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If new to Wisdom University, please fill out this Online Inquiry Form and staff will consider your questions and respond promptly - or you can leave a phone message and call-back number at: 512-217-5335.

How is Wisdom University different from other schools?

Wisdom University has a unique learning method that focuses on nurturing the whole person. This learning method is designed to balance the body, head, heart and psyche as a single integrated continuum. Students are engaged physically, creatively and mentally. In contradistinction with most other universities, which insist either on keeping one’s spirituality out of the classroom or insist on a particular sectarian position to which students must adhere, Wisdom University catalyzes deep spiritual and personal transformation within the framework of providing graduate degrees, honoring the integrity and uniqueness of each and every student. We are motivated to provide learning opportunities so that you can become more authentically you while at the same time granting you degrees that enhance your professional credibility.

Each morning during Intensives, students begin with 30 minutes of “Sacred Practice,” which wakes up the body to the harmonies of music and sound, a very ancient prayer and meditation form. This is followed by three hours of intellectually rigorous seminar on a variety of subjects. Seminars include a significant amount of required reading, as well as a pre-paper and post-paper. The afternoons consist of three hours of “Transformational Art” in which students explore a variety of intuitive and artistic expressions, such as mask-making, drumming, Chi Gung, creative writing, and a variety of other course offerings. The day is completed with an “integration session” to help students integrate the learning that is taking place on all levels.

Another distinct aspect of Wisdom University is that courses are taught in weeklong Intensives rather than over a quarter or semester. Our total immersion approach allows students to maintain their personal and professional lives in conjunction with their schooling while simultaneously developing close relationships with their peers.

Are you accredited?

Wisdom University is licensed, and the quality of its education affirmed, by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) of the State of California, according to the provisions of California Education Code 94900. The official Certificate of Approval states that Wisdom University is approved for its “integrity, financial stability, and educational quality, including the offering of bona fide instruction by qualified faculty and the appropriate assessment of students’ achievement prior to, during, and at the end of its programs.” 

At this time, Wisdom University is not accredited by any of the major regional accrediting agencies that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, nor by the Canadian or other national governments. As of now, our students cannot receive U.S. Federal student loans. 

The educational landscape is rapidly changing, however, and there are now many excellent non-accredited institutions of higher learning around the world. In fact, non-accredited learning is the fasting growing sector in the educational domain. Growing numbers of corporations and even officially accredited schools are developing approaches to learning  that enable them to address rapidly evolving educational philosophies and student needs. By the same token, accrediting agencies are working to broaden their criteria in order to recognize educationally innovative institutions such as Wisdom University.

In many ways, Wisdom University is to the accredited sector what alternative medicine is to the American Medical Association.  It is based on a different logic and its potency based on a different understanding of the human being. This is not to criticize traditional institutions, merely to say that we march to a different drummer. Even as alternative medicine is gaining in credibility, so too are alternative schools like Wisdom University.

If you seek to grapple with the questions that excite your soul and you hunger and thirst for deep dialogue with like- minded people concerning questions of meaning and truth in the face of your mortality, you will find that longing fulfilled at Wisdom University.  Our pedagogy engages the domain of the timeless, the spacious, the synchronistic, what is known as the “esoteric” world, and traces its lineage back to Plato’s Academy, the original “university.” It draws strength from the mystery schools east and west that existed in deep antiquity and did so much to inform the pursuit of wisdom down through the ages. We are content to draw from the same spirit that nurtured them, waiting for the time, not too distant, when integral learning will be more accepted by the mainstream culture.


Is there anything I can do with a Wisdom University degree?

Yes. Our Ph.D., DMIN and Masters degrees afford our students greater professional recognition and career prospects within their chosen field in the same way other degrees do. In many ways, Wisdom University is to mainstream education what alternative medicine is to the mainstream medical establishment. All around the world, alternative education, like alternative medicine, is gaining in credibility, adherents and usefulness. The existing educational establishment, like the medical establishment, is in crisis and is unraveling. It represents a paradigm that is both limited and increasingly ineffective. Twenty years ago, using alternative medicine was considered quirky, even dangerous. Now it is accepted by millions of people as something they use first, only going to the conventional medicine as a last resort or for emergencies. The same is true for organic food as well as for education. What was considered marginal before is rapidly becoming the wave of the future. Wisdom University is very much part of this wave.

What are the various programs you offer?

Our students have a variety of degree and certificate options, including:

• Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Wisdom Studies
• Doctor of Ministry (D.Min) in Wisdom Spirituality
• Master of Arts in Wisdom Studies
• Combined Masters/Doctorate

In addition, we have developed academic partnerships with several Chairs of Wisdom University and a group of Institutions. These partnerships with Wisdom University Chairs Carolyn Myss, Stan Grof, Jean Houston and Lauren Artress, and with the The Sophia Foundation, the Chaplaincy Institute, Center for Creative Renewal, and One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, are structured to allow students to study with our partners and partnering organizations, both at courses offered as part of the Wisdom University schedule of classes, and as our partners teach separately in their own institutions and forums. A student can obtain 8 credits (two full Intensives) toward a Wisdom University graduate degree by taking certain specific classes with our partners and drinking deeply of the well of wisdom they provide.

What is the difference between the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) and the Ph.D.?

The real distinction between these two degrees lies in the purpose and function of the degrees. Wisdom University offers students a choice between preparation for work in the pastoral and healing professions and a degree for those interested in more secular vocations. Both the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) and the Ph.D. are referred to as “terminal” degrees, in the sense that they are both Doctoral degrees, but their purpose and function are very different.

