What Is an Intentional Community
Wikipedia defines an intentional community as “…a planned residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle.”
Most are well-intentioned communities of people striving to live in harmony with each other and to use their combined resources and talents to make the world a better place in some way. Members of an intentional community commit to sharing varying levels of food, shelter, money and talent for the benefit of the group as a whole and for the group’s ability to concentrate on its mission.
Joining an Intentional Community
Living in an intentional community requires a higher level of sharing, involvement, teamwork, and personal commitment than merely happening to live on a certain block or joining a campus fraternity for a ready-made social life.
Whether you are interested in a college living and learning community, a convent, a cohousing community, a kibbutz, or an ecovillage, personal commitments to an intentional community usually involve
a commitment to the mission, vision, and governance of the community;
a commitment to sharing the resources that the community has agreed upon;
a commitment to sharing the work and responsibilities of the community.
Before joining an intentional community, there is often a period of getting to know each other. You will learn about the community, exactly what will be expected of you, and what you can expect to get from it. The community will want to learn more about you as well; why you want to join, how you see yourself contributing to the community, and whether or not they see you as a good fit.
After joining, there can be a trial period of a few weeks to a few months during which you can see if the community is what you thought it would be and the community can see if you are blending in well.
Living and Learning Communities
A Living and Learning Community (LLC) is an intentional residential community whose main focus is around a particular school or educational model, an academic major, or general field of study.