Stepping Stones Program - For Ministerial Ordination or Personal Spiritual Growth
Perhaps you are feeling a calling from deep within yourself to begin serving others in a whole new way. Or perhaps you are just seeking to take your own personal spiritual growth to a whole new level. Whatever the case may be, we invite you to consider taking a step into your advanced spiritual growth training. Within MiraclesOne you will find a world-wide community of committed ACIM students who join together to support each other in the joyful awakening to the Loving Presence within. A Course in Miracles tells us that "God needs our voice that He may speak through us. He needs our hands to hold His messages, and carry them to those whom He appoints. He needs our feet to bring us where He wills, that those who wait in misery may be at last delivered. And He needs our will united with His Own, that we may be the true receivers of the gifts He gives." (W-154.11) With our MiraclesOne Stepping Stones Program, you will be afforded a wide range of experiences throughout your study to become an ordained minister OR if you simply wish to enhance your personal and spiritual growth:
- Interactions with other ACIM and MiraclesOne ministerial students to build community,
- deep inner reflection,
- learning from experienced teachers and facilitators
- facilitating and teaching opportunities in our ministry,
- receiving and offering spiritual direction counseling,
- a dedicated experienced mentor,
- and as always with MiraclesOne programs - practical application of A Course in Miracles.
- The program is under the direction of Rev. Deb Phelps and Rev. Paul Phelps
Rev. Deb Phelps is the Senior Minister of MiraclesOne. She has been teaching A Course in Miracles for 23+ years. She is the author of several ACIM-based books. Rev. Deb, along with her husband, Rev. Paul Phelps, have regularly presented to the large ACIM Conference gatherings in San Francisco, Chicago, Cleveland, and in New York City, to name a few. They are seasoned teachers who not only know the Course but live the Course in their everyday lives. Their loving demonstration of ACIM principles has inspired many. Read more about Revs. Deb and Paul and our team here. The Stepping Stones Ministerial Ordination/Spiritual Growth Program prepares the student to become a licensed ordained minister and spiritual direction counselor over the course of one year. Students can start at any time. The academic curriculum is divided up into four quarters over the training year. In this curriculum students will further develop their abilities to tune into, listen and receive guidance from the Holy Spirit in order to better serve the world around them. Students can expect to experience accelerated healing and spiritual growth as they engage in in-depth inner work and studies with their classmates, mentors and the Holy Spirit. In this program students will also develop their skills in empathetic listening, servant leadership, spiritual counseling, ministerial services and ceremonies, group facilitation, public speaking and writing.
How long does the ministerial program take?
The program is designed to be completed in one year's time. Over the course of the year's time, you will experience spiritual and personal growth like none other. We have witnessed this in dedicated and determined students many times. What you put into the program is what you will receive. There are no shortcuts to the program. A ministerial license is one to be taken with honor and respect. We look for this in our candidates. MiraclesOne Center for ACIM is legally recognized as a church. We take this profoundly seriously as we ordain our ministers. Be aware that more and more state governments are cracking down on and challenging the free, online instant ordinations that proliferate the internet. There are guidelines by the IRS for churches that seek to ordain its ministers so that it is legal to perform weddings and to receive tax breaks. In their eyes, (and yes, we still operate in this world even though as ACIM students we know its all an illusion), there must be a formal process for ordination. For a church the ordination of a minister must be a considered, deliberate, and responsible act. That is why we have our program in place. We need to work within the world, yet know we are beyond this world.
How do I acquire the curriculum?
You will receive access to an online Stepping Stones path checklist with all the information you need. You will follow each stepping stone, complete, submit assignments and move to the next. The Ministerial Ordination Program is designed to allow students to easily participate and complete their ministerial classes from the convenience of their own homes or while traveling. Students with a personal computer, webcam, Internet connection and telephone will have the basic tools they need to participate in and complete class assignments. Classes will be completed via Internet video conferences, teleconferences, online courses, video and audio lectures, independent study and mentor meetings. Students should feel comfortable with technology and we do help our students to make it easy to use these features.
