Celebrating 25 years with our new Sacred Justice Ministry Program!

SACRED JUSTICE MINISTRY
CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

This program is designed for those who feel called to support marginalized communities, regardless
of their spiritual tradition (or no spiritual tradition). Whether you are interested in serving the
homeless, incarcerated, lgbtq+ , refugees or other communities (or the planet itself), this program
will give you the tools to work at the intersection of social justice and interfaith community ministry.

Classes will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Twenty spots will be available each year.

2024

Sacred Justice Ministry Cohort

Applications due August 15th, 2024

First Course Intensive: December, 2024

Program Orientation &
Our Approach

Spiritual traditions have a long history of supporting “the orphan, widow and stranger.” In attempting to create “beloved community”, each of us must examine our
own social locations, areas of privilege and unconscious biases if we are to become effective allies to those we serve. This program recognizes that each of us are
products of generations of systemic oppression and that many of us live with generational and cultural trauma, as a result. Our approach in this program is to hold
compassion for self and others as we collectively work to bring healing into the world.

Program Structure

Core Curriculum

  • Religion as a Tool of Oppression
  • Prison Ministry
  • Religious Wounding & Moral Injury
  • Human Sexuality: Histories, Theologies and Politics of the Flesh
  • Liberation Theologies & SJ Movements
  • Deep Culture & Intersectionality
  • Restorative Justice and Peacemaking Circles
  • Movement Ministry is More than Marches
  • and More….
  • Cosmology and Eco-spirituality
  • Implications for Theology & Ministry
  • Recognizing and Responding to Religious Wounding
  • Systemic Oppression & Spiritual Care
  • Communal Responses, Ceremonies & Rituals
  • Rooting in Resilience: Trauma Informed Spiritual Practices
  • Native Traditions
  • Taoism
  • Buddhism
  • Hinduism
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Christianity
  • Coalition Building & Collaboration w/ Secular NonProfits
  • NonProfits 101
  • Fundamentals of Fundraising
  • Tools of Engagement: Utilizing media, LTEs, PSAs, & Action Initiatives
  • Prophetic Witness: Lobbying, Public Testimony & State Measures/Initiative

Core Curriculum

  • Religion as a Tool of Oppression
  • Prison Ministry
  • Religious Wounding & Moral Injury
  • Human Sexuality: Histories, Theologies and Politics of the Flesh
  • Liberation Theologies & SJ Movements
  • Deep Culture & Intersectionality
  • Restorative Justice and Peacemaking Circles
  • Movement Ministry is More than Marches
  • and More….
  • Cosmology and Eco-spirituality
  • Implications for Theology & Ministry
  • Recognizing and Responding to Religious Wounding
  • Systemic Oppression & Spiritual Care
  • Communal Responses, Ceremonies & Rituals
  • Rooting in Resilience: Trauma Informed Spiritual Practices
  • Native Traditions
  • Taoism
  • Buddhism
  • Hinduism
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Christianity
  • Coalition Building & Collaboration w/ Secular NonProfits
  • NonProfits 101
  • Fundamentals of Fundraising
  • Tools of Engagement: Utilizing media, LTEs, PSAs, & Action Initiatives
  • Prophetic Witness: Lobbying, Public Testimony & State Measures/Initiative

“The Chaplaincy Institute’s new certificate in social justice ministry is a well-designed, thoughtful, appropriate curriculum that works for a number of people: those in mid-ministry who are seeking to be more responsive to their communities or who are reaching out to new ones; those beginning their ministries who are sensing a gap in their preparation; those who are in non-profits who are looking for specific and targeted ways of understanding marginalized people and how to both respond to and advocate for them; people from all walks of life who are interested in exploring ways of being more grounded and more informed as they attempt to
bring their walk more in line with their talk.”

Rev. Irene L. Plunkett, Ph.D., retired educator, Chaplaincy Institute graduate and board member

“I loved the Sacred Justice class! We definitely need this expanded into its own certificate program. Sacred Justice explored the landscape of many activist movements — deep culture, intersectionality, prison ministry, restorative justice, LGBTQ, peacemaking and more. As an Eco-chaplain in training, I had the opportunity to do a deep dive on how to become a catalyst for transformation in a corporate environment. Rivka is a profound teacher and a master at creating sacred space inclusive for all.”

