Curriculum

Applications now being accepted for Fall 2017 classes

Year One Curriculum

Foundations of Interfaith/Interspiritual Ministry: World Religions, Contemporary Wisdom, & Deepening Your Spiritual Life

Imagine spending an academic year in a community of spiritual travelers immersing yourself in the religious traditions that have served humanity for thousands of years. Learn of Hinduism’s multiple paths to God, explore the liberation from suffering offered by the Buddha, experience the joy of making the ordinary sacred through the path of Judaism, drink from the deep well of love in Christianity, discover the beauty of surrendering to the Divine in Islam and Sufism, explore the healing power of forgiveness through a Course in Miracles, and deepen your connection to the earth and the web of life with the indigenous religions. You’ll do this and more while exploring your own inner landscape, deepening your own spiritual connection, and uncovering the places you need to heal and grow in order to truly serve others.

Each month spiritual leaders and long-time practitioners will offer you their perspective and personal experience of the beliefs, practices, challenges, and treasures of their tradition and its mystical expression. Your immersion in this study of the world’s wisdom is multidimensional as you read about the history and core beliefs of each path, delve into their sacred writings, reflect on your own responses, participate in study group and online discussions, and personally engage in spiritual practices.

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By the end of first year, you’ll have a solid foundation in Interspirituality, understand the deeper threads of wisdom and glimpse the shared mystical ground that is humanity’s common spiritual heritage. Here is a sample of coursework for first year:

  • The Perennial Philosophy & The Interspiritual Approach
  • Integral Spirituality
  • Indigenous & Earth-Based Religions
  • Eastern Religions & Western Religions
  • Contemporary Spirituality
  • Psychological Principles for Ministers: Conventional & Transpersonal Psychology
  • Basic Counseling Skills
  • Working With Diversity: Exploring Prejudice, Stereotypes, and Implicit Bias
  • Applications of Interfaith/Interspiritual Ministry: Death & Dying, Chaplaincy, Spiritual Healing

Year Two Curriculum

The Practice of Interfaith/Interspiritual Ministry -- The Path of Skillful Service

The Practice of Interfaith/Interspiritual Ministry — The Path of Skillful Service The second year focuses on the way ritual and ceremony have always supported the human family and on the deeper dimensions of sacred service. At the core of year two are the skills you need to sit with another human being and be truly present to them, listening deeply, trusting your intuition, sensing and honoring the innate wholeness in others beyond their circumstances or experiences of brokenness, and more. You will learn about the many ways we’re called to support people through all the cycles of life, and how ritual and ceremony can hold the human experience and support transformational change.

We believe that learning how to serve skillfully is of great value in our increasingly unpredictable world. That’s why at One Spirit you’ll learn skills needed to minister – from creating meaningful worship experiences, to writing and performing wedding ceremonies, blessing and welcoming a newborn, to supporting a family when a loved one dies and officiating funeral or memorial services, deeply listening to another in a spiritual counseling context, offering prayer support – as well as a number of other formal or informal ministerial services. Students reflect on the spirit of sacred service and explore the relationship between healthy self-care and caring for others.

At the completion of your second year of seminary – you will be ordained as an Interfaith/Interspiritual minister.

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Here is a sampling of the coursework we’ll cover:

  • Making Sense of Life: The Journey from Birth to Death.
  • Creating Rituals & Ceremony
  • Providing Personal Encouragement: Prayer Support & Spiritual Counseling
  • Offering Collective Inspiration: Creating & Facilitating Liturgy, Worship and Other Meaningful Gatherings
  • The Heart of Skillful Service
  • Ministering Within Diverse Communities
  • Authentic Leadership

The “Deeper Curriculum”

We find that the greatest opportunities for learning and growth occur in the safe environment of a community that encourages us to ask meaningful questions, engage in honest self-reflection, and be open to moving beyond our current ways of understanding and interpreting the world.

One Spirit provides this environment, encouraging you to embrace all that occurs as an opportunity for healing and growth. Our time together is an invitation for Life to bring you your own particular experiences and challenges. We call this “The Deeper Curriculum.” Inevitably, this deeper curriculum offers each of us the specific lessons and invitations to growth we need to move toward fulfilling our deepest and highest aspirations.

With the loving support and encouragement of staff and classmates we can radically transform our experience of life and our capacity to be of spiritual service to others.

Spiritual Practice

Amidst life’s unfolding circumstances, spiritual practice is the key to developing inner spaciousness and our capacity to maintain a centered presence. Students are immersed in spiritual practice from a deeply authentic place, experiencing the richness and value of the great diversity of practices offered by the world’s wisdom.

Program Structure

Classwork

Seminary classes meet one weekend per month from September through May, 9:30 am to 5 pm ET.

Seminary class sessions include opportunities for didactic and experiential learning, dialogue with classmates, experiential and theoretical exploration of the issues or traditions being studied. Personal inner exploration of the issues and topics help each student to further expand and grow their spiritual maturity. Students are required to participate in all classes, either through attending class in New York City or on Live Webstream or by listening to the audio recordings of each class session.

In-class participation provides an opportunity to speak in front of others – a real challenge for many of us – in order to develop a capacity for skillful verbal communication. All ethical systems teach us that words can be healing or hurtful. Learning to be kind and truthful is vital for anyone seeking to serve others in a skillful way. The Online Class Website (Wisdom Web) offers a forum for both attending and distance students to explore ideas, share concerns, and learning to minister to one another.

Homework

Each month there are several homework assignments. Assignments include exploration of spiritual beliefs and practices, reflection upon personal experience, life reviews, and creation of rituals and ceremonies. Monthly readings and writing assignments are designed to support classroom work and take you deeper. Dialogue between Deans and students around written assignments are an opportunity to deepen your thinking and expand your experience of the sacred.

Students are expected to stay current with all assignments to ensure a shared learning environment for all class members.

Electives

To supplement the curriculum and allow students to self-direct areas for deeper exploration, One Spirit offers a variety of elective classes. All students, both distance-learning and attending, are required to take a minimum of three elective credits in each year of study. These electives are offered by One Spirit and are generally held for either one weekend-day, a full weekend or multiple weekday evening courses. All One Spirit Students pay a flat rate elective fee.

Study Groups

Seminary students are required to join a study group. Groups may meet once a month, or as often as once a week. Distance learning students join with other students in their area, or participate in study groups through Skype, conference calls or internet chat groups.

Intensives

Each year of the Seminary program culminates in a four day/three night residential Intensive held in the New York area. It is a time for attending and distance learning students and staff to come together. The environment and the program create a profound energy that empowers participants to enter more deeply into the practices and the teachings that they have experienced during the year, and to take the next step on their spiritual journey. All students, both attending and distance learners, are required to participate.

The First-Year Intensive culminates in a spiritual initiation ceremony into ministry, which is held on the last evening of the retreat. The Second-Year Intensive is held prior to the public Commencement Ceremony. During this Intensive, students take their personal vows of ministry and are formally ordained as Interfaith/Interspiritual ministers.

Sacred Service

As a means of learning about the experience of offering selfless service, Seminary students are required to participate in a minimum of 15 hours of volunteer service during each year of training.

Mentors

Students have the opportunity to establish a mentor relationship with a One Spirit graduate who is available to serve as a sounding board and a spiritual friend.