This program provides training and experience in each of four pillars, which overlap throughout the training.
- Multi-faith Foundations
- Storytelling – Immersion
- Spirituality and Mysticism
- Storytelling – Pragmatics
1 Multifaith Foundations
We most fully appreciate our own spirituality in community, particularly with people having different beliefs and cultural experiences from ours. This semester emphasizes the experience and digestion of stories and spiritual practices from familiar and unfamiliar sources.
For example, we might journey with an old Hungarian magic tale – Nemtudomka – which reveals both unfamiliar structures and motifs alongside the key attitude of not knowing: the essential requirement for learning something new.
Occasional dialogues with other faculty will further enhance the appreciation of the power of seeing the world through a different lens.
We also examine the power beneath a commonly misunderstood religious / spiritual stories by examining their deeper roots, and the implications this has for the study and use of scriptures across various religious traditions.
2 Storytelling – Immersion
Telling a transformational story requires that we ourselves be transformed. This semester emphasizes the discovery of the spiritual within stories, and the power of that spirituality to invite and instill healing. Transformation requires an open heart; as transformational storytellers, we must open the heart of the stories we tell as well as our own hearts. This sometimes means working with stories that either the teller or the audience finds challenging, and approaches to this work are explored.
3 Spirituality and Mysticism
With or without a formal tradition, spiritual and mystical experiences can infuse our lives. Stories are one vehicle for entering those worlds, and we will also examine other approaches – spiritual practices, clinical hypnosis, and even neuroscience – and how they overlap and intersect with transformational storytelling.
4 Storytelling – Pragmatics
Transformational storytelling requires a versatile set of skills and practices, including those drawn from acting, literature, spirituality, hypnosis, and compassion. This semester emphasizes the practical skills of transformational storytelling, and of the planning and production of programs.