Have you been called to something more?
We will guide you on your path to becoming an Ordained Minister.
The Center for Sacred Studies ordained 28 new Ministers of Walking Prayer in April 2019. These amazing ministers create a network totaling over 260 Ministers around the world.
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Becoming a Minister of Prayer through the Center for Sacred Studies (CSS) prepares one to assist others as they move through the many transitions of life.
The directed study creates the opportunity to explore specific methodologies, practices, theories, traditions, beliefs, and philosophies, as well as allowing for the integration of individual spiritual experiences.
In addition to developing the skills and knowledge to act as a support to others, this process is designed to enlighten an individual's practice of worship and daily living—for the purpose of living life as a “walking prayer”.
Individuals who successfully complete the course of training can be ordained as a Minister of Prayer and will be qualified to conduct ceremonies, facilitate study groups, and mentor others in the process of spiritual growth unique to each individual.
Being a Minister of Prayer denotes a practice of walking in the world in dialogue with Creation. This approach is one that is gleaned from the teachings of the “Original Peoples”—who related to the world by “listening” to the world around them as a form of guidance from Spirit. From this perspective, everything is considered as an expression of Spirit. This is a way of being that values being led by the heart, rather than the head.
The teachings and ways of The First Nations Peoples have been passed down from generation to generation, and link us with the forces of the Earth, the fundamental laws of Nature, and the original wisdom teachings—which are based on respect for all Life. The prevailing worldview of contemporary society is to look at the world through a materialistic lens—one that is competitive and wants to acquire things—a worldview that is based on fear rather than love.
The Minister of Prayer curriculum has been consciously designed to transform this lens of perception into one that returns the individual, and thereby the collective, to the “original matrix”—one that dialogues with Creation as a way of life. This is a process that facilitates the path of discovering one’s own gifts of healing, what the Original Peoples call one’s “medicine”. This is a perspective that views every being as a unique herb in the garden of Creation. A perspective that encourages one to cultivate that herb—to follow the Spirit of their true Self—and to, ultimately, actualize one’s Self.
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We provide a substantial offering
The two-year online and on-site program consists of 22 monthly instructor’s audio and video modules, four breathwork workshops, and two five-day retreats held at Wildwood Retreat Center, about 2 hours north of San Francisco in the beautiful coastal redwoods.
Each full-time student has a Mentor, and there are two hour-long conference calls per month: one with the instructor, and one with the CSS Spiritual Director, Jyoti.
The Ministry Training Program also includes 22 Teachings and Stories from our Elders around the world.
Areas of Study
In the 1st year you will explore different doorways of perception and tools that provoke a relationship with the unseen.
During the 2nd year, you will study alternative tools to explore the psyche. The original people had a way of life that was taught to them by creation. It has its own rules and its own way of relating. You will discover many of the tools that will help facilitate that dialogue and help you actualize it in your own life, as a way of life.
Program Format and Monthly Requirements:
Online School Site Content to view and listen to:
- Instructor audio and video instruction (1.5 hours)
- Elders Corner audio and video instruction (45 minutes)
Conference Calls: 2 per month
- Group Conference with Instructor and Q&A’s – Conference Call (1 hour)
- Group “Dialogue with Jyoti (Jyoti Chat)” – Conference Call (1 hour)
- Assigned reading (time varies)
- Reflection paper assignment (time varies: 500 words) due the last day of the month.
- Applied Practice of your choice, i.e. meditation (30 minutes)
- Individual session with your assigned mentor each month on phone (45 minutes)
- Peer exchange in email groups, facebook, or blogging (optional, time varies):
Courses for Year One:
- Following the Flow of a Prayer
- How to work the process
- Choosing your spiritual practice
- Walking your prayer
- Transpersonal Psychology
- Mystical Faiths
- World Trauma, Personal Trauma and Grief
- Death & Dying
- Prayer as a Science
- Prayer As Action
- Dialogue with Creation
- Year One Retreat in California
Courses for Year Two:
- Earth-Based Ways of Prayer
- Plant Medicine
- Archetypal Medicine
- Spirituality & Practical Feet
- What is your Personal Code of Ethics
- Unity as a Practice
- Practical applications of Ministry
- Graduation/Ordination Retreat in California
Following the Flow of a Prayer
As inspiration flows in we are asked to catch it, plant it, cultivate and actualize it. As we do, more is revealed and not only is our individual spiritual study expanded, but also our work with the collective moves forward. This module will present some of that story which brings us all together in a collaboration with the Divine. Instructor: Jyoti
How to work the process
True communication is “communion”; the realization that humility can take us to communion through an evolutionary process of “moving up” the levels of awareness and being—until peace and love are all that exists. If we can accept humility as a part of us, then we can accept that one purpose of relationship is personal and spiritual development, rather than merely a grasping for something to make us feel happy and safe. In this transformation, relationships offer us a new kind of salvation, and we align ourselves with a greater awareness and consciousness that wants to be born into this world. The Power of Humility shows us how to change our conflicts into peace.
