Embark on the Birch Pathway
The next step in your spiritual journey Awaits
OneSpirit’s Spiritual Development and Ministry Training programme has emerged as a groundbreaking response to the ever-changing challenges of our contemporary world. With over 25 years of experience, we guide receptive individuals towards inner leadership development, tailoring our methods to address the evolving needs of humankind.
We offer training for those who want to contribute towards the evolution of consciousness amongst humanity and deepen the expression of love, compassion and respect for self and others. Our Ministry training draws on the wisdom traditions inherent in the world’s many faith paths and explores the role of spiritual accompaniment, sacred activism, ritual, and ceremony in today’s world. Our curriculum is grounded in learning how to nurture our innate capacity for making peace with our experience of the world, and how to use these insights and skills in developing inner leadership.
We welcome everyone who feels called to deepen their understanding and awareness of Self and Spirit, in whatever form that takes for you. We are committed to sharing our journey of exploration into what it means to be human.
- OUR VISION: A world in which humanity awakens in an inclusive, global spirituality that encompasses us all in a field of love and life.
- OUR MISSION: To work towards evolving consciousness in the world, by facilitating open-hearted people to awaken to inner leadership and their capacity for forgiveness, reconciliation and peacemaking.
- OUR TOUCHSTONES: Inclusivity, compassion, authenticity, spiritual transformation.
JOIN A COMMUNITY OF OVER 1,000+
GROW YOUR UNIQUE & PERSONAL MINISTRY
ENGAGE IN A FULLY ONLINE TRAINING
"It has made me more reflective and contemplative about the effect I have on the world and the effect the world has on me. It feels like a very solemn and sacred commitment and I am interested to see where the journey will take me. I do find it challenging as it brings up internal conflicts that I would prefer to leave alone but I can also sense that I am growing positively through examining these internal struggles."
– Caroline, Current OneSpirit Student
KEY FEATURES OF THE BIRCH PATHWAY
Building on the success of the Aspen Pathway, we’re delighted to bring you The Birch Pathway for 2024. The Birch Pathway will be our second intentional offering of a fully online programme; nurturing dynamic self-reflection, cultivating empathic listening for personal and ministerial growth, exploring inclusive spiritual practices, and delving into the heart of community service.
The two-year journey will be delivered entirely online; weaving together live weekly webinars, resources in our bespoke online classroom, and a dedicated student communications platform, all with the intention of nurturing your development. You will learn what it really means to meet people where they are in sacred service, whatever form this may take for you. The outer and inner curriculum purposefully intertwine to guide you in intentionally shaping your ministry so you can be of service to your communities and the world.
THE FOUR OBJECTIVES
You will journey through the development of the whole self by an active inner exploration of what spirituality means to you, implementing physical and mental practices to dive ever deeper into your self-development.
DEEP EMPATHETIC LISTENING
Deep listening is central to our curriculum, enhancing your self-awareness, spiritual connection, and ability to appreciate global faiths and perspectives— crucial for personal growth and effective ministry outreach.
SELF-AWARENESS THROUGH SELF-REFLECTIVE PRACTICE
You will explore a range of self-reflective models and how
to implement these in your own practice to deepen
your self-awareness and personal growth.
YOUR PERSONAL MINISTRY
Integrating all the above, you will embark on an enquiry
into who, and what, the community is, exploring
the interconnectedness of all beings.
Our curriculum is fluid and ever-changing, deeply experiential in nature, responding both to the world around it and the students within it. No two years are the same, and it changes each year because it has to; the world isn’t the same today as it was yesterday. Our approach to delivering our curriculum transcends traditional teachings, fostering a dynamic interplay between students and tutors to uncover a deeply experiential experience for our students. Our training goes far beyond acquiring knowledge and participating in the living nature of our curriculum is at the heart of your experience with us. For us, the students help to shape the curriculum, the experiences you bring with you have a profound impact on those around you and what you bring with you contributes the your own experience and the experience of your peers. You contribute to the collective wisdom of your class and so each year and each pathway is as unique as the students that are experiencing it. The curriculum, focused on interfaith ministry, is structured around six intertwined strands throughout the two-year programme.
THE SIX STRANDS
FAITH PATHS & WORLDVIEWS
We explore core principles of the world’s religions faiths and spiritual traditions, cultivating respectful, hospitable attitudes to cultural and religious differences through empathy and an experiential willingness to ‘walk in the shoes of the other’; we practice empathy, and look to finding the common ground in the basic human capacity for love.
CEREMONY & RITUAL
We reflect on the power of ritual and ceremony at the heart of family, faith and community, as we journey through the stages of life and death. We focus particularly on sacred elements of ritual and on the major rites of passage around baby blessings, partnership or marriage blessings and funerals and how we bring our own creativity to these timeless expressions of humanity.
