FAQ for prospective students
Below are some commonly asked questions which we hope will help you find any answers you may need. However, if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to Contact us.
Do I have to attend an Intro Day?
No. While we strongly encourage applicants to join us at one of our free Intro Day events as a way of getting to know more about us and the training we offer, this is optional.
What do I need to do before applying?
Before starting on the application form, you will need to seek permission to share contact details of 2 x character referees (not a partner or relative). We will contact them for a reference after you have submitted your application form.
How do I apply?
You can find the online application form here once enrolment opens.
Please take your time completing the form – it asks some straightforward questions as well as some deeper, more reflective questions about your life and spiritual path. If you accidentally close the window whilst still completing the form, don’t worry, your information should be saved within the form, provided you open the link in the same browser on the same device. If you need any help or have any questions about your enrolment form, please contact us.
What happens next?
Once your form has been submitted, we will contact your referees. When references have been received and provided these are satisfactory, we will then arrange for an interview with a member of our enrolment team via video call at a time convenient to you.
Following this interview, if your application is approved by faculty, you will receive confirmation from OneSpirit, with a link to complete your Training Agreement and set up your payment plan.
Once we receive your completed Training Agreement and your first payment, we will issue confirmation & letter of invitation to join the training. Before the start of the course, you will receive details of how to log-in to the resources provided for you as a student, and support will be available to you then to make sure everything is ready for you to get off to the best possible start.
IN THE CLASSROOM
Can I join after the course has already started?
The nature of the course, and the way the group forms a learning circle means that it is particularly important to be present at the very start of each of the two years. It is unlikely that we would support absence from these sessions.
What if I am unable to attend a class?
Out of respect to the learning of the group, we ask that you are present ready to start on time, and if you think you may be delayed, inform your group tutor as soon as possible. If an absence is unavoidable, please discuss this with your tutors in advance, or at the earliest opportunity.
If you miss a session, you should arrange to have a member of your study group take notes for you. However, please note that our training is highly experiential, and learning is dynamic, resulting from our time together as a group, and therefore notes cannot be regarded as a substitute for attendance. In the case of repeated absences, should your tutors feel that your progress on the course has been significantly affected, you may be asked to repeat that year again at your own expense.
Are there any technology requirements I need to be aware of?
To fully participate in the training, all students will require a computer that is connected to the internet, access to Zoom, and a basic level of proficiency in routine tasks like accessing the web, use of email and word processing for the purposes of writing assignments. We provide students in all our classes with learning materials and resources via our bespoke online learning platform.
We also provide a dedicated messaging platform that allows students to communicate with each other, as well as our tutors. This messaging platform is our main vehicle for communicating with students, so it is essential you can access this from the beginning of the training. There is no technical expertise required, it is a relatively simple matter of downloading and installing the app – full instructions will be given at the start of the course, and again, there is always help on hand from our team if you need assistance.
In order to participate in our online webinars, you will need access to a stable internet connection, a fully working computer with a web camera, and be comfortable using technology to join video calls. For most of our online sessions we will be using Zoom. You should make provision for these requirements prior to starting the course. If you are in any doubt about any of these requirements, please contact a member of the team and we will be glad to give you guidance.
Are the dates and locations of the training fixed, or are they liable to change?
We strive to deliver the training between the dates and at the locations publicised in our information pack, on our website and elsewhere. In exceptional circumstances, we may have to change the venue in order to ensure the quality of your experience is everything we hope it to be. Sometimes this may also impact on dates although we recognise the importance of being able to plan ahead, so dates will only be changed if there is no alternative. In the event of this, we will make every effort to communicate these changes with you at the earliest convenience.
HOMEWORK & ASSIGNMENTS
What are study groups?
Study groups are small peer learning groups which meet every four to six weeks. They are a requirement of the course, so you will be expected to attend Study Group meetings and take responsibility, with others, for the effectiveness of the group. Your relationship with the study group and the group tutor assigned to you will substantially deepen and enrich your experience of the training.
What homework is required & what if I am late with my assignments?
Throughout the two years, you will be expected to complete a number of assignments to support your journey through the training. Our online classroom provides all the necessary guidance for these, and you can always reach out to your tutor team and fellow students for support. It is important to try to get these to your tutors on time – however we know that sometimes life can get in the way! If you think you might have trouble meeting a deadline, discuss it with your group tutor as soon as possible.
Do I have to attend the retreats?
If you are on the Sylvan Path, all retreats are an essential part of your training as our curriculum is delivered through this medium, and as such attendance at all retreats is required.
