” Axiom is both a virtual and realized community of faithful followers of Jesus. It’s aims are simply to encounter Christ and engage with culture as ‘little Christs!’ “
-Micha Jazz, Contemplative Friar
Axiom Monastic Community is a missional network of friends whose home base is in the Yale University town of New Haven, Connecticut. We are held together by the common goal of recapturing a distinct spirituality that embraces the Person of Jesus and His heart for the world. Our mission is multiplying and resourcing both individuals and communities of Christ followers around the world. We desire to accomplish this through three main objectives that each carry individual strategies:
ncountering Christ - Hosting Spiritual Renewal Gatherings (Silence and Solitude Prayer Retreats), Urban Monasteries, and schools of radical discipleship.
ngaging Culture – Urban Monastery Internships and serving city initiatives, most of which were birthed out of our community over the past ten years. (Example: “The Space” music and arts venue, LOVE 146, Ten Thousand Homes and Catalyst Studios.)
mancipating the Oppressed – Being a voice, and offering encouragement and aid to children at risk, particularly in India.
“Though we are involved in social work, our goal is to be contemplatives at the heart of the world. We are with Jesus twenty-four hours a day. We do everything for Jesus. We do it to Jesus.”
- Mother Teresa
Why the term Monastic?
“The renewal of the church will come from a new type of monasticism, which has only in common with the old an uncompromising allegiance to the Sermon on the Mount. It is high time men and women banded together to do this.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
New Monasticism is a growing movement of committed Christians who are recovering a radical discipleship of monasticism and unearthing a fresh expression of Christianity in America.
An expression of Axiom Monastic Community resides in Great Britain and is entitled The Contemplative Network.
Jeff Pratt – Spiritual Director – email@example.com
Jeff Pratt was born and raised in a strong Mormon family of seven children. Before making preparations to leave on a Mormon mission, Jesus Christ invaded his life and he left Mormonism in pursuit of an intimate relationship with God and the fulfillment of God’s call on his life.
This call has led him to minister in over 80 countries of the world in various churches, TV programs and Youth With A Mission centers. As an ordained minister, Jeff has been a missionary for over 20 years, helping direct training for Mercy Ships, as well as assisting Melody Green in leading Last Days Ministries.
Jeff is currently providing leadership for YWAM Axiom and Axiom Global Monastic Community while giving shape and definition to an Urban Monastery in the Yale University town of New Haven, Connecticut.
Jeff teaches extensively on various aspects of Intimacy with God, The Father Heart of God, The Spiritual Disciplines of Jesus, etc.. Jeff also adopted two brothers, Brandon and Patrick, almost ten years ago, who all currently reside in New Haven, CT.
Ricci and Jeremy met when they both moved to New Haven with Axiom in 1999. They were married in the summer of 2002. Their daughter Olivia was born in 2003, their son Silas was born in 2005, and their youngest daughter Cora was born in 2007.
Jeremy has been in YWAM since 1995. Besides the standard run of the mill DTS, Jeremy has also done a School of Evangelism, Teachers for the Nations, a School of Biblical Christian Worldview, and the Forum. Right now he is working towards his Master of Divinity degree at Gordon Conwell’s Boston campus.
Jeremy’s teaching subjects include the Nature and Character of God, Worldview, Christ and Culture, Church History, New Testament and Gospel studies, Theology of Mission, and Postmodernity. He believes that the life of the Christian is to point back to Jesus in all things.
Ricci completed her DTS in 1999 before she came to New Haven, and she did her Forum worldview school here in 2000.
Ricci is our Community Life Coordinator, and also organizes our weekly outreach to the city. She and Jeremy are both active in local congregations in the New Haven area.
Micha Jazz - A Missional Friar – Location: Southsea, United Kingdom - firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi! I am Micha and I am committed to living as a pilgrim friar journeying towards the heart of God whilst engaging in mission.
Ethos led and mission driven, I work for reconciliation with the tools of conﬂict management, mediation, peacebuilding and prayer. As an entrepreneurial ascetic following Jesus, I contribute authentically and creatively to spiritual and social transformation as mission whilst collaborating with others in pushing back the darkness and re- imagining the world.
