Course Descriptions

Our INTERFAITH MINISTER PROGRAM is based on six groups of subjects or elements: 1) comparative religion (CR), 2) philosophy and religion (P), 3) practical ministry (PM), 4) spiritual counseling (SC), 5) nonprofit management (NM), and 6) social and environmental justice (SC). Our feeling is that a proper training program to become an Interfaith Minister should require comparative religion and practical ministry but should go well beyond those subjects. The Interfaith Minister of today and tomorrow needs a firm background in philosophy and religion as well contemporary social and environmental justice. In addition, Interfaith Ministers need to be able to provide spiritual counseling and create as well as direct one or more nonprofit organization.

A two-year Interfaith Minister Program cannot cover each of those elements comprehensively. Therefore, the Academy has only two introductory courses in nonprofit management and spiritual counseling as well as one introductory course in social and environmental justice in our Interfaith Minister Program. We do believe these topics are important to Interfaith Ministers so the Academy does offer advanced programs for students who wish to engage in further study to improve their knowledge and skills.

We offer inexpensive in-person and online classes. The tuition cost is $100 USD per credit hour. There are no fees. Normally a student will take 12 credit hours each semester and the affordable $1,200 tuition cost is due at semester registration prior to the start of the semester.

In most of our online classes, our format is asynchronous, which allows students to move at their own pace within established time limits and then prepare written answers to one or more lesson study questions. An Academy instructor or course discussant will provide the student feedback on their written work. In some situations, answers can be one sentence but in other situations a good answer might require several paragraphs. For most in-person classes, students will cover two lessons per class session and develop answers to study questions prepared by the instructor. Oral feedback will be immediate and then the student will submit written answers to the study questions. The instructor or course discussant will provide written feedback to the student answers.

If you wish to see a brief description of a course, click on the course name in the following chart.

Module Number(Group-Module) YEAR 1 Courses  CREDIT HOURS
CR101 The Spiritual Brain 1
Skeptics and Believers 3
 P Understanding Evil 3
CR 102 Origins of the Ancient Civilizations 1
CR 103 Comparative Religion 2
CR 104 Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad 3
CR 105 Comparative Religion 2
Philosophy 0f Religion 3
CR 106 Great Minds of the East 3
P 104 Philosophy and Religion in the West 3
P 105 The Ethics of Aristotle 1
CR  Religion of the Axial Period 2
CR  Great Minds of the East 2
 CR Great World Religions: Judaism 1
CR  Introduction to Judaism 2
 CR Old Testament 2
CR Great World Religions: Christianity 1
First Year Review and Ceremony
Students are asked to go to Torah Study and check out others religious experiences in various faith traditions.
YEAR 2 Courses and Lessons
 CR Great World Religions: Hinduism 1
 CR Great World Religions: Buddhism 1
 CR Buddhism 2
 CR New Testament 2
 CR Making the New Testament 1
CR 111 Lost Christianities 2
CR 112 History of Christian Theology 3
CR 113 The Christian Enigma: Back to the Message 3
CR 114 Great World Religions: Islam 1
NM 101 Introduction of Nonprofit Management 2
NM 102 Grants and Fund Raising 2
PM 101 Sermons and Ceremonies 2
PM 102 Ethics and the Ministry 2
SC 101 Introduction to Psychology in the Context of Religion 2
SC 102 Introduction to Spiritual Counseling 2
SJ 101 Introduction to Public Policy in the Context of Religion 2
Second Year Review, Graduation, and Ordination
Students are asked to volunteer in one or more charitable or religious based nonprofit organizations.


Year 1 Courses

The Spiritual Brain

Human beings appear to have spiritual brains capable of feeling deeply connected to something greater that themselves and that can develop intense beliefs about religion and God. The human brain can engage in practices such as prayer or meditation that result in powerful spiritual experiences that exist in every tradition and society. Spirituality also appears to have positive effects on people’s mental and physical health. Spiritual practices, beliefs, and phenomena are expressed and experienced in various ways, but no matter how human beings are spiritual, modern neuroscience offers insights into the meaning and nature of spirituality.

