eco-spirituality certificate program
Seminary of the
Yearlong EcoSpirituality Certificate
TWO SESSIONS in 2023
Spring Cohort: begins May 16
Fall Cohort: begins October 18
($495 savings if registered by April 1, 2023: $3500)
Because this program is highly relational, a conversation with Victoria or a small group Q&A call is the place to begin.
A $400 Deposit will hold your place in the cohort
This yearlong program is a container for kindred souls who sense that they are holding the seeds for a new story in our world, in our religions, in our cultures: A kin-dom of God, without the "g." A reverent way of being in sacred relationship with an alive and interconnected world.
The Eco-Ministry Certificate program is open to anyone who feels called into service to what Joanna Macy calls the Great Turning, the time we are experiencing now: upheaval and unraveling alongside emergence and restoration. It is for those who understand that the core of our ecological and cultural challenges is a spiritual problem that organized religion is not going to solve.
You do not need to consider yourself to be a pastor, a "spiritual leader," or a religious person, and most participants are not. A new kind of spiritual leadership is emerging. One that to support, welcome and lead our people through this time. The old dominant story of a destructive, hierarchical, power-over culture is crumbling. The new story is emerging in very local, very particular, quiet ways. It is emerging through us.
This yearlong intensive is not a training program, per se. It is a "wild seed bed," a new kind of seminary, that invites you to honor and nurture the seed of vision growing louder inside you, urging you into service to the largest beloved community we can imagine.
Have You Heard
a Call of the
Begins October 18
Wednesdays at 4 - 6 pm PST
A $400 Deposit will hold your place in the cohort
Begins May 16
Tuesdays at 12 - 2 pm PST
a threshold crossing
For those called to midwife in a new story of sacred reconnection
The old story of dominion, colonization, human and white supremacy has had a devastating impact not only on our planet's health but on the spiritual and emotional vitality of humans. The layers of crises and cruelty we face will not be solved with technological, political, or economic strategies alone. A deeper transformation of heart is necessary to welcome in a new story.
Throughout history, spiritual leaders are invited by the Sacred, by God, to go into the wilderness to remember their identity, listen for their calling, and engage in intimate conversation with the Holy present in the land which speaks (which is what the Hebrew word for wilderness also means).
There is a movement emerging. A movement initiated by Spirit and Earth, herself, and embodied by people who hear the call of the wild to midwife this new story into being. What we are called to embody breaks through the status quo and draws each of us into intimate relationship with our own souls, with one another, and with the whole wide world at this pivotal time of transformation.
You may have a sense that you're being called to a threshold. One that only you can embody. But you don't have to ‘figure out” your wild calling alone. Seminary of the Wild Earth is a community of like-hearted souls walking a similar path in a yearlong container. You’ll experience:
A deepening relationship with your wildest self, with your place and with Mystery through an experiential nature-based curriculum crafted from centuries of edge-walking spiritual ecologists.
A safe place to process, unravel and discuss questions rumbling within you, and process mystical experiences, dreams and longings within dedicated small groups and larger cohort gatherings.
Mentoring support as you discern your deepest yearnings and soul callings with a team of gifted guides, spiritual directors, and elders.
Ceremonies and rituals, invitations into spiritual practices meant to reconnect you with the rest of the world through non-linear ways of knowing.
to inspire new growth
from a long line of guides leading the way
nature-based curriculum from centuries of edge-walking spiritual ecologists
of like-hearted souls
a similar path
from gifted guides, spiritual directors, elders to support what longs to bloom through you
Leaning into More Feminine Ways of Knowing
ReWilding work is not new. Streams of spirituality deeply connected with all systems of life on earth flows through all religious traditions, even Christianity. Often associated with the divine feminine, an ecologically alive spirituality has been has been mostly buried and lost within our dominant cultures. The Eco-Ministry program is rooted in the wisdom of these ancient streams of Christian mysticism and Celtic spirituality as well as practices of contemporary spiritual ecology.
The program includes readings from some of the most prophetic voices of our time, guides holding space for your unfolding vision, invitations to enter into intimate relationship with your home Place and wild soul, and a community of like-hearted friends supporting you to show up as an "old growth human" (a Martin Shaw term!) through the process. Most importantly, we rely on practices to listen deeply to the wisdom of the dandelions, birds and clouds outside your door.