The DMin degree, much like an M.D. for doctors or a J.D. for lawyers, is a functional degree for people interested in the ministry. Traditionally, a DMin degree is for those who want to enter the pastoral professions in a religious denomination. More recently, DMin degrees have been sought by those interested in the broader healing, counseling and pastoral professions.

A Ph.D. degree, on the other hand, is considered a secular research degree and is not tied to religious affiliation or any other functional area. At Wisdom University, the Ph.D. is more rigorous than the DMin, requiring twelve Intensives rather than ten, a research dissertation that contains a comprehensive literature review and constitutes an original contribution to the field of inquiry, and a formal defense of the dissertation in an Oral Examination at the conclusion of the dissertation process. The Ph.D. degree is generally sought by those who are seeking to reach the highest level of scholarly research in a particular area of interest.

Both head and heart are needed in equal measure for both degrees. This is an important point because the head/heart continuum is a central aspect of Wisdom University. All of our Intensives, like all of our degree programs, challenge the student to balance head, heart, body and soul.

We also emphasize the balance between subjective evaluation and objective knowledge in all the papers that students are required to write, including in their dissertations. That is why we balance the seminar in the morning with the Transformational Art in the afternoon, and begin each day with Sacred Practice, finishing with a process group. We seek an integrated learning experience. Both DMin and Ph.D. students take the same classes. Their distinction lies in the question of what you want to do with your degree and how rigorous you want your dissertation process to be.

Can I take classes at Wisdom University without enrolling in a degree program?

Yes. All current Wisdom University students, graduates and the general public, may audit any class for a reduced fee.

Prospective students may also take one course under the Introductory Opportunity (Intro Op) without first enrolling in a degree or certificate program.

What is an Intro Op?

Prospective students who are not sure if they want to enroll in a program at Wisdom University may elect to take their first intensive as an Introductory Opportunity, (Intro Op). Intro Op students are not required to write the pre-paper before class; however, they must complete the post-paper if they wish to gain credit for the course when they enroll later.

How many courses do I need for a Masters, Doctorate or Combined Program?

A Masters student may choose either the thesis option, which includes seven intensives, or the non-thesis option, which requires eight intensives. A DMin degree requires 10 intensives and a dissertation. The combined Masters/DMin requires 15 intensives plus a dissertation. Ph.D. candidates must complete 12 intensives, a dissertation and an oral defense. The combined Masters/Ph.D. program requires 17 Intensives, a dissertation and an oral defense.

Does Wisdom University Offer Continuing Education Credits (CEUs)?

Yes. Many of our courses cover content material for which Continuing Education credits are available from the Board of Registered Nursing and the Board of Behavioral Sciences.  A note will be posted on the Schedule of  Classes to indicate those classes for which the BRN and BBS CE contact hours are available. Students will receive 22 Continuing Education contact hours for each fully-attended intensive. In addition, since every certifying body has different criteria, it is up to the student to determine the eligibility of Wisdom University’s CEUs for their specific certification.

Where is Wisdom University located?

Wisdom University views the globe as our classroom. We offer courses regularly in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Our administrative headquarters are located in Mill Valley, California with our Student Support Office in Boise, Idaho. Since our learning method is modular and can be conducted anywhere, we place a premium on holding classes in residential retreat settings that are conducive to community building and dimensionalized learning. Please check our Class Calendar for the latest courses and venues.

We also link sacred subjects with sacred sites. The New Chartres School is held each July in Chartres, France, in the seminary adjacent to the cathedral that stands on a site held sacred for its feminine energies for over 3,000 years. We also have pilgrimages in Ireland, England, the Amazon, Japan, Turkey and Italy – wherever we discern that learning can take place at the deepest levels of spirit and heart. This provides our students with choices, literally all over the world, where you can follow the intuitions of your heart and gain degrees by deepening the dialogue about questions surrounding the eternal verities of cosmos and the human quest.

Do you offer loans or financial aid?

Students with serious financial constraints are offered opportunities to pay for tuition through no-interest payment plans. Loan applicants should apply to the Finance Manager for assistance in this process. In addition, we are able to offer a limited number of work-study opportunities. Depending on the nature of the work, and the amount of work involved, participating students may receive partial credit for one or more intensives taught at Wisdom University. Work-study credit cannot be applied to courses offered by our strategic partners. We are also in the process of establishing a scholarship fund, but can only accept a very few applications at this time. Our commitment to our students is to work with them to the best of our ability to ensure that whatever their financial situation, they can participate in the Wisdom University community. 

Do you have online classes?

Yes, the first phase of Wisdom University’s Online Program launched in the summer of 2009 as one way to earn credit toward all Wisdom University academic degrees (not toward certificate programs) on an Independent Study basis.  Students are encouraged to register for an online Seminar and an online Transformational Art course concurrently, but they may be taken independently, as well.  In order to receive full credit for an online Seminar, an online or in-person Transformational Art course must also be completed by the end of the program term.  We are suggesting a two, four and six online course limit for students enrolled in Masters, Doctorate in Ministry and Ph.D. programs, respectively. Exceptions will be made under special circumstances. For complete details about the Online Program, please click here

If new to Wisdom University, please fill out this Online Inquiry Form and staff will consider your questions and respond promptly - or you can leave a phone message and call-back number at: 512-217-5335.




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