OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation proudly embodies an enduring tradition of fostering peace, nurturing compassion, and empowering forgiveness. Throughout our extensive history, we’ve adhered to these foundational principles that span generations and continents.

Over time, we have expanded to become an educational charity that provides comprehensive training in interfaith ministry, spiritual guidance, sacred activism, and the mastery of ceremonial practices. We deeply cherish our commitment to exploring the richness of various faith traditions and global wisdom, while advocating a universal spirituality that fully embraces all perspectives and paths.

As of now, we take pride in nurturing over 1,000 ministers across the globe. These individuals now serve as Interfaith Ministers, celebrants, or spiritual companions in their respective communities, contributing significantly towards a world rich in spiritual diversity and depth.

But where did we come from? Why were we founded? Here, we will journey through our past, so you can see the foundation from which our present has been built.


The impulse for this specific work began in the 1970s, arising in tandem with other worldwide movements to inspire compassionate expressions of human and all sentient life.

The catalyst for this particular field of work was the Holocaust during the Second World War. In facing this atrocity, a group of diverse religious leaders in the USA – including Rabbi Gelberman – enquired into what it was that they might do if they united their leadership influence.

From the start, the impulse was therefore not so much centred on dialogue between different faith paths. Instead, the focus was on the power and usefulness that their shared leadership influence could bring to attend to the suffering of the world, were they to face in the same direction.

“Peace has no point if it’s not lived. Love is fruitless unless given. So live your peace. Give your love. And as Mahatma Gandhi said: be the change you wish to see in the world.” – OneSpirit’s former Director of Education, Jackie Amos Wilkinson.


OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation’s origins go back to 1981 when The New Seminary was founded in New York, USA by Rabbi Joseph Gelberman. Together with others, Rabbi Gelberman was inspired to support the exploration of how diverse religious and spiritual leaders might serve the world. The New Seminary arose from this inspiration, enabling others to come and develop within this intention.

Years later Diane Berk, a core part of the New Seminary faculty, founded the Interfaith Seminary, also in New York. In the mid-1990 the founder of our UK organisation, Miranda Macpherson (then Holden) undertook the USA training. With the support of the USA school and others, Miranda was inspired to open The New Seminary in the United Kingdom. The first two-year programme to train interfaith ministers and spiritual counsellors in the UK was launched in October 1996 in London with the first Ordination held in 1998.

As our organisation’s leader for its first 10 years, Miranda developed a steady growth in student numbers; recruited a talented team of faculty and visiting speakers; and led the development of new teaching methods and materials. Miranda stepped out of the Seminary’s leadership in 2006. Now known as Miranda Macpherson, she teaches and leads spiritual retreats around the world.

In 2002 we changed our name to The Interfaith Seminary, echoing changes taking place within our colleagues in the USA. In 2004 we became a registered charity, operating under English law as an educational trust.


As our founder embarked on a new path, the transformation within our organisation was natural and expected. This period was pivotal, marking what could be termed the democratisation of our structure. Leadership responsibilities previously centred on a singular individual began to diversify, with the faculty broadening both in number and geography. Training sessions extended beyond London to locations including Manchester, Edinburgh, and Gloucestershire, a testament to the decentralisation of expertise. It was during this era that we embraced a profound realisation—the core teachings of our training were not anchored to any single individual. Rather, they resonated with a collective voice, delivered with authenticity and a dynamic spirit by our united faculty across the UK.

Ordination, too, experienced a conceptual evolution. The journey to ordination transitioned from a single teacher’s blessing to a deeply personal rite of passage. It was during this time of silence and reflection that ordinands discovered their ordination as a vital, internal awakening. In the latter half of our history, specifically in 2011, we embraced a new identity as the One Spirit Interfaith Foundation. This rebranding not only honoured the evolving nature of our connection with our American counterparts but also acknowledged our expansion beyond a seminary to include a vibrant community of ministerial graduates.

The Ordination Ceremony marks a pivotal point in the transformation into an Interfaith Minister—a celebration woven with profound significance. Our 2018 Ordination & Graduation Ceremony highlight video encapsulates the soul of this ceremony within OneSpirit, each year adding unique nuances derived from the diverse journeys of our students. Despite the individuality, there are enduring pillars that unite these ceremonies, creating a harmonious and symbolic continuum.

At the core of every ordination ceremony is the fostering of a deep and supportive community, a microcosm of the inclusive and expansive interfaith movement. This bond is tangible during the ceremony, echoing the collective resolve, elation, and spiritual awakening of all involved. Our approach to ordination pays tribute to the arduous and spiritual ascent of each graduate while symbolically ushering them into their new vocation as interfaith ministers. It’s a celebratory nexus where personal convictions and shared commitments meet, enshrining mutual respect and understanding.

Each graduate steps into their ordination in an ambiance of solemnity, amid a circle of fellow students, faculty, and loved ones. This ceremony mirrors the comprehensive, all-encompassing education they have received and marks their readiness to guide others with confidence and compassion, irrespective of differing faiths or beliefs.

By sharing our highlight video, we invite you to experience the essence and unity of our ordination ceremonies—a heartfelt finale to our training and the dawn of a lifelong path of service and spiritual discovery for our newly ordained ministers.


OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation is now a living field of circles within circles including faculty, trustees, staff, supervisors, students, post-graduate students, all our ministers, resonant fellow colleagues in similar organisations, clients of our ministers, and the family and friends of all our ministers.

The need for the presence of OneSpirit, and the impact of its training upon all whom it touches, has never been more timely or relevant. In a world of profound beauty, searing suffering, and complex challenges, the inquiry that this process facilitates enables the heart’s truth to be embodied, and all that blocks it, to be brought home with compassion.