My ministry is Whole Life Well-being. I creatively support people in attaining their maximum level of function and independence of thought and action in all areas of their life - at work, at home, and in their community. I enjoy working with individuals in evaluating, planning, and conducting a process that addresses their unique personal, social, and spiritual development. I work together with these individuals or groups in designing, developing and implementing practical strategies for creative and productive activities that enable each individual to maximize lifeʼs potential. These activities include reviewing and establishing personal life values, creative life-rhythms, meaningful relationships, and a bespoke personal vision, mission & purpose statement. This takes place during a short retreat or on a more extended pilgrimage. I love study and have a PhD in Syriac, with particular interest in Syriac monasticism, martyrdom and the growth of the Christian church before and in the early years of Islam. I live in a friary on the South Coast of England and am married to Jayne. I travel to speak to churches and groups, lead retreats and pilgrimages and am available as a spiritual director.
Olivia Apple – Administration – email@example.com
Hello! My name is Olivia Apple.
I work alongside Jeff Pratt helping to develop the social justice aspect of our training programs and assisting with retreats and pilgrimages.
If you are interested in joining us for any of our events please click the e-mail link below and request an application. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have!
We who have met the creator of the universe have been permanently re formed in His image and likeness. This that we see every day is not reality, it is a matrix. The truth is so much better, we are feasting in heaven with The Maker The Word and The Truth. “Christ is now living through me the life that He gave up for my sake.” As long as there are those who continue to follow “the way” Christ exists incarnate. These truths and so many more make me who I am.
I grew up in a small town in north central Arkansas with a large family and lived there until I was 21. I struck out on my own at that point and moved around for a few years until I came to rest in Charlotte, NC in 2004. During my time there I was blessed to be around and involved in alot of amazing ministries, and had more spiritual resources than many people will ever know in a lifetime. I took advantage of all of these I could and spent the next 5 years deepening my understanding and relationship with Christ. My passion lies in seeing those who claim to follow Christ actually come to a realization of how unfathomable this mystical salvation is that they have received. It was while in Charlotte that I first began to understand and see the beauty of having a community of like-minded individuals all working towards a similar goal but using their own unique giftings to do so. This is what I see in Axiom and I am excited to be a part of what they are doing!! Now for the present, or the gift as you see fit. I have been granted the amazing oppurtunity to travel with Jeff and assist him in his teachings. It will be an incredible learning experience, and I look forward to seeing you all at some point!!!
Ian and Carolyn Christmann - Catalyst Studios –
Ian and Carolyn Christmann live with their two boys, Sawyer Jude and Roan Thomas, in a house overlooking the Quinnipiac River in New Haven, Connecticut. When not busy watching the oyster boats go under the drawbridge, they use their creativity to help local and international nonprofits communicate their mission and message. As a photographer, Ian is always watching light, with a goal to create images illuminated by God’s light, giving people or places a glimpse of their true beauty and radiance – whether it be a new bride or a neglected landscape. Carolyn’s days are full of little boys’ laughter and a job she loves – working with the written word. Together with Ian, she coordinates and directs Web sites, annual reports and other communications collateral.
Ian and Carolyn met while working in the Communications Department of the Mercy Ship Anastasis, where they shared an office no bigger than a closet. Needless to say, love and dreams flourished. During their ship days, an encounter with street children in South Africa left their hearts broken and frustrated at the limitations of having only four hands to respond. The encounter, along with their time on the ship, compelled them to use their personal talents in photography and writing to multiply response – with the hope of inspiring four hundred hands or more to provide compassion and care for the impoverished, oppressed and overlooked.
Three years later, having settled in New Haven, they founded Catalyst Studios, which is an arts collective that causes or accelerates awareness and involvement. In 2004, the Christmanns purchased a dilapidated Victorian house called Chetstone with a vision to see its long-neglected rooms full of community and art. Since then, with paint brush and hammer, and sometimes shaky perseverance, they have worked to transform the historic home into its potential as a place of inspiration where artists can live, create and help make a difference in the world.