If you are on the Aspen Path, there are no in-person requirements, this training is delivered through online weekly webinars. Attendance at these webinars is expected, although we understand that things might come up which may prevent you attending a session. In these instances, please inform your tutor team as soon as possible.
PROGRESS REVIEW & SUPPORT
How is my progress reviewed?
Your tutors witness the ways in which the training works through each person. You will be in an ongoing process of being seen and encouraged, and this will include receiving feedback about your perceived readiness for the successful completion of each of the two years.
How much support can I expect from tutors?
With over 25 years’ experience of delivering this training, we have carefully calibrated the ratio of tutors to students to ensure that each of you is held and supported throughout the training. Each student will be allocated to a group tutor who will offer advice and support throughout the training. You will be expected to join your group tutor for a one-to-one session by Zoom, roughly every six weeks. Your group tutor will also attend your study group meetings.
What is the purpose of supervision?
Supervision is a space for sharing, reflection, relationship modelling and inquiry, offered by a supervisor to the student that deepens the student’s understanding and practice. We recommend you have a supervisor from our list of accredited supervisors for the whole of the second year. Vouchers towards the cost of supervision are included in your course fee.
What level of personal commitment do I need to bring to the training?
Most important of all is to participate fully in the class – and to bring your wisdom and energy to the exercises you do. You will be expected to continue to deepen and refine your spiritual practice and relationship with the God, Goddess, Spirit, or Source of your understanding, daily. We ask that you are prepared to lay aside at least 30 minutes or more, each day for this express purpose.
Those who join the training embark on a dynamic, experiential journey in the company of faculty and fellow students. The process of this training will typically take each group member and the group itself into experiences of healing and deepening. Much of this will be overtly joyful. Some of it may be uncomfortable or harder work in places. This is the nature of true learning and the depth of self-inquiry may be challenging – to get the most out of the experience it is essential that you bring a sense of personal enquiry and a sincere openness to hearing honest feedback.
Our Spiritual Development and Ministry course is a deep, radical programme of transformation. This demanding and challenging training requires a high degree of self-awareness, self-motivation, and self-examination from all participants. As with any programme of this nature, there is the potential for unresolved issues, traumas, or other wounds to be brought into awareness for attention, healing, and resolution.
The design of the training ensures that each student is deeply supported as they go through this journey of self-enquiry. However, we must be clear that this training is not therapy, and we ask you to carefully consider your own state of readiness before undertaking this course. We also strongly advise all students to consider the other supports they have available in their life. You may find independent counselling or other therapeutic supports invaluable in helping you deal with any difficult personal material that may emerge during the course and deepen the process of self-enquiry.
ORDINATION & GRADUATION
What does ordination as an interfaith minister mean?
Ordination is not a given. If you complete the course and graduate and have demonstrated the necessary skills and competencies for ministry there is an opportunity for you to be ordained. Those ordained can choose to use the title of Reverend, not as a mark of status but as a reminder of their reverence for all life, signifying a quiet acceptance of an inner spiritual authority that is both radical and profound.
Many go on to choose to offer service as celebrants, or spiritual counsellors, or to be of service in a myriad of other ways. For those who choose to join OneSpirit’s register of ministers (ROSIM), it means they can identify themselves as a OneSpirit Interfaith Minister, use our logo and hold themselves accountable to the standards we recommend for public ministry.
What does ordination as an interfaith minister entail?
After successfully completing the training, two ceremonies mark the passage of ordination:
- first, a vow-taking ceremony in which all ordinands say their own personal vow, witnessed and affirmed by their class, tutors and other ordained ministers;
- later, at a more public facing ceremony witnessed by family and friends, ordinands step forward in silence and stand alone to receive their ordination from the natural, pre-ordained, ordinary, sacred, original, essential authority of who we truly are. On the self-affirmed authority of the Divine Self, the God Within, the Great Silence, the Source, the Call It What You Will – it is within, as it is above, below and between too. They then step back into the circle to have this experience blessed and affirmed by tutors and those present.
This is a radical and profound shift away from an outer authority, being the conductor for the energy of ordination. And it reflects the shift towards the awakening of inner authority, with ordination having forged its meaning in one’s own inner language, 100 per cent in choice, and in communion with one’s own alignment within Grace. Ordination requires a deep, ongoing commitment to OneSpirit’s Code of Ethics – your status as an interfaith minister may be revoked if you are found to be in breach of this code.
