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On-Line Ministry Training and Elder Wisdom

Click below to watch an introductory video from CSS Spiritual Director Jyoti:

– Are you a natural mentor?
– Do you love to be of service?

You can become a Minister of Prayer.

The Enrollment Process for May 2019 is closed!

The Enrollment Process for next year will be announced!

The Center for Sacred Studies ordained 22 new Ministers of Walking Prayer in April 2018. These amazing ministers create a network totaling 227 Ministers around the world.  We give thanks for all those that contribute to the program from the Instructors, the Elders, the Mentors, the Weavers and all who hold this program to make this offering.  Thank you to Hanayo, Sonja, Margin, Valerie, Trish and so many of our Ministers!! We are honored and inspired by each of you!
With love and humility, Jyoti, Darlene & Wendy

Welcome! Becoming a Minister of Prayer through the Center for Sacred Studies (CSS) prepares one to assist others as they move through the many transitions of life. Directed study creates the opportunity to explore specific methodologies, practices, theories, traditions, beliefs, and philosophies, as well as allowing for the integration of individual spiritual experiences. In addition to developing the skills and knowledge to act as a support to others, this process is designed to enlighten an individual’s practice of worship and daily living—for the purpose of living life as a “walking prayer”.
Individuals who successfully complete the course of training can be ordained as a Minister of Prayer, and will be qualified to conduct ceremonies, facilitate study groups, and mentor others in the process of spiritual growth unique to each individual.

Substantial Offering

Areas of Study

The two-year online and on-site program consists of 22 monthly instructor’s audio and video modules, four breathwork workshops, and two five-day retreats held at Wildwood Retreat Center, about 2 hours north of San Francisco in the beautiful coastal redwoods.

Each full-time student has a Mentor, and there are two hour-long conference calls per month: one with the instructor, and one with the CSS Spiritual Director, Jyoti.

Elder’s Corner

The Ministry Training Program also include 22 Teachings and Stories from our Elders around the world.

Staff and Instructors

Learning Options

The Ministry Training Program has two tracks – auditing and ordination. The ordination track requires monthly written essays and active participation in the monthly calls and assignments. The auditing option has reduced requirements and does not lead to ordination, but auditors still have access to all the audio and video content.


Our Philosophy

Being a Minister of Prayer denotes a practice of walking in the world in dialogue with Creation. This approach is one that is gleaned from the teachings of the “Original Peoples”—who related to the world by “listening” to the world around them as a form of guidance from Spirit. From this perspective, everything is considered as an expression of Spirit. This is a way of being that values being led by the heart, rather than the head.

The teachings and ways of The First Nations Peoples have been passed down from generation to generation, and link us with the forces of the Earth, the fundamental laws of Nature, and the original wisdom teachings—which are based on respect for all Life. The prevailing worldview of contemporary society is to look at the world through a materialistic lens—one that is competitive and wants to acquire things—a worldview that is based on fear rather than love.

The Minister of Prayer curriculum has been consciously designed to transform this lens of perception into one that returns the individual, and thereby the collective, to the “original matrix”—one that dialogues with Creation as a way of life.  This is a process that facilitates the path of discovering one’s own gifts of healing, what the Original Peoples call one’s “medicine”. This is a perspective that views every being as a unique herb in the garden of Creation. A perspective that encourages one to cultivate that herb—to follow the Spirit of their true Self—and to, ultimately, actualize one’s Self.


 Ministry Training Program Graduates 2016 – Making a Difference in Their World-Wide Communities

*If you are employed by a company that offers tuition reimbursement, the MTP tuition may be eligible for that program.  
Please contact your benefits coordinator.

Have a listen to our  Q & A Evening with CSS Founder Darlene Hunter!
Version 2

CSS Executive Director Darlene Hunter

We had a lively discussion of all the beautiful aspects of the Ministry Training Program. We received good questions from our callers and such wonderful sharing from our Graduates of the program.

A good time was had by all!

