Frequently Asked Questions
What is a “transformational story?”
A transformational story is a story that when told invites a personally significant change in the listener — and the teller — in the way they view the world, themselves, and others. While many stories can be transformational, a story by itself is not likely to be: it requires that the structure, content, telling style, and context be crafted to create the greatest likelihood of transformation occurring. Most importantly, it must be told with an open heart, to hearts that the storyteller has helped open further.
How much is tuition?
Tuition is currently $750 per semester. It will not go up during your enrollment; however, increases for future students are possible.
Are there scholarships?
Yes, there are a limited number of scholarships available. Please contact us for details.
How big are the classes?
Over time, we expect there will be 15-18 students in any one semester. For the fall of 2021, we are capping the enrollment at 12 students.
Do I have to commit to all four semesters when I register?
No! You are only registering for one semester. It’s important to know that the full program takes four semesters, but you may decide that fewer than that – or even one semester in particular – are best for you.
I want to do all four semesters. Which do I have to take first?
Start with whichever semester is about to begin! The program is designed to allow you to start with any one of the four semesters.
What religion(s) does a student have to be to participate?
No religion is required, expected, or promoted. This is a program that promotes spiritual growth, which can happen in the context of any religion or faith tradition, including none at all. In fact, the program is built on the premise that the more traditions we encounter (including no tradition), the more likely we are to be receptive to spiritual growth.
What role does religion play in the program?
Among other functions, religions provide a language that people use to try and describe and invite spiritual experiences. As such, some students will be familiar with the “language” of one or more religions. No particular religion is promoted or required! Students will, however, learn about many spiritual traditions and practices in order to make them more spiritually “multilingual.”
What is the “spiritual direction” that you provide?
Again, no formal religion or tradition is expected or sought after. In order to tell stories that can deeply touch us and others, we must ourselves be open to those experiences. As we pursue that opening process, it invariably stirs up questions and insights that (in the best sense of the word) “disturb” us – not in a traumatic way, but in a way that invites change. That type of growth is best encountered with someone who is already doing that work who is trained to mentor, coach, or “spiritually direct” others. So, it is the ethical thing to do: if I am going to invite you to disturb your spiritual life, I ought to be there to support you.
Here, we quote a definition that fits well:
“The spiritual director does not direct. That is, the spiritual director does not impose their beliefs or values on you; it is up to you to decide what or who it is you are seeking on your spiritual journey, and your spiritual director employs your language and beliefs. The practice does not require a belief in any particular image of God, or a belief in God at all.”
Where are the retreats held?
Given the international scope of students and faculty, retreats are held in a hybrid fashion: we hold an in-person retreat to accommodate those who wish to attend in person for the most reasonable cost, but conduct everything online simultaneously. Sites shift to provide the greatest coverage across the student body over time.
Wait! I still have a question!
Great! Please email us, and we will answer it – and perhaps include it here!