Frequently Asked Questions
IN THE CLASSROOM
HOMEWORK & ASSIGNMENTS
PROGRESS REVIEW & SUPPORT
ORDINATION & GRADUATION
FEES & PAYMENTS
IN THE CLASSROOM
Can I join after the course has already started?
The nature of the course, and the way the group forms a learning circle means that it is particularly important to be present at the very start of each of the two years. It is unlikely that we would support absence from these sessions.
What time do classes start and finish?
Class sessions in the London study Centre run from 9.30am to 5.30pm Saturday and Sunday.
Class sessions in the Ireland study Centre run from 2pm on Friday through to 5pm Sunday
Class sessions in the Distance Learning Option start with a three day intensive and run weekly base for three hours.
Out of respect to the learning of the group, we ask that you are present ready to start on time, and if you think you may be delayed, inform your group tutor as soon as possible.
What if I am unable to attend a class?
If for reasons beyond your control, you miss a session, you should arrange to have a member of your study group take notes for you. However, please note that our training is highly experiential, and learning is dynamic, resulting from our time together as a group, and therefore notes cannot be regarded as a substitute for attendance. Should you miss more than two days in either training year, you may be asked to repeat that year again at your own expense.
If an absence is unavoidable, please discuss this with your tutors in advance, or at the earliest opportunity.
Are there any technology requirements I need to be aware of?
You will need to be available by Skype, phone and e-mail throughout the training, and have online access to the website and other platforms we provide. It is essential that you make provision for this prior to starting the course.
For those accessing the training via the Distance Learning Option, it is essential that you have access to fast broadband, an up to date computer and that you are comfortable using technology.
Are the dates and locations of the training fixed, or are they liable to change?
We strive to deliver the training between the dates and at the locations publicised in our information pack, on our website and elsewhere. In exceptional circumstances, we may have to change the venue in order to ensure the quality of your experience is everything we hope it to be. Sometimes this may also impact on dates although we recognise the importance of being able to plan ahead, so dates will only be changed if there is no alternative.
Whilst we will make every reasonable effort to deliver the training at the same locations and venues in the second year, we cannot guarantee this. We will confirm dates and locations for the second year at least 3 months before it starts.
HOMEWORK & ASSIGNMENTS
What are study groups?
Study groups are small peer learning groups which meet every four to six weeks. They are a requirement of the course so you will be expected to attend Study Group meetings and take responsibility, with others, for the effectiveness of the group. Your relationship with the study group and the group tutor assigned to you will substantially deepen and enrich your experience of the training.
What homework is required & what if I am late with my assignments?
In each year you will be expected to complete a number of short written assignments - each of which can be no longer than 2 sides of A4 paper. It is important to try to get these to your tutors on time – however we know that sometimes life can get in the way! If you think you might have trouble meeting a deadline, discuss it with your group tutor as soon as possible.
Do I have to attend the retreats?
Yes retreat the 1st year retreat is an essential part of the training - if it not attended you can’t continue onto the second year. The second year retreat is an essential part of the ordination process and must be attended to move forward into Ordination.
PROGRESS REVIEW & SUPPORT
How is my progress reviewed?
Your tutors witness the ways in which the training works through each person. You will be in an ongoing process of being seen and encouraged, and this will include receiving feedback about your perceived readiness for the successful completion of each of the two years.
How much support can I expect from tutors?
With over 20 years’ experience of delivering this training, we have carefully calibrated the ratio of tutors to students to ensure that each of you is held and supported throughout the training.
Each student will be allocated to a group tutor who will offer advice and support throughout the training. You will be expected to join your group tutor for a one-to-one session by telephone or Skype every six weeks. Your group tutor will also support the development of the deep and effective functioning of your study group, visiting the group occasionally (perhaps through technology), and being available for supporting the group with challenging situations, and by observing and supporting the group when the study groups meet during the training weekends.
What is the purpose of supervision?
Supervision is a space for sharing, reflection, relationship modelling and inquiry, offered by a supervisor to the student spiritual counsellors, that both safeguards the clients well being and deepens the student counsellors understanding and practice.
We recommend you have a supervisor from our list of accredited supervisors for the whole of the second year. In order to complete the two case studies that are part of the spiritual counselling module you will need to experience group supervision, which is provided by tutors on the Friday afternoon before 2nd year training weekend, and have three one to one sessions with your own personal supervisor.
What level of personal commitment do I need to bring to the training?
