Beginnings and endings
Spiritual training curriculum
Awakening to Unity
The Interfaith Seminary honours both the head and the heart as holy ground. We offer a balance between process and study, emphasising the importance of experiential as well as intellectual learning.
The underlying purpose of the curriculum is to facilitate each participant’s awakening to Unity – within Ourselves, with all of Humanity and all of Life. The Seminary aims to support each student in their own awakening process, so that in time they may support others to do the same.
This process of inquiry takes place on many levels, including:
- each individual’s psycho-spiritual journey within
- the one-to-one relating between students, mentors and faculty
- within local study groups of 5 – 6 students
- within the whole class group
- in our relationship to all that is beyond the Seminary
The training considers four interweaving strands, over one or two years, which we describe here.
The first year is a complete course in itself, focusing on strands 1 and 2. We don’t take it for granted that you will continue to the second year: it is your choice. For more details of how the training unfolds, click here. [link to How the training unfolds, below]
The four strands are:
- Personal awakening
We believe that a minister’s effectiveness rests upon his or her own clarity, integration and intention. As students move into a more direct personal experience of the Source of All, their capacity for love, compassion and kindness grows. They are then better able to leave personal prejudices and past negative patterns behind, and to bring their essential Self and natural talents fully into being as the platform for their ministry.
- Opening to other traditions
This is a dynamic, lived inquiry into the world’s major faith traditions, which seeks to challenge radically our received judgments and to widen our capacity for heartfelt inclusion. While gaining respect, insight and appreciation for traditions different from their own, students often develop a deeper appreciation of their own tradition, and heal any wounds in their relationship with that too.
- Spiritual counselling
An important training strand, this involves developing basic skills and confidence in a simple but powerful form of spiritual counselling. This enables ministers to support individuals seeking their help at a time of difficulty, and to be able to recognise when someone needs to be referred on for more specialist help.
- Leading ceremonies
Participants practise leading universal worship services, and giving inspirational talks. The training also equips them to conduct weddings, funerals, blessings and other life-transition ceremonies. We do not teach standard ‘scripts’, but develop the ability of participants to create tailor-made services that reflect the unique needs and wishes of those they provide the ceremonies for – and with.