Reclaim. Renew. Rewild.

SemINARY of The wIlD

Eco-Ministry Certificate Yearlong Program

New Cohort Starting in 2021

Our two 2020 cohorts are full, but you can reach out for more information or to sign up for our waiting list for our newest 2021 yearlong cohort by clicking here:

The Seminary of the Wild Eco-ministry Certification 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 program is for those individuals who sense that their old ways of believing, being, and doing are inadequate for the tasks ahead.  We invite all who feel their longing to take their unique and vital role in the emergence of this New Story to join the Seminary of the Wild.

 

This Eco-Ministry Certificate program offers nature-based tools, practices, teachings, experiences, and support for your inner transformation 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.”

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 encounter in conversation with your wild Self and wild Earth.

Embody

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

Wild Earth 

Participate in Sacred Relationship with Earth

  • This introductory unit begins with 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, 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 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 ten weeks we focus on practical steps for cultivation of wholeness and integrating practices from the week 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 always rewilding” Christian framework.

 

A closer look reveals wild roots threading underground beneath the dominant story of 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 both affirm and experience 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. 

 

Through 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, we will 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, and 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 own 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 the land, to be ‘mirrored’ by Earth in a way that assists in the cultivation of greater wholeness and the discovery of their 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 trained nature-based human development guides, with various backgrounds in spiritual direction, coaching, and Wild Mind (Animas Valley Institute) training.   Guides are joined by eco-spirituality authors and theologians through the monthly Wild Luminaries guest speakers who offer insights and invitations to deepen their journey of sacred Earth connection, wholeness and Self-healing, 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 are asking similar questions and develop into important friendships for this work that can otherwise 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

October1-3, January 21-23, April 22-24,  July 8-10

Each module begins with a weekend Intensive.  Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings (5 pm pacific) and Friday and Saturday mornings (8:30 am pacific) we meet as a cohort on Zoom for two hours each session.  In between these Zoom gatherings, participants wander the land near them with specific invitations for encounters with the land, your soul and Mystery.  

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On-Land Closing Intensive

October 7-11, 2021 (pending COVID restrictions)

At the end of the program, we will gather (as long as it is safe to travel again by then!) in person to complete the certificate.  While the yearlong program has offered opportunities to invest deeply in your own wild land near your home, this final week is an opportunity to intensify your experience in nature, engage in ritual together, and spend deep-time with your cohort, those who have become friends and kindred spirits throughout the year.The five-day program will take place at a beautiful 200 acre Capuchin retreat center in Michigan.

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WEEKLY ZOOM GATHERINGS

Wednesday evenings, 5-7 pm (pacific)

Every week, for two hours, the cohorts will meet to deepen into each of the four modules.  Wild Earth (October - December), Wild Self (January - April), Wild Christ (mid April - June) and Wild Call (July - mid September).  New invitations, new content, new readings will be offered each modules and each week.  Full commitment to the program includes setting aside time weekly to spend in nature, some 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 deeper discussion among the cohort, or just hang out with a virtual "happy hour."   

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WILD LUMINARIES SERIES

Tuesday evenings, once a month, 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

Wild seminarians meet  in "clans" with one Seminary of the Wild guide every week to help process in Council experiences.  In addition, every month, a one-on-one session is offered with one of the Guides, who are trained nature-based human development guides with backgrounds in coaching and spiritual direction.  These sessions help deepen your experience, offer opportunities to share dreams, receive mirroring and personal invitations for 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.   

© 2016 Seminary of the Wild      |     Contact:  Guides@SeminaryoftheWild.com