Ordination Preparation Program
For those called to serve in an interfaith way
Rev. Dr. Luccia Rogers
Course List and Descriptions
Independent, Interfaith spiritual communities recognize the need to prepare clergy who share tjeir vision, mission, and purpose to best serve the needs of the community. This program intends to prepare interfaith clergy to serve the ritual, spiritual, healing, and pastoral needs of diverse communities.
The program consists of three parts: Comparative Spirituality, Ministerial Service, and a Healing Modality (Modality is student’s choice).
Following are the Ministerial Service courses of the program.
Caring for the Soul, Parts 1 & 2. 60 hours. 20 Weeks.
Interfaith Pastoral Direction requires openness and awareness of the unique spiritual path of each person and a variety of supportive, counseling, and uplifting techniques and modalities. The curriculum includes:
Love Languages and Relationships
Pastoral Limits: To whom, how, and when to refer to mental health professionals
Addictions and Recovery
Yoga and the Chakras
Talking with Angels and Spirit Guides
Pastoral Direction/Counseling Methodology
Illness, Loss, and Grief
The various modalities are intended to introduce learners to diverse methods they may find helpful in working with diverse people with diverse spiritual and live experiences. If a learner finds they desire to gain greater training in specific modalities, they will be referred to appropriate training programs or teachers.
Learners pair up to both offer Pastoral Direction and to receive Pastoral Direction weekly during the course. They also meet with core faculty at least every two weeks to receive Pastoral Direction. This practical experience enhances their theoretical knowledge while also addressing their personal spiritual growth during the program.
Authentic Ritual: 20 hours. 10 Weeks.
Clergy are called upon to provide rituals, ceremonies, and services to mark myriad life transitions including the birth of children, house blessings, marriages and relationship blessings, funerals and memorial services, community spiritual celebrations, and time of year/holy day celebrations, etc.
Keeping in mind the words of Matthew Fox, “Authentic Ritual comes from the lived experience of the community,” learners in this course will explore the cultural/social/historical roots of various rituals from a variety of spiritual traditions, engage in a variety of rituals as well as creating their own rituals for life events. Upon completion, learners will have compiled a set of rituals upon which they may build in their future work as ministers.
Course List and Description
How humans learn and create cultural memory
The role of ritual in human societies and cultures
Rituals from the Jewish faith
Rituals from the Christian faith
Rituals from the Moslem faith
Rituals from the Pagan tradition
Rituals from the American Indian traditions
Creating and holding sacred space
Co-creating ritual with those we serve
Creating life event ceremonies
Homiletics: Spreading the Word: 20 hours. 10 Weeks.
Teaching and preaching in public may be the most challenging part of the role of minister. Learners in this course will be encouraged from the beginning to speak in public to gain confidence and grace in the delivery of their message of spirituality. Learners will also be exposed to the procedure of researching, outlining, writing, and delivering a sermon.
Death, Dying, and Special Needs: 20 Hours. 10 Weeks.
This class consists of two parts: five weeks focused upon serving both individuals and families going through the process of death and dying, including hospice and five weeks focused upon so-called special needs populations.
Week 1 – 5: Serving the End of Life as a Sacred Process
Week 6: Addiction, Recovery, Rehabilitation
Week 7: Honoring the Differently-Abled
Week 8: Preserving Innocence: Children and Youth
Week 9: Honoring Elders
Week 10: Walking with Wounded Warriors
Serving the Community: How to be a Pastor. 20 Hours. 10 Weeks.
Learners in this course explore the legal realm in which clergy operate, ethical considerations of the work of ministers, receive practical advice on forming and serving congregations and communities, and create a plan for a service learning project which can also be used in the, “Mystical Practicum,” class of the Comparative Spirituality courses of this program.
Cost per Course: $400.
Cost for Ministerial Service Portion of the Ordination Preparation Program: $2400.
