Education

InterSpiritual, InterFaith Seminaries/ Educational Organizations

Enough cannot be said about AWAIC’s view of the importance of education — about the InterFaith and InterSpiritual points of view, about the ongoing shift on our planet, and for our development and growth for ministry as InterFaith and InterSpiritual ministers. Professionalism demands it.

AWAIC provides this listing of educational institutions and seminaries as a service to those seeking to explore InterFaith / InterSpiritual education and ordination.

These seminaries offer substantial, layered, ministry training programs. Some offer only in-person on-site classes and training, others offer an in-person OR distance learning programs with a limited in-person requirement, while still others offer mentored on-line or distance learning programs. One, the iNtuitive Times Institute, is in Canada, the International Academy of Interfaith Studies is based in Mexico, while the OneSpirit Foundation’s minister training is at One Spirit UK, so obviously, it is based in the UK.

Explore these seminaries with excerpts from the seminaries’ own self-descriptions. Links are also provided to their websites for further exploration. This is a partial listing and is not, in any way, to be considered an endorsement. The selection of a learning organization is the sole responsibility of the seeker.

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Tree of Life School for Sacred Living

The Tree of Life Interfaith Seminary Program, “As the Crow Flies: Discover Your Direct Path to God,” is offered online with one-on-one mentoring to ensure each seminarian a deeply personal and transformation journey in the quest to discover and excavate his or her unique inner treasure, or divine path.

The program consists of two parts. In the first part, Preparations, seminarians explore the treasure’s crucible, spiritual practice, experiencing practices from across faith traditions. Various forms of meditation and prayer are explored and seminarians become familiar with the process of co-creating with the Creator through the interplay of personal will and divine surrender. Detailed guidance is offered on how to create and sustain a spiritual practice, deal with obstacles as they arise and, ultimately, how to become an alchemist turning the challenges of the practice into the gold of the journey.

In the second part, Creating Your Vision of Ministry, seminarians distill the personal impulses of inner joy as well as the major life lessons and themes which are the necessary and critical components of their personal ministry visions. By engaging practices from across faith traditions, seminarians polish their inner treasure by transforming patterns that no longer serve as well as by cultivating focus, courage and the inner inspiration to live from an open heart. As seminarians clarify their personal visions of ministry and prepare for their manifestations, support is offered so that each vision may become an expression of beauty in service to a greater good. Ordination culminates with each seminarian reciting his or her personal vows reflective of this inner treasure now ready for manifestation.
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All Faiths Seminary International

All Faiths Seminary International is dedicated and committed to foster respect and honor to the integrity of the individual and the individual’s own spiritual search and path. We welcome students from all faiths and all spiritual traditions including those who do not practice or follow a particular religious traditions.
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The Chaplaincy, An Interfaith Seminary and Community

Since 1999, The Chaplaincy Institute has dedicated itself to bringing new models of creative ministry and spiritual leadership to meet today’s needs. Our offerings are designed for those who seek to serve in culturally and religiously diverse environments—or in new ways—using dreamwork, the arts, music, ritual and ceremony, and the labyrinth. The Chaplaincy, An Interfaith Seminary and Community is based in Berkeley, California.
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The Chaplaincy Institute of Maine

The Chaplaincy Institute of Maine (ChIME) is an interfaith wisdom school that offers an intensive two-year chaplaincy program for those seeking to deepen their spiritual growth or ordination as interfaith ministers. ChIME is an open community committed to transformation of the self and planet earth through education, ordination, support, celebration and service.

ChIME especially serves students who live in the Boston-to-Maine corridor.
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East-West Interfaith Seminary

What is unique about East-West is that it is an online global Interfaith Ministry Program set up as a one-on-one coaching model where the basics of Interfaith Ministry are taught through the use of the Internet and telephone.

At East-West Seminaries, we honor and share the teachings of all the world’s spiritual traditions, from Aboriginal to Zoroastrian, and we specialize in teaching about the healing traditions of the world’s cultures, from the indigenous and the ancient to the contemporary. Furthermore, we are particularly interested in the inner or mystical traditions of the world and their relationship to healing. We are also very committed to the role of Interfaith in world peace.

Interfaith Ministers are living bridges. We desire to add to our knowledge and appreciation of all the world’s faith and wisdom traditions; to deepen our own spiritual devotion and practice; and, most significantly, to bring a greater love and healing.
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International Academy of Interfaith Studies

The Academy provides:
  • Training to enhance knowledge about the major (and some minor) world religions
  • Training for those who wish to become Interfaith Ministers
  • Training to become more effective at helping other people
All programs and modules are developed from a secular point of view and are not designed to promote one religion over another or atheism. Instead stress is placed on promoting religious understanding and appreciation for its contribution to human society.

The International Academy primarily offers programs on-line, and is based in Honolulu, Hawaii
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Intuitive Times Institute

The iNtuitive Times Institute is located in Prince Edward Island, CANADA. What is unique about NTI is that it is a support to a network of Interfaith Ministries (OIIM) and it embraces our two missions:
  1. Building bridges between the many faces of God
  2. Validating mystical experiences in a reverent and respectful context.
Part of the training and follow-up to training is how to set up and run your Interfaith Ministry. Our motto is, "The Paths are Many, the Truth is One ~ Love Thy Neighbor."
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New Vision Interspiritual Seminary

As we watch the world changing, we realize that what we taught in the past is not enough to deal with the global issues of this time. The world is changing at a rapid rate and there is a shift in the awareness. Future Interfaith Ministers need to be taught in a different way, something more substantial and spiritually grounding is needed. It is time to train Interfaith Ministers, as Gloria Karpinsky puts it, “to minister into the shift of consciousness that is happening on this planet right now.”