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Skeptics and Believers

Beginning with modernity starting in the 17th century, human thought, regarding intellectual and cultural authority, of our greatest minds shifted from divine authority and past practices to reason. New questions about God, faith, and religion emerged. Truth was no longer revealed but had to be discovered by careful inquiry and thoughtful reason. This course explores the different conclusions reached by those great skeptics and believers as they shaped Western intellectual thought.

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Understanding Evil

Over the ages, we have defined evil in various ways and each perspective does have a remarkable impact on how we approach coping with the subject. For example from the beginning of civilization, we defined evil in terms of a great cosmic battle but later thought defined evil as “unripe” or “missed the mark” action of an undeveloped person or society. One need only watch vampire movies to see the cosmic battle perspective on the big and little screen. In contrast, psychology and various training programs adopt an “unripe” and “missed the mark” perspective where education, training, drugs, and therapy become the answer to evil. Because evil is commonly what religion addresses, the topic is important and therefore this course explains various perspectives of what is evil. What is surprising are the many perspectives that exist and the implications of each perspective to religion.

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Origins of the Great Civilizations

The Bronze Age (3500 to 1000 B.C.) and Early Iron Age (1100 to 500 B.C.) civilizations provide a means to understand the role of religion in society. Although some might find these civilizations remote, their study reveals the fundamental contributions of the ancient Near East to later Western civilization.  What becomes clear is that religion was critical in shaping past and present civilization. This course presents the achievements and contributions from the early Sumer to Persia.

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Comparative Religion

Religion is a central feature of human life almost regardless of the culture. We see many indications of religion every day, but religion is surprisingly difficult to define or comprehend adequately. This course provides a systematic and comparative framework for understanding the complex and multidimensional nature of religion. It explores the many similarities that link all religions, as well as major differences among many of the world’s religious traditions.

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Philosophy of Religion

This course begins with some careful attention to what philosophy is and a careful demarcation of the sort of religion that the course scrutinize philosophically. Attention is focused entirely on a religious tradition generally called “ethical monotheism.” Particular attention is focused on the notion of divine existence as an issue for what philosophers call “epistemology” or “knowledge theory.” The central questions of the course are: (1) Can humans know whether the claim “God exists” is true or not? (2) If so, how? (3) If not, why not?

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The Ethics of Aristotle

This course examines Aristotle’s (387-321 B.C.) views on ethics commonly called virtue ethics–most of which was present in his Nicomachean Ethics. Often called “the philosopher of common sense,” Aristotle offers an extremely balance account of many ethical questions. The goal of this course is to present his ideas and to suggest that his views on ethics still bears tremendous relevance for our own age and what the practice of religion can and should teach to its members.

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Philosophy and Religion in the West

This course is an historical examination of the interaction between philosophical traditions and religious traditions in the West. The course begins with the roots of the philosophical tradition in ancient Greece, examining how Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and the neoplatonist  philosopher Plotinus dealt with issues concerning God, the soul, and the nature of the cosmos. The key concepts which this tradition contributed to Western religion are (1) the Socratic practice of critical inquiry, (2) the Platonist theory of intelligibility, and (3) the notion that the ultimate truth we seek to understand is timeless Forms or essences which our souls perceive with the “mind’s eye.” From this notion comes the philosophical concepts of the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul, the Fall, and “going to heaven.”

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Religions of the Axial Period

The German philosopher termed the years 800–200 B.C.E. the Axial Age because of its pivotal importance in the evolution of human thought. This course explains the new thought of this age and why this revolution of thought, which occurred around the world, is so important to us today.

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Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad

Confucius, the Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad are among the most important and influential persons in history and are the subject of this course. They are remembered for the examples of their lives, their insights into the human condition and the nature of ultimate reality, which are contained in the religious movements they inspired. These four persons have deeply affected so many human lives and this this course examine these four figures both separately and comparatively. The course goal is to grasp the essential features of their lives and teachings and to explore the factors that contributed to their greatness. The course will address the similarities and differences in their messages, in the patters of their lives, and in the ways they impacted their followers and the rest of the world.

