In-Person (on Zoom) Instruction
For each module weekend, students will sign on to Zoom each day for intensive learning
modules that focus on practical skills, spiritual direction competencies and working with people of
particular faith traditions. Although each module is different, all of them contain elements of
spiritual direction, spirituality, and personal development. During each module a team of core and
guest faculty guides students in an integral learning experience, incorporating theoretical,
practical, and creative elements. Class content in the modules flows between didactic and
experiential artistic and reflective modalities.
In addition to intensive learning modules, students are required to participate in online classes in
the three to six weeks before the module attendance on Zoom. They also work independently on
reading, practicum, and spiritual practices. They communicate with faculty and classmates via
Moodle, email and/or social media.
ChI ’s curriculum has been designed to meet the growing need for inter-religious understanding as a tool for serving the diversity of our world today. Our educational approach is one of multi-modal education, always reaching for the balance of engaging the body as well as the mind and spirit, so that our students may learn to their greatest capacity, while having useful skills and tools with which to serve others.
In addition to recognizing the varieties of faiths and culture in our student body, the curriculum is designed based on the knowledge that individuals learn and receive information in a variety of ways. Renowned educator Howard Gardner, author of Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, identified a variety of styles through which individuals learn.
Over our years of teaching, we have discovered what Gardner calls “multiple Intelligences,” and what we call “ways of knowing.” Some of us know the world through movement or singing; these are kinesthetic or musical learners. We may know the Divine through walking or singing—or, like the Sufi Dervishes, as we turn or dance as a form of prayer. ChI has found that the most effective education begins in the cultural comfort zone of didactic presentation and providing foundational context, as a strong framework for study and understanding. Subsequently we build on this foundation, weaving all the elements of our program together through experiential and creative learning modalities.
This educational methodology of interweaving promotes an exciting learning environment and encourages individual ways of knowing—as well as serving as a foundation for understanding differences in the ways that others come to know themselves and their relationships to family, community, and Divinity.