The Father of Interfaith and our beloved teacher, Rabbi Joseph Gelberman (of blessed memory) taught us “Never Instead Of…Always in Addition To.” It was his wish that we teach the basics of interfaith ministry, plus the consciousness of the Oneness of all life.

How to minister from that place of Oneness, & stay grounded & steady into the Shift that is growing more apparent every day, is what we are teaching at New Vision Interspiritual Seminary.

New Vision Interspiritual Seminary offers in-person and distance-learning options, and is based in New York.
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The New Seminary for Interfaith Studies

As a professional institute for training Interfaith ministers, The New Seminary is committed to the integrity of the individual and the individual’s own spiritual search. We honor all paths leading toward a deepening of one’s relationship with the “Higher Power,” God, Goddess, Oneness, Spirit, etc…and with all of life. This mystery of life, its meaning and purpose, is the basis of study at The New Seminary.
Since 1979, we have been preparing graduates to perform a wide range of ministerial functions. Over 2,500 graduates have passed through our Interfaith Seminary and into the world developing and designing worship services, performing various kinds of ceremonies and rites of passage, and offering spiritual counseling to those in need. Others of our graduates define their ministries with the phrase “Sacred Activism.” We are proud and humbled by all those who choose this Interfaith path. We hope that we may together make a difference in the world. This is a rewarding path that honors the divine in all.

The New Seminary offers in-person and distance-learning options.
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One Spirit Interfaith Foundation

We join in the awakening of an inclusive global spirituality, in ourselves and in the world, through training and enabling open-hearted men and women to serve people of all faiths and none in our diverse communities.

One Spirit Interfaith Foundation is inclusive, embracing the universal truth at the heart of all spiritual traditions. Incorporating the Interfaith Seminary and the Interfaith Ministers Association, the Foundation celebrates the values of respect, reconciliation, forgiveness and fellowship. We honour and support peace-making and the awareness of our unity in Spirit. We believe that difference, when approached as a potential source of enrichment, need not be experienced as a threat. Old dichotomies of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ do not serve the healing of our world. Thus our focus is on removing, within ourselves, the obstacles to unity.

We whole-heartedly support all the many interfaith initiatives that encourage dialogue and understanding between religions. We look for even deeper dimensions of unity, where we can recognise every human being as a facet of the One Spirit, a reflection of something in ourselves. We see the interfaith concept as a powerful invitation not just to tolerance, but acceptance; not only to dialogue, but brother/sisterhood
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One Spirit Learning Alliance

One Spirit Learning Alliance offers an opportunity to learn about the world’s great spiritual traditions, deepen one’s own spiritual life, while becoming ordained as an Interfaith Minister. OSIS draws from the resources of the great wisdom teachings, both ancient and modern, to increase appreciation for the diversity of life and to nurture a direct experience of the unity that underlies it.

One Spirit Learning Alliance offers students an understanding of the world’s major wisdom traditions, practices, and rituals; an opportunity to deepen your own spiritual practice, and learn to help others develop theirs; clarity on fundamental psychological principles as they apply to everyday life; skills to serve others, formally and informally, as an ordained Interfaith minister in roles (such as pastor, spiritual counsellor, or officiant of life-cycle celebrations); enhanced spiritual growth through the exploration of other wisdom traditions; renewed commitment to spiritual practice as the foundation for service; firsthand experience of spiritual practices from different traditions; improved listening skills; greater self-acceptance and inner peace; and an understanding of the individual and cultural differences that make each of us unique.

One Spirit Learning Alliance offers in-person and distance-learning options, and is based in New York City, NY.
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Sacred Journey Interfaith Seminary

Sacred Journey Interfaith Seminary is the only Interfaith and InterSpiritual seminary of its kind in South Florida and the southeastern states. Sacred Journey Interfaith Seminary is a two year professional training program designed to prepare people to serve the spiritual needs and lives of others. The work done by anyone in spiritual leadership; ministers, spiritual directors, spiritual guides, or teachers is a sacred trust. We seek to insure that our students adhere to a high standard of education, professionalism, and ethical conduct. To that end, we provide extensive guidance, direction, training, and education in the areas of introspection and spiritual growth by way of exposure to Mystery Schools, Eastern Religions, Western Religions, Earth Based Religions, Theological and Humanistic Perspectives, and Ministry.
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School of Sacred Ministries

The School of Sacred Ministries is a divinity school devoted to training interfaith candidates for ordination. Through the understanding of the world’s major spiritual beliefs, customs, and religions we offer the opportunity for people to become leaders in sharing the acceptance of all spiritual paths.

Our primary focus is to provide the finest teaching staff available. Our secondary goal is to attract students who feel deeply committed to finding a way to live their lives in a manner that supports them as well as the spiritual community. We do not seek to sway anyone to any other belief system. We simply support people in the faith they have chosen to practice.

The School of Sacred Ministries is based in Doylestown, PA, and especially serves students based in eastern Pennsylvania and adjoining New Jersey.
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