Interfaith Spirituality is a non-dogmatic, non-religious, integrative approach to building and pursing a relationship with The Divine. It is not a giving up of one’s religious beliefs, but a giving-over to a larger vision of what is required in deep devotion to spiritual principles.
Interfaith is a term often used to describe a dialogue among religious leaders. However, as a path of spiritual direction, it is a way to cultivate an understanding of every religion’s shared direction towards a higher consciousness, and a relationship with The Divine. As more and more cultures, religions, and races blend in families and in worship services, the Interfaith approach to spirituality is a way to welcome the integration of elements vital to each individual’s faith.
Interfaith spirituality is a path that recognizes, honors, and respects all great worlds religions as well as the lesser-known faith paths. Interfaith is an attempt to learn and incorporate the common shared tenets, core values, and spiritually directed focus of each.
Interfaith spirituality advocates and encourages peace-based living as a spiritual practice and life-long commitment, with dedication to continued spiritual growth and development in the areas of loving-kindness, non-judgment, compassion, and harmony.
What are the Tenets of Interfaith Spirituality?
We believe that every religion shares the same reverence, respect, and reliance on universal spiritual truths that form the basis of their belief systems.
We believe that there are irrefutable, unchangeable universal spiritual truths that can be implemented in to every individual’s life by way of a dedicated spiritual path in order to achieve optimal spiritual qualities.
We believe that the dogmatic and/or theological differences between religions are not necessarily mutually exclusive or divisive in nature and that the common threads between them are divinely-inspired spiritual principles.
We believe that every individual has a right to practice the dogmatic religion of their choice as well as the right to practice a non-dogmatic spiritual path so long as they do not impose their beliefs systems on others in any way that is oppressive, discriminatory, fanatical or unkind.
We believe that peace begins within each individual, that peace is possible in our lifetime and that our individual dedications to peaceful living will influence all aspects of all our relationships, our community, and our world.
We believe that everything is in Divine Order and that every person and circumstance has a purpose for our soul’s growth.
We believe that every culture, religion, faith and spiritual path looks in to a mirror that reflects the true face of God.
What is an Interfaith Minister? An Interfaith Minister is an ordained person of faith who seeks to promote understanding, harmony, peace, and love among all people by emphasizing what is universal in the teaching of world religions and faith paths. Interfaith Minister choses to learn and understand the laws, rites, prayers, and rituals of any religion vital to people served in ceremony or in any form of spiritual care. An Interfaith Minister respects and appreciates the diversity of all paths to The Divine and looks for the universal truths contained in each. An interfaith Minister is dedicated to the spiritual needs of all those who seek their guidance, counsel, spiritual direction and/or spiritual ceremony without regard to race, religion, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, gender, age, or sexual orientation.
An Interfaith Minister is dedicated to deepening their own spiritual development and practice and their connection to The Divine, so that their service to others is always grounded in the integrity of their own spiritual life. An Interfaith Minister learns how to perform sacred ceremonies and celebrations that are specific to the religious, faith-based, and/or cultural beliefs of the people they serve, specializing in the integration of religions and cultures.
What is the History of Interfaith? Our distinct spiritual history is based on the dedication of studies in comparative religions and religious pluralism in America. Interfaith Seminary studies are specific in lineage to Rabbi Joseph Gelberman of New York, and Swami Satchidananda of Virginia. Both of these master teachers worked tirelessly, together and individually, to teach, advocate, and demonstrate religious tolerance, understanding, diversity and the need for ongoing informative communization and instructional dialogue regarding religious studies. They were instrumental in the development of interfaith spiritual centers and seminaries that taught and continue to teach interfaith ministers how to work with and to be of service to people of all faiths.
Deans; Reverend Dr. Lori Cardona and Reverend Dr. Grace Telesco are graduates of the New Seminary for Interfaith Studies, which was the brain-child of Rabbi Gelberman, and the world’s first interfaith seminary of its kind. The philosophy of the seminary and of the Interfaith Founders is "Never instead of …..Always in ADDITION to".
Ekam Sat Vipraa Bahudhaa vadanti – Truth is One but the Sages speak of IT in different ways.