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Great Minds of the East

The men and the women whose ideas shaped the traditional cultures of Asia have an impact on the inhabitants in the East and increasing in the West. Therefore, a basic understanding of Asian thought is indispensable for anyone traveling to that part of the globe, trying to make sense of international politics, or interacting with people and products with roots in Asia, or even for those who simply want a fuller picture of the human condition. It is not possible anymore to study only Western thought and history and then claim one knows the major intellectual thought of the world. Not only is the variety and richness of the Eastern intellectual tradition breathtaking but is essential to understand in an ever closer world society. This course is an introduction to the most significant thinkers in Asian history. It is eclectic, with attention given to influential figures in philosophy, religion, history, literature, political science, and technology.

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Great World Religions: Judaism

The purpose of this brief course is to explain Judaism as it is understood by its past and present adherents.

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Introduction to Judaism

This course presents the religious aspects of the Jewish civilization as it evolved. Judaism is about the Torah, the Jewish Bible, the Talmud, and other important writings but it is also a living religious variety of traditions that people live now and in the past.

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The Old Testament

This course is an introduction to the history, literature, and religion of ancient Israel and early Judaism. The course provides insight into the fundamentals of the Jewish faith and the books that have shaped the Christian tradition.

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The Great World Religions: Christianity

Christianity is one of religion’s great success stories. Beginning as a sect of Judaism in an obscure province of the Roman Empire in the 1st century C.E., it became the official religion of the Roman Empire by the 4th century, dominated the cultural life of Europe for much of its history, and now counts more that two billion adherents throughout the world. This course provides a sense of Christianity as a whole in its most essential features. This brief introduction to Christianity provides a clear survey of the most important elements of this religious tradition and a framework for the student’s further study.

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Year 2 Courses

Great World Religions: Hinduism

This course is an  introduction to Hinduism, one of the world’s great religions. The lessons are investigations into a variety of important dimensions of Hinduism that address fundamental questions of interest to serious students of comparative religions. The lessons move chronologically through the history of Hinduism–from its earliest precursors through its classical manifestations to its responses to modernity. Along the way, the salient aspects of Hindu life are discussed and placed in historical and theological context.
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Great World Religions: Buddhism

This brief course surveys the history of Buddhism–from its origin in India in the sixth and fifth centuries B.C.E. to the present day. The course introduces students to the astonishing vitality and adaptability of a tradition that has transformed the civilizations of India, Southeast Asia, Tibet, China, Korea, and Japan and has now become a lively component in the cultures of the west.

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The course begins by exploring the religious and cultural world of the Buddha in ancient India. To understand the Buddha’s contribution to the religious history of the world the student must understand the context in which the Buddha lived. In ancient India, before the time of Buddha,  problems were expressed in the Vedas, the body of classical Hindu scriptures. The Vedas introduce us to scholars and ritual specialist who searched for the knowledge that would free them form the cycle of death and rebirth. The Buddha inherited this quest for knowledge and directed it to his own distinctive end.

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The New Testament

The New Testament is undoubtedly the single most important book in the history of Western civilization, whether seen as a religions book of faith or as a cultural artifact. It is probably also the most widely disputed and misunderstood. This course approaches the New Testament from a historical perspective, bracketing questions of belief and theological truth to acquire a historically rich grounding for our understanding of these foundational documents. The course begins with with the historical context in which the New Testament was written, considering both the world of Greco-Roman pagan cults and the world of early Judaism-examining, that is, the beliefs, scared spaces, liturgical practices, and distinguishing features of the religions surrounding the birth of Christianity.

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The Making of the New Testament

This course answers  basic questions about the New Testament: what books does it contain, when were they written, by whom, for what purpose, how were they copied and transmitted, and when and why were they collected as a canon of Scriptures.

