Communal Living

Living and Learning Under One Roof

The concept of communal living/learning at The Walker Center for Ecumenical Exchange is an outgrowth of our tradition of hospitality. We believe that by cooking together, cleaning together, playing together, and breaking bread together, we connect with each other at new levels; we communicate more openly; we become more tolerant and compassionate; we enhance our learning experience, and we become better people.

Communal living at The Walker Center for Ecumenical Exchange means that our graduate student residents

  • have their own private rooms for sleeping and studying
  • share space in the kitchen, living room and dining room
  • establish their own rules as to how to live together peacefully and harmoniously
  • respect and celebrate cultural differences
  • participate fully in rotational cleaning
  • engage in group activities on a regular basis, such as weekly dinners, monthly fellowship, weekend study groups, Saturday food shopping excursions, etc.

Barton House—our International Community

Located at 138 Hancock Street, next door to the main Walker House, Barton House is an impressive home that reflects a traditional 19th century style of New England architecture. There are 19 sleeping rooms on the three floors of Barton House; most are single rooms with shared hallway bathrooms, but others, when available, can be configured into two-room suites with a private bathroom that are suitable for families. Kitchen space, a large dining room, two living rooms, and a porch are all common space. Monthly rents run from $515 per month to $625 per month, depending on the size of the room. Two-room suites are $950 per month. Rents include water and all utilities. Coin-operated laundry facilities are in the basement. Onsite parking is available at $50 per month per car.

At Barton House, students hail from around the globe. Students at Barton have come from Nigeria, Russia, India, China, Indonesia, and from all over the United States. While most of our students are enrolled in schools of theology at local BTI schools (Andover Newton, Boston University, Boston College, Gordon-Conwell, etc.) we also welcome graduate students enrolled in other degree programs related to topics of social justice, and to the tikkun olam, "repair of the world." 

Howard House—aka The Green House

Located at 136 Hancock Street, next to Barton House, Howard House is another beautiful home on the campus of The Walker Center for Ecumenical Exchange. Smaller than Barton House, Howard House has a stature and presence that speak to New England simplicity and elegance. There is one bedroom on the first floor and three bedrooms with shared baths on the second. Communal space includes a kitchen, dining room, and living room. Coin-operated washers and dryers are in the basement.

At the beginning of the academic year in September, residents of Howard House design their own covenant that outlines the terms by which they will live together. As many of the students are enrolled in Boston University’s dual theology/social work program, there is an interest in incorporating practices of sustainability into their covenant. Because Howard House residents have a history of practicing the 3 Rs—reduce, re-use, and recycle—Howard House has been called the Green House.

Owned and operated by The Walker Center for Ecumenical Exchange, housing for Howard House is handled exclusively through Boston University School of Theology. Rents are below market value, and onsite parking is available for $50 per car per month.