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The New Seminary’s two-year training program prepares students for active service as an ordained Interfaith Minister. Classes are held on a 10-month academic cycle, September through June. Our classes are held using a real-time video platform several times per month and there are two weekend mandatory intensives held in the Fall and Spring plus a year-end retreat. Students who live in other countries or who may have some challenges attending the intensives will be exempted and can view the intensives online. Our primary reason for mandatory attendance for the intensives is to build community. All students must attend the year-end retreats.
The First Year of training provides a foundation in The New Seminary’s approach to Interfaith Ministry, comparative religions and theology. Students study faith traditions from around the world including Earth-based, Eastern, Abrahamic and New Thought. Pastoral Formation and approaches to Interfaith Dialogue are also introduced in the First Year, as well the art of ritual. In addition each student is required to contribute to one of the monthly class rituals during the year.
The New Seminary believes that the strongest and most essential foundation for ministry is the richness, depth, and integrity of an individual’s own spiritual life. We work with each First Year Student to deepen their regular spiritual practice , commitment to community service, and developing a structured format for deep self-reflection and personal development. 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 primary focus of the Second Year of training is Pastoral Formation and Leadership as well as the practical aspects of Interfaith Ministry including structured reflection on the essence and spirit of service and The Ministry of Presence. Coursework includes deeper elements of ritual, wedding ceremonies, funerals, memorial services, baby blessings, Sacred Music, worship services, meditations and reflection, Homiletics, spiritual counseling, Clinical Pastoral Education, praying, Sacred Activism, and Interfaith Dialogue.
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 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.