Ministry Training Registration

More information:  Email at
css.ministrytraining@gmail.com or call 877-822-4914

Thank you CSS for creating such an incredibly valuable program. My heart is awakening and my consciousness is expanding through these sacred teachings. May we all awaken to this call for peace and unity. Blessings to you and all the teachers.  Lauren – CA

“The CSS MTP is truly one of the most important choices I have ever made in my Life. From the first moment I heard Jyoti’s video on the CSS site, I knew I had found my tribe, for the language she spoke was the language of my heart. The program doesn’t just express humility, integrity, reverence for Earth and divine integration, it embodies them as living processes. Over these two years, in the nest of CSS, I have expanded and deepened my capacity as a Spiritual Practitioner and Human Being, developed relationships that will last many lifetimes, been held, seen and supported with radical hospitality, love and kindness in a way I have never before experienced and been inspired to become the vision planted inside my heart so many years ago. I am eternally grateful for being a part of a spiritual community that offers me nourishment at the roots, kinship of the heart and teaches me how to fly.”
– Rev. Karma Cloud
“Even more than an academic course of study, this training (MTP) was like surfing the current of a prayer, a living, breathing prayer of dedication and reverence to a new way that has deep roots in the old ways. So many of us are bereft, disconnected from the earth and from our own mothers love, but this ministry puts you right into the Mother’s lap, right inside a love so abiding you have no choice but to shake off what no longer serves, and become an instrument in service to some utterly beautiful and humble and kind. I’m pretty weary about spiritual paths and shopping mall spirituality, and deeply discerning about taking vows, but I did not hesitate with this one. It’s the real deal, it’s a container in which you learn to walk with reverence on holy ground.”
– Rev. Naomi Ehrich
“Through the ministry program I was able to pull myself out of the dark hole I was in for the last 7 years. The teachers, mentors and my dear brothers and sisters showed me that there is Heaven on Earth. I am so grateful and full of Love for them. Words can’t even describe enough how thankful I am for all of them! Lots of Love and Blessings!”
– Rev. Sonja Marcinek
“This Ministerial Program changed my life. These teachings expanded my consciousness and deepened my relationship with myself, the Earth and all Beings. I am so grateful!!”
– Rev. Val Stepien
“The Ministry Training Program provided me with the tools for self-evaluation, spiritual growth, and compassionate deep listening that empowered me to become pastor of an inclusive community in the Roman Catholic liturgical tradition.” – Vikki – Reverend Dr. Victoria Marie, Pastor
“After reading the Grandmother’s book, I felt called to learn more to see if I could help. I looked up the Center for Sacred Studies online and called to registrar to ask about the program. My question was, “How do I know if this is the right thing for me?” I was told, “If it is right, you will know.” No pressure or sales pitch. It was then that I knew it was right for me and I joined that spring. What an amazing experience for me coming from a corporate environment that confused me. In the ministry program, I learned mostly about me. The ministry helped give me back to myself. In the community of loving sisters and teachers, I was given the guidance to trust what I know to be true about me and nature. With that, I was able to go back to the corporate world with greater confidence and ease. I no longer need to prove anything to anyone. I now approach life with a sense of service instead of grasping for security, and allowing life to unfold instead of planning everything out.”
– Rev. Baya Beaudry, MTP 2011
“Making the decision to do this Ministry Training Program has been the most extraordinary gift I could ever imagine. My life has transformed in the most blessed and sacred ways as I have learned to carry the tools of transformation for myself and others in this time of great planetary shift.”
– Rev. Ellen Kittredge, Earthsong Clan, MTP 2015
“The Ministry Training Program at CSS deepened my spiritual path and added a significant level of integrity to my shamanic practice with the additions of providing spiritual guidance, and officiating weddings and other sacred ceremonies.”
– Rev. Shaman Sandra Chestnutt
“The most beautiful, life changing gift I gave to myself was saying yes to this beautiful program. I am now surrounded by a community of wise teachers, elders, sisters and brothers who are cheering me on and holding me in a beautiful way. Completing this program was just the beginning. I now have a spiritual family.”
–Rev. Jennifer Hensiek
“Why did I join the CSS MTP? When I was studying at ITP Grandmother Flordemayo spoke at a retreat. I was mesmerized. When I told the director of the retreat she said, “Would you like to sit at the feet of 13 Grandmothers?” Then she told me about CSS and my journey to MTP began. How did it benefit my life? It changed my life. My life is fuller and filled with purpose.”
– Rev. Jamie Reudink
“It was one of those bleak days in the middle of January that pushed that nagging question into my face? Are you living a meaningful life? What more is there to do? At the same time I was browsing the web for a class, or a book, or a program that I could get excited about. CSS kept coming up! Indigenous Ways of Prayer. I kept going back to that website and then Jyoti was on a video saying, “If you have come this far, why not go further?” I just did, at that moment. I am now a graduate, a minister of walking prayer, a member of a community of like minded people, and I have a renewed meaning of life! I have not been bored ever since! The support of this program is one of the greatest of all gifts! Total acceptance! As Jyoti said early on, “We are not going anywhere!” Never regretted on moment. The gifts keep coming! “
– Rev. Carol Fox

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