***Our program uses the following:
- online tools and apps,
- downloadable audios,
- online videos,
- communication and professional videoconferencing software.
***You will need:
- a computer or laptop, webcam and microphone. Most laptops today include these features.
- students can also use an iPhone, iPad, Android Phone/Tablet as there are apps for the video-conferencing and communication software for these items.
- teleconferencing is an option.
- journal, essay and other writing for students occurs continuously throughout the program. These will need to be submitted on a regular basis so having a computer to type your essays and internet connectivity is vital.
* MiraclesOne Center uses the Third Edition of A Course in Miracles, published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.
Application to Stepping Stones Ministerial/Spiritual Growth Program
To be eligible to apply for admission into the Stepping Stones Program, applicants must meet the prerequisite:
Applicants must have at least a few years experience in the study and practical application of A Course in Miracles principles, have completed the Lessons in the Workbook for Students, and complete a personal interview* with a MiraclesOne staff member. * Personal interviews may be completed either in-person, via Internet videoconference or teleconference.
Students are responsible for upholding the highest integrity throughout the program and to renew their ministerial license each year. The Characteristics of God's Teachers are a framework of how to be a teacher and minister to others. How will you demonstrate these during your ministerial journey?
Characteristics of God's Teachers
Curriculum Stepping Stones
You do not embark this journey alone. The Holy Spirit is your Guiding Light, Jesus is with you, as is your mighty companions. Place your trust in them.
As Teachers and Ministers of God, we take our responsibilities seriously. All benefit from the exchange of energies
Students are responsible for upholding the highest integrity and to be self-motivated and self-disciplined to follow through with their assignments and other responsibilities.
As Teachers and Ministers of God, not only do we continue our own inner work and spiritual growth, but we also demonstrate to others. These sessions help you to achieve this goal.Within the First Quarter (12 weeks), you will be attending TWO (2) of the Living ACIM In-Person Classes currently available as indicated by MiraclesOne Staff.There is an option for the second class to do independently online. Assignments and an essay is written after each class. This repeats in subsequent quarters. As Teachers and Ministers of God, we are open to learning from other teachers/ministers. There are gifts we receive as we share.These sessions help you to discover your teaching style as you go through the program. Within the First Quarter, you will be attending various MiraclesOne study groups and programs, so you may see how our other facilitators lead. Everyone brings their own gifts to the table. There are no comparisons with one another as teachers as we all share from the One. You will submit short essays on these. This repeats in subsequent quarters. Be a Happy Learner! You will attend or watch various MiraclesOne lectures throughout the program and write an essay review. Stretch outside yourself and find out Who You Really Are. Throughout the program you will be attending several workshops and/or retreats. You will submit short essays on these. Truth will correct all errors in our mind. You will be attending periodically our Healing Circle Experience. This can be done in person or via video. You will submit short essays on these. Throughout the program you will be sharing written short articles that describe your miracle experiences in written form. You "teach" what you need to "learn" and do this by sharing. These can also be completed through short audio or video posts. The role of a Teacher in our journey is very important. Receiving mentoring from a more mature student of A Course in Miracles is a gift you will retain for the rest of your life. Periodically throughout the program you will meet with a mentor who will guide you through the program. Yet when he is ready to go on, he goes with mighty companions beside him. Now he rests a while, and gathers them before going on. He will not go on from here alone. You will attend monthly online videoconference meetings with other Ministerial Students and Mentors. And God ordained, in loving kindness, that it be for you. You will gain a deeper understanding of the importance of "kindness" in working with students or clients. We use Dr. Ken Wapnick materials in this class. But remember the first principle in this course; there is no order of difficulty in miracles. In reality you are perfectly unaffected by all expressions of lack of love. These can be from yourself and others, from yourself to others, or from others to you. Peace is an attribute [in] you. You cannot find it outside. Illness is some form of external