There is less talk about God and theory and more opportunities to encounter Divine Presence directly, and that in relationship with the natural world. The Eco-Ministry journey primarily relies on a set of non-dominant (ie: more feminine) ways of knowing such as dreamwork, contemplative wanders, embodied Earth-based prayers, imaginal journeys, poetry and writing, art and sacred council, ritual and ceremony. Grief work is essential to any growth and is foundational in the course. Experiential rather than didactic, seedings and invitations to wander and wonder are offered bi-weekly that attempt to break open old ways of thinking and birth new stories within you and ways of being.
WEEKLY ONLINE GATHERINGS. The modules meet weekly for 2 hours on Wednesdays at noon, pacific time. Every other week, participants meet in smaller "kinship groups" to share from the heart their wanderings
SEASONAL ZOOM INTENSIVES. Each module begins with an intensive offered at or near the quarter-days of the Celtic calendar, celebrating the center-point of each season. The intensives are an opportunity for extended time to wander and devote to the work. Intensives gather on Zoom 12-2 pm PST Friday and Saturday at the beginning of each new module. (dates listed below)
TRANSITIONS BETWEEN MODULES. An online ceremony at the end of each module invites participants to cross a threshold into the next module.
Module One: PLACE
Belonging to Place as a Communion of Subjects
Thomas Berry roots the core of our culture's (and religion's) problems in the spiritual disconnection from the rest of the alive world. So, we begin our journey with practices, conversations, and exercises that reconnect us in an I-Thou relationship with the natural world.
Choosing to belong to the land, rather than land belonging to you is an embodied process of listening, learning, grieving, and unknowing. In this foundational module, we explore our home place through more feminine ways of knowing (dreams, art, movement, imagination, intuition, wandering and wondering), and a portal of grace is opened.
As we develop intimate relationships with the more-than-human-Others of our homes, we build the foundation for the inner soul work and outer acts of love we are being called to bring into the world.
Untaming your Wild Soul in an Interconnected World
We are connected with the world (and our own soul) through our bodies. And yet, our culture tells us how our bodies should look and our religions often tell us our bodies are not important. Reclaiming our voice, our particular wild expression of who we are and what we bring to the world is a matter of incarnated belonging.
The Embodiment module invites you to deepen into your sensuous embodied self, engage with the parts of you that keep you safe (and small) and to invite a new story of belonging for yourself. Nature-based embodiment practices are a powerful way to remember that we belong to the land, belong to a family of ancestors that made it possible for us to be here and show a path for becoming a wise ancestor for future generations.
This is a journey of moving in the world deeply connected to your own inner authority, trusting the wisdom of your body, and practicing radical self- and other-kindness. Nothing less is needed as you prepare to step across a threshold into a work in the world that only. you can embody.
Module Two: EMBODYING SOUL
Module Three: SPIRIT
ReWilding Your Spirituality
Studies have shown that most people, whether they are involved in an institutional religion or not, most experience the numinous presence of Spirit when they are relating to nature. And yet, most institutions -- particularly Christianity -- have gradually over the centuries aligned with Empire rather than the core meaning of religion, which is re-connection (re- again; ligios = ligament = connector). Humans need religion to remind us that we belong. Spiritual practices that remind us that we are part of a web of interconnection might just simply be elemental to being human. We seem to be inherently prone to forgetting.
This section focuses on decolonizing our faith. How have our images of God and our practices of spirituality been distorted by the powers of patriarchy, white supremacy and species supremacy? How has Empire severed our perception of connection with the whole? And how can we reclaim our place in the mysterious and miraculous wonder of an evolving kin-dom of God?
Stepping into the Call to Embody Your Vision
Mary Oliver asks, "What will you do with your one wild and precious life?" The final module guides you to weave together the silken threads of your journey with the needs in your community and the voices from your particular Place. You may just find yourself called to be "ordained by the wild" to establish new ways of embodying the new story in your community.
We can often minimize, ignore or fear the gifts and vision we've been given. This module is a mirror, an encouragement, a support system to not only name what wants to emerge in and through you, but to courageously and reverently bring it into the world.
After graduation, ongoing connection and support to carry out your vision is available because we need one another!. We are in this together.
