Graduate Affiliation FAQ
Many of you have already responded to renew your affiliation with One Spirit, and we wanted to thank you for the amazing response! Some graduates had excellent questions about what this new program means and how it affects their ministry. In case you have similar questions, we wanted to take this opportunity to offer further clarity.
Being an active minister affiliated through One Spirit is comprised of three very specific things:
- Regular financial support of One Spirit
- Continued Spiritual Education
- Volunteer Service either at One Spirit or within your community
In return for these 3 sacred acts, we activate your Ministry here through One Spirit Learning Alliance, issue you a clergy card and confirm, to any person or institution that asks, that you have an active ministry with this organization.
These requirements have been, in the past, somewhat vague. However, given that our graduate body has risen to well over 1000 members, we are required to now have clearer standards for “Active Ministry” designation. But we recognize that this is a big change, and we want you to know that this year we will continue to have the kind of flexibility you have found in past years as we move towards this more fully engaged system.
While we had intended to present clear standards and attractive benefits, our attempt to clarify confused some people. We are sorry for that, and we’re very grateful to those graduates who made skillful inquiry. Here is a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions that hopefully will clarify things.
An active minister is a One Spirit graduate who demonstrates ongoing connection and affiliation with One Spirit by continuing to study, giving service to either One Spirit or to their local community and financially supporting One Spirit.
The requirements have changed for several reasons. First, it’s important to distinguish One Spirit from the various websites that will “ordain” people online, usually by completing a form and submitting a fee. As scrutiny increases on ordinations from organizations outside the mainstream (like ours), we need to show that our Active Ministers actually maintain their status with measurable standards, rigorous enough to demonstrate a deep commitment to our shared vision.
Our objective was to find a way to ensure that the title Active One Spirit Minister maintains value and esteem in the broader community, while providing a flexible enough structure for graduates to express ministry in their own unique ways. The solution we found was to honor our graduates who have served as exemplars in the One Spirit community and identifying affiliation levels, and their benefits, based on their participation. Prior to this year, the minimum suggested donation was around $1 per day. Given that the required credit of education is $80, today’s basic affiliation amount is actually less than what had been requested in the past.
There are different levels of support and for each one there are different levels of benefits. However each one includes a clergy card with your picture on it and a credit to take an elective with us. Additionally, all active ministers are listed as being members in good standing on a list on our website.
Yes. This summer we will be launching a new Minister Directory where you will be able to have a page dedicated to your ministry with your contact information, and people will be able to search for Ministers in their state or city or by specialty.
Those who did not respond to our requests to renew in last year’s pledge campaign (summer of 2015), were asked to reactivate ministry. If you think we did not have correct information about that and wrongly listed you as inactive, please contact our CEO, Ilene Sameth, at [email protected]onespiritinterfaith.org.
Yes. While we are setting a vision that all graduates who wish to be affiliated would be able to contribute at least $420 to that end, we understand that many of our graduates are dedicating themselves to a life of service to the world and that may limit their financial capacity. This vision is as much a vision for the organization to support its graduates as much as it is for the graduates to support the organization. We will partner with anyone who wishes to maintain her/his affiliation! Please just reach out to Ilene Sameth at [email protected].
No. You will always be a Minister. If asked by a governmental body or individual looking for confirmation of your ongoing affiliation with assignment of ministry through One Spirit, we will always confirm your ordination and that you graduated from One Spirit. But we will not be able to confirm that you have an ongoing Active Ministry with this organization unless you are, in fact, an Active Minister.