“When I took the Sacred Justice Ministry class, I think every comment on my course evaluation stated that it wasn’t long enough because I wanted more. In my work as a Minister, and soon to be Chaplain, I found the content of this class invaluable. To be clear, this was not my first exploration in Sacred/Social Justice work; however, the content and facilitation was exceptional. The facilitators – particularly Revs. Rivka Gevurtz and Susan Shannon, and Schmian Evans created a safe space to explore deep and important topics of Intersectionality, Allyship, Prison Ministry, and Human Sexuality. I am deeply grateful for everything I’ve taken away from this course and I would love to see it expanded beyond the ChI community. The content can oftentimes create uncomfortability, yet it is invaluable and the way the facilitators set up the space for sharing and personal growth contributed to the success of this course.”

Susan Overland, Centers for Spiritual Living - San Jose, CA

Course Completion Requirements

Eight weekend intensive learning modules for 3 days, from 9am to 4:30pm (PT) each day. Attendance is required on all days. unless student has taken the same core course as part of the chaplaincy program.

Students will meet with their cohort one hour each week for formation, support and collaborative learning.  Decolonizing the educational construct, the focus of two weeks of the month will be to examine and critique the perspectives of the world traditions, mining them for their shared wisdom which can inform how to provide spiritual care in today’s world, as well as attend to the ways these traditions have contributed to oppressive systems.  Students will draw on material from the courses, from research beyond academia, and from their lived experience to envision the role sacred justice ministry can play in bringing healing and empowerment to the disenfrancised. The alternating weeks will be time for the cohort to reflect inwardly on how the learning and their practicum attends to their own formation and ministry, bringing in the spiritual practices which sustain us in this work.

The Chaplaincy Institute believes that applied theology is key to the learning experience.  Each student will discern a justice issue which calls them to action, and will participate in a practicum of 200 hours at either an interfaith or secular justice organization in their area of concern, and in their own localities.  Those students who wish to apply their practicum to a unit of CPE (400 hours) will be given support in how to connect with appropriate organizations to do so concurrently.

In addition to the program director, students will be assigned to a mentor faculty member, who will support them in their journey through the program and their practicum.  The student will minimally meet with their mentor before beginning their practicum and again as they prepare their learning portfolio at the end of the year-long program.

Each student is required to have a personal spiritual practice to which one is committed. The options for a personal spiritual practice are multiple and flexible. Examples include attendance at a weekly worship service, daily meditation or prayer based on a primary faith tradition, yoga, art, journaling, and so on.

Each module has between 300 to 700 pages of reading material assigned. Reading includes some sacred texts from faith tradition such as Islam’s Qur’an, Judaism’s Tanach, Christianity’s Bible, Buddhism’s Dhammapada, and Hinduism’s Bhagavad Gita as well as many other readings on social justice and liberation theologies.

Course Completion Requirements

Eight weekend intensive learning modules for 3 days, from 9am to 4:30pm (PT) each day. Attendance is required on all days. unless student has taken the same core course as part of the chaplaincy program.

Students will meet with their cohort one hour each week for formation, support and collaborative learning.  Decolonizing the educational construct, the focus of two weeks of the month will be to examine and critique the perspectives of the world traditions, mining them for their shared wisdom which can inform how to provide spiritual care in today’s world, as well as attend to the ways these traditions have contributed to oppressive systems.  Students will draw on material from the courses, from research beyond academia, and from their lived experience to envision the role sacred justice ministry can play in bringing healing and empowerment to the disenfrancised. The alternating weeks will be time for the cohort to reflect inwardly on how the learning and their practicum attends to their own formation and ministry, bringing in the spiritual practices which sustain us in this work.

The Chaplaincy Institute believes that applied theology is key to the learning experience.  Each student will discern a justice issue which calls them to action, and will participate in a practicum of 200 hours at either an interfaith or secular justice organization in their area of concern, and in their own localities.  Those students who wish to apply their practicum to a unit of CPE (400 hours) will be given support in how to connect with appropriate organizations to do so concurrently.

In addition to the program director, students will be assigned to a mentor faculty member, who will support them in their journey through the program and their practicum.  The student will minimally meet with their mentor before beginning their practicum and again as they prepare their learning portfolio at the end of the year-long program.

Each student is required to have a personal spiritual practice to which one is committed. The options for a personal spiritual practice are multiple and flexible. Examples include attendance at a weekly worship service, daily meditation or prayer based on a primary faith tradition, yoga, art, journaling, and so on.

