The purpose of the training for a Unity and Diversity Ministry is to prepare carefully chosen men and women that have felt a calling for a universal type of higher consciousness service to understand and begin to carry out that calling in the best possible way. The training is based upon the attempt to understand and proclaim a universal consciousness that will foster “unity-and-diversity among all peoples and all life” as the basis for a new person and civilization. Candidates are given comprehensive training that permits many possible applications of a Unity-and-Diversity Ministry, but as a priority, the encouragement is to serve a Unity-and-Diversity Center in some parts of the world.
In order that it can be clear as to what a Unity-and-Diversity Center is, let it be said that it is non-denominational in character and that it serves as a kind of “no person’s land” at the heart of each community where all of the different religions, ages, fields, races, and cultures of the world can be brought together into a much greater degree of understanding and cooperation. It will thus become a kind of community center at the highest level, focused around the experience of unity-and-diversity worship.
Training for this type of ministry can be applied to healing, counseling, movement, administration for the bringing together of the many paths through the Unity-and-Diversity World Council, or in various other ways. But most of all it is for the establishment of a new understanding of Spirit and the emergence of the universal community.
Academic training equivalent to the lower division at the university, or the Associate of Arts Degree at a community college. Courses taken should ideally include basic psychology, public speaking, and general knowledge of the natural and social sciences.
Additional upper-division college or university training. A Bachelor’s Degree. Working knowledge of a second language (ancient or modern).
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.
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 of time-based upon the service requirement. Details will be worked out with each student individually.
The areas to be covered are:
1) World Religions and Modern Spiritual Movements
- a) Scriptures/Sacred Texts
- b) Rituals, Ceremonies, and Other Practices
c) Doctrines and Teachings
f) Architecture, Art, and Tools
3) The Unity-and-Diversity Approach
4) Exploring Modern Growth Movements
5) Related Areas of Study
6) Practical Aspects of the Ministry
1) World Religions and Modern Spiritual Movements
The teachings that the respective religions and modern spiritual movements. 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, mysticism, and other key terms
- b)Examining Religious Traditions
- Hinduism—Vedanta, Yoga, etc.
- Buddhism—Theravadan, Tibetan, and Zen
- Chinese Traditions: a mix of Daoism, Confucianism, Chinese Buddhism
- Judaism—Orthodox, Reform, Conservative
- Christianity—Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant
- Islam —Sunni, Shi’a, Sufi
- c)Forms of 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.
When examining the traditions, we consider a variety of their dimensions:
- a) Scriptures/Sacred Texts: What are the most sacred texts and what roles do they play in that tradition?
- b) Rituals, Ceremonies, and Other Practices: What are the physical actions performed in a tradition and how are they relevant?
c) Doctrines and Teachings: What are the central tenets?
d) Ethics: What role do ethics play and how are different ethical views emphasized?
e) Institutions: How is the tradition organized, what groups exist to help create those structures, and how do people relate to them?
f) Architecture, Art, and Tools: What are the visual and material aspects of the tradition?
2) 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. (UDWC)
Unity and Diversity Wheel for Universal Cooperation
Member and cooperating organizations
3) 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:
- Humanistic psychology, transpersonal psychology, psychosynthesis, etc.
- Growth through art, music, dance, etc.
- Meditation and yoga groups.
- Similar methods and types of growth groups as listed in UDC’s database
4) Related areas of study
- The interface between science, religion, metaphysics, and mysticism
- Cultural interplays and networks, i.e. the impact of Eastern teachers and mystics on the American scene
- Holistic healing
5) Practical Aspects
- Duties, rights, and privileges of an ordained minister under your state law
- Principles of counseling: ministerial counseling and advising on personal problems, marriage and family relations, alcoholism, drug abuse, suicide prevention, etc. Additionally, how to recognize the need for and administer psychological first aid. Knowing when to act, and when to refer out to a doctor, psychologist, etc. (sometimes can vary by state)
- Organization of material for oral and written presentation (sermon construction)
- Development of geographic councils and conferences applying unity-and-diversity principles, the conduct of meetings and services, marriages and funerals (training in this phase will be obtained during the internship)
- Consideration of social and political issues and the proper place of a Unity and Diversity Minister in these matters
- Ministerial internship (taking part in the worship services, taking on special assignments, etc.)
The Curriculum will consist of a series of 2-3 hour meetings (in-person or online).
