Intentional Communities…

  • Are places where people live together with shared resources and explicit common values
  • Include ecovillages, cohousing, land trusts, income-sharing communes, co-ops, and spiritual communities
  • Are a practical and viable way to live together with other people

The Bruderhof is one of the oldest existing intentional communities in the world today. Our hundred-year-old communal movement now has multiple locations on four continents.

According to the Fellowship for Intentional Community, an intentional community is a place where people live “together with shared resources on the basis of explicit common values. Some examples include ecovillages, cohousing, land trusts, income-sharing communes, student co-ops, and spiritual communities.”

So what form does living in intentional community take at the Bruderhof?

For us, it is sharing all our resources in full community of goods. We believe that in order for an intentional community to work, you have to be fully committed to the idea. So we share our lives and finances; none of us owns any property in our name, none of us receives a paycheck, stipend, or allowance, and membership is a lifetime commitment. By doing that, we’ve built a place where are no rich or poor, where everyone is cared for, everyone belongs, and everyone can contribute. This is the answer to all that is wrong with society today.

Watch our video series on intentional community:

Of course, once you’ve lived in fully intentional community for a while you wonder why people live any other way. When we pool all our income, talents, and energy, we can take care of one another and reach out to others. A lot of the day-to-day problems people deal with – paying bills, getting a meal on the table, finding a good school for their children, access to medical care, feeling isolated – are answered by living in community.

For us, the impetus to community is our “explicit common values” – the teachings of Jesus and our faith in him. His two great commandments are “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” So we live together because we believe that communal living is the best way to follow Jesus.

Not all intentional communities practice sharing resources to the full extent we do, and many are not faith-based, either. And that’s OK; we applaud any effort that brings people together in committed relationships and shared resources, properties, and gifts. We welcome visitors, including many who don’t share our faith, and are happy to work and learn alongside each other. Get in touch and us know how you are living in or why you are interested in intentional community – and let’s learn from each other.

For more details about our form of intentional communal living – common housing, work, meals, and so forth – see our page on community of goods, and these sections of the Bruderhof’s rule of life, Foundations of our Faith and CallingHave questions? Read our Frequently Asked Questions, or contact us!