In the heart of the 1970s, amid a world yearning for healing, an extraordinary genesis occurred.

Diverse religious leaders, stirred by the profound impact of world events such as the Holocaust, united under a singular, potent aspiration: to serve humanity and alleviate its suffering.

This coalition wasn’t merely about interfaith dialogue; it was a bold commitment to leverage their collective influence for the greater good, transforming empathy into action.

THE BEGINNING: This unique movement was sparked by a desire to forge compassionate responses to the needs of both humans and all beings capable of feeling, resonating with worldwide shifts towards greater understanding and peace. In the United States, figures like Rabbi Gelberman alongside others posed a revolutionary question: What monumental outcomes could be achieved if their leadership was unified in addressing the world’s anguish?
THE FIRST TEN YEARS: The roots of the UK’s Interfaith Ministry trace back to the founding of The New Seminary in New York in 1981 by Rabbi Joseph Gelberman. This was an institution built on a visionary premise—to explore how leaders from the world’s diverse spiritual traditions could collaboratively address the pressing needs of the planet. This vision, born in the US, found fertile ground across the Atlantic when Miranda Macpherson transplanted this ethos to the United Kingdom in the mid-90s. The inaugural programme to train interfaith ministers launched in London in 1996 marked the beginning of an era, echoing the pioneering spirit from which it sprung.
THE NEXT TEN YEARS: As the organisation journeyed on, it welcomed transformation, expanding its leadership and extending its influence across the UK, reaching from London to Manchester, Edinburgh, and near Gloucester. This period signalled a philosophical evolution—the democratisation of teaching and the concept of ordination—moving beyond the framework of a single, central teacher to embrace the collective wisdom of a cohesive faculty.
THE PRESENT: Today, the OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation stands as an intricate mosaic of interconnected circles, comprising faculty, trustees, staff, students, and an extensive community of ministers and allies. Amidst a time when the world navigates through unparalleled beauty and complex challenges, OneSpirit emerges as a beacon of hope and transformation, inviting everyone to step across the threshold into a realm of compassionate understanding and unity.
The journey of OneSpirit, rich with growth and adaptation, remains an enduring testament to the power of unity and shared purpose in nurturing a spiritually enriched world for all. As we traverse this path of inclusive spirituality, we celebrate the wealth of diverse beliefs, united in our service to humanity and the natural world. Join us in this unfolding story of hope, collaboration, and spiritual exploration, as we continue to pave the way towards a future of profound connection and shared human dignity.