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Year Two: Seminary of the Wild Earth

Vocational Certificates

Eco-Spiritual Direction and Wild Guide Certification

Continuing the Seminary of the Wild Earth journey

The vows made at the end of the first year of Seminary of the Wild Earth mark a threshold crossing. You recognize that your voice, your presence, your gifts are being called into service -- in your particular way -- to reweave humanity back into the sacred web of interconnection. 

In this time of ecological and cultural unraveling, your call to serve the Sacred Earth positions you on a wild edge between the known and the unknown. Many are navigating the complex feelings of fear, uncertainty, and grief at the state of the world, and they are not finding the support they need in traditional professions.

 

A new kind of spiritual leadership is needed. Throughout history and in most religions, at times like this, ordinary people are called into service by Mystery and Earth herself. And the call begins with a beckoning into  the wilderness. The wisdom, courage and direction we need will meet us there.


This elective second year of Seminary of the Wild Earth offers a scaffolding of support, training and guidance as you cross the threshold -- a bold step few in the dominant culture have taken -- to integrate the wisdom of the wilderness into your vocation. Eco-Spiritual Direction and Wild Guide Certifications support your journey to lead others through the challenges and the transformational unfolding ahead.
 

This program is available for all graduates of Seminary of the Wild/Earth from the Dandelion cohort or any of the previous cohorts.

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Two vocational tracks are available in the second year:

Eco-Spiritual
Direction
Certification

Eco-spiritual direction is a form of spiritual companionship in reverent conversation with the living world. The first and only program of its kind, this track is rooted and shaped by deep ecology and the wisdom of the wild. This is a fully certified spiritual direction training, offered in partnership with Stillpoint, which has been training spiritual directors for over forty years. Open to both existing spiritual directors and those seeking to become one.

Wild
Guide
Certification

Step fully into your wild call as a new kind of spiritual leader. No matter what your vocation or area of expertise, a Wild Guide Certification can give you the confidence and skills you need to lead others into deeper relationship with the wild earth. This track will equip you to connect the emerging perspective of kindred  interconnection to your work and community. The world doesn’t need another guru, but we do need elders - of all generations. This certificate is an initiation into your wild call.

"Once I was able to see with the eyes of the mystic and rely on my own inner authority to know the undeniable presence of the sacred in the natural world, I began to see a third way. The polarities of nature and spirituality gave way to a new vision that sought to include the riches of my religious tradition but transcend the distortions."

Victoria Loorz, Church of the Wild

An in-depth overview of the program elements, a breakdown of costs, the flow of the curriculum, logistics, and an extended FAQ to address common questions.

Each month, Victoria and the Guides host a free discernment session. Join to learn more about the program, ask questions, and connect with fellow edge-walkers.

A conversation with one of our guides can help you discern your participation in the program. Schedule a 1:1 call to connect with us personally.

A Vocation of Radical Reconnection 

 

At the heart of this program is a process of listening for the voices of the more-than-human others, and trusting these sacred voices to guide your work with other humans.  It is an acknowledgement that the heart of aliveness, the heart of spirituality, the heart of ecology is rooted in relationship.

 

Wild Guiding and EcoSpiritual Direction are similar vocational pathways that offer kindred eco-spiritual support to others, soul-to-soul, to explore deeper relationship with the holy and the wild. 

 

If you are choosing to become a Wild Guide, it is with the acknowledgement that the wild IS the guide, and we are only inviting people in to this wildness. If you are called to become an Eco-Spiritual Director, it is with the understanding that the wild earth is the one doing the directing, and you are only making space for that connection to unfold.

 

Nature is the teacher, the confidant, and the catalyst to connect with the sacred.  Wild spiritual leaders are needed to invite others to avail themselves to the trees the seasons the creatures the rivers.  The role of guide and director is simply to invite people to bring their questions, fears, rituals and prayers to the wild. The holy presence does the rest. 

At the core, this work is about availing yourself and others to the guidance of wild mystery. 