What authors and thinkers are included in the program?You can tell there is a movement happening by the expanding library of prophetic eco-theological books, networks, poetry, artwork, and the flow of offerings by people who use the language of relationality to whisper from the heart of the divine Presence in nature. We are particularly inspired by elders in the ancient and emerging eco-spirituality world such as Thomas Berry, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Randy Woodley, Bayo Akomolafe, Martin Shaw, Toko-pa Turner, David Whyte, John O'Donahue, Joanna Macy, J. Drew Lanham, St Francis of Assissi, Mary Oliver, John Philip Newell, Annie Dillard, Hildegarde of Bingen, Richard Rohr, Wendell Berry, Christina Cleveland, Mirabai Starr, Bill Plotkin, Tielhard de Chardin, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Meister Eckhart, Matthew Fox...so many beautiful voices to be heard from humans. Reminder, though, that the primary voice is your own, in conversation with the Sacred and with the more-than-human-others in your home Place. (The program strongly suggests a couple books per module and offers shorter essays, TED talks, videos, substacks, podcasts and other ways of learning from new and ancient voices leading the way...but none of them are considered "assignments." Everything is an invitation that strengthens your own inner authority and honors your particular curiosity!)
What do I do with this Certificate?The Eco-Ministry Certificate is a badge on your resume that shows you've committed yourself to the re-integration of ecology and spirituality, for the benefit of the emerging new, more kind and interconnected way of being human. While you will learn by practicing ways of holding ceremony, guiding others into spiritual practices that reconnect us with the rest of the world, eco-theology, dreamwork, imaginal journeying, and other non-linear ways of knowing, this is not a certificate to do some particular job like a wild church pastor or a wilderness soul guide or an eco-spiritual director, though we do offer other programs to pursue these paths. The soul work YOU are called to create is particular to you, your community and the particular non-human others in your place. The seed of vision you've been given by Spirit and Earth, herself, is likely something that has no model in our dominant culture. That's the point. The Eco-Ministry program offers support as you step into the role you are uniquely created to fill, which is definitionally counter to the dominant culture. The status quo requires complicity, not creativity. You will meet resistance. We are changing the public narrative, my friends. We are being called to participate in shifting the values, language, and worldview of a dominated culture dominated by domination into a worldview of interconnection, regeneration, and, well, love.
How much time do I need to set aside for the program each week?The program has been created for people to engage at the level they are able. There are books, but not assignments. There are art and movement practices and podcasts and poems and wandering and journaling invitations. But everything is an invitation. Those who can give more time to the practices, of course, will likely get more out of the program, but past participants have been able to experience significant transformation no matter how many children they have to nurture or jobs they have to tend. But if you're asking about the minimums...the minimum participation is simple: show up and go out. Show up each week. And go out to your wild places at least a half hour each week to wander with the seeding invitations. We all have lives, and it is necessary to miss a week occasionally. That's completely understandable and we encourage full inner authority to decide what is life-giving on a daily basis! All of the cohort gatherings, the "seedings," are recorded and posted weekly, so you can catch up easily. And the invitations are posted each week on a platform called Trello, so you can access them at any time.
Are there any in-person gatherings?At the end of the program, you will be invited to an optional in-person gathering for Wild Ordination. Information about cost and location TBD.
What are the specific dates and times for the gatherings?Zoom calls: Wednesdays 2-4 pm PST Dates for Fall Modules: First Module: Oct 18- Dec 13 (Intensive date 10/21, 8:30-11am PST and 2-4pm PST) Second Module: Jan 3 - Mar 6 (Intensive date 1/6, 8:30-11am PST and 2-4pm PST) Third Module:: Mar 20 - May 22 (Intensive date 3/23, 8:30-11am PST and 2-4pm PST) Fourth Module: June 5 - Aug 10 (Intensive date 6/8, 8:30-11am PST and 2-4pm PST)
Can I make payments? Do you offer scholarships?We are working on becoming a non-profit and raising funds for scholarships. Unfortunately, for now, that means we aren't yet in a position to offer scholarships. However, we do offer payment plans that can span throughout the year.
WHAT GRADUATES SAY
Graduates from four cohorts of the EcoMininstry certificate program, offered through Seminary of the Wild, share a bit of their experience.
For me, an identity shift happened. It has to do with being a woman who is in touch with the wisdom of the Earth, who is intuitive and wildly indigenous, who is whole, who sees the enchantment and the sacredness all around and wants to share that with the world. I am glad that I am confident in who I am and what I have to bring and give to the world. … Thank you again for giving the space to deepen into this journey.
This program has made me think so much about how the call of the wild is really a call to the deepest authentic self. It is about being and belonging rather than competing or strategizing. I’ve come to think of freedom as, really, the courage to live from your deepest, most authentic self. The self that is wild. That’s what Seminary of the Wild has been immensely helpful for me and I feel so much gratitude for it.