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Our two-year training program prepares the student for active service as an ordained Interfaith Minister. Classes are held on a 10-month academic cycle, September through June. Our First Year classes meet the first Saturday of each month in New York City (with some exceptions) and two Sundays during the year. Our Second Year meets the third Saturday of each month, and two Sundays during the year. Students who live outside the greater New York area may participate in our training program as Corresponding Students. Correspondence study is integrated with our regular training programs.
The First Year of training provides a foundation in the Interfaith perspective, with a primary focus on comparative religions. The student studies world religion from the Earth-based to the Eastern, from the Abrahamic to New Thought. Various approaches to psychology and the counseling process are also introduced in the First Year, as well as an introduction to the art of ritual, with each student required to contribute to one of the monthly class rituals during the year.
Because we believe that the strongest and most essential foundation for ministry is the richness, depth, and integrity of an individual’s own spiritual life, regular spiritual practice, community service, and a structured format for deep self-reflection and personal development are also part of the requirements of our First Year training. The year culminates in June with a required residential intensive retreat in the New York area. Upon successful completion of the First Year, students are recognized in a ceremony of Spiritual Initiation into the Interfaith Ministry.
The focus of the Second Year of training is developing background and experience in the practical aspects of ministry, as well as ongoing, structured reflection on the essence and spirit of service. Topics covered include deeper elements of ritual, wedding ceremonies, funeral and memorial services, baby namings, worship services, guided meditations, prepared sermons and impromptu talks, spiritual counseling, spiritual approaches to healing, praying with people and issues of Sacred Activism and spiritual leadership.
Each Second Year student is required to contribute to a class worship service, which is first shared in class on the third Saturday of the month and then presented for the public at the following Sunday Interfaith Temple Service in NYC.
As a final project, each Second Year student creates an individual Minister’s Service and Reference Manual, which serves as a foundation for their beginning active work as a minister. The Second Year culminates in June with a required residential intensive retreat in the New York area. Upon successful completion of the Second Year, students are formally graduated from The New Seminary and are ordained as Interfaith Ministers through our ordaining body, the Interfaith Temple. Upon graduation, candidates are qualified to be legally recognized and registered as practicing clergy.
Following their graduation and ordination, our students are encouraged to continue their study and training through our Spiritual Counseling Programs, our Elective Programs and our Internships at the United Nations in New York.
Interested in beginning your training? Download and complete the TNS Application to be considered for future classes. Prompt application and acceptance will ensure a place our next class.