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The Historical Jesus

From the late Roman empire, through the Middle Ages, down to the Reformation, and into our own day, no institution has wielded such economic, political, and cultural power as the Christian church. And behind it all stands Jesus, a man who continues to be worshiped throughout the world, by over a billion people today. Jesus of Nazareth is undoubtedly the most important figure in the history of Western civilization. The course presents a discussion of the four Gospel of the New Testament, which everyone agrees are the principal sources of knowledge about Jesus. These books were nor written as dispassionate histories for impartial observers. The authors of the gospels were not eyewitnesses to the events they narrate as they were writing several decades after the events they describe.  The gospels tell stories that the authors had heard–stories that had been in circulation year after year among the followers of Jesus.

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History of Christian Theology

This course surveys major developments in the history if Christian theology, which is the tradition of critical reasoning about how to teach the faith of Christ. Taking the centrality of Jesus Christ as the distinctive feature of Christianity, it focuses on theological concepts by relating them to Christian life and experience, including especially practices of worship. The course begins with the first Christian theological writings: the books of the New Testament, the earliest of which, the letters of Paul. The course proceeds to examine the theology of the early church, how it read the Jewish scriptures and how it used Greek philosophy, as well as how the very idea of official Christian doctrine and its opposite, heresy, arose in response to the large variety of early Christianities. The survey of ancient Christian theology concludes in Part I by presenting three key doctrines: Trinity, Incarnation, and grace.

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Lost Christianities

Prior to the establishment of orthodox Christian faith, the Christians of the second and third centuries held a remarkably wide range of beliefs. Although some of these beliefs may sound ludicrous today, at the time, they seemed not only sensible but right. Some Christians maintained that there were two Gods, or twelve, or thirty, or more. Some Christians claimed that Jesus was not really a human being, or that he was not really divine, or that he has two different beings, one human and one divine. Some Christians believed that this world was not created by the true God, buy by a malicious deity as a place for punishment for human souls, which had become entrapped here in human bodies. Some Christians believed that Jesus’ death and resurrection had no bearing on salvation, and some Christians believed that Jesus had never actually died.

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The Christian Enigma: Back to the Message

This course looks at the possibility of an alternative vision or interpretation of the Jesus message that is spiritual in character.
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Great World Religions: Islam

Islam today is the second largest and fasted-growing world religion, with majority populations in 56 countries spanning North Africa to Southeast Asia and significant minorities in Europe and the United States. Despite its more than 1.2 billion adherents, many in the West know little about the faith and are familiar only with the actions of a minority of radical extremists. Islam has had a significant impact on world affairs, both historically and in the contemporary era. Therefore, it is important to understand not only what it is that Muslims believe, but also how their beliefs are carried out both privately and publicly, both as individuals and as members of the Muslim community. Like most major religions, Islam is no monolithic. Nevertheless, Muslims share certain core beliefs, the practices, interpretations, images, and realities of Islam that vary across and space. The focus of this course will be to better understand Islam’s role as a religion and as a way of life.

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Introduction to Nonprofit Management

Often Ministers are called upon to management nonprofit organizations such as large and small churches but also service organizations such as housing for the poor and educations institutions. This course is a basic introduction to nonprofit management. The Academy offers a large set of courses for those interested in pursuing this aspect of being a minister.

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Getting Grants and Fund Raising

Managing nonprofit organizations requires money and that means fund raising and applying for grants. This is a short course on how to raise funds properly and how to apply and manage grants.

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Sermons and Ceremonies

Ministers preform a variety of ceremonies but the most common is a weekly service. This course teaches students how to conduct such a service and gives them practice in developing a quality sermon. In addition, students are shown how to do other services such a baby naming, funerals, celebrating major events of life, and so on.

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Introduction to Psychology

This course introduces a student to the important academic subject of psychology. Counseling is a major part of what a minister must do and the foundation of counseling is psychology. The Academy offers a set of courses on counseling for those ministers who wish to focus on this aspect of being a minister.     

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Spiritual Counseling

This course covers psychological principles and clinical skills used in pastoral and spiritual counseling.

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Ethics and the Ministry

Ministers are held to a high standard of ethics as is appropriate for a profession that should be an ethical role model in society. However, ethics is a complex subject and even more complex to live on a daily basis. This course explains the basics of ethics, stresses the pitfalls that ministers must avoid, and the ethical standard that should be how they live their lives.