Practical Mysticism Certificate Course List and Descriptions
Comparative Spirituality: The, “Practical Mysticism,” Certificate Program
Following are the Comparative Spirituality courses of the program. These also comprise the, “Practical Mysticism,” certificate program. Ministerial candidates who complete these courses will receive a certificate in Practical Mysticism.
Certificate of Excellence: 100 hours
Mysticism, an Introduction. 10 hours, 3 Credits.
Students are introduced to various mystical traditions found in major world religions including, Khaballah, Sufism, Zen, etc. Study of sacred texts, poetry, chanting, meditation, and other practices is included. The relationship of mystical traditions to their “parent,” religions is explored along with their historical context.
Living Life as a Spiritual Being, pts. 1, 2, & 3. 10 hours, 3 Credits each.
Course meets for 10 weeks, 2 hours per week. Each session involves guided discussion of various mystical texts, still and moving meditations, breathwork and other appropriate esoteric practices along with personalized support for each student’s ongoing spiritual and healing work.
Texts: Part 1: “The Parliament of the Birds,” by Attar.
Part 2: “The Secret Garden,” by Shabistari.
Part 3: “The Seven Storey Mountain,” by Merton
Optional/Ongoing Texts: “The Imitation of Christ,” by a’Kempis, “A Bowl of Saki,” by Khan, “Zen Flesh, Zen Bones,” by Reps, ed., and “This is the New Age in Person,” by Lewis.
Khaballah, an Introduction. 10 hours, 3 Credits.
This mystical tradition of Judaism has enjoyed greater exposure and public awareness while providing a growing number of people with deeper spiritual experience. Students explore basic tenets and practices while studying the historical context and traditions of the Khaballah.
Shamanic Traditions. 10 hours, 3 Credits.
Students will study the historical contexts in which shamanism arose, the contemporary cultures in which it remains active, and the differences and similarities between traditional and modern shamanism. Practices including chanting, breathwork, drumming, and trance will be explored.
Hildegaard, Eckhart, and the Christian Mystics. 10 hours, 3 Credits.
Writings, sermons, music, and the lives of Hildegaard von Bingen, Meister Eckhart, Thomas a’Kempis and other Christian mystics of the Middle Ages inform this exploration of the mystical tradition in Christianity.
Whirling, Chanting, Poems, Dancing: Sufism from the Deserts to the Heavens. 10 hours, 3 Credits.
Whether descended from the Mystery Schools of Egypt or the secret teachings of Mohammed, Sufism’s practices and traditions include poetry full of meanings within meanings, chants and prayers, moving meditations such as the “sema,” the turning dance of the Dervishes, the modern Dances of Universal Peace, and zikr, the remembering of one’s oneness with the Divine. Students will study the poetry of Rumi, Attar, Shabistari, Gibran and others, and explore various practices of this ancient and modern mystical tradition.
Beyond the Illusions of the World, Gnostics and the Union with All. 10 hours, 3 Credits.
Gnosticism informed Judaism and early Christianity so greatly that Gnostic Christianity was the dominant form of the religion in the first centuries of the Church. Gnostic cosmology, history, and traditions will be explored as well as texts including some found at Qumran. Students will also examine the similarities and differences between the ancient and modern expressions of Gnosticism.
Mystical Practicum. 10 hours, 3 Credits.
This capstone course provides support for student-created and student-directed service learning projects. Students will demonstrate how their spirituality and mystical journey supports and energizes their service and healing work in the community.
Program Organization, Course Order, & Intentions
Each course is intended to be experiential as well as academic. As appropriate, various chants, meditations, songs, dances, drumming, etc., and esoteric practices are included in each class session.
The Mystical Practicum serves to provide students the opportunity to create a project that demonstrates how their work in the world both supports and is supported by their spirituality. It also meets current best practices for college service learning courses and requirements.
The introductory course in Mysticism is the prerequisite for all other courses. The three parts of Living Life as a Spiritual Being are best experienced in order, but can be joined at any part of the sequence as the order of texts repeats in a cycle. Any of the other courses can be taken simultaneously with the Living Life as a Spiritual Being courses.