At each moment, within each conflict that arises throughout our day— throughout our life— we are given the power to choose, and that is a Divine gift. Do I choose to protect my point of view, my position, and my ego’s limited perceptions? Or, through humility, do I choose not knowing, curiosity, and compassion? Do I choose to play the victim, to persecute or to rescue? Or through humility, do I choose to motivate, nurture, and empower? Do I choose separation, or through humility, inclusion? Do I choose fear, or through humility, love? It’s our humble choice.
Instructors: Jyoti and Russell D. Park, Ph.D.
Choosing your spiritual practice
The Divine Mother has told us that each of us is an herb in Her garden. Your life work is to fully potentiate that herb. One’s spiritual practice cultivates that possibility. One’s spiritual practice gives root to one’s life. One’s spiritual practice claims each day as sacred. Do you have a practice? Do you have a time each day you stop the world to sit and listen to your Self? Instructor: Nancy Rowe, Ph.D.
Walking your prayer
If you have found your spiritual practice, how do you take it into your everyday life? How do you walk your talk? How do we learn to live in the Now each moment? And when we practice that skill each day, what happens to the quality of our lives? Instructor: Ryan Brandenburg
To move from the “I” to the “We”, a study of that which is bigger than the personal opens the door of perception. Transpersonal psychology evolves the understanding of the dynamic energies that drive our individuation. This study will explore some of those who have brought maps of understanding to this process, such as C.G. Jung, Ken Wilbur, Stanislav Grof, and Michael Washburn. Instructor: Russell D. Park, Ph.D.
If we are to better understand the path we walk, it is helpful to recognize the wealth of wisdom of many different teachings, operating from a principle that all paths emanate from the same source and an understanding that respect of every individual’s perspective is the first step to Unity.
We will take the time to sit with the basic teachings of various faiths such as Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism, and Taoism. Many religions have a foundation in Mysticism, as well as contemporary teachers whose work it is to remind of this original form. In this module, we will draw upon their expertise regarding this ancient way of relating to the Divine. Instructor: Gloria Karpinski
World Trauma, Personal Trauma, and Grief
How do you deal with trauma on a personal level, or in your community, or on a global scale? As a Minister, you will be asked to help heal traumas on all levels, from both inside and outside your culture. This module discusses approaches to healing trauma through awareness, empathy, ritual, and “love medicine”. Instructor: Alena Hrabcakova
Death & Dying
Many people believe that it is the beliefs about death held by a collective that shapes the culture. This module will be a study of death as a doorway— a doorway of a perceptual shift in relation to the consciousness of one’s reality. How do we care for this doorway? How do we prepare ourselves to walk through the doorway? What is our relationship with the body? What is our body’s experience of Spirit? How do we learn to respect the different ways people must go due to karmic work? How do we learn to serve the process? Our Lady says that it happens in stages. In order to move from one state of consciousness to another, to bring mystical vision into this reality—or to return to the place of vision— there are five steps:
By exploring these developmental stages, we will examine traditional and nontraditional approaches in order to better understand our perceptions of, and personal relationship to, this very important topic. Instructor: Ann Rosencranz, M.A.
Prayer as a Science
Lily Tomlin says that when we talk to God, we call it prayer, and when God talks to us, we call it schizophrenia. In that description, which echoes a commonly held contemporary perspective, there is no room for dialogue. What happens to consciousness when the space is created to begin a dialogue? Prayer, consciously approached, gives focus. Focus, clarified, engenders a specific quality of life. In the last few years, research has been done that proves what Indigenous Peoples have known since the beginning of time: That consciousness is an intelligence that wants to dialogue with us and through us, in order to make of us an instrument of prayer. Prayer is the instrument of peace so desperately needed at this time in history. Instructor: Ryan Brandenburg
Prayer As Action
Once we begin a prayer, then we must follow it. If we follow it, a way of life reveals itself, and we begin to realize that everything is connected. We begin to move, realizing that our actions will be felt by the next seven generations. In this way, we are a walking prayer, and all life is seen as sacred. In this way, we approach life, rather than attack it. Instructor: Darlene Hunter
Dialogue with Creation
If we have forgotten how to dialogue with Creation, where do we start? In asking that question, we declare a wish to relate. The Old People say that relation is the seed of life. In this module, we will take a moment to examine how our culture relates to the Earth in contrast to how other cultures have historically related to the Earth. How has our relationship with the Earth changed throughout time? If we were to listen to the Earth, what would she being telling us She needs right now?