What this means in practice is up to you. The discipline is emerging. The unknowns leave room for creativity. It could mean physically leading others out into a wild space and entering into sacred conversation with each other and with the land. It could mean inviting your clients or directees to wander in nature, holding questions and listening reverently, and then returning to process what they’ve experienced.

 

This rhythm of going out to listen and coming back to share is at the core of Seminary of the Wild Earth, and it aligns deeply with many ancient spiritual traditions.

Image by Paul Van Cotthem

You can expect an in-depth training in the art of spiritual companionship and guiding and a curriculum of creative exploration as you learn to:

  • Recognize and honor the gifts of a nature mystic as you seek to live more intentionally aligned to your particular mytho-poetic story.

  • Guide others through listening to the holy in the natural world as they seek to deepen their spiritual journeys

  • Create and invite others to create their own rituals and ceremonies in relationship with the land

  • Lead contemplative practices of entering into sacred conversation with the natural world

  • Stay in the heartbreaking conversation with a groaning Earth, the impact of nature-severance on our spiritual lives and process climate grief and eco-anxiety.   

  • Support others as they process their resistance to, fear of, and longing for sacred relationship with the land, including the particular needs of people of color, urbanites who have no access to open land, and diverse spiritual traditions

"It's all a question of story. We are in trouble because we do not have a good story. We are in between stories. The Old Story––the account of how the world came to be and how we fit into it––is not functioning properly, and we have not learned the New Story." 

Thomas Berry, 2003

Vocation: n. Voice - Vocaré: to Call 

A Certificate to Affirm Your Spiritual Calling

in a Time Between Stories

 

Vocation is more than a career choice.  It is a recognition of a calling, a strong feeling you can't ignore that you are being called into service in a new way, a more soul-filled way. You likely aren't even sure what that looks like. Yet.

This is not a calling to be a guru or a priest.  What is needed is a form of eco-spiritual companionship that accompanies people into deeper relationship with the holy and the wild.

 

The  EcoSpiritual Direction and Wild Guide certifications offer training and practice in foundational companioning skills: 

  • deep listening to both human and more-than-human others,

  • inviting people into deeper relationship with the wild, and

  • holding space in council, ritual, and other group work.

 

You'll also receive support in identifying and stepping into the particular delivery system to offer your gifts to the world. Cohorts for both certifications meet together once a month and in smaller cohort-groups the remaining weeks.
 

Eco-Spiritual Direction Certification

Introducing the first certificate program dedicated to the practice of spiritual guidance in reverent conversation with a sacred world.

Eco-Spiritual Direction is an emerging vocation that honors the vital role of nature in the human spiritual journey. It is an approach to the ancient practice of spiritual companionship that draws on a holistic understanding of what it means to be guided by Spirit in intimate connection with the living world. 

Whether you are already a spiritual director or wish to become one, this certificate program will help you develop skills in ecologically-attuned spiritual companionship.

 

In many religions, including Christianity, the vocation of spiritual companionship has been embodied by those who feel a call to listen with reverence to the spiritual journeys of others, responding with curiosity and kindness, with deep respect for the particular path of each person they sit with.  There is often a “third chair” imagined in the room occupied by the Holy.  In EcoSpiritual Direction, that third chair is held by the holy wild.

You will acquire tools to work with individuals and groups in the realms of discernment, dreamwork, holding space, and other skills that you might learn at another spiritual direction training program, all shaped by deep ecology and the wisdom of the living world.

 

This is a unique, first-of-its-kind program created through a partnership between the the Center for Wild Spirituality and Stillpoint, the leading spiritual direction training center out of California which has been training people to companion others for over forty years. Elizabeth Rechter, former director of Stillpoint, joins CWS founder, Victoria Loorz, in co-creating the curriculum and guiding the process, along with a team of passionate and creative eco-spiritual directors who serve as guides and companions. We are members of SDI, Spiritual Directors International.

You will receive all the tools and resources you need to companion people with confidence as an EcoSpiritual Director and begin working with directees right away upon completion of the certificate. 

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In partnership:

Image by Fineas Anton

Wild Guide Certification

Introducing the Wild Guide Certification, a training program for those who feel called to lead others on the path of wild mystery.

A new spiritual leadership model is emerging. Familiar with the transformative power of availing one's self to the holy wild, those called to become Wild Guides draw others into intimate relationship with Earth.

At the core, becoming a Wild Guide means that you are ready to apply the mindset of eco-spirituality to your work with others, in any context. Whether you are an artist, an architect, a therapist, a chef, an activist, or a gardener, a Wild Guide Certification affirms your calling to lead people into deeper connection with the wild earth.

This is a training for all who sense something more is being asked of you. Through this yearlong journey, you will explore your path forward alongside a cohort of like-minded friends, and you will be asked to make a deeper commitment to putting your wild call into practice. The world needs your unique gifts and perspective, and this program will equip you with the skills and support you need to make your vision a reality. You are likely already doing work that is relevant to this training, but now you are ready to integrate the sacred wild into everything you do, and this program will support you on that journey.

A Wild Guide helps others remember how to regard Earth with reverence, and encourages them to move through the world with the understanding that we are deeply interconnected with the sacred wild.

 

This training will equip you to tap into your inner authority, explore the full expression of your unique gifts, deepen into your mythopoetic story, and work with others to do the same:  all in deepening intimate relationship with the land.

 

A Wild Guide Certification will enable you to work as a Guide within the Seminary of the Wild Earth program as well as future offerings from the Center for Wild Spirituality. The Certification will also allow you to integrate this work into any other organization.

Program Elements:

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Mentoring Support

Seminary of the Wild Earth is grounded in relationship:  with the land, with the Holy, with one another. More than just knowledgeable and encouraging facilitators, the Guides are a dedicated group of earth mystics deeply committed to your journey.


You will receive monthly 1:1 private mentoring and supervision sessions with your Guide. Through their generative, respectful tracking throughout the year, these sessions both support you and model the art of soulful spiritual guidance. 

Image by Archee Lal

The Guides & Curriculum

Monthly "seedings" (teachings) are live, led by CWS founder, Victoria Loorz along with guest "wild luminaries": professors, practitioners and authors who have been dedicating their lives to reconciling nature and spirituality in diverse and interconnected ways. Readings from contemporary thought leaders in eco-spirituality are included. However, the curriculum prioritizes non-linear ways of knowing:  embodied, imaginal, creative, mythical, interactive, poetic, and conversational.

Image by Joshua Hoehne

Guided & Peer to Peer Supervision

Each month, Wild Guide and EcoSpiritual Direction participants will meet as separate groups to learn from one another as they share their experiences in peer and guide-held supervision sessions. 

These are robust conversations of inquiry into an emerging field of practice. Learning from one another and from the lessons of the land, you'll collect a growing compendium of practices, rituals, questions and invitations for interactions with the holy wild. 

Image by Tucker Monticelli

Practicum

This work is learned by doing, and so this program is grounded in practice. You will gain experience working with people from your own community as well as in sessions with co-participants.

Twice per month you will meet in a small kinship council group to practice the art and skills of eco-spiritual direction or wild guiding with the gentle support of guides and peers.

Image by Stefan Kunze

Weaving Project

Upon completion of the program, you will feel equipped with the experience and resources you need to serve your community with deep integrity. You will be working throughout the year on a project that weaves together your understanding of your calling, your gifts, your yearnings, and your articulation of your particular delivery system.

You will present this project at the closing ceremony at Ghost Ranch and you will leave this program ready to confidently step into your calling.

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Wild Ordination Ceremony

Ghost Ranch, New Mexico

June  2026, at the completion of the program

Ordination is a ritual of commitment.  To be ordained is to say "yes" to a calling. It is a sacrament in the Christian tradition and also practiced in Buddhism, Judaism, and, with different words, in just about every other tradition as well. The ceremony of ordination ritually marks a vow of fidelity to your particular sacred calling.

 

In wild ordination, the call comes from and through and in relationship with the natural world. You are not ordained by any human institution, but by the Sacred Wild herself.

 

The process of wild ordination is a way to solidify a vow you’ve been asked to make, while being witnessed by your community.  The commitment is one you’re making not to an institution, but to the sacred wild, to your own soul, and to your human community. Like any other life-long vow, it is a pledge and a prayer for the grace required to carry out your gifts in this world. 

Five days in the mythic canyonlands, solo wanderings among the red rocks encountering lizards and sage brush and stars — you will be sharing your yearlong weaving project, the delivery system you're birthing into the world. Together we will wander, engage in rituals and celebration, dance, engage in the inevitable grief work, and support one another in the wild ordination closing ceremony, where your certificate of completion will be presented.

Note: There is an additional cost of $2200 for the retreat that includes programming,  lodging/food cost for this five day closing experience, due Fall 2025.

Start your journey

with the first year of Seminary of the Wild Earth

$4200 per year

$2200 for Ghost Ranch

Monthly payments are available

Current cohort and alumni: Vocational certificates begin in 2024.

Alumni information.

An in-depth overview of the program elements, a breakdown of costs, the flow of the curriculum, logistics, and an extended FAQ to address common questions.

Each month, Victoria and the Guides host a free discernment session. Join to learn more about the program, ask questions, and connect with fellow edge-walkers.

A conversation with one of our guides can help you discern your participation in the program. Schedule a 1:1 call to connect with us personally.

  • 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 relies on your inner authority to enter into the reading as your curiosity leads you. The books are meant to deepen your experience if you are a learner that appreciates reading!)
  • Is this a Christian program?
    While rooted in the mystical Christ tradition, the vision for Seminary of the Wild Earth is a larger circle that includes and also transcends those who find themselves wanting to rewild the Christian story. The boundaries between denominations and religions are becoming more and more troublesome as a new (and yet ancient) story of interconnection emerges. People from many different spiritualities will seek a spiritual companion who is deeply connected with the rest of the natural world, so directors are needed who honor and support people from whichever tradition they come from. The Guides in the program team are already walking the path of earth-based spirituality from different religious and spiritual traditions. Guides' backgrounds range from practicing shamans, pastors, therapists, embodiment and mindfulness teachers, Eco-spiritual directors, therapeutic bodyworker and parts (IFS) therapists & Jungian Depth psychologists.
  • What is the weekly time commitment?
    The program is essentially your personal journey so you can customize how you need to! All of the readings, wanderings, journaling, inner work, and meditations are invitational. This is your journey. We are holding a container for the inner work you are already committed to doing -- toward the deeper engagement and edge you long for. We suggest a couple hours a week commitment- as you attend the weekly 2 hour live zooms (this timeslot rotates between the biweekly larger cohort teaching we call "seedings”, and a smaller 6-8 person council group session). There is also a seasonal intensive on a Saturday that begins and orients you to each of the three modules. Then you are free to choose among the many weekly invitations, and at least an hour weekly (more when possible) for the wandering invitations onland. If you can’t do anything else, committing to the wanders is essential.
  • Is this program all online/remote or in person?
    This first year foundational program is entirely online, and so the program allows global participation. All sessions are recorded (except for small groups) and shared in our ecosystem if time zones are an issue. Small groups are intentionally organized by time zone and rhythms are created with the participant's input. We have many international people that join and we do our best to gather those from similar time zones in small groups. We are offering for the first time a vision quest in person in summer 2025 between the first foundational program and second year vocational program. Also if you choose to continue to the vocational certificate program in the second year (EcoSpiritual Direction and Wild Guide Certificates), there is an in-person wild Ordination at the end of the second year at Ghost Ranch in person.
  • Do you have payment plans or scholarships available?
    Unfortunately, for now, we aren't yet in a position to offer scholarships. However, we do offer payment plans that can span throughout the year. A $420/month for ten months is offered for everyone. However, if you need to work out something else, please contact hello@wildspirituality.earth to discuss your needs.
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