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Foundations of Belief

Begins
Journey with us through this course, where we delve into the core principles of several global faiths. We encourage you to discover the sacred in the ordinary! This course is offered free of charge.

Foundations of Belief

Free of charge and commitment, this self-paced course is entirely online.

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course, with its 7 engaging modules abundant with captivating lessons, serves as an excellent initial step towards our comprehensive training programme. As you advance through the series of reflective questions accompanying each lesson, your grasp of the subjects will deepen. Here at OneSpirit, we’re passionately committed to the exploration of diverse faith paths. Such an endeavour necessitates a willingness to scrutinise our own prejudices, hidden biases, and underlying beliefs to thoroughly appreciate the vast array of spiritual traditions. Centred on the religious beliefs most predominant in the United Kingdom, this course is a reflection of our identity as a UK-based educational charity. While we recognise the broad spectrum of global spiritual diversity, our curriculum is meticulously crafted to spotlight the traditions that resonate most within the UK context, yielding an extensive and locally tailored understanding.

We envisage this complementary course as a catalyst for inspiration, a beacon of encouragement, and a supportive milestone on your personal and professional spiritual odyssey. Whether you’re embarking on our 2-year Spiritual Development & Ministry Training programme, or you’ve only just discovered us, this course will provide insight into just a few of the faiths that embody the essence of ‘interfaith.’ 

“We are on Earth to take care of life. We are on Earth to take care of each other.” – Xiye Bastida

COURSE INFORMATION

    Module One: Earth-Based Paths
    • Earth-Based Spirituality 

    • Wheel of the Year

    • Divine Feminine 

    • Animism 

    Module Two: Judaism
    • Jewish Scriptures

    • Mitzvot

    • Shekhinah

    • Forgiveness

    • Jewish Life

    Module Three: Christianity
    • Christian Scriptures

    • Creation and Christian Understandings of God

    • Incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection 

    • Who is Jesus?

    Module Four: Islam 
    • Islamic Understandings of God

    • Risalah 

    • Akirah 

    • Worship – Shahada, Salah, Zakah 

    • Worship – Sawm, Hajj, Jihad

    Module Five: Hinduism
    • Hindu Understandings of God

    • Hindu Scriptures

    • Cycle of Life

    • Worship

    Module Six: Buddhism
    • Buddha

    • Dukkha and the Middle Way

    • The Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path 

    • Dharma, Karma, Samsara, Enlightenment 

    Module Seven: Sikhism
    • Sikh Understanding of God

    • Gurus

    • Mukti

    • Sewa – Selfless service 

    Closing Reflections and Feedback
    • The Common Thread

    • Feedback 

    • Taking This Further?

      “Interfaith is not a religion. It walks among the religions. Interfaith begins when we create a bridge between one set of beliefs and traditions and another… An Interfaith Minister ideally is one who turns towards all, regardless of their beliefs or practices, with an open heart and mind, offering them a mirror to their own wholeness and their own divinity.” – OneSpirit Minister, Susanna Stefanachi Macomb

      BEFORE YOU START

      Gateway to the Sacred

      Our course invites you to discover the sacred within the fabric of everyday life. In the image to the right, you will see a Torii gate which acts as a profound symbol, guiding individuals from the mundane to the divine. Originating from Japan’s Shinto religion and later embraced by other faiths, the gate divides the sacred shrine of the Kami—cosmic spirits or divine energies that permeate nature—from the secular world.

      ‘Shinto’ means ‘the Way of the Kami’, which emphasises ritual practices over entrenched doctrines and accentuates the interconnectedness of society through shared values. Our course extends an invitation for you to discern the sacred woven into the tapestry of daily life. Before you metaphorically step through the Torii gate at the commencement of this course, we urge you to consider several factors to ensure a sense of support throughout your studies, despite the lack of an ‘active tutor’.

      First, reflect on the following questions:

      • What Brought You Here? Was it a desire to understand the mystical experiences that transcend formal religious practices or something else?
      • Expectations from the Course: Do you hope to develop a deeper personal spirituality, or are you looking more to expand your knowledge of other faiths?
      • Understanding of Faith Paths: What pre-existing knowledge or assumptions do you carry about the faith paths to be explored?
      • Potential Challenges: Are there preconceptions, biases, or emotional responses you might need to navigate?

      DURING THE COURSE

      Reflection Process

      This course was created to be a supportive first step for those intrigued by our Spiritual Development and Ministry Training programme. It invites you to deeply reflect on your worldview as you explore various world faiths, using reflection questions at the end of each lesson to guide your introspection. You’re encouraged to journal your thoughts or simply spend a few moments in contemplation before/during/after each module.

