"Learn to be quiet enough to hear the genuine within yourself so that you can hear it in others."
— Marian Wright Edelman
The ISCC program is designed to support students in developing five foundational interspiritual companioning & counseling competencies:
- Commitment to Personal Interspirituality
- Embodiment of Sacred Presence and Service
- Active Respect and Inclusion of Others
- Cultivation of Personal Ethical Behavior
- Facilitation of Spiritual Growth
The 9.5-month Core Curriculum includes these specific areas of study:
Essential Interspiritual Companioning/Counseling Skills: Students will learn key concepts and practices that are fundamental to serving as a skilled Interspiritual Companion/Counselor, such as understanding interspirituality, maintaining a personal practice, Sacred inquiry and listening, shadow work, cultural competence, and self care. These practices will be integrated throughout ISCC, with the aim of promoting continual learning and skill development.
Awareness and Engagement Lenses: Students will explore what it means for Interspiritual Companions to maintain a perspective of wholeness, cultivate and lead with self awareness, build authentic connections while maintaining safety and appropriate ethical boundaries, and effectively manage power dynamics in companioning relationships.
Pathways for Cultivating Spiritual Wisdom: Students will learn about key concepts related to spiritual growth, maturation and journeying (e.g., Soul Maps, Sacred Archetypes, Mysticism, Engaging the Body as a Source of Wisdom), which serve as a basis for assisting people in finding and following their own spiritual path. The guidance shared will draw from various faith and wisdom traditions as well as models for human growth and development.
Common Issues in Interspiritual Companioning/Counseling: Students will explore issues that often arise for those who seek spiritual companionship (e.g., life transitions, relationships as healing ground, grief and loss, forgiveness, work-related stress, seeking clarity about one’s purpose). Students will also engage in practices that can be used to companion others in supportive, culturally responsive ways when these issues emerge.
Practical Tools in Interspiritual Companioning/Counseling: Students will be introduced to a variety of tools and methods designed to assist those they companion in connecting with their inner wisdom, intuition, and authentic selves, inviting Divine guidance and assistance, deepening their experience of the Sacred, and embracing their wholeness. In addition, ISCC will explore how interspiritual companioning skills can be applied in various professional roles and provide guidance for those seeking to establish a private practice and/or facilitate group work.
For the 2021-2022 year, we will offer these four Concentrations that allow for deeper development of Interspiritual Companioning/Counseling skills in a chosen area:
Eco-Spirituality: Companioning Mother Earth. We now understand that there is a spiritual dimension to our present ecological crisis. For too long we have neglected or viewed Nature as a resource to do with as we saw fit. A new worldview is dawning upon us, though: We are integral to the health and well-being of all life. How then, do we reconnect with what we feel we have lost, or never connected with in the first place? How can we recognize the interconnectedness of all life? This concentration will provide an experiential journey into Nature as Spirit manifest in the world. Eco-Spirituality will guide us in seeing the cosmic journey we are all on, so that we may be spiritual guides companioning others seeking to realize this journey.
The Heart of Resilience. The key to resilience begins in our heart. Whatever stresses one may be experiencing in life – whether they are related to a health crisis, job uncertainty, daunting financial challenges, the struggles of a loved one, an unexpected loss, or simply feeling overwhelmed by a rapidly changing world that seems more volatile in the midst of social change and climate crises – a powerful question is present within each of them: How do we face our challenges with an open heart and grow from the valuable lessons they contain? This concentration will offer Spiritual Companions practical guidance informed by real-world experiences and reflective tools that can be used to support others in exploring this crucial question with clarity, compassion, and courage.
Spiritual Activism. In this concentration participants will explore the history, diverse concepts, and practical application of Spiritual Activism. Through a multicultural lens, the exploration will examine its origins, the relationship with standard forms of faith and spirituality, and how it has evolved since the late 19th century through to the present. Participants will explore the art of Interspiritual companioning/counseling through this lens and consider how spiritual activism will contribute to societal transformation, whether through a personal context, 1:1 companion/counseling, or working in group settings.
Companioning within the Workplace. The workplace has, for many, become a profane space led by a singular, bottom line focus. We have a sense that discussions of faith are not welcome (at best) or illegal (at worst). And yet, inherent within the gathering of humans is the creative potential of the sacred. This concentration examines the variety of ways that are emerging within the workplace to engage with the fullness of the spiritual lives of workers. During this concentration, we will discuss the various intersections between spiritual companioning and elements of the workplace (e.g., management theory, diversity, working in teams, leadership, influencing, sustainability, mentoring, etc.) as well as our own personal development as spiritually mature leaders working to navigate the ineffable.