Once we begin to dialogue, how do we nurture this new relationship with Creation? The Original Peoples were given a way of life that had rituals and rites of passage that marked the seasons of the Earth. Each line from those original days relates the story of the Earth told through prophecy and declared through song. Instructor: Omileye Achikeobi-Lewis
Earth-Based Ways of Prayer
When we have entered into a conscious relationship with Creation, we can begin to study Earth-based ways of prayer. As our Grandmothers teach, “We join with all those who honor the Creator, and to all who work and pray for our children, for world peace, and for the healing of our Mother Earth.” Our approach to this way of prayer is different than what is commonly promoted, as the heart rather than the mind leads it. It is an approach that brings to light the elements of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. One that acknowledges the world of Spirit and that teaches us ways to discipline ourselves so that we respond to life rather than react to it. In this way, we educate ourselves from our experience and the relationships involved in manifesting that experience.
Earth-based ways of prayer teach us how to dialogue with the archetypes: the inherited patterns of thought or symbolic imagery derived from the past collective experience, and present in the individual unconscious. Using the 5 steps of transformation given in previous modules, the focus of this module begins to move the lens of perception from the Western model of relating to an Earth-based model of relating. As a result:
- We see where we think we are victims.
- We realize we have choice and define the problem
- We accept the problem and embrace the challenge.
- We meet the challenge through completing the tests.
- When we complete the test, then we can hear the message.
- When we listen to the message, we come to know our personal myth.
- When we know our personal myth, we begin to glimpse the Divine play at work in the world.
The plants of Creation are Guardians of this Earth. Some are here to heal us and keep us in balance, while others are here to teach us a way of life that can sustain Life. In this study, we will examine a continuum that teaches how to integrate learned intellectual concepts with spiritual practices that maintains a way of life. We will learn how to connect with the Spirit of plants in order to facilitate the healing of the individual and the collective. Instructors: Ann Rosencranz and Bob Boyll
This study will begin to describe how Consciousness forms a field. The field is organic in nature and has evolved throughout time. As a collective, we have been in the study of what the Hopi’s call the Fourth World. It has been a study of sacrifice, of learning how to hold paradox, of learning to declare our differences and identify the “I”. The new field of study is the Fifth World of Unity. The World of Unity is cultivated through acts of service, and a way of being which honors the connectedness of life. It is said that our suffering pushes us until our vision pulls us. Archetypal Medicine teaches one how to dialogue with the vision that is pulling. It requires a maturity of character, and a devotion to one’s part in the Divine Play. Contained within the boundaries of the field of Archetypal Medicine is a continuum of learning that—when explored—can expand the channels of perception. Instructor: Suil
In this study, we will make a new relationship with ritual. From where does it originate? How is it passed on? Our habits can form our daily ritual, and those rituals can define the richness of a culture or its lack. First Nation Peoples have been given ritual by Creation and by the Original Peoples of this Earth. Those rituals have been passed down—often orally— through the generations, so that when one sits within it, there is a line that brings all the prayers said along that line—since it first began—into the present moment.
Contained within these traditions is an understanding that specific actions create specific results. Ritual, in this sense, defines the sacred container, and the protocol that maintains that container. Protocol does not establish a rigid rule, but rather provides a guidepost that points the direction in which to proceed. It is much like a telephone number: a specific phone number reaches a specific endpoint. In order to connect with the line of prayer the ritual calls forth, then one must follow the protocol that defines the requirements of that specific container— in order to call forth the “intelligence” which is present in that container.