Brenda Lewis – Leader of Children Restoration Initiatives (C.R.I.) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Brenda Lewis helped pioneer YWAM/ Axiom in 1999, and has recently relocated to Boulder, Colorado, where her son, Jordan, and his wife, Liz, and their two children, reside.
Born and raised in Decatur, Illinois, Brenda met Jesus and began serving Him through the local church at 19 years old. With a team of friends, Brenda began singing in a Christian rock band called U-Turn from 1985- 1992, touring and leading youth into a deeper commitment to Christ.
Brenda loves being an “incubator” for ministries and leaders creating a place where people come to experience the love of Christ within the context of a supportive Christian community. She enjoys helping believers find their voice to effectively build the Kingdom of God. She enjoys speaking around 22 weeks of the year in conferences and missions training schools on topics such as Destiny, Christian Worldview and Children-at-Risk.
Brenda helped pioneer a ministry for children-at-risk in India, called C.R.I. for India (Child Restoration, Int.) in 2003. The purpose of C.R.I. for India is to prevent child-trafficking, to encourage adoption, and to sponsor orphans and orphanages. Brenda is now working with the Indian government to create a program that would encourage Christian families to sponsor vulnerable children throughout their school years.
Barbara Contini – Missionary to Cambodia – email@example.com
Barbara has been living and working as a full-time missionary in Battambang, Cambodia since August 2006. She has spent the past several years ministering to poor families, especially those impacted by HIV/AIDS, and working with street children and families.
She is committed to sharing the gospel with every unreached person, and to responding practically and expediently to situations that threaten the health or welfare of families and children. Throughout her ministry, she has provided assistance to dozens of families, led many people to faith in Christ, helped restore dignity and hope to the downtrodden, been responsible for saving the lives of several children and adults, and has provided hospice and comfort care to others. Barbara has a heart to minister to all people, young and old, and is especially passionate about preventing the unnecessary placement of children into orphanages by helping needy families to become self-sustaining.
Barbara was first exposed to ministry in Cambodia in January 2006 while on a one-week vacation to visit her daughter, Katie, who was participating in a 6-month YWAM/DTS outreach. After seeing the great need, and being inspired by the Holy Spirit, both made commitments to return to Cambodia and serve the work of the Lord. Katie served on staff with UofN Battambang for 3 years and Barbara carried out her ministry independently. Katie has since returned to the USA and is now living and working in NJ where she also serves at her local church. She is hopeful that the Lord will one day call her to serve again in global missions.
Barbara had her first personal encounter with Jesus, and received him as the savior of her life, in 1979. She later made a full profession of faith and commitment to allow Jesus to be both the savior and Lord of her life while attending an Assembly of God church in New Jersey in 1987. Her daughter, Katie, was 5 years old at that time. Barbara has been wholeheartedly loving and serving God ever since. She is most grateful that her daughter Katie is also walking closely with the Lord.
Barbara has a degree in business management and over 20 years experience working in marketing and administration, which includes 5 years with Last Days Ministries/Youth With A Mission/UofN International Communications Campus in Lindale TX, (1991-1996) and 10 years at an institutional investment firm in San Diego, CA (1996-2006).
While living/working in San Diego, Barbara taught Sunday School at Mission Valley Christian Fellowship for over five years. She also attended Christian Heritage College where she completed all course requirements needed to become a licensed, credentialed teacher in the state of California.
Jennifer & Vincent Lehmann – Location: Davos, Switzerland – firstname.lastname@example.org
“We grew up in a “perfect” environment and have recognized that this is something we can be very thankful for. As a couple we have the desire to share this privilege and help those who are less fortunate.
We are also extremely grateful for all the people who invested themselves into us as children, teenagers and young adults. We see the significance of this positive influence in our lives and want to do the same by encouraging and challenging youth.
We’re living in the mountain town of Davos in Switzerland and work as volunteers with YWAM (Youth With A Mission). Our main responsibility is to prepare and lead the SDTS (Snowboarders Discipleship Training School). At the same time, we support the directors of YWAM Davos in our projects.”