If you choose to enter public ministry at some point following ordination, you will be expected to join the Register of OneSpirit Interfaith Ministers (ROSIM), which will allow you to use the title of OneSpirit Interfaith Minister, subject to the conditions of membership and your commitment to remain accountable to the standards we require for public ministry. If you do not join the professional register, you can, of course, still identify yourself as an independent interfaith minister trained by OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation, but your ministry will not be recognised or endorsed by OneSpirit.
What happens if I’m not ready for ordination after graduation?
The timing of ordination can extend beyond the two years and may be re-considered and chosen in years after the successful completion of the two-year training.
OneSpirit reserves the right to delay graduation and/or ordination and may request that a student undergo additional training or growth before being ordained. This may involve additional expense. It is essential that each student preparing for Ordination is seen by their tutors as being deeply aligned in their whole being with OneSpirit’s Code of Ethics.
Are the terms ‘graduation’ and ‘ordination’ the same thing?
No, you can graduate without going on to ordination. Ordination is a choice at the end of the two year training, ‘in addition to’ rather than as an assumption upon completion of the course requirements. Ordination is an indication that each candidate has their own and the faculty’s agreement that they are ready, in essence, to serve authentically.
Please note that to be eligible for ordination you will need to:
- be up to date with all your course work and assignments.
- have your tutors’ confirmation that you have the skills and competencies required for ministry.
- be up to date with your fee payments.
Is an interfaith minister the same as a celebrant?
OneSpirit does not run a celebrant training programme, there is much more to training as a minister than developing the skill to hold a ceremony. Indeed, even experienced celebrants can be drawn to undertake our training to add a deeper spiritual dimension to their practice and their ceremonies. However the training does prepare our students to conduct ceremonies as interfaith ministers, such as wedding blessing ceremonies (with no legal aspect), funerals, baby namings and other rites of passage.
If I become an interfaith minister, will I be able to conduct legal ceremonies such as weddings?
Ministers can be authorised to hold the legal aspect of a wedding ceremony, depending on regulatory frameworks that can differ according to location. Ministers in Scotland and Northern Ireland can apply to be nominated by OneSpirit to join the legal Solemniser registers. For ministers in Ireland, nominations to the legal Solemniser register held by the GRO are made by the Association of One Spirit Interfaith Ministers of Ireland. In all cases, membership of the Register of OneSpirit Interfaith Ministers is a requirement. Please note, nomination requires additional training, and it could be up to 12 months after ordination before you meet the necessary requirements as a new minister. We will not support ministers seeking to transfer from being nominated by OneSpirit to another nominating body.
Do interfaith ministers have to belong to a particular religion?
Interfaith ministers do not adhere to any particular religion or creed, unless it is the path of the individual minister; we all come to serve others on whatever pathway they are on, from our own pathway, whatever that is.
FEES & PAYMENT PLANS
How do your extended payment plans work in practice?
If you choose to take advantage of one of our extended payment plans, you will be required to set up a direct debit or authorise a credit or debit card for us to take regular payments in line with your agreed plan. You will have the option to sign up using either card details or by creating a direct debit mandate, and we will collect the payments on the agreed schedule for the plan you have chosen. Your payment plan will commence from the month you complete your Training Agreement.
You must remain fully up to date with fee payments in line with your agreed payment plan at all times. It is your responsibility to ensure there are sufficient funds available on your chosen payment method to meet your agreed monthly payments. Missed payments may incur an admin fee of £25 for each missed payment after the first occurrence. Failure to adhere to the terms of the payment plan may result in the full amount of fees becoming due immediately.
Our extended payment plans are offered in good faith and failure to maintain payments in accordance with your training agreement may be regarded as a breach of OneSpirit’s Code of Ethics. Your status as a graduate of OneSpirit and (if ordained) as an interfaith minister are dependent on your fulfilment of the terms of your training agreement and may be revoked if you do not honour this contract.
What if I need flexibility with fees?
We recognise that undertaking our training is a significant financial commitment. As an educational charity, we do all we can to keep our fees as low as possible whilst offering an exceptional training curriculum held by an experienced and highly skilled Faculty. Our Finance Officer can talk you through the support and guidance available for funding your training. We offer a number of flexible payment plans, including the option to spread payments over 60 months.
Can I pay off some of my fees in a lump sum?
Yes, you can, but please note we do not accept ad-hoc or ‘as & when’ payments. We cannot accept a promise of payments when my house sells or when I get my inheritance or any variation of same.