      If you’re venturing into our two-year Spiritual Development & Ministry Training, or if you’ve only just discovered this community, examining the draw towards specific faiths and their integration into your journey is key. This initial exploration is pivotal, preparing you to navigate the complexities of different faith traditions and to assist others on their spiritual paths as future interfaith ministers. Our engagement with diverse faiths transcends mere knowledge acquisition; it’s about fostering meaningful connections, discovering new self-relations, and grasping the fundamental similarities that unify the world’s faith traditions.

       

      “There is only one river. There is only one sea. And it flows through you, and it flows through me. There is only one people. We are one and the same. We are all one spirit. We are all one name.” – Peter Yarrow

      WHERE TO GO NEXT

      If you’ve come to us because you felt the pull to engage with our course, to learn more about the world’s diverse faith paths, to embark on a new life adventure, or because you’ve finally decided to answer an inner calling, we’re so delighted to welcome you here. For those of you who are engaging with the Foundations of Belief course as part of your journey in our Birch Pathway, welcome and thank you! We’re thrilled to have you join us and hope the information we offer ignites even more excitement for the journey ahead. And for those of you who are just discovering our training offerings, allow us to extend a warm invitation to explore further…

      OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation is a dedicated education charity renowned for its transformative interfaith ministry training and we are proud to unveil the Birch Pathway. This innovative pathway is meticulously designed for open-hearted adults eager to dive deep into the rich mosaic of the world’s faith traditions. At OneSpirit, we believe that ministry is the active expression of our deepest spiritual values. Our mission is to foster an inclusive global spirituality by preparing adults to serve across the vast spectrum of human belief and experience in our diverse communities.

      We warmly invite anyone drawn to the path of interfaith ministry, with a keen interest in deepening their understanding of true Self and Spirit, to join us. The Birch Pathway offers a sacred space for spiritual exploration, promising an enriching journey into our shared humanity and the multiple ways we can serve Life/God/the Source of All. Whether your encounter with us has been serendipitous or a decision firmly made, we stand ready to support your journey!

      OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation is here to welcome you into a realm of spiritual discovery and service—where your exploration of the world’s diverse faith paths can flourish on the Birch Pathway, a route designed for those willing to answer a deeper calling and to serve the great tapestry of life with open heart and soul.

      Should our 2-year training feel like a step further than you’re ready to take, we hope this course provides you with deeper insights into just a few of the faiths that embody the essence of ‘interfaith.’

      "I really enjoyed this journey and the faith paths covered. It has helped me a lot on my current One Spirit Journey. It has given me an insight into a faith path (Islam) that I have wanted to explore for some time. I would recommend this course to others without a doubt. Thank you for this excellent and informative course." - Michael

      "I LOVED the course so, so much - in fact, I wanted it to never end!" - Eva

      "I loved studying at my own pace and at times which suited me. I thought the course was really interesting and stimulating with an excellent mix of text, videos, links etc. Very well formulated indeed." - Christine

      "The reflective questions were a very good tool for encouraging the relational - how did this Faith Path touch you & where! I thought the questions were very deep and meaningful. " - Carolyn

      "I really enjoyed all of the modules. I have a notebook full of my notes. Sikhism was my favorite because it deepened my understanding and my appreciation. Christianity surprised me with new knowledge of the Nag Hammadi Gnostic Gospels; I purchased two books to read!" - Dianne

      HOW TO ACCESS THE COURSE

      If you are new to the OneSpirit community and have never accessed our website before, you can follow three simple steps to enrol in the Foundations of Belief course.

      Click on ‘Login to Enrol‘ – this will navigate you to the website login page. From there, click ‘register.’ This action will direct you to a registration page, where you will be asked for your first and last name and email address. Once you enter this information, simply click ‘register,’ and an email will be dispatched to you with your login details. We will never spam you or email you without permission, so there’s no need to worry about entering your email! This step is solely for enabling you to log in to the website. Should you wish to subscribe to our newsletter to receive information about other offerings similar to this one, you may do so on this page: https://www.interfaithfoundation.org/contact-us/

      If you are a OneSpirit interfaith minister and you already have a login to our website, you can follow two simple steps to enrol in the Foundations of Belief course.

      Provided you’re already logged into your account on our website, you simply need to click ‘Take this course‘ at the top of the page. From there, the page will refresh, and you’ll notice the text on the orange button change to ‘Start Course.’ Upon clicking this, you’ll be directed to the course page, just as you would be for any other courses you are enrolled in. And that’s all there is to it!