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# 2.0 Short Focused Studies — 10 hour courses

These are usually short ten hour courses designed for people interested in focusing their learning on particular topics. They are as follows:

2.1 Atheism >>> Teacher .

This course introduces the intellectual treatment of atheism and its importance to religion.

2.2 History Surrounding the Beginning of the Common Era >>> Teacher Mr. Larry Stone.

This course examines the historical developments in the Middle East just prior and after the beginning of the Common Era.

2.3 Gnostic Beliefs

This course explains Gnostic beliefs, especially during the early Christian period.

2.4 Scholarly Treatment of Christianity >>> Teacher Rev. Dr. Thomas Lynch.

In the past 60 years, there has been a growing critical scholarly treatment of Christianity that calls into question traditional Christian dogma. This course addresses this area of scholarship.

2.5 Introduction to Spiritual Wisdom >>> Teacher Rev. Dr. Thomas Lynch.

This course introduced students to what religious scholars call the spiritual wisdom literature

2.6 Jewish History, Faith and Traditions >>> Teacher Dr. Judith Jenya.

This course looks at the interplay of the history of the Jewish people, faith and traditions.

2.7 Music in Interfaith Life (Breath and Spirit)

This course points out the relationship of music to the spiritual life.

2.8 Meditation to Heal the Emotions >>> Teacher Dr. Vincent Androsiglio.

This course explores a means to address Emotional Stress and How to focus a distracted mind. The emphasis will be hands-on-training-not discussion. We will practice relaxation, focusing attention and accepting life as it comes to you..

2.9 Kabbalah

This course introduces the subject of mystical Judaism.

2.10 The Law and Religion

This course explains the legal aspects of religion.

2.11 Spirituality, Humanism and Religion >>> Teacher Mr. Alex Krem.

What are the similarities and differences among the these three fundamental concepts? Do they overlap? Are they independent of one another? In conflict with one another? Did the Great Teachers intend to establish religions or merely to teach spirituality and humanism? Did their followers eventually corrupt and convert their teachings?.

2.12 Myths and the Image of God >>> Teacher Mr. Alex Krem.

Belief in a higher being is common to all human society. Yet most societies have their own image of God, expressed in their unique religious traditions and myths. What are the similarities and differences in these myths and the many and various images of God? The work of Joseph Campbell will be used extensively in this course.

2.13 Reconciling Religion and Science >>> Teacher Mr. Alex Krem.

Are religions and science compatible? Complementary? Co-dependent? Independent? Mutually exclusive? This course will explore the writings of leading scientists, some deeply religious and others not.

2.14 The Roles of Religion in Modern Society >>> Teacher Rev Dr. Thomas Lynch.

Some argue that religion is important and others think it is dangerous. This course explores the debate on what some call the “Crisis in Religion.”

2.15 Introduction to Islam >>> Teacher Aziza Zemrani

An important religion in the world is Islam. This course introduces someone not familiar with Islam with its major tenants and beliefs.

3.0 Interfaith Minister Development Programs — 40 hours courses

These 40 hour courses are for Interfaith Ministers who wish to improve their skills in managing nonprofit organizations such as churches and pastoral counseling.

3.1 Nonprofit Management Program Courses

3.1.1 Nonprofit Leadership, Management, and Planning >>> Teacher Rev. Dr. Cynthia Lynch.

This course explains how to lead and manage nonprofit organizations, such as churches, so that they better serve their community.

3.1.2 Personnel and Leadership for Nonprofit Organizations >>> Teacher Dr. Sharon Parsons.

This course explains accepted proper personnel and leadership practices that should exist in nonprofit organizations.

3.1.3 Budgeting and Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations >>> Teacher Rev. Dr. Thomas Lynch.

This course explains proper budgeting and financial management that should exist in nonprofit organizations so that budgets balance corruption is prevented, and the board policy does guide the activities of the organization.