DEEP LISTENING SKILLS
We emphasise truly listening – a practice that involves not just our ears, but also our hearts. By understanding and acknowledging the experiences and viewpoints of others, we develop our ability to communicate with empathy. This deep listening fosters a personal connection that transcends words, opening a gateway for genuine understanding and dialogue.
MINISTRY OF SPIRITUAL ACCOMPANIMENT
Putting our deep listening skills into practice by offering support just like a trusted friend would do. We learn to be truly present for others, holding space for heartfelt conversations, and walking alongside them without judgment.
We explore helpful models, theories and practices and encourage grounded, holistic forms of spiritual practice, including physical forms of energy and bodywork, which resource us in our self-development, nurturing and informing our self-care and self-awareness. A key aspect of this strand is the development of self-reflective practice, as we encourage reflecting on our own life experiences and the emotions tied to them.
SPIRITUAL & PASTORAL SERVICE IN THE COMMUNITY
Born from a desire to bring people together after conflict, we work on ways to build peace within ourselves and our communities. We aim to contribute to a healthier society and a better planet by learning how to resolve conflict in a kind and inclusive manner.
Here you can find out more about what to expect from the way our curriculum is delivered. Our faculty teams draw on extensive experience in online facilitation to offer a deeply rich online experience. Simply click on the ‘arrow’ to learn more about each.
Tuesday evenings will become dedicated to your weekly class webinars facilitated by your class tutors, as well as guest speakers. You can expect these to be deeply experiential in nature, with active participation and they are an essential part of the two year training.
You will be placed in a study group with your fellow peers to connect, support, and nourish each other. You will meet roughly every 4-6 weeks, joined by a member of your tutor team, with supporting guidance to direct your time together.
1 - 1 MEETINGS
You will be supported throughout the training through 1-1 meetings with your tutor team, reflecting together on your journey through the training. These meetings will take place roughly every 4-6 weeks.
Our bespoke online classroom will nurture your independent learning. The resources we share with you in this space are a fundamental part of your journey. Each week, we will share new materials for you to engage with to prepare for your weekly webinar.
During webinars, 1-1 spaces, and study groups you will notice the ways the sacred is invited into the seemingly every day. You are encouraged to maintain a daily spiritual practice that will support you in your ministry.
The Birch Path will have a purpose-built and intentional online communications platform. All Birch students and tutors will be present in this space which we have found to be foundational in creating and maintaining an online community.
"I am finding new ways of interacting with colleagues at work. More conscious of the beauty of listening. More conscious of life's broken wings. More conscious of the light that can be fanned or dimmed with my thoughts, my words my way of communicating. "
– Audrey, Current OneSpirit Student
YOUR TRAINING COMMITMENT
Our two-year training goes beyond the practical and is a deep inner journey that encourages inner exploration, building deeper bonds with the self, others, the planet, and the divine presence within and outside of us. This truly is an experiential journey, one that requires a deep commitment and active doing. The world needs individuals committed to being of sacred service, who can meet people where they’re at regardless of their backgrounds or experiences and see the divine in every being; our training is curated in such a way that nurtures individuals into being the ministers the world needs today. You may have a clear vision of what your ministry might look like, or you might not be sure. All are welcome. You might be drawn to working in a public-facing role, or your ministry might be more private. Your Post-Training Opportunities are truly endless… as both expressions have a profound impact on the world around us. We are seeking mature adults, ready to take the next step in their own spiritual journey wherever they may be on that path. Our training requires an active presence in all spaces. We expect active engagement in our online webinars, commitment to reading online materials and dedication to maintaining the online community through our communications platform. You should expect to carve out time for daily spiritual practice. Embarking on our training is an investment in yourself, and you owe it to yourself to give it the commitment both it and you deserve. You are living your ministry each and every day, whether in the classroom or out in the world, and this is at the heart of our curriculum.
Our two-year Ministry Training is a demanding course that requires a high level of commitment. We know it can sometimes feel difficult to know if you’re ready for that next step in your journey, and you often won’t know if you can give the training the dedication both it and you deserve until it starts. This year we are introducing a 3-month attunement period from the date the training starts in October 2024. During the first 3 months of the training, you will be in close conversation with your tutor team to ensure that the training is the right fit for you right now. These conversations will open up honest dialogue rooted in deep listening, to ensure there is mutual agreement that you are ready to walk this path at this moment in time. We hope introducing this will settle any commitment jitters, and should you step away from the training within the attunement period, you will only pay for the training you have received to date (calculated on a pro-rata basis).