Vince will be offering his skills in extreme sports, and spiritual leadership as a Guide on our Swiss Alps Pilgrimage Tour this summer. It is a real privilege for us to have the Lehmanns as new additions to our Axiom Global Community.
Tobey and Annette Aubert
I began a relationship with Jesus Christ in my preteens. Growing up within church culture in New England I was exposed to a variety of Christian fellowships including Roman Catholic, mainline-Protestant, Evangelical, Charismatic and Pentecostal denominations. After college, I became an ordained minister and served as a youth minister, worship leader and associate pastor for 14 years in two churches in CT. Annette grew up in a Christian background in Texas and did a tour with Mercy Ships and a YWAM DTS before moving to New England. During this time Annette and I married and had two boys Caleb and Micah. God began urging us into a journey of discovering intimacy with Him in failure and in Grace as well as through listening prayer. As we embarked on this inward journey, a move was made to MA to begin a new church.
This is where God turned our world upside down. God directed our lives in such a way that Annette & I stepped back from starting a new church and began a period of dependency on God. For almost two years our family of four has seen God lead us down a road to knowing Him and our life story through the three words God spoke to the Desert Father, Abbot Arsenius, “fly, be silent, rest in prayer.” “Fly” – We stepped back from active involvement in church culture and the demands of popular ministry. We began living what we jokingly call, “suburban solitude.” There we learned to see through the eyes of those outside religious culture, through the eyes of the misunderstood, the poor, and the lonely as we tasted it firsthand. “Be silent” – I stopped trying to persuade people to follow Christ in my own ability, and began listening to the voice of Christ and the stories of those Christ loves. In silence Annette and I are discovering the gift of service that Christ alone chooses to give – so that our actions and words bring His love and healing directly. “Rest in prayer’ – longing, seeking, finding and surrendering to God became the standard lesson to discover the beauty of each moment in the ever renewed encounter with God – the ongoing event of Grace. We have discovered God to be bigger than ever imagined, much less tame then previously believed and closer in this life than we ever thought possible.
We have just welcomed our third son, Samuel, and are now preparing to follow Christ as He leads us in a renewed mission. Our slogan will be, “Know Love. Give Love.” It will find its expression in local community groups focused on providing tools and support for people to know God in the everyday, discover our life story & give of ourselves to the poor.
I have been assisting Axiom in practical resources for the rhythm, “Daily Moments of Reflection” and other Axiom materials.
Roger and Debbie Andruss
God has blessed Roger and Debbie with a life much different than they could have ever imagined. Both worked in healthcare for over 30 combined years as a Pharmacist and Medical Assistant when God called Roger back to Bible College. They have served in ministry ever since, with Roger teaching/preaching as a Lead Pastor in churches for over 10 years. They transitioned from church ministry to full- time mission work five years ago when they partnered with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). Roger lead the Staff Care & Development team at the University of the Nations, Kona, Hawaii (YWAM’s largest training center).
Roger & Debbie’s focus has been to help others thrive by achieving & maintaining wellness – spiritual, physical, emotional & social. They also have a heart for the nations, having traveled to more than 30 countries in the last 4 years.
Roger & Debbie join the Axiom community, recognizing the key to maintaining wellness is a close, intimate, daily walk with God. Their passion is to see people grow in their love relationship with Jesus so they can better love those around them.
An additional blessing to the Andruss household is that their last remaining parent lives with them! Diz is 84 years young and loves to encourage people of all ages.
I first met Jeff Pratt in August of 1980. I found myself standing next to him in the aisle of a country church in Ridgefield, Washington. The Pastor of the church had just issued an invitation to come forward for all those who wished to encounter the Holy Spirit in a new way. I can still remember that moment when our eyes met. I didn’t really understand what the Pastor meant in his invitation and in Jeff’s eyes I could see the same look of uncertain perplexity I felt. I remember asking him if he really knew why we both felt the need to answer the invitation. He just shrugged, but as we spoke it was evident, while we didn’t know the exact purpose of answering the invitation of the Pastor, we both had a strong desire to know God in a deeper way.
