulfills many social responsibility mandates by some employers in that it combines an educational experience with social interaction. Individuals must register online at https://www.clelife.org/prospective-students/