searching. Health is inner peace. Learn the essence of true healing as you begin to work with others. I am here only to be truly helpful. I am here to represent Him Who sent me. I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because He Who sent me will direct me. I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing He goes there with me. I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal. You will learn how to facilitate groups with love and gentleness and learn the art of listening. Each one must share one goal with someone else, and in so doing, lose all sense of separate interests. To guide and be truly helpful to potential students or clients, you will learn the art of spiritual direction. You will also study supplements to ACIM: The Song of Prayer and Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice. To teach is to learn. You will learn how to be confident and comfortable in presenting and teaching using various formats. I am among the ministers of God. You will use materials to help you to create inspiring ceremonies for others. Remembering the gifts forgiveness gives, we undertake our practicing today with hope and faith that this will be the day salvation will be ours. We give you several opportunities within the MiraclesOne community to practice what you have learned. The journey to God is merely the reawakening of the knowledge of where you are always, and what you are forever. It is a journey without distance to a goal that has never changed. As you come to the end of the program, you will write an essay sharing your ministerial journey experience. You who are now the messenger of God, receive His messages. For that is part of your appointed role. God has not failed to offer what you need, nor has it been left unaccepted. Yet another part of your appointed task is yet to be accomplished. He Who has received for you the messages of God would have them be received by you as well. For thus do you identify with Him and claim your own. And then after all your hard work and approval by the MiraclesOne Advisory Board, you will be ordained. You can choose your ordination at one of our retreats or by video conference.
Remember always, you walk with God. We look forward to sharing this experience with you!
Tuition & Application Timeline
When can I begin the program?
You can begin the program at anytime throughout the year. There are a few caveats if you decide to start in the summer, see below.
The tuition for the one year Stepping Stones Ministerial Ordination/Spiritual Growth Program is $1,500* You can pay with debit or credit card. To pay by check, contact us. If you need a payment plan, PayPal Credit is available with No Payments + No Interest if paid in full in 6 months.
* No refunds are given after 30 days.
Enrollment Application, Application Fee and Ministerial Application Essays must be submitted promptly so we may set up an interview with you. It is important that you plan in your schedule to participate in the Thursday Living ACIM classes and the various study groups and workshops when required. NOTE Living ACIM Classes are held from mid-September through end of May each year.
What if I want to start in the summer?
If you start in the summer you will be able to begin to meet your requirements for Stepping Stones: Learning & Sharing, Lecture Reviews, Workshop/Retreat Reviews, Healing Circle Experience, and Sharing Your Miracles. You would still meet with your Mentor and the Ministerial Student Group. You would have to wait until mid-September however for the first Living ACIM six week class.
- All Program classes and assignments complete.
- Tuition paid-in-full.
- Candidate review and approval by MiraclesOne Advisory Board
- Ordination ceremony during a MiraclesOne Retreat* (held twice a year)
- *Students not required to attend MiraclesOne Annual Retreat to receive Ordination. A video conference ordination ceremony will be held for those who cannot attend in person.
Once ordained, students may perform weddings, baby blessings, memorial services or other ceremonies. Ordained ministers can provide spiritual direction to those in need, facilitate study groups and/or teach classes in their local area. An ordained minister may wish to develop their leadership skills and career development. Our Associate Ministerial Program is continuing education training. The ordained associate ministers receive the privilege of becoming a MiraclesOne Ministry Team Member. This gives the associate minister additional tools and support, including:
- servant leadership,
- mentorship of new students,
- public exposure via creating and facilitating or teaching classes for MiraclesOne,
- facilitiating MiraclesOne retreats and virtual summits,
- writing for MiraclesOne,
- hosting their own podcast show on MiraclesOne Radio,
- presenting on Sundays,
- receive editing and other assistance in producing audio and videos,
- receive your own personal ministry website created just for you,
- heading departments,
- and many other leadership roles and activities.