3.1.4 Foundations of Organization Theory for Nonprofits >>> Teacher Dr. Sharon Parsons.

This course explains the various ways that a nonprofit can be effectively organized to accomplish its missions.

3.1.5 Grant Writing, Fund Development, and Becoming a Nonprofit >>> Teacher Rev. Dr. Cynthia Lynch

This course explains how to effectively write grants, how to otherwise raise money, and how to become an IRS recognized nonprofit organization.

3.1.6 Ethics for Nonprofit Organizations >>> Teacher Rev. Dr. Cynthia Lynch.

This course explains the importance of and how to achieve proper ethics in nonprofit organizations.

3.1.7  Probability and Statistics for Nonprofit Organizations >>> Teacher Mr. Michael Smith

This course explains what statistic methods are useful in nonprofit organizations.

3.1.8 Research Methods and Program Evaluation for Nonprofit Organizations

This course explains the concepts of research methods and evaluation that are important to nonprofit organizations.

3.1.9 Constitutional and Basic Laws Relevant to Nonprofit Organizations

This course explains constitutional and basic laws (except administrative law) that is important to how an nonprofit is managed.

3.1.10 Administrative Law and Nonprofit Organizations

This course explains what way administrative law is significant to nonprofit organizations.

3.1.11 Public Policy and Nonprofit Organizations

This course explains the importance of public policy to nonprofit organizations.

3.1.12 Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations >>> Teacher Mr. Michael Smith.

This course explains useful marketing methods for nonprofit organizations.

3.1.13 Accounting for Nonprofit Organizations

This course explains accounting processes and procedures important for nonprofit organizations.

3.1.14 Technology for Nonprofit Organizations

This course explains the useful technology that is available for nonprofit organizations.

3.1.15 Group Dynamics and Nonprofit Organizations >>> Teacher Mr. Alex Krem.

This course explains how groups act together and how to best deal with group dynamics.

3.1.16 Servant Leadership >>> Teacher Mr. Alex Krem.

Of the many leadership styles, servant-leadership is among the most effective.  Such leaders focus on the needs of their colleagues and those they serve and, as humble stewards, achieve results that bond groups and bring the best out of members.  While the concept is ancient, it remains as vital and effective even in today’s high pressure world and ideal in many situations for nonprofit organizations.

3.1.17 Practicum or Internship in Nonprofit Organizations

This course helps the student link his or her courses with the practical world of nonprofit organizations.

3.1.18 Directed Reading in Nonprofit Organizations

At the end of the program of study, this course gives students the opportunity to craft directed reading in particular areas. Permission of instructor required.

3.2 Spiritual  Counseling Program Courses

The 100 level courses are the basic core courses and they will satisfy the educational requirements at the graduate level for most state licensing boards. All of the 100 level courses are required. The 200 and 300 level courses are electives with 300 being more advanced electives. Go to PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS under Courses to understand the program requirements for the Spiritual Counseling as well as the other programs in more detail. Counseling Theories

This course introduces the basic theories of counseling including Psychoanalytic Therapy, Adlerian Therapy, Existential  Therapy, Person-Centered Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Behavioral Therapies, and Postmodern Approaches. Counseling Techniques

The course covers listening and interviewing skills, parameters and limitations of the treatment relationship, client-counselor contracts and understandings, stages of clinical treatment, referral and termination. Marriage and Family Counseling

This course explains the stages of family and couple relationships, overview of family systems theories, principles of working with couples and families. Group Therapy

This course introduces the principles of leading groups, objectives of group counseling, and group therapy theories. Grief and Loss Counseling >>> Teacher Rev. Robbin Melchiorre.

This course explores the psychological, relational, and theological dynamics of loss and grief including attachment theory and the role of hope in the context of counseling. Chemical and Substance Abuse Counseling >>> Teacher Rev. Robbin Melchiorre.

The course introduces the current understandings of the etiology, neuro-biology, and treatment of chemical and substance abuse including the spiritual dimension. Professional Ethics for Spiritual Counselor >>> Teacher Rev. Robbin Melchiorre.

