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Below is a list of minimum requirements. Additional preparation may be required or recommended on a case-by-case basis. Once candidates begin the program, they will fulfill the following:
Attend agreed upon modules within the Interfaith Studies Certificate Program and complete all related homework and field studies.
Complete an assessment with an approved provider. Documentation of successful completion of a previous assessment will be accepted in lieu of this requirement if that assessment has taken place within the previous five years.
• Complete a brief self-assessmet paper to define one's Interfaith theology and address various aspects of the Core Competencies of Ministry as defined by The ChI Interfaith Community.
• After completing the paper, the candidate meets with ChI’s Community Minister and a member of ChI's clergy to review their paper, discuss their self-assessment, reflect together on the process of transferring their Ministerial Standing and/or having Dual Ministerial Standing, and discern if the candidate and the community sense a mutual readiness for the candidate to be received into our community as an ordained Interfaith minister.
Read and then write reflection papers on:
• The World’s Religions: Our Greatest Wisdom Traditions by Houston Smith
• The Sapphire Staff by Rev. Megan Wagner
Complete a practicum of field service, determined on a case-by-case basis, in an area of interest that relates to one’s call to ministry. If you have completed one or more units of Clinical Pastoral Education and/or your current employment represents the ministry you intend to pursue, it will serve as your practicum. This requirement is intended to provide a broader preparation for ministry and is intended to “stretch” the candidate. So you may be asked to pursue something other than your current employment if your work history/experience is somewhat limited. We will work with you on this requirement to make it the most productive and meaningful it can be.
Meet a minimum of 6 times with a spiritual director or a therapist/counselor with a spiritual focus, who is hired independently and compensated for their services directly by the candidate.
Choose a faith tradition other than your primary faith tradition into which you will delve deeply through:
• Reading and reflection from the sacred texts of that faith tradition.
• Attending at least three public worship services, i.e. Temple, Mosque, Ashram, etc.
• Meeting at least three times with a leader of the faith tradition (i.e. Rabbi, Imam, Priest, etc.) who can answer questions and give general support and guidance in understanding the spiritual needs of the followers of their faith tradition.
• Submitting a paper documenting activities and offering reflections on how the experience has informed and supported the candidate’s preparation for interfaith ministry.
In addition to spiritual site visits that take place while attending ChI modules, it is also important that a student become familiar with the interfaith landscape in his or her own community. The spiritual site visits requirement is to visit local worship services/spiritual centers for three traditions other than the student’s primary faith tradition and other than the secondary faith tradition he or she is studying.
• For instance, if someone is Jewish and is studying Christianity as a secondary faith tradition, the three site visits might be to a Mosque, a Hindu Ashram, and a Buddhist Temple.
• The intent is to have the student engage and interact personally with different expressions of each faith tradition beyond reading and observation.
• The student is required to write a brief “sites-visit summary report” that provides details of the three site visits as well as personal reflection on the contextual, cultural and spiritual impact of these visits on the student’s formation as an interfaith minister.
Those who engage in either the Transfer of Ministerial Standing or the Dual Ministerial Standing process do so with the understanding and intention that they will become active in the life of our community, which includes giving and receiving support from fellow clergy and the larger ChI Interfaith Community, participation in community events (either in person or virtual), filling volunteer roles, furthering the cause of Interfaith understanding both locally and globally, and supporting The Chaplaincy Institute’s ongoing mission through prayer, volunteer efforts, and financial support.
If pursuing Dual Ministerial Standing, the candidate must also provide written proof that he or she has Ministerial Standing with his or her original/current ordaining faith group and provide confirmation from the original/current faith group that they support the minister’s desire to hold Dual Ministerial Standing. This will help ensure transparency between the candidate’s original/current faith group and The ChI Interfaith Community.