Each module has between 300 to 700 pages of reading material assigned. Reading includes some sacred texts from faith tradition such as Islam’s Qur’an, Judaism’s Tanach, Christianity’s Bible, Buddhism’s Dhammapada, and Hinduism’s Bhagavad Gita as well as many other readings on spiritual direction.

Program Leadership

Rev. Rivka Gevurtz holds a Master of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry and was ordained through The Chaplaincy Institute. Prior to entering the ministry, Rev. Gevurtz worked for over 30 years in interfaith and faith-based social justice organizations ranging from Environmental and LGBTQ issues, to elder and youth services.

How Enrollment Works

1 Application

Once you fill out the form, our admissions team will contact you with information about the application process.

2 Admissions Interview

Once we receive your application, we schedule a live interview in a virtual format.

3 Acceptance

You receive an acceptance letter and all that is necessary to get started. Plan on 2 months time to prepare for the first course (administrative forms, student handbook, class reading and homework assignments).

How Enrollment Works

1 Application

Once you fill out the form, our admissions team will contacts you with information about the application process.

2 Admissions Interview

Once we receive your application, we schedule a live interview in a virtual format.

3 Acceptance

You receive an acceptance letter and all that is necessary to get started. Plan on 2 months time to prepare for the first course (administrative forms, student handbook, class reading and homework assignments).

Frequently Asked Questions

Our curriculum is held online through Moodle and Zoom.

Applications for the inaugural cohort are due by June 15th.  Applications will be reviewed by our admissions team, then the program director will be in touch for an interview in late June and early July.  Based on the final cohort’s joint availability an orientation will take place in June with asynchronous learning beginning in August and the first zoom intensive taking place Sept 20-22, 2024.  The weekly cohort meeting will also begin in September, at 4:30 pm Pacific time, on a weekday determined by the group’s availability.

The cost of the program is $9,900, which does not include the application fee, enrollment fee, or other costs. Program costs may be reduced by financial aid as well as waivers received. As part of our start up endeavor, we are committed to obtaining grants for scholarships so that members of marginalized communities can attend at a more equitable rate.

A Bachelor’s degree. If you do not have a Bachelor’s degree, you can apply for an Education Prerequisite Waiver.

More and more credentialing associations and ordaining bodies are requiring their members to be well-versed in the concerns and challenges of social justice, as oppression impacts those we serve.  Through the course and the practicum, students will build skills and will network with professionals to prepare them for a ministry in sacred justice.  Regardless of where your ministry takes you, this certificate program will prepare you for serving marginalized communities. Because of the nature of social justice, and serving “the least of these” this form of ministry does not always have a direct correlation to employment; sometimes it will augment the work you are professionally paid for and sometimes you will be called to create something new or to collaborate in the creation of a coalition of like-minded organizations.  Your own calling will inform how you want to serve in this area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our curriculum is held online through Moodle and Zoom.

Applications for the inaugural cohort are due by June 15th.  Applications will be reviewed by our admissions team, then the program director will be in touch for an interview in late June and early July.  Based on the final cohort’s joint availability an orientation will take place in June with asynchronous learning beginning in August and the first zoom intensive taking place Sept 20-22, 2024.  The weekly cohort meeting will also begin in September, at 4:30 pm Pacific time, on a weekday determined by the group’s availability.

The cost of the program is $9,900, which does not include the application fee, enrollment fee, or other costs. Program costs may be reduced by financial aid as well as waivers received. As part of our start up endeavor, we are committed to obtaining grants for scholarships so that members of marginalized communities can attend at a more equitable rate.

A Bachelor’s degree. If you do not have a Bachelor’s degree, you can apply for an Education Prerequisite Waiver.

More and more credentialing associations and ordaining bodies are requiring their members to be well-versed in the concerns and challenges of social justice, as oppression impacts those we serve.  Through the course and the practicum, students will build skills and will network with professionals to prepare them for a ministry in sacred justice.  Regardless of where your ministry takes you, this certificate program will prepare you for serving marginalized communities. Because of the nature of social justice, and serving “the least of these” this form of ministry does not always have a direct correlation to employment; sometimes it will augment the work you are professionally paid for and sometimes you will be called to create something new or to collaborate in the creation of a coalition of like-minded organizations.  Your own calling will inform how you want to serve in this area.