Accreditation: This certificate program is academically rigorous, spiritually sound, and balanced between “classroom,” experiential, and service learning. Presently, this certificate program is not accredited. We are pursuing CEU-granting permissions. These courses and this program are intended to support people in strengthening their spiritual journey and supporting their practical work in the world as an expression of that journey.
Cost per Course: $400.
Cost for Practical Mysticism/Comparative Spirituality Program: $4000
Cost for Ministerial Service Program: $2400.
Cost per Course: $400.
Cost for Practical Mysticism/Comparative Spirituality Program: $4000.
Cost per Course: $400.
$534 per month for 12 months.
$267 per month for 24 months.
$178 per month for 36 months.
Payments collected via debit or credit card automatically charged the 15th of each month.
Sample Program Schedule
Practical Mysticism/Comparative Spirituality classes currently meet once a week, for Living Life as a Spiritual Being, Parts 1, 2, and 3 meets once a week.
Ministerial Service classes currently once a week.
All the above meet in person in Apache Junction, Arizona, and live online. Potential regional in-person meetings possible depending upon sufficient class enrollment.
Sample Statement of Beliefs for an Interfaith Community/Church
Community Statement of Beliefs
___________ Church is an independent faith, healing, and spirituality-based community. We welcome all who seek to co-create lives and a world based upon love, harmony, peace, and beauty. We hold the following guiding principles as a summary of beliefs.
At __________ Community We Believe and State:
We are an interfaith community, we welcome all people of all faiths and people of none;
We are a bridge between Pre-Christian and Post-Christian faiths. In this, we honor the sacred feminine, the sacred creation, and embrace the goddess in all her forms and the god in all his forms;
We embrace all sacred texts, including the texts of nature;
We seek to heal the rifts between men and women, young and old, gay and straight, and all divisions which keep people apart from one another;
Full health is humanity’s natural state and we support any practice or modality that seeks to promote and maintain full health;
Everyone is inherently creative in whatever form that takes for them. This includes visual arts, music, dance, theatre, written and spoken word, and expressions of lifestyle;
All people have natural and universal human rights and we support and affirm every person’s inherent equality.
Additions and Changes for Preparation of Potential Cherags
This program has been reviewed by the Sufi Ruhaniat International and any or all of it is available for use by Sirajs (senior ministers) actively training potential cherags (ministers) to offer the Service of Universal Peace and ministerial services. This program was developed with full awareness, appreciation, and dedication to the interfaith nature of the Service of Universal Peace, the Universal Worship, and all Inayati Sufi orders and groups and activities. Thus, we welcome participation of potential cherags and offer any support we can for their spiritual formation and growth as they prepare themselves to answer their calling as a cherag.
Preparation for cherags requires specialized and additional course material to be offered along with the Ordination Preparation Curriculum. Following are the changes/additions to the Ordination Preparation Curriculum to better prepare cherags.
1) The, “Homiletics,” course will be shortened to four weeks and,
2) There will be a six-week Service of Universal Peace/Universal Worship-focused course for potential cherags to practice and co-create Rite of Passage and Life Event rituals such as Weddings, Memorial Services, etc., to increase facility and skill with these ceremonies in greater harmony with their calling as cherags.
3) Training in a healing modality is not required. Cherags may elect to pursue that training on their own. Also, active membership in the Dervish Healing Order will fulfill this program requirement.
4) Additional studies in the various faiths and sacred texts represented in the Service of Universal Peace are offered along with the Comparative Spirituality/Practical Mysticism classes at no additional charge as follows:
During the Introduction to Mysticism course, texts and traditions from Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism are also offered.
During the Shamanic Traditions course, sacred texts and traditions representing the Divine Creation and the Divine Feminine are also offered.
During the Introduction to Kabbalah course, texts and traditions from the Zoroastrian religion are also offered.
During the Christian Mystics course, texts and traditions from the Baha’i religion are also offered.
During the Sufism course, readings from the Quran and various Sufi texts, traditions, and practices are offered to provide a background in Islam, “traditional,” Sufi orders, and Universal Sufism.