The course introduces ethics from both a secular and spiritual understandings. Attention will be given to the AAPC Code of Ethics with emphasis on setting appropriate therapeutic boundaries, legal issues, understanding the scope of spiritual counseling, and knowing when to make appropriate referrals. Cultural Diversity

The course explores the cultural factors present in counseling including the impact of gender, age, class, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, physical and cognitive differences, and religious beliefs. Human Development and the Life Cycle

This course introduces the theories of human development and spiritual development over the course of the life cycle, including those of Erikson, Piaget, and Fowler. Spiritual Development — the Person of the Counselor >>> Teacher Rev. Robbin Melchiorre.

More important than “what we do” in the counseling relationship is “who we are.” This course helps us to discover and articulate our identity as a spiritual guide in the context of our particular theological understanding and spiritual practices. Counseling for Spiritual Growth

This course explains how to and what to cover in helping individuals to grow spiritually. Appraisal and Assessments

This course is a survey of the formal and informal assessments such as testing, observations, and interviews. Test construction, validity, procedures, and interpretations will be covered. Psychopathology

This course is an introduction to the diagnosis of major categories of mental disorders based upon current DSM and ICT criteria and an understanding of abnormal behavior and its impact on society. Lifestyle and Career Development

This course introduces occupational choices and career decision-making and the life-long processes that influence work values. We will explore patterns of work adjustment, career identification, integration of occupational roles and the factors that give meaning and satisfaction to life’s work. Research Design and Evaluation

This course introduces research design and evaluation methods. In addition the course covers some statistical tools such as data analysis as well as reading and interpreting research. Statistical Analysis

This course explains basic statistical analysis and how it can be helpful in counseling.

200 Level Elected Courses Marriage Enrichment and Pre-Marital Preparation >>> Teacher Rev. Robbin Melchiorre.

Pre-Requisites: Marriage and Family Counseling; Counseling Theories

This course provides an overview of the Prepare / Enrich materials and their use in pre-marital preparation and marriage enrichment. Trauma and PTSD

Pre-Requisites: Counseling Theories; Psychopatholgy

This course is an in-depth study of both situational and interpersonal trauma and the fear response including the neuro-biology of trauma. Psychological disorders resulting from trauma such as PTSD and DPD will be explored along with the role of spiritual counseling in the treatment of these disorders. Depression and Anxiety Disorders >>> Teacher Rev. Robbin Melchiorre.

Pre-Requisites: Counseling Theories; Grief and Loss Counseling; and Psychopathology

This course is an in-depth study of depression and anxiety disorders, current understandings in related neuro-biology, and the role of spiritual counseling in the treatment of these disorders. Counseling Families of Substance Abusers >>> Teacher Rev. Robbin Melchiorre.

Pre-Requisites: Counseling Theories; Chemical and Substance Abuse Counseling; and Marriage and Family Counseling

This course explores the family dynamics leading to and / or resulting from chemical and substance abuse of any member of the family system. It will also look at genetic factors of substance abuse in families, how a family history of substance abuse can be disrupted and healed and the role of spiritual counseling in that process. Couples in Crisis Counseling >>> Teacher Rev. Robbin Melchiorre.

Pre-Requisites: Counseling Theories; Marriage and Family Counseling

This course is an in-depth study of the factors leading up to a crisis in couples” relationship and the role of spiritual counseling in working through that crisis in a way that leads to spiritual growth for both members of the couple. Human Sexuality and Sexual Addictions

Pre-Requisites: Counseling Theories; Human Development and the Life Cycle

This course is an in-depth study of human sexuality, normal sexual needs including heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, and transgendered sexuality, sexual identity, and abnormal sexual functioning, including sexual addictions. This course will explore the role of the 12-step programs as a treatment for sexual addictions and the role of the spiritual counselor in the healing process.  Issues of Aging

Pre-Requisites: Counseling Theories; Human Development and the Life Cycle; Grief and Loss Counseling

This course is an in-depth study of the factors such as loss and grief that accompany the aging process in particular and the adjustments to those losses of health, mobility, and functioning that must occur for healthy life transitioning in later years. Planning for end of life issues such as making a living will, planning memorial services, and providing for loved ones will be explored as functions of spiritual counseling. Divorce and Remarriage >>> Teacher Rev. Robbin Melchiorre.

