Professional Practitioner Studies — Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a Professional Practitioner? What do they do? A professional Practitioner is a licensed spiritual counselor who has answered the call to put God first and foremost in his/her life. An Agape Practitioner has engaged in a rigorous consciousness building process which includes specific studies that apply to and prepare the student for advanced participation in spiritual community. The principles of New Thought Ageless Wisdom are the foundation of this training which is intended to develop skills associated with the art of spiritual counseling, community building and spiritual leadership. This specific course of study allows the student to recognize the power of consciousness and understand Universal Spiritual Principles which, when applied in earnest, can uplift, heal and provide comfort to those who come to him or her for prayer and spiritual counseling. An Agape Practitioner turns first to prayer and meditation as spiritual technology in healing and counseling others. A Practitioner holds the confidence of clients sacred and inviolate. In the law, a Practitioner is recognized as the first level of the clergy, and has privileges of non-disclosure of confidential communications made during counseling sessions, except where such disclosure is mandated by law.
2. How many years of Study does it take to qualify for Professional Practitioner studies? Can I take all of the classes together in one year? It will take a minimum of 18 months to complete all of the requirements to enter Practitioner Studies. We do not recommend that students speed through all of the required classes as this is a journey of growth and unfolding. These classes are not traditionally academic; these are mystical studies. Allowing sufficient time and space to embody the principles and build consciousness is essential. All Professional Practitioner classes start in the Fall Term.
3. If I want to be a Practitioner, what is the spiritual path I must take? Begin with Foundations Courses in Science and Spirituality. While we encourage you to take all of the classes you are called to, the following classes are pre-requisites to be completed before applying for Practitioner Studies:
• *Universal Principles, Themes and Laws Governing Spiritual Living
• *New Thought and Ancient Wisdom Teachings and Practices
• *Transcendent Masters
• *Meditation and the Evolution of Consciousness
• *Prayer Warrior
Please note that if you have already taken Prayer, A Way of Life and Prayer As Expanded Awareness, they will be counted as completion of the Prayer pre-requisite, however we also highly recommend that you take Prayer Warrior.
• *Visioning, Part A
• *Plenty to Spare, Plenty to Share, Part A
All of the above listed classes are Prerequisites for the Mysticism and Self Awareness classes. However, under certain circumstances a student may be admitted to these classes without all of the prerequisites at the discretion of the instructor. Please contact the respective instructors directly for this exception.
• *Mysticism, the Practice and the Mystical I – Rev. Coco Stewart
• *Self Awareness and the Evolving Consciousness – SM1 A+B – Rev. Cheryl Ward
4. How do I apply for Practitioner Studies? After you have completed all of the above listed prerequisite classes you are eligible to apply. Only classes completed since October of 2009 can be considered to fulfill prerequisites. There are three Practitioner Preview Sessions which are offered free of charge.
Attendance at ALL three sessions is mandatory and reservations are necessary. A printable Practitioner Preview Reservation form may be downloaded from the University website page. Fill out the form to the best of your ability with all of the information that you have. For transcript information, call extension310-348-1260 ext 1611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions, concerns or scheduling conflicts regarding these sessions, please contact Rev Susan Shahani Revsusan@agapelive.com or call 310 348-1260 extension 1612.
Applications for Fall Enrollment are given out at the third Practitioner Preview Session following individual interviews. A non-refundable application fee must accompany your Application and you must be recommended by an Agape Practitioner who has seen you for at least three complete one on one sessions as well as a facilitator from your Mysticism or Self Awareness class.
5. Are scholarships or work study programs available for classes? Not at this time. The University is working to build scholarship funds and we welcome donations for this purpose.
6. I took classes under the old curriculum before 2006. Would I have to take those classes again? Yes. If your classes were completed before 2009, you will need to begin again with the pre-requisite classes listed in Question 3 above.
7. I have taken classes at another New Thought spiritual center. May I transfer them as pre-requisites? No. Our curriculum is unique to the teachings of the Agape Universal Movement and therefore quite different from what is taught at other centers. Only prerequisites completed at Agape University since October of 2009 count as fulfilling requirements.
8. I’ve been coming to Agape for years and I already have a strong meditation practice – why do I have to take the prerequisite classes? Why can’t I go directly into Practitioner Studies? Your experience of attending services is invaluable, however, the classes provide a deeper, broader understanding of spiritual principle and New Thought Ageless Wisdom teaching than it is possible to receive through attending Sunday services or in solitary personal study. While this is a rigorous course of study, equivalent to a Masters degree, it is experiential rather than academic and is unlike any other course of study that you have undertaken.
9. Once I’ve taken the classes, can I automatically enroll in the Professional Practitioner Classes? No, you must attend the Practitioner Preview Sessions, complete an application, pay the non-refundable application fee of $100, and be recommended by an Agape Licensed Practitioner with whom you have worked for at least three sessions as well as a facilitator with whom you worked directly in Mysticism or Self Awareness, whichever you took most recently. See Question 4 above.
10. I completed the first year of Professional Practitioner Studies three years ago. Can I just enroll in Prac. II? If you completed all of the pre-requisite classes after 2009, you may enroll in Prac. II after meeting with Charlotte Ciraulo, Director of Practitioner Studies. If you did not complete the prerequisites after 2009, you may be asked to repeat those you took before 2009 prior to returning to Prac. You will also need a recommendation from your Agape Practitioner.
11. I have to travel a lot on business. Would that be a problem while I’m in Professional Practitioner Studies? Yes. Practitioner studies have to be a priority. This is transformative work and it’s important that you attend every class unless an unavoidable circumstance prevents your presence. Prac. I and II are each 30 weeks in length divided into three 10-week Terms. There are also Practicums, usually held on Saturdays, internships with Agape ministries, one of which will take place during the summer between years I and II, and other projects outside of classes which require your attendance. Attendance at all classes and timely completion of all internships, practicums and assignments is required for matriculation to licensing.
12. How long does it take to be licensed? Completion of Professional Practitioner Studies takes two years. Upon successful completion of the program, there are several components of the licensing process:
• A written licensing exam
• A Counseling Practicum
• After all of the work you’ve done over the two years of Practitioner Studies has been evaluated, you must be recommended by your facilitators and instructors as a candidate for licensing.
• Candidates for licensing then appear before a Panel of Agape Licensed Practitioners and Ministers for an Oral Licensing examination.
• Depending on the aggregate results of the above components, you may be licensed on the day Oral Licensing Panels are successfully completed or placed in a License Review Process which will offer further work and mentoring to complete your Licensing at a later time. This process is decided on a case by case basis.
13. What authority is responsible for licensing Practitioners? Agape Practitioners are licensed by the Agape International Spiritual Center, Inc.
14. My license has lapsed but I’d like to pick it up again. What do I need to do? Make an appointment with the President of the Sacred Order of Agape Practitioners, Rev. Dr. Kathleen McNamara to find out what steps you will need to take to be reinstated.
15. Is being a licensed Practitioner a requirement for entering Agape University’s Ministerial Studies? Yes. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions – Ministerial Studies on the Agape University website. For more information or questions, please contact:
Rev Susan Shahani
310 348-1260 Extension 1612