There’s a new Cherag Training Program starting in January 2024!
Interested? Curious? Read on!
Cherags are ordained ministers of Universal Sufism. The training is a two-year program with a cohort of friends. It includes developing core qualities and competencies of a minister, exploring a variety of faith traditions, learning to lead the Universal Worship Service of Inayat Khan, and preparation to provide spiritual nourishment for one’s community. Cherags are empowered to officiate weddings, funerals, house blessings, provide pastoral counseling, etc.
Sirat-i Inayat Interfaith Sufi Path and this two-year training program are open to sincere friends from any faith tradition. Individuals who feel called to be Cherags bring their own unique backgrounds, interests, experience, and wisdom. The ways Cherags ultimately serve their communities are widely varied. This training provides an opportunity for education, discovery, increased self-awareness, and a solid foundation of Sufi teachings and practices in the lineage of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan.
The training does not guarantee ordination. Ongoing assessment, conversations, and discernment are woven through the process. Along with the core competencies in the training program, individuals are expected to demonstrate psychological and emotional maturity, integrity, alignment of values and intentions congruous with Sirat-i Inayat, and the real-world functions of a Cherag.
The training is a group process which includes:
– A monthly meeting with Sára, which includes group reflections on the assignments and instructions for each unit. The monthly meeting will be the 2nd Saturday of each month. 10 AM Mountain Time (online and in-person for local friends).
– Semi-monthly optional group meetings with Sára, for those who wish for more frequent engagement, on the 4th Saturday of each month. 10 AM Mountain Time (online and in-person).
– Online group forum for conversation and sharing resources, personal experience, and reflections.
– Some independent practices along with some small group collaboration.
– Two years of study and preparation, one unit per month, beginning January 2024. The program finishes early December 2025.
– The fee is $50/month per participant for the duration of the program, $1,200 total. This fee is negotiable. Please talk with Sára for alternate arrangements.
– Ordinations at the end of the program occur in the context of a Cherag Retreat in Colorado, with an additional $400 cost per participant.
– Individual conversation and ongoing discernment with Sára at least every 6 months throughout the program.
– An optional retreat for Cherags and Spiritual Directors happens early December 2024. Please anticipate an additional $400 cost for this retreat as well.
– Earnest engagement in monthly assignments
– Monthly reading and/or exploration of relevant resources
– Monthly experiential activity individual and/or group
– Written summaries of experience and reflection (no formal, academic essays, just casual communication style)
– Monthly meeting with group and Sára
– Spiritual practices in an array of faith traditions and daily personal practice
– Ongoing honest self-assessment
– Payments in good standing
If reading through all of this, you feel called to the path of the Cherag and this training program, please send an email to Sára with the following information:
1. Why do you want to participate in this program?
2. What do you think your form of ministry might be?
3. What is your ministry background and previous training?
4. What are your skills and passions related to spiritual service?
5. How do you feel this training and/or ordination will influence your work in the world?
6. Do you feel you have the time, energy, and resources available to engage in this program at this time?
7. What else would you like to share or ask as you consider participating in this Cherag training?
– We’ll have an informational Zoom to learn more about the program and the work of a Cherag on Saturday, September 16th (It’s Rosh Hashana!), 10 AM Mountain (4 PM UTC). Jump on the Zoom if you wish!
– Please indicate your interest and send in your answers to the above questions no later than October 31st.
– Upon receiving your letter of interest, Sára will schedule a personal conversation with you to discuss your interest, answer questions, and determine together whether the program is a good fit for you at this time.
– All participants will be confirmed by December 1st.
– The program will begin Saturday, January 13th, 2024.
Thank you, dear friends, for taking the time to read through this. I hope you will consider participating in this program. I’m excited to welcome a new group onto the path.