An initial shorter meeting will involve preliminary information and planning to discuss ways to fit the program in some ways to individual lines of work and interest (60-90 minutes). There will then be 12-16 meetings depending on the individual’s background
The meetings will occur anywhere from once per month to once every 4 months depending on the applicants’ schedule. Instructors will try to align with the applicant’s pace, but there may be certain weeks or months in which they are unavailable.
Each meeting will involve presentations by the trainee in 2 areas (Religions and Skills), questions from the instructors, and possible practice exercises depending on the skill unit.
Core Units are required for certification. But there are also electives available so that parts of the program may be designed to align with personal areas of interest.
Core Religion Units (not necessarily in this order)
- a) Judaism
- b) Christianity
- c) Islam
- d) Hinduism
- e) Buddhism
f) Chinese Religions (mostly focused on Daoism and Confucianism, but also the amalgamation of those 2 and Buddhism within the majority of lived Chinese religion)
- h) Indigenous Traditions
i) New Religions
exploring particular sects or themes that fit the students’ needs and interests. For example, if a person was raised Jewish, but will be working primarily with Catholic immigrant families from Central America, one unit on Christianity might not be enough, and we might add one or two that go more in-depth on Catholicism or Central American Catholicism near the end of the training. Or maybe somebody works mostly with terminally ill patients and they really want to study a unit or 2 on “religious views of death, dying, and afterlives”
Core Skill Units (not necessarily in this order)
- a) Interfaith ritual 1 (birth and marriage) both UDWC and interdenominational versions.
- b) Interfaith ritual 2 (initiations and memorials – both UDWC and interdenominational)
- c) Listening skills – reflective listening, etc.
- d) Nonviolent communication and conflict management
- e) Grief processes and care
- f) Trauma care
- g) Diversity/advocacy
- h) Community Leadership
- i) Suicide prevention and Mental Health First Aid
– Public Speaking
– building inter-agency connections
– environmental stewardship
– addiction care
– prison chaplaincy
– hospital chaplaincy
– military and veteran care
Registration for the ministry program = $40
Usual amount per session (total, typically 12-15) = $100
Occasional day-long or weekend workshops = $20 per day or $45 per weekend
Ordination = $50
Totals: approximately $1300-1500, but will vary according to how many courses and other sessions are necessary for the completion
NOTE: $100 registration check made out to Unity and Diversity World Council needs to accompany the application for admission. If the candidate should happen to be rejected, the check will be returned except for $20 administrative expenses.
If you are mailing the check, please use this address:
Unity and Diversity World Council
3376 Motor Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90034
You can also pay online, by clicking HERE.
***Although these costs are incredibly reasonable for most people, we do not want to turn anyone away solely for lack of funds, and scholarship help may be available if needed.
NOTE: The application for the ministry application is below > If you would like the PDF or word document form, email:
- Submit Application
- Notified whether your application passes review by the committee
- Set up Interview
- Notified whether you pass the interview
- Background Check
- Acceptance into Program
APPLICATION FOR UNITY AND DIVERSITY MINISTRY TRAINING
High School_____years; graduate?_____ City, state, Country_________________
College or university_________________________________________________
[Please attach copies of diplomas for all university degrees]
Courses of study in the following fields (if any):
Psychology_______units; Sociology________units; Anthropology_________units
Public speaking_______units; World History or cultures (be specific)____________
After the language, please provide 2 numbers in parentheses rating your ability in reading and speaking on a scale of 1-5, 1 being a beginner and 5 being fluent,
e.g. “French (5,3)” meaning one can read fluently and speak moderately
On separate pages please list the following:
OTHER TRAINING OR EDUCATION (Private study, workshops, seminars, etc.)
WORK AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
INVOLVEMENT IN RELIGION(S) AND/OR MODERN SPIRITUAL MOVEMENTS
Essay questions: The total length for the 3 essay responses should be between 3-10 pages, double-spaced on Microsoft Word or a similar program. Different questions will grab different people, so you may choose to write an 8-page response to one and 2 paragraph-length responses to the other questions. Or you may choose to write 3 one-page responses. In responding, try to use this opportunity to give the UDC ministry application committee a sense of who you are as a person inside and in the world.
WHAT LED TO YOUR INTEREST IN RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY?
WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN BECOMING A MINISTER?
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH AS A MINISTER AND IN LIFE?
*For questions on the application or training process, contact: