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Reclaim. Renew. Rewild.

SemINARY of The wIlD

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Eco-Ministry Certificate Yearlong Program

Image by Johannes Plenio
FALL 2021 COHORT


ReWilding the
Pastor's Soul*

A yearlong eco-ministry immersion for pastors and other spiritual leaders. 

 

Begins October 17, 2021

Image by xandro Vandewalle
SUMMER 2022 COHORT


Eco-Ministry Certificate

A yearlong immersion for all who are called by Earth and Spirit to step into their unique role in the Great Turning.

 

Begins June 2022

NOTE:  The Eco-Ministry Certificate program is open to anyone.  You do not need to be a pastor, a Christian, or a spiritual leader and most participants are not. Many are being called into service to the Great Turning, as Thomas Berry and Joanna Macy and many others have called this moment in history.  The program is a container, a "wild seed bed" for those who sense that they are standing on a threshold, ready to embody more authentically the call unique to their own soul and gifts, particular to their own bio-region and human community at this urgently important time of transition.

 

The The ReWilding the Pastor's Soul program, offered Fall 2021, provides essentially the same Eco-Ministry Certificate experience, but is particularly targeted to pastors and others in positions of spiritual leadership (however you define that for yourself!) When the inner call to a deeper faith, more connected with the natural world, more challenging to the status quo comes for spiritual leaders, it can be challenging finding support and companionship on that journey. As well, many studies show that pastors suffer the highest rates of burn-out, loneliness, and depression amongst all professions. Many in spiritual leadership often get so focused on tending to the needs of others that they neglect the well-being of their own souls. 

 

For all, Seminary of the Wild is a safe (yet uncomfortable, as every threshold of change promises) container for the changes happening within you and the changes you're being called to bring into the world.

"For millions of years, before you arrived here, the dream of your individuality was carefully prepared. You were sent to a shape of destiny in which you would be able to express the special gift you bring to the world… It is in the depths of your life that you will discover the invisible necessity that has brought you here. When you begin to decipher this, your gift and giftedness come alive." - John O' Donohue

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The Seminary of the Wild Eco-ministry Certificate Program  is an experiential, nature-based, yearlong offering to help you remember your primary participation in sacred Earth. In the face of profound ecological and social challenges, a New Story is emerging. At the core of that Story is a weaving of an ancient path and a new way of relating to Earth, other species, each other, and the Divine. Thomas Berry calls this path "The Dream of the Earth." This deep and wild course is an animated and inter-connected conversation between all things.

 

This Eco-Ministry Certificate program offers nature-based tools, practices, teachings, experiences, and support for your inner transformation. You will journey with a band of wild pilgrims and guides as you move toward your wild calling during this period of turbulence leading us into profound transformation that Joanna Macy calls "The Great Turning.”

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During four ten-week modules you will:

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Discover

a deep sense of Belonging to a sacred world larger than humans, groaning for your full engagement 

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Reclaim

your own deep authenticity, your Wild Self waiting to be embodied in fearless leadership for a time such as this.

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Encounter

the Wild Christ through numinous encounters in conversation with your Wild Self and Wild Earth.

Embody

your sacred and wild calling as a gift to your community and watershed in deeper service to the world. 

Wild Earth 

Participate in Sacred Relationship with Earth

  • This introductory unit begins the trajectory of the program, online resources, reading lists, and group work in cohorts.

  • We explore themes of incarnation, and embodiment, a wild communion that helps us deepen our love for Earth as our primary community of belonging.

  • Participants will be invited to experience their own wild and indigenous belonging to the whole of the natural world as the primary path to the collective imagination and action required to restore our planet.

  • Practices range from dreamwork, contemplative wanders, embodied Earth-based prayers, and ceremony.

Wild Self

Clarify a Sense of Your Wild Authenticity

  • We explore our own hidden wholeness, the “treasure hidden in the field” of the Self — astonishing capacities, many of which are latent, suppressed, or unconscious.

  • With parables as a portal, we offer practices of dreams, deep imagery, shadow work over ten weeks focused on cultivating the four facets of our wholeness, and Self-healing.

  • We also explore the domestication of our inner-wildness, the suppression of the feminine, and structures of patriarchy and racial inequity.

  • Close with Wild Ceremony of intention to live more fully and authentically into our communities as leaders.

Wild Christ 

Reclaim the Wild Roots of the Christian Story

  • We explore the historical narrative of the Christian church in collusion with both empire and culture, supporting the domestication of our original wildness.

  • Non-western framework for understanding the Jesus of Scriptures, exploring Christian mystics through the lens of Celtic, indigenous spirituality, and animism.

  • Practices offered will help experience the archetypes of the Cosmic and Wild Christ as an invitation to undergo deep ecological metanoia.

  • Dreamwork, myth, imaginal journeys, wild liturgy, communion, and ceremony

Wild Call

Embody Your Authentic Identity as a Unique Gift to the World

  • We explore the summons of the Wild Christ in rewilding our “call” as leaders, and what it means to embody one’s authentic identity as a unique gift to the world.

  • Over nine weeks we focus on practical steps for cultivation of wholeness and integrating practices from the year into your life and ministry

  • Mentoring and group work will help participants explore practices, projects, one-step actions, and ceremonies for bringing authentic, soul-infused work into our places of worship and communities.

  • The yearlong culminates with an in-person intensive and certificate.

Seminary of the Wild ™ is a unique, psycho-spiritual educational paradigm—the first of its kind— rooted in direct experience. We weave the nature-based practices of wholing and healing work adapted largely from Bill Plotkin and the Animas Valley Institute—practices that have formed us as guides and our approach to human development—within a “rewilded and always rewilding” Christian framework. 

 

A closer look reveals wild roots threading underground beneath the dominant story of the Christian history of visionary mystics who have charted bold and innovative Earth-based spiritual paths. Reclaiming these wild roots of the Christian story is to affirm and encounter the numinous power once available to be reclaimed and embodied in our times.

We will journey away from the domesticating and indoctrinating forces of Western society into a deep rediscovery and enchantment of Earth, Self, Christ, and our Call. Seminary of the Wild brings out of the 'storeroom' of the perennial wisdom tradition 'treasures new as well as old', drawing on the wisdom of ancient streams of Christian mysticism and Celtic spirituality as well as contemporary pan-cultural practices integrated from the Animas Valley Institute. 

 

Nature-based spiritual practices, such as contemplative wanders, sacred council, facilitated group work, ceremony, dreamwork, imaginal journeys, embodied movement, writing, and eco-theological reflection and discussion will help us return to our original wholeness, our wildness, and our authentic service.

Forest Path

Richard Rohr reflects on Seminary of the Wild:

Core Elements of the Program 

GROUNDED IN EXPERIENCE  The yearlong is designed around at-home intensives with on-the-land invitations that immerse participants in the wild Earth in a way that cultivates deep conversation between the more-than-human community and the Wild Self. The big book of creation offers its revelatory voice and vision, permeating our magnificently diverse and astonishing world. We find our wholeness and purpose in direct conversation with nature and the soul. Wild Seminarians learn to ‘listen to" and "speak to" the land, and to be ‘mirrored’ by Earth. These practices assist the cultivation of our greater wholeness and the discovery of our deeper calling. You could say our nature-based practices help us expand our sense of Self to include the more-than-human world that sustains us, what Deep Ecology founder Arne Naess calls the Ecological Self.  

 

GUIDED SUPPORT & MENTORING   Each participant receives ten one-on-one mentoring sessions from experienced nature-based human development guides from various backgrounds in spiritual direction, coaching, and Wild Mind training (Animas Valley Institute). The guides are joined by eco-spirituality authors, theologians, and cultural artists through the monthly Wild Luminaries guest speakers. These individuals offer insights and invitations to deepen our journey toward sacred Earth connection, wholeness and Self-healing, and a numinous encounter with the mystery of God, and practical embodiment of your unique calling.


AUTHENTIC LEARNING COMMUNITY Each yearlong cohort meets online every week throughout the year (with a monthlong break in December) for learning and mutual support. These cohort companions ask similar questions and develop into significant friendships and allies for this work, which can occasionally feel isolating and confusing. The guided practices and in-depth reading syllabus create fertile soil for un-colonizing the imagination. Creative collaboration arises in the context of intimacy built in a group that spends the year together.

The full program includes all sessions, food, lodging for final intensive, mentoring sessions, Wild Luminaries series, and curriculum.

A 10% deposit reserves your place in the cohort.  Monthly payments are possible if needed.

Because this program is a serious yearlong commitment, we like to schedule a one-to-one call with anyone who is feeling drawn to join us.  We would love to hear your story and can answer any questions about the program.   

What Is Included?

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 Nature-based Guided Immersions into your own wildish Place.  At the end of the program, (pandemic restrictions pending), we plan to gather together for a five day Immersion on the land together.

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Online Webinars with renowned Wild Luminaries from interdisciplinary fields.

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Weekly Zoom-video conference sessions, Councils, and Wild Cafe discussion groups, facilitated by Seminary of the Wild Guides and other participants. 

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A focused Eco-Ministry Reading List for discussion and reflection (plus electronic program resources)

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Ten Personal Mentoring Sessions with A Seminary of the Wild Guide

 
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ZOOM Weekend Intensives

Beginning of each module

Each module Wild Earth, Wild Self, Wild Christ, and Wild Call, begins with a three-day Intensive.  We will meet on Zoom: Friday and Saturday afternoons (3 pm pacific) and Friday and Saturday mornings (8:30 am pacific) as a cohort for two hours each session.  In between these Zoom gatherings, participants wander in their own wildish places near them with invitations for encounters with the land, your soul and Mystery.  

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On-Land Wild Intensive with Solo-Fast

The programs begin and end at Ghost Ranch, near Santa Fe, New Mexico

The yearlong program offers opportunities to invest deeply in your wildish land near your home.  We begin and end the program, post-pandemic, with a five day gathering at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico.  The cost for room & board is paid directly to Ghost Ranch.  Camping and food is approximately $250 per person, and shared or private rooms upgrades are availabe. We will engage in communal ritual and fellowship with your human cohort and the wild. After a year of deep relationships, this week will be a joyful meeting of soul friends and a meeting of new high desert friends of Ghost Ranch.  

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WEEKLY ZOOM GATHERINGS

Fall 2021 Cohort:  Tuesdays 11 am PT   ~  Summer 2022 Cohort: Wednesdays 5 pm PT   

The entire cohort meets consistently every other week for two hours online to deepen into each of the four modules: Wild Earth, Wild Self, Wild Christ and Wild Call. There are new invitations, new content, and new readings and contemplations offered each week. Full commitment to the program includes setting aside time weekly to spend in nature, reading, and journaling. We also hold space for a "Wild Cafe" on Thursday evenings which is an opportunity for participants to share their own gifts, facilitate more-in-depth discussion among the cohort, or hang out with a virtual "happy hour." 

For the weeks where the entire cohort doesn’t gather, you will meet with your own wild clan (group of 6-8 participants) to share from the heart and to witness and be witnessed by your fellow sojourners.

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WILD LUMINARIES SERIES

Thursdays, once a month, usually 5-7 pm (pacific)

Master teachings from Wild Luminaries in the field of eco-spirituality.  Authors, thinkers, activists, theologians, guides, therapists join us monthly for a Zoom webinar.  All webinars during the duration of the yearlong are included as part of the curriculum.  See the list of luminaries for this year (new luminaries will be added throughout 2021)

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ECO-MINISTRY CURRICULUM

Yearlong, in four modules:  Wild Earth, Wild Self, Wild Christ, Wild Call

A focused eco-ministry reading list for discussion and reflection include authors such as Thomas Berry, Joanna Macy, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Barbara Holmes, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, John Philip Newell, Richard Rohr, Cynthia Borgeault, Mirabai Starr, Andreas Weber, Thich Nhat Hanh, Bill Plotkin, Belden Lane, David Abram. So many transformational thinkers and writers. There isn't time to read everything, so sometimes articles or videos are offered for further investigation.  One or two books are "required" (in quotes because EVERYTHING is an invitation!) per Module.  Lots of poetry too... a little Mary Oliver, David Whyte, Yeats, Rilke, Rumi, Antonio Machada, Audre Lourde.   An online system called Trello helps students keep track of the readings, invitations, exercises, and feedback.

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ONE-TO-ONE MENTORING

Monthly sessions, arranged individuslly

You will also receive a monthly one-on-one mentoring session with one of the Guides. The guides are experienced and skilled nature-based human development guides with backgrounds in coaching and spiritual direction. These sessions help deepen your experiences, offer opportunities to share dreams, and receive mirroring and personal invitations for further exploration. 

The full program includes all sessions, food, lodging for final intensive, mentoring sessions, Wild Luminaries series, and curriculum.

A 10% deposit reserves your place in the cohort.  Monthly payments are possible if needed.

Because this program is a serious yearlong commitment, we like to schedule a one-to-one call with anyone who is feeling drawn to join us.  We would love to hear your story and can answer any questions about the program.