Pre-Requisites: Counseling Theories; Marriage and Family Counseling

This course is an in-depth study of the effects of divorce, how to help a couple achieve a health divorce, and the understanding of self in relationship that must be worked through to effect a healthy remarriage.  Having a Satisfying Single Living >>> Teacher Rev. Robbin Melchiorre.

Pre-Requisites: Counseling Theories; Marriage and Family Counseling; Human Development and the Life Cycle

This course points out that while coupling is the norm in our society, many persons live a single life by choice or necessity. This course explores the role of spiritual counseling in helping the single person avoid isolation while living a single life and maintaining healthy and nurturing connections to others. Dealing with Parent / Teen Conflicts

Pre-Requisites: Counseling Theories; Marriage and Family Counseling; and Human Development and the Life Cycle

Adolescence and the teen years can represent the biggest life transition and challenge of life. This course is an in-depth study of these years and the role of parenting a teen through this transitional period, including how to set appropriate limits while remaining a non-anxious presence in the teen’s life. Dealing with Chronic Disease

Pre-Requisites: Counseling Theories; Human Development and the Life Cycle; Grief and Loss Counseling

This course is an in-depth study of the effects of chronic illness on the human psyche and the role of spiritual counseling in coping with chronic illness with hope and finding meaning in unavoidable suffering

300 Level Advanced Elected Courses

3.2.300.1 Jungian Psychology

Pre-Requisites: Counseling Theories; Psychopathology; Spiritual Development – the Person of the Counselor; 100 hours of clinical conseling

This is an advanced course in Jungian Psychology and its application in spiritual counseling.

3.2.300.2 Transpersonal Psychology and Psycholsynthesis

Pre-Requisites: Counseling Theories; Counseling Techniques; Psychopathology; Spiritual Development – the Person of the Counselor; 100 hours of supervised clinical counseling

This is an advanced course in transpersonal psychology and the theories of Roberto Assagioli (psychosynthesis) and their application in spiritual counseling.

3.2.300.3 Family Systems Theory and Genograms >>> Teacher Rev. Robbin Melchiorre.

Pre-Requisites: Counseling Theories; Counseling Techniques; Marriage and Family Counseling; 100 hours of supervised clinical counseling

This is an advanced course in family systems theory as described by Friedman and Bowen and the application in spiritual counseling. Students will learn how to create and use genograms to understand multi-generational family dynamics and patterns.

3.2.300.4 Counseling for AIDS and Stigmatizing Diseases

Pre-Requisites:Counseling Theories; Counseling Techniques; Cultural Diversity; Human Development and the Life Cycle; Grief and Loss Counseling; 100 hours of supervised clinical counseling

This is an advanced course for those working with AIDS patients and others with stigmatizing diseases to help normalize their experience through spiritual counseling.

3.2.300.5 Counseling Children and Adolescents

Pre-Requisites:Counseling Theories; Counseling Techniques; Human Development and the Life Cycle; Family Systems Theory and Genograms; 100 hours of supervised clinical counseling

This is an advanced course that explores the special world of children and adolescents with challenging life situations and the ways that spiritual counseling can be of benefit to their healing.

3.2.22 Practicum or Internship — 1,000 to 2,000 hours of supervised clinical work

This set of courses is meant to help the student connect practical clinical work with the student’s program of study at the Academy. The method of clinical work needs to be defined by the faculty for each particular student. The AAPC requires a minimum of 300 supervised counseling with 125 hours of supervision of which 1/3 must be with an AAPC fellow or diplomat.

4.0 Lectures, Talks and Sermons >>> Rev. Dr. Thomas Lynch.

4.1 The Academy gives weekly FREE one and one half hour TALKS and DISCUSSIONS in San Miguel de Allende. They are from 1:30 to 3:30 PM on Sunday at the Empowerment Center.