YOUR FINANCIAL COMMITMENT
At OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation, we stand by our commitment to making our high-quality training programs as affordable and accessible as possible. As an educational charity, every decision we make is deliberately oriented to ensure our fees remain relatively low without compromising the excellence of our curriculum delivered by adept faculty. We understand that making a substantial payment upfront might not be feasible for everyone. That’s why we’ve designed flexible payment options, including an extended payment plan that enables you to spread the cost over as many as 60 months. Our payment plans commence as soon as your Training Agreement is submitted, with the first instalment processed immediately. To offer more flexibility, we also provide an option to pay your fees in two annual instalments. Here, the fees for the first year are processed right away, while your second year’s fees are billed in September 2025. We earnestly strive to bridge the gap between you and your spiritual growth, making it as seamless as possible. For more information, go to our Training Investment page.
WHO ARE ONESPIRIT STUDENTS?
I’m based in Sligo, in Ireland. I love to be in ceremony, in nature, in stitches laughing… even all three at once if possible. I felt called to [the training]. I feel strongly that people from my intersecting communities deserve to feel welcome and connected and accompanied in exploring what faith can be for them. I am autistic, trans, queer and highly creative, from an academic, scientifically-minded background, with my spiritual experiences woven through time spent in buddhist, shamanic and mystical Christian traditions. The idea of Interfaith ministry really appealed to me as a way to help me figure out what an alternative ministry, that is open to learning and connecting with multiple faith paths and cultures, might look like.
I am a curious open-minded seeker of what it is to be a human. It’s been an internal journey of self-inquiry to explore the many layers of complexities & parts to discover what is my ‘true authentic self’. With much of this curiosity surrounding that which cannot be seen, or fully explained. Having undertaken a variety of spiritual training’s, together with a study of the psychological aspects of human development, I felt I wanted a platform from which they all could be somehow incorporated. On reading One Spirits Core Beliefs this resonated with an opportunity for me to delve deeper into my questioning & bring all these fragmented strands of my learning into one cohesive whole.
I am 59 years old and live in the coastal town of Westport Mayo. I have always enjoyed serving my community, and am involved in many volunteer roles. I have always tried to live a meaningful life filled with purpose and service. I keep myself very fit and play golf, squash, and run. I enjoy connecting with other people, love playing music with friends and good food. [I have] a desire to serve my community in a deep and meaningful way.
"The curriculum is really well thought out and manages to be both challenging and gentle at the same time. It is genuinely broadening my perspectives and opening me up to new ways of being in relationship. "
– Ben, Current OneSpirit Student
"I am very impressed with the professionalism of the Curriculum in both its content & delivery by the Tutors. The building blocks of the Curriculum have been thoughtfully considered, providing plenty of opportunities to research further the richness & diversity of the topics introduced at each Gateway. I am already noticing that I am challenging some old held beliefs & behavioural patterns that may no longer serve me."
– Gina, Current OneSpirit Student
"I see this as an opportunity for self improvement and personal growth. I am gaining valuable knowledge and the experience of those who have gone before me."
– Tony, Current OneSpirit Student
ABOUT YOUR TUTOR
Annie’s passion for experiential spirituality and soulful humanity has led her, over the last three decades, into diverse faith paths, spiritual traditions and cultural communities. Through study and relationships with friends, neighbours and colleagues, Annie has been touched by the privilege and challenge of being welcomed into others’ worlds. Annie shares this ongoing and self-reflective exploration in the Ministry training programme.
Alongside her tutor role at OneSpirit, Annie is currently engaged in a ‘grassroots’ voluntary ministry in a local urban project, where she is the ‘garden chaplain’ of a therapeutic gardening project for vulnerable members of the local community. Annie is drawn to this ministry through her lifelong affinity with the natural world, which is nourished through her druidry practice. She finds particular meaning in empowering others to share in cherishing and regenerating green spaces – including in improving the quality of life for all in urban environments. A favourite topic of conversation for Annie is the wonders and mysteries of her garden pond!
Annie is an experienced spiritual coach and qualified chaplain, with NHS training in mental health spiritual care in an interfaith context. She draws on a degree and MA from Cambridge University in Theology and Religious Studies and her professional formation as a teacher, undergirding her commitment to diversity and social justice issues of inner cities. Annie joined OneSpirit as a tutor in 2016 and is ordained. She enjoys working with classes in day workshops, residential and online contexts and is interested in how we form deep, mutually enriching connections through these different approaches. With a side-line in mural painting and a prolific writer, Annie has published numerous books and articles offering reflections and ceremony resources, particularly about key interests in the Feminine Divine, deep ecology and the mystical heart of sacred texts.