When you enrol, you must choose a payment option & make the 1st payment via this plan. If you then decide you have a lump sum you wish to apply to your fees, please email the Finance Officer who will arrange this.
Can I change my payment plan after I have started?
Yes, you can. For instance, if you signed up to a 20 month payment plan and need to extend it longer at any time during your training, ie to 60 months, the Finance Officer will calculate how much has been paid to date & let you know what the new term & amount will be. You can of course also choose to change to a shorter payment plan.
Do you offer scholarships or bursaries?
No, we’re sorry but there are no scholarships currently available to students entering the training. Should you have a change in your financial circumstances (e.g. illness, loss of income, etc.) after you have started the course, then a bursary application may be considered, although funds are limited. Bursaries are not intended for students who cannot afford the fees from the outset & who are looking for support from the outset with meeting their fee payments. Additionally, please note that bursaries are intended only to help students meet fee payments in cases of real hardship, and are not available for help with incidental expenses like travel to retreats, books, stole, supervision, etc.
Can I delay the start of my payment plan?
No, your place on the training will not be confirmed until your payment plan is in place and operational. For instance, if you complete enrolment in July for the October intake, the payments will start in July and continue every month from then forwards.
Can I change the date of my monthly payments?
Yes, but you must let the 1st payment go through, e.g. if you sign up & initiate your payment plan on the 15th of the month but need the subsequent payments to go through on the 27th, we can change the subsequent payments (i.e. after the 1st payment has gone through) to 27th monthly. Please write to the Finance Officer who will change your payment date from the 2nd payment onwards.
Whilst we are willing to adjust your payment date in exceptional circumstances, this is not something that we would agree to do on a regular basis.
The system is asking me to enter my credit card details but I don’t have a credit card
The credit card option works equally well with a debit card. Don’t worry, you don’t need to apply for a credit card.
I live in Ireland - can I set up a direct debit?
No, we can only accept Direct Debits from customers with UK Banks. Please use the credit/debit card option if you do not have an account with a UK bank
Can I pay some other way, i.e. cash, cheque, banker’s draft, or BACS?
No, we only accept payments through our charging system Chargebee, i.e. Direct Debit (for UK banks) or credit/debit card option.
What happens if my card expires, or is lost or stolen?
The system will write to you 5 days before your card is due to expire. There is an option to then create your own on-line account. Please note that when you create your own on-line account, the system will ask you for an OTP = One Time Password. This will have been texted to the mobile number you provided when setting up the on-line account. You can then update your card details yourself.
If your card is lost or stolen, please write to the Finance Officer. She will delete your current card details and send a “request for payment method” to you via the system.
Please do not send new card details by email
How will I know when my next payment is due?
If you signed up on the 16th, all payments will then come out on the 16th unless you have asked to have that changed.
The system will notify you a couple of days before taking a payment from your account – this gives you the opportunity to ensure there are adequate funds in your account to cover the payment.
How will I know that my payment has been successful?
You will receive an automated email via the system every time a payment is made.
If your payment has failed, for instance due to insufficient funds, you will receive an email notification, giving you the opportunity to add funds to your account to cover the next payment attempt or to make a manual payment.
The system will continue to try to take a payment on 4 different occasions. Please note that your Training Agreement includes the requirement that you ensure there are always adequate funds in your account to meet each payment.
My Direct Debit does not seem to be working - what should I do?
Direct Debits take several days to be set up by the issuing bank and then several days for the payment to process. The system will alert the Finance Officer if the Direct Debit has been unsuccessful. Even once the Direct Debit is set up, it takes 5-7 days from the initiation of the Direct Debit to the payment actually being taken from the student’s bank.
My card has a daily limit but I would like to pay by Option 1 - what should I do?
In this scenario, please sign up to Option 2 to complete your enrolment and secure your place on this year’s training. Then email the Finance Officer who will work with you to find a solution. You will still be eligible for the discounted price of Option 1
I’d like to pay by Option 1 but cannot get the funds for another month or so. Will you reserve my place on the training?
We’re sorry but your place on the training is not confirmed until payment is received. We suggest you either wait to enrol for the training, or choose Option 2 and contact the Finance Officer once your funds are in place
Do you carry out a credit checks for those opting for an extended payment plan?
No, we do not carry out credit checks. It is your responsibility to ensure:
- you have a valid payment method on file at all times
- you have sufficient funds to meet each monthly (or yearly) payment
Do you have a question that’s not answered here?
Contact us here & we’ll happily get back to you…