Most important of all is to participate fully in the class – and to bring your wisdom and energy to the exercises you do. You will be expected to continue to deepen and refine your spiritual practice and relationship with the God/Goddess of your understanding on a daily basis – and to be prepared to lay aside at least 30 minutes or more for this express purpose daily.
Those who join the training embark on a dynamic, experiential journey in the company of faculty and fellow students. The process of this training will typically take each group member and the group itself into experiences of healing and deepening. Much of this will be overtly joyful. Some of it may be uncomfortable or harder work in places. This is the nature of true learning and the depth of self-inquiry may be challenging – to get the most out of the experience it is essential that you bring a sense of personal enquiry and a sincere openness to hearing honest feedback.
It is a requirement of the training that you commit to uphold OneSpirit’s Code of Ethics.
ORDINATION & GRADUATION
What does ordination as a OneSpirit Interfaith Minister mean?
For some, if they join the register of ministers, it means they may join the list of solemnizers and hold legal weddings. For others it means the freedom to use the title of reverend, not to elevate them, but to remind them of their reverence for all life. For all it means a quiet acceptance of an inner spiritual authority that is both radical and profound.
After successfully completing training two ceremonies mark the passage of ordination. A vow taking ceremony on retreat in which all ordinands say their own personal vow witnessed and affirmed by their class, tutors and other ordained ministers. Later at a more public facing ceremony witness by family and friends ordinands step forward in silence and stand alone to receive their ordination from the natural, pre-ordained, ordinary, sacred, original, essential authority of who we truly are. On the self-affirmed authority of the Divine Self, the God Within, the Great Silence, the Source, the Call It What You Will – it is within, as it is above, below and between too. They then step back into the circle to have this experience blessed and affirmed by tutors and those present.
This is a radical and profound shift away from another person, an outer authority, being the conductor for the energy of ordination. And it is the shift towards the awakening of inner authority: the need to be able to receive ordination having forged its meaning in one’s own inner language, 100 per cent in choice, and in communion with one’s own alignment within Grace.
Please note that in order to attend the retreat at the end of second year to take your personal vow, you will need to:
• be up-to-date with all homework assignments
• be up-to-date with your fee payments
• have completed your Minister's Manual
Are the terms ‘graduation’ and ‘ordination’ the same thing?
Ordination is a choice at the end of the two year training, ‘in addition to’ rather than as an assumption upon completion of the course requirements. Ordination is an indication that each candidate has their own and the faculty’s agreement that they are ready, in essence, to serve authentically.
What happens if I’m not ready for ordination after graduation?
The timing of ordination can extend beyond the two years and may be re-considered and chosen in years after the successful completion of the two-year training.
OneSpirit reserves the right to delay graduation and/or ordination and may request that a student undergo additional training or growth before being ordained. This may involve additional expense. It is essential that each student preparing for Ordination is seen by their tutors as being deeply aligned in their whole being with OneSpirit's Code of Ethics.
FEES & PAYMENT PLANS
What if I can’t afford your fees?
We recognise that undertaking the training is a significant financial commitment. As an educational charity, we do all we can to keep our fees as low as possible whilst offering an exceptional training curriculum held by an experienced and highly skilled Faculty. Our Finance Officer can talk you through the support and guidance available for funding your training. We offer a series of payment plans of up to 60 months, interest free.
Do you charge interest on your extended payment plans?
No, we don't charge any interest on our extended payment plans.
How do your extended payment plans work in practice?
You will have the option to sign up using either card details or by creating a direct debit mandate, and we will collect the payments for the plan you have chosen at monthly intervals. Your payment plan will commence from the month you complete your Training Agreement.
Why does the online training cost the same amount as the Residential options when there’s no accommodation/meals required?
The Online training option costs the same as our residential trainings because we invest in the quality of our bespoke online training, tailoring content specifically to the class in a way that involves week to week production costs e.g. video filming & editing, content design & publishing, bespoke online hosting platforms. The Online training fee also includes accommodation/meals for the 3 day opening intensive retreat & 3 day end of year closing retreat.
Can I legally conduct weddings once I've graduated from OneSpirit?
OneSpirit Ministers can legally conduct weddings in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Ireland.
Some Ministers can conduct legal Weddings in England depending on the registration specifics of the venue/building/church. The laws in England and Wales are changing slowly and we are actively involved in seeing our training accredited in step with these changes.
There is no legal component to holding other ceremonies - anyone can hold a funeral, baby blessing etc
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