Thus began the start of my longest running friendship. Our lives have taken very different paths, over the years, but they have managed to intersect. Jeff was there when my wife Edith and I were married in 1986. He was to be the main soloist until laryngitis set in the morning of our wedding. It was a bit alarming to see him coach a last minute volunteer to sing solo’s he had taken weeks to prepare. In 1990 Jeff was there at the birth of our first born son in Vancouver, Washington. We had invited him to stay in our attic while he was trying to earn funds to return to the mission field. I was able to get him employment at a home for teenagers in crisis, where I had previously worked, and at my then current employer United Parcel Service (UPS). In 1995 I left UPS and Vancouver, Washington to start a delivery Business in Colorado. The idea to start a business that exhibited the “Father Heart of God” had been forming in my mind for over a year. The concept of the “Father Heart of God” was one that Jeff had introduced to me and I felt God prompting me to start a business with that emphasis. Our youngest daughter Nicole was born in Loveland, Colorado in 2003 and Jeff arrived for a visit about a week after. He brought with him his newly adopted sons. I can still see the look of wonder in Brandon’s face as he held our tiny daughter. Jeff continued to be source of counsel, encouragement and friendship through the years as I started and grew the delivery business in Colorado. He also helped me walk through the very recent tough decision to sell my interest in the business I helped found.
Today, Edith and I are “semi-retired” and excited for the next chapter God has for our family.
“Does not the history of the world show that there would have been no romance in life if there had been no risks?”-Mahatma Gandhi
Our risk began with uprooting. Even the thought seemed absurd. Why would we, a group of twenty-five missionaries, leave stable and defined ministries for a life and a calling less explicable? What prompted us to move north from Mercy Ships- Texas, Youth With A Mission-Tyler and all that was familiar?
We carried no tidy package or plan directing what we would create in our new venture, but felt a gentle prodding, as if God was inviting us to be a part of a movie still in the making. Our heart for the un-churched and orphaned generation beckoned us on.
In the mid-nineties, God began gathering a like-minded group of friends—both in world-view and in ministry philosophy. We were a group of people who yearned to live with Jesus as our center, as our very life, and to minister from that place of profound intimacy. Some of us had worked together for years at Last Days Ministries in East Texas, while others came from Youth With a Mission.
As we worked, talked and dreamed together, we longed to create a ministry that would be built around two priorities: learning to love God more, and learning to love people well. We envisioned this ministry moving to a Jesus-centered rhythm that would guard these priorities and reach the unique people groups to which we felt called: the spiritually and physically orphaned.
Our hearts desire was to “be Jesus” to a generation who are skeptical towards the absolute claims of science and spirituality, yet remain open to both. We longed to reach the masses who rarely darken the door of a conventional church, and who are often void of a relevant witness of the Kingdom of God.
So, in 1998, in response to this stirring, we began to meet together for times of prayer and discussion. The Northeast region of the States, with its educational, post-modern bent, immediately drew us. After touring eight cities, we felt that New Haven, Connecticut was an excellent city to pioneer a ministry community called YWAM/ Axiom. (Axiom: a self-evident indisputable truth).
New Haven met the following criteria that we had established: 1. It is home to a major cultural idea center, Yale University. 2. It is small for a good home base, yet close enough to influential cities like New York and Boston to launch like-minded ministries. 3. It is home of the “post-modern thinker”. 4. It is a place for those who are broken and homeless (another important part of our vision).
One unforgettable day in July of 1999 we stood at the top of East Rock Park overlooking New Haven and our new lives. Through many financial and relational miracles, Axiom community was established in New Haven, thanks to God, and the help of many compassionate new friends within the area.
In closing, as you consider our relocation and our beginnings, you may be asking, “Have you found what you are looking for?” “Have you discovered a Jesus-centered rhythm that guards the priorities of loving God and each other well, while impacting contemporary culture?” Our answer would have to be, “Well, no, not yet— not completely”. However, we hear the echoes and calls of this rhythm on the horizon, and we step forward believing, as Robert Louis Stephenson stated, it is better to travel hopefully than to arrive.