Curriculum Overview

Rabbi Zalman Schachter with Dr. Marilyn Schlitz (left) and Roshi Joan Halifax. Photo by Charles Abbott

Posted on July 16, 2010

The Spiritual Paths Institute Program in InterSpiritual Studies has been designed by a team of teachers, each recognized in their respective spiritual traditions. The curriculum provides both theoretical and experiential knowledge of the spiritual traditions and practices of the world’s major religions. Students will be exposed to English translations of primary source materials, classical commentaries and contemporary teachings of many of the world’s great spiritual traditions.

The Program entails 36 credits, nine per semester. Certificate students will be required to attend semester intensives, participate in weekly distance learning sessions by phone and online, complete readings, and complete a five-page reflection paper for each semester. Auditors may attend the semester intensive then enroll as certificate students for the entire program.

Each of the four semesters is based on themes which are: 1. Founding Principles, 2. Maps of Transformation, 3. Engaged Spirituality, 4. Personal Commitment. There are three courses each semester valued at three credits each for a total of nine credits per semester. The courses include a survey, an elective, and a practicum. Students will be required to write a 5-10 page reflection paper for the semester. Students may elect to focus on a specific tradition, on InterSpirituality in general, or the application of InterSpirituality to their a specific profession such as teaching, social work, ministry, chaplaincy, psychology, psychiatry, law enforcement, law, public policy, diplomacy, international relations, politics, economics, business, and the military. Our curriculum will also help prepare professionals in such emerging fields as InterSpiritual education, counseling, mentoring and ministry.

Semester Intensives

At the beginning of each semester, all students will attend the six-day intensive. They will choose their advisor, form a close-knit community with their fellow students, meet with the registrar and financial personnel, and create a plan with their advisor for their course of study, and confer with their teachers.

The primary theme for each intensive will be covered in the survey course. Each day will consist of an early morning meditation, presentations by teachers, small group discussions, individual meeting times between students and teachers, and evening experiential sessions. Subsequent Elective and Practicum classes and will require weekly lectures, required readings, and papers or an approved project. Students who wish to conduct research, engage in spiritual practice, or participate in community service activities with outside teachers and organizations will need approval from their advisor.

Online Curriculum

An extensive online curriculum is provided to support the InterSpiritual Wisdom distance learning process. This curriculum includes detailed course overviews, weekly class descriptions, weekly reading and practice assignments, audio lectures, discussions, community forums, and other learning resources. Registered students will be provided a password for the online campus.

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