What Will I Learn?

13 month-long modules placed in our online classroom will give you a brief introduction to these topics:

  • Pagan history and variety, and theology basics
  • Creating and leading ritual
  • Diversity & cultural understanding
  • Personal spiritual development and Ethics
  • Serving people at various life stages
  • Group leadership
  • Addiction issues
  • Domestic violence issues
  • Lifework planning

Where Are Classes Held?

There are no live class meetings – all media presentations, readings, web resource links and discussion lists are in our online classroom. With good internet access you can do this from anywhere in the world, any time of the day, 24/7.

Who Will Be My Teacher?

Instead of a teacher, you will be assigned a faculty mentor who has experience in community ministry. That mentor will stay with you throughout your independent study, checking in with you regularly and giving you feedback and evaluations. Your mentor will also want to have phone or web meetings periodically.

How Much Will This Cost?

When you register for the program you will submit a registration fee $20, then CHS will invoice you each month for $100. The work is self-paced, but you are expected to complete each module in the month so you can go on to the next. This means that if you are not finished with the CMC after 13 months you will continue to be invoiced for $100 each month until you complete the program.

If you drop out or must take a leave there is no refund. When you return, you may not be reassigned to the same faculty-mentor. If you do not pay your invoice within 24 hours of receiving it, your access to the classroom may be discontinued.

There are a few books that you must purchase on your own. Many of the readings will be posted in your classroom.

Can I Do This In Less Than 13 Months

We have found over the years that our original plan for the student to spend a full month on the material in that section is the best, so no, you must spend thirteen months on your CMC.

Will This Mean I’m Able to Legally Marry Someone?

The laws are different in each state. It will give you education from a respected source, and you will be better prepared to offer this service to others.

How is This Different From a Master of Divinity Degree?

An MDiv is a full graduate degree, comparable to any graduate degree you would receive at a university or other seminary. It is often required for professional chaplaincy or paid congregational ministry. The Community Ministry Certificate is not a graduate degree or professional licensure. It is designed for the many individuals who are doing work in their own community and who need an introductory program to help them with the skills and knowledge essential to such work. You do not need a college degree in order to enter the CMC program.

Tell me more about applying to Sacred Well Congregation.

Click here to visit the SWC web site and read about their ordination requirements.

What If I Am Not Interested In SWC Credentials?

That’s perfectly acceptable. You and your mentor will work out some details of your program which are specific to your tradition (or no tradition). However, please note that at this time, SWC is the only organization offering prospective ministerial credentials to CHS students.

How will people know I’ve received this?

Following award of your Community Ministry Certificate, you are entitled to add the initials CMC after your name. You may request that your name be listed on our web site at this page.  Also, if you have received your Community Ministry Certificate from Cherry Hill Seminary, you may commission a ministerial stole. A deep green stole with the embroidered Cherry Hill Seminary official logo is exclusively designated for our Community Ministry graduates. Contact the office for more information.

Do You Have Scholarships?

Not at this time. Cherry Hill Seminary offers the highest quality Pagan-focused education at the best prices available anywhere. But we do this on a limited, donation-dependent budget. Based on the current tuition rates for other seminary programs, we believe that we offer quality distance education at a reasonable tuition rate.

When Does the CMC Program Start?

Register as soon as you decide to take this step. Since the program is for independent study, there are no dates for classes, just your individual progress through the modules.

Do I need to buy any books?

Only a few. Most readings are provided in the online classroom.  You can find out what books you need ahead of time. There are a few books that you must purchase on your own. Many of the readings will be posted in your classroom.

Bear in mind —

Cherry Hill Seminary expects each of our students to take responsibility for knowing the information contained in the Student Handbook and our website, including all policies that affect your program of study. While faculty advisors are always available to assist and advise, you are expected to monitor your own progress toward the degree or certificate of your choice. Most importantly, this is a self-directed program and you are responsible not only for proper completion of assignments, but for interacting with your Faculty-Mentor and responding to their guidance.

Our organization may want to receive candidates for ordination or priesthood who have completed their CHS Community Ministry Certificate – what is required?

We are happy to facilitate a connection between our CMC students and your organization, and to mention your organization in our information for students and the public.

For example, Sacred Well Congregation accepts the CMC in place of their coursework and counts the time spent in the CMC program (15 months) towards time required before full ordination. Students who plan to pursue Sacred Well Congregation ordination are encouraged to go ahead and join SWC early on so they can develop that relationship.

Upon completion of the CMC, Cherry Hill Seminary issues a formal letter and certificate which may be presented by the student to any organization. Of course, it is up to that organization to provide any tradition-specific training. No student is guaranteed acceptance as clergy; the ordaining tradition makes that determination.

Please contact us if you have questions or would like to set up such a relationship. Please send inquiries, a description of your organization, its mission and programs, and current requirements for both membership and priesthood or ordination.

Ready to apply? Complete your application today!