During the Gnostics course, readings and practices from various Gnostic traditions are included.
Readings, traditions, and practices from the Hindu religion are offered as a Weekend Intensive.
5) Preparation and practice in the Service of Universal Peace and the Universal Worship is included for all students during the Authentic Ritual course.
6) Training in the Dances of Universal Peace and various Walks is by arrangement with local Dance Leaders or with one’s Siraj. Thus, cherags studying either online or with others in various regions may build relationships with their local Sufi and Dance communities.
The Element Breaths, Healing Breaths and Walks, and various meditative and chanting practices including zikr and wazifas are part of the standard Ordination Preparation Program along with at least one dance from each religion or faith tradition offered in the Service of Universal Peace.
7) Cherags in the Caring for the Soul courses will also receive guidance in using, “Physicians of the Heart,” as a Pastoral Direction/Spiritual Counseling text.
It is not anticipated there will be an additional charge for the above enhanced training offered to cherags.
Primary instruction for cherag-specific training would be by Rev. Dr. Luccia Jalila Rogers. Dr. Rogers, Program Designer and lead author of the Ordination Program, is an almost-20-year member of the Sufi Ruhaniat International and is a cherag with 18 years’ experience. North American students will be able to join live, online courses in the program to participate in the local cohort. And, if there is sufficient enrollment for regional, weekend intensives, Dr. Rogers will offer the entire program as a series of once or twice-monthly weekend sessions for potential cherags at various locations, depending upon interest and enrollment.
However, as is written above, this curriculum is available to Sirajs who may use any, all, or none of it at their discretion. This curriculum currently is not authorized by the Sufi Ruhaniat International as a training program for cherags on its own.
Other Interfaith or Interspiritual Organizations
This curriculum is available by license or contract with Heartwing Education for use in preparation of interfaith clergy. As most interfaith clergy are independent and/or non-affiliated, anyone who elects to study and complete this curriculum will be eligible for ordination by Heartwing Education, a non-profit religious and educational organization.
Please contact Rev. Dr. Luccia Rogers for more information via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Biographies & C.V.s
Rev. Dr. Luccia Jalila Rogers
Program Designer, Lead Author, & Primary Educator
Rev. Dr. Rogers holds degrees in History from University of Maryland, Culture & Creation Spirituality from the Institute in Culture and Creation Spiritual at Holy Names University, and Social and Cultural Anthropology from California Institute of Integral Studies. She also holds a certificate in Transformational Life Coaching from Southwest Institute of Healing Arts and is a trained hypnotherapist.
Rev. Dr. Rogers is a co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of Earth Spirit Community, an independent, interfaith spiritual community committed to fostering each person’s healing and growth of mind, body, and spirit. She also serves as ESC’s Director of Education. In that capacity, she co-created, authored, and is a Primary Educator of the Interfaith Ordination Preparation Program.
Her, “Practical Mysticism,” certificate program has been offered since 2010 and is also the Comparative Spirituality portion of the Interfaith Ordination Program.
Dr. Rogers’ Heartwing Education is a non-profit, religious and educational organization in which she provides curriculum, course, and program development, and contract classroom instruction as well as interfaith education and community building.
Luccia Jalila Rogers is an almost-20-year mureed of the Sufi Ruhaniat International. She was ordained a cherag in 1994, following receipt of her M.A. from ICCS/Holy Names University and a year of study with Khalif Ahmaddin a-Salik abd-Allah. Luccia Jalila was a resident of Khankah SAM from 1994-1995. Her spiritual journey includes being raised Lutheran, a few years as a Catholic, exploration of creation-centered and pagan traditions, and discovery of Universal Sufism which has become the chalice which holds all her spiritual studies and interests.
She was married to her spouse, Jackson in 2008 in California before Prop. 8, and they share their home in Apache Junction, Arizona (far suburban Phoenix) with two cats. Jackson works as a college librarian, is a mureed (student) of Sufism, was Baha’i, and is a member of the initial cohort of this Ordination Preparation program.