becoming a minister


Purpose of Ministry Training

The purpose of the training for a Unity-and-Diversity Ministry is to prepare men and women who have felt a calling for an interfaith kind of ministry which draws on all religions and spiritual movements and is open to people of all faiths or no specific faith.  This training is open to those who follow a particular faith, to those who are scientifically oriented, and to humanists, agnostics, and atheists, so long as they have an interest in exploring other paths besides their own. The ministry also contains a commitment to social, environmental, and humanitarian concerns. The training studies the main historic religions, some more recent religions, and a number of spiritual movements. It also studies the relationship between science and religion. Considerable time is spent on the practical aspects of the ministry such as leading services, counseling, and conducting various ceremonies, such as marriages, funerals, and dedications.




Ministry Curriculum

This is an older curriculum for the ministry training. The curriculum is in the process of being updated, and revised version should be posted in the next few months.  However, this year discussions on the curriculum are ongoing.  Stay posted for updates…



Minimum Requirements

Academic training equivalent to the lower division at the university, or the Associate of Arts Degree at a community at a community college. Courses taken should include basic psychology, public speaking, and a general knowledge of the natural and social sciences.



Additional upper division college or university training. The Bachelor’s Degree. A working knowledge of a second language.




Older men and women who have had considerable life experience, and have actively participated in present-day religious and/or modern spiritual movements should be permitted to substitute some or all of this background in place of the minimum requirement. “Active participation” should be interpreted to mean involvement and participation in services, lectures, workshops, etc., as well as training obtained by courses of study in these fields.

A working knowledge of a second language (ancient or modern) is desirable.


Overview of the Curriculum:


The Ministerial program is conceived as generally being two to three years in length. Students who present extensive background or study and active participation in areas such as are listed and detailed below may be able to complete the requirements for ordination in one year, which is the minimum length or time based upon the service requirement. Details will be worked out with each student individually.


The areas to be covered are:

1)    The World’s Scriptures

2)    World Religions and Modern Spiritual Movements

3)    The Unity-and-Diversity Approach

4)    Exploring Modern Growth Movements

5)    Related Areas of Study

6)    Practical Aspects of the Ministry


1) The World’s Scriptures

A survey of the world’s scriptures including a consideration of the lives of the great teachers whose works, sayings, or teachings are contained in the respective scriptures or to whom such sayings and teachings are ascribed. In this study the scriptures should be allowed to speak for themselves, with interpretations kept to a minimum. Since the total body of literature in this area is vast, the study will of necessity have to be very selective.


Sections from scriptures of the following religions are to be included:


Hindu—including the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad-Gita

Buddhist—the life and teachings of the Buddha, Zen, the Dhammapada…

Taoist—the Tao Te Ching and the works of Chuang Tze

Zoroastrian—Hymns of Zoroaster, Zendavesta, and Pahlavi texts

Jewish—the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, and others

Christian—The Holy Bible and other materials

Muslim Scriptures—the Koran and other materials


2) World Religions and Modern Spiritual Movements

The teachings that the respective religions and modern spiritual movements have derived from the basic scriptures studied earlier. The cultural, moral, and transcendental impact they have had upon the world and in the United States. How adequately do they meet the needs of the present and the emerging global civilization?


As many as possible of the following should be included:

a)    Defining religion, metaphysics, and mysticism

b)    Eastern and Western religions

  1. Hinduism—Vedanta, Yoga, etc.
  2. Buddhism—Theravadan, Tibetan, and Zen
  3. Taoism and Confucianism
  4. Judaism
  5. Christianity

i.    Catholic—Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox

ii.    Protestant—the principal Protestant denominations Their basis upon the teachings of the great reformers, such as Wycliffe, Luther, and Calvin

c)    Mysticism—Eastern, Christian, Jewish, Nature, etc.

d)    Metaphysical groups—Theosophy, Christian Science, Science of Mind, etc.

e)    Miscellaneous—Society of Friends (Quakers), Baha’I, Mormons, etc.


3) The Unity-and-Diversity Approach

Dynamics of Unity-and-Diversity

Purpose: To foster the emergence of a new universal person and civilization based on the dynamic integration of diversity among all peoples and all life.


Philosophy and scope

Unity-and-Diversity World Council Inc. (UDC)

Unity-and-Diversity Wheel for Universal Cooperation

Member and cooperating organizations

Specialized Affiliates

Geographic Councils


4) Exploring Modern Growth Movements

A survey of modern growth approaches will be included. Students should themselves be in at least one movement such as are listed below. A wide variety of approaches is represented by the member and cooperating groups.


A partial list:

a)    Humanistic psychology, transpersonal psychology, psychosynthesis, etc.

b)    Growth through art, music, the dance, etc.

c)    Meditation and yoga groups.

d)    Similar methods and types of growth groups as listed in UDC’s database


5) Related areas of study

a)    Parapsychology

b)    The developing interface between science, religion, metaphysics, and mysticism

c)    The impact of Eastern teachers and mystics on the American scene

d)    Holistic healing (see separate section below)


6) Practical Aspects

a)    Duties, rights, and privileges of an ordained minister under California law

b)    Principles of counseling: ministerial counseling and advising on personal problems, marriage and family relations, alcoholism, and drug abuse

c)    Organization of material for oral and written presentation (sermon construction)

d)    Development of geographic councils and conferences applying unity-and-diversity principles, conduct of meetings and services, marriages and funerals (training in this phase will be obtained during internship)

e)    Consideration of social and political issues and the proper place of a Unity-and-Diversity Minister in these matters

f)     Ministerial internship (taking part in the worship services, taking on special assignments, etc.)

g)    Training in holistic healing


Holistic Healing Training (for those developing a healing ministry)



The history of healing, East and West

The healer’s own wholeness

The nature of health and disease

Prime cause and essence healing

Diagnosis and the art of de-coding symptoms

Symptom-relief and changing one’s life style

Stages of healing and wholeness

Energy, consciousness and healing

Other-healing and self-healing

Group healing


Healing modalities:

Traditional modalities

Traditional medical modalities

Traditional psychological and psychiatric modalities

New age healing modalities

Mental healing

Psychic and energy therapies

Relaxation therapies

Awareness therapies

The art and healing




The practice of healing:

Legal, medical, and religious issues

Business and professional licenses

Malpractice insurance

Ethics, relationships with other professionals

Office and institutional practice

Holistic health centers

Fear, confidentiality, relationships with clients

Referral, follow-up, research

Continuing education



Other aspects:

Karma and the healing process

Death, dying, and higher consciousness

Positive disintegration as healing

Preventive, social, and educational aspects of healing


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