Additionally, in order to maintain what is learned while in that container, one must put into daily practice what the container teaches. As an individual’s relationship to ritual shifts, so does their way of interacting socially. For this reason, we will study a medicine village vs. a hierarchical system, exploring such integral questions as what maintains the integrity of each, as well as the inherent ethical implications of both worlds. Instructor: Luisah Teish
You become an instrument of prophecy when you open yourself to seeing, and when you listen to your dreams. After finally surrendering to the guidance of her dreams and the mentoring of her teachers, Omileye feels blessed to be part of the powerful paradigm shift foretold by many. Omileye uses the medium of water: she has visited waterways, prayed at them and worked to help raise the consciousness of humanity through working with the waters and divine feminine energy. Her journey has taken her across continents, cultures, and people in both a metaphoric and real sense. Every time she goes to the waters, pieces of our history begin to open up to her, the many ways to heal and shift our entire paradigm into the new way. Our world paradigm is shifting and we are all part of that shift. Omileye has now accepted that we all chose to be born here for these times because we have come to be the lights for tomorrow. She also believes that the Mother energy is very active at these times and is trying to spread her compassionate seeds during these times. Instructor: Omileye Achikeobi-Lewis
Spirituality & Practical Feet
In this study, we will take what we have learned and apply it to our everyday life. In this way, we become instruments for positive change in the paradigm shift that is happening today. We have made relations with our Spirit, establishing trust in that which calls us. We have learned to follow rather than grab for what we want. We have learned to follow the organic process of our Soul. As we stand up inside ourselves, we begin to define a culture. In order to bring our spirituality into practical feet, we will study the gifting economy vs. the consumer economy. The gifting economy is driven by the knowledge that all will be provided if we but listen and follow our guidance. It is rooted in the old cultures and cultivated by love and acceptance. The consumer economy is driven by fear of not enough. It is rooted in competition and cultivated by how much we can consume rather than sustain. We move from consumerism to gifting through the economics of learning to share. Instructors: Matthew and Terces Engelhart
To live in a community centered in Spirit, one must be willing to work the process. You have to step out of “I” thinking. You emerge from someone who sacrifices to make things happen to someone who is in service to the Divine. It is that act of service that allows things to naturally evolve in community. When we sit in circle in community, we realize that everyone is an aspect of ourselves. When you apply the concepts you will have learned through these studies, you will have a tool that cultivates respect and acceptance. When you learn to walk with your prayer, you will have a focus that will nurture growth and clarity of purpose.
Communities require the development of a sacred witness that can maintain its integrity and facilitate day-to-day experiences of individuals with one another in a way that is kind. The first step a community must take is to accept where they are. Then, without judgment, there must be a commitment to higher consciousness and those things that attract higher learning. There must be an examination of choices, and an ever-present awareness that every choice made affects the next seven generations. Integral to a healthy community is the necessity to honor the sacred hoop of life in the established social structure so that individuals representing every station of life have a voice. These are a few of the concepts we hope will stimulate your study in your own community. Instructor: Jyoti
How can we look at our imbalances as opportunities for practice instead of merely as problems? How can we utilize our excess, or surplus, energy to address our weakness or deficient energy? In this module, you will have the opportunity to see how to bring collaboration and right relationship to these seeming polarities, in order to evoke balance and sustainability in a system. How can you apply what you are learning to your personal, emotional, and spiritual life? Instructor: Ryan Brandenburg
What is your Personal Code of Ethics
Integrity in a system is determined by how well centered it is. Does it know itself? Is the container sealed? Is it leaky? Is it losing energy? If so, how? These are all questions that one might ask while beginning to set up a spiritual practice. This process is much like what one would do if they were to investigate their body’s integrity. If one’s body is not able to maintain its integrity, then it usually falls out of balance, losing its energy, and functioning in a way that is neither efficient nor healthy. This course will help you discover how to bring your spiritual practice into integrity, by defining your own personal code of ethics. Instructor: Russell D. Park, Ph.D.
Unity as a Practice
In this module, you will utilize your sacred witness, and review your life, and how it is working. Do you know all its parts? Do you know which ones are coming out of an unconscious state? Do you know what triggers you and throws you into an unconscious state? Are you embracing your shadow? Are you embracing your power? Unity is a practice of integration. It is a practice of acceptance, and it is a practice that requires you to know yourself. Instructors: Charles and Barbara Whitfield
Practical Applications of Ministry
In ministering to people, you will be asked to officiate at ceremonies that mark important life passages; birth, death, marriage, baptisms, baby naming. This module will explore the different ways that you can co-create beautiful and meaningful ceremonies with those that you have been called up to assist. Several different approaches will be studied and explored. Assistance will be given to help you find the style that will activate the archetypal energies that will empower your ceremonies. Instructor: Darlene Hunter
Ministry Training Program – Dialogue About Creation
After our retreat
There are no upcoming events at this time.
The next Ministry Training program will be annonced!
For more information: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
(If you are employed by a company that offers tuition reimbursement, the MTP tuition may be eligible. Please contact your benefits coordinator).
We give thanks for all those that contribute to the program from the Instructors, the Elders, the Mentors, the Weavers and all who hold this program to make this offering. Thank you to Hanayo, Sonja, Margin, Valerie, Trish and so many of our Ministers!! We are honored and inspired by each of you!
With love and humility, Jyoti, Darlene & Wendy
"Thank you CSS for creating such an incredibly valuable program. My heart is awakening and my consciousness is expanding through these sacred teachings. May we all awaken to this call for peace and unity. Blessings to you and all the teachers." Lauren - CA