Please note: You must be a member of the ICS Inc to be eligible for the Education Program
Background to our Australian Education Program
The program was first started in 1998 with the view to allow further studies by correspondence to any Spiritualist or enquirer, wishing to research Spiritualism.
The first course named “Basic Spiritualism” was written by Rev. Joan Farrell, who had studied through the SNU in England. Rev. Joan Farrell, forever working to promote Spiritualism in Australia thought it would be a good idea to create something along the same lines for Australia, thus this course came into being. Originally the course was offered through Rev. Farrell’s own church and then, so as to reach a wider group of people she offered it to Rev. David L. Saul, the then Vice- President of the ICS Inc. to be used within the Denomination as a whole. Rev. Saul re-edited the work adapting its suitability to suit the ICS Inc.s’ requirements of education. The course was still offered to anyone wanting to further their research into Spiritualism. Then in 1999 it was then revamped and presented as a part of an Education Program with the intent of training Pastoral Ministers for Ordination through the denomination of the International Council of Spiritualists Inc. as well as any other person interested in further knowledge. As this course is presented under the umbrella of a denomination, it is recognised as a Diploma course by the education department. All candidates for the Ministry are required to complete this course or any course with similar aims and subject matter, run by acceptable organisations, before they can be considered for ordination into the Ministry.
In the beginning when it was first decided to form an education program for those wanting to enter the Ministry. Along with the “Basic Spiritualism“ correspondence course, workshops were offered in “Grief Counselling” and “How to be a Spiritualist Minister” – both of these workshops became requirements for applicants for the Ministry.
To allow for the distances people had to travel to attend the workshops, the Chief Minister Rev. David L. Saul arranged with Rev. Carmel Hughes, who had worked for many years with child services , to prepare a correspondence course entitled “A Guideline to the Counselling of Children”, that was in 2004. In 2008, Rev. Margaret McGregor was also asked to prepare and compile a correspondence course covering “Grief Counselling”. These courses have become a prerequisite for candidates for the Ministry, but as with the “Basic Spiritualism” course, are also open for anyone who is a member of an ICS Inc. church, centre or group or a single Support Member wishing to expand their knowledge not only on Spiritualism but on helpful subjects.
Then in 2005, Rev. David L.Saul formulated and initiated a correspondence course on how to officiate as and be a Spiritualist Minister entitled “Guide to Being a Spiritualist Minister”, which included the correct protocol and procedures of Marriages, and much more. This course is compulsory for any Pastoral Minister wishing to apply for a Celebrants Number.
Background to our Overseas Education Program
After the establishment of the education program for Pastoral Ministers, Rev. Terry Bartsch approached the Council with the proposal for starting a similar program overseas. The “Basic Spiritualism” course was translated into German by Rev. Bartsch and so began the first 3 year format of education including workshops and written work from the basic course. Plus there was extra training in the practice and ethics of Spiritualist Healing. Since its inception, students from Germany and Sweden have successfully completed the program and are established Pastoral Ministers with the ICS Inc. in their relevant countries.
These Ministers are running their own centres in Germany, Sweden and one in South Africa, each centre is a member of the International Council of Spiritualists Inc.
Following Rev. Bartschs’ retirement due to ill health, the ICS Inc. closed the original program and then organised a new program that would cover all overseas education, with very specific guidelines for the running of the courses, but with leeway to cover the different laws of each country that became involved. They are as follows:-
At the present time there is an excellent program facilitated in Sweden, by Rev. Andreas Hindström. Rev. Hindström has translated the “Basic Spiritualism” course into Swedish and has a number of very fine Workshops, all progressing under the below Guidelines. In fact the first four students were ordained in November 2009, and there are new students starting the program late 2010. Rev. Hindström is also the ICS Inc's European Representative.
The ICS Inc. has recently had a new German translation prepared and it is hoped that the Education Program for Pastoral Ministers will once again continue in Germany in 2010, with the assistance of a number of existing ICS Inc, Pastoral Ministers from that country under the leadership of Rev. Andreas Hindström, following once again the Guidelines issued by the ICS Inc.
Guide for overseas study
Standards of Education and Training required by the International Council of Spiritualists Inc. by Overseas Candidates for Pastoral Ministers – Plus other Obligatory items which apply. Guidelines can be stylised to suit the provider or facilitator and the Country involved in the Education Program. To allow for ratio numbers re membership a new form of group Support Membership has been incorporated into this format.
- The ICS Inc expect all candidates to be taught the true presentation of Spiritualism and the Seven Principles, which are the guidelines of our Religion.
- The education program must incorporate, through its structure, a version of the course ‘Basic Spiritualism’ used in the training of ICS Inc Ministers in Australia.
This course may be translated into the language of the Country in which it will be used; providing the following criteria are adhered to:-
- Permission to translate the “Basic Spiritualism” course must be applied for, to the ICS Inc, and granted in writing, before the translation is begun.
- Copyright ownership of all translated work, to be used with the education program of Pastoral Ministers will be retained by the ICS Inc.
- A copy of the translated work must be supplied to the ICS Inc., to be held in the archives.
- A Royalty is to be paid to the ICS Inc. by every candidate taking the ‘Basic Spiritualism“course [Costs may be checked with the Sectary of the ICS Inc.]
- A sound History of Spiritualism should be taught and reading and research encouraged.
- The ICS Inc expects that all candidates will be developed in mediumship, to a standard of being able to give reliable evidence from the Spirit Realms, evidence that can prove life after death to inquirers, either private individuals or members of a congregations attending Church Services
- The ICS Inc would also expect that candidates learn to meditate themselves as well as for calling in Spirit. They will need to be able to direct others in the use of meditation as well as been proficient in their own personal Meditation.
- After learning attunement with Spirit, a candidate should be taught the correct application of Spiritualist Healing, the conducting of Absent Healing and running a Healing Circle for others to learn how to channel healing. Accreditation through the ICS Inc. would be mandatory for this subject. [Information on the procedure for this can be obtained from the Administration Officer of the ICS Inc.]
- All candidates should learn Grief Counselling, so that they can counsel bereaved persons.
- All candidates are to be trained in correct public speaking, as lecture work is most a important vehicle for the presentation of true Spiritualism.
- A good grounding in what is Spiritualism is also needed, so that when questioned by a member of any of the Medias, correct and precise replies can be given. All Ministers have to be able to answer any question on Spiritualism [The members of the media can be a nemesis to the religion of Spiritualism.]
- During training, candidates are to be taught how to conduct Church Services.
- Each trainee must learn how to perform Weddings, Namings and Funerals in accordance to the Rites of Spiritualism and as laid down in the ICS Inc. Ministers File of Services or Work File. [These Files can be purchased from the Administration Officer of the ICS Inc.].
- The above will be subject to the laws of the relevant country.
For this training to be sound in its grounding it is expected that a suitable time frame of 2 years minimum will apply before a request is made or considered for ordination into the ICS Inc Ministry.
Each candidate must become a Support Member of the ICS Inc. and be registered with the ICS Inc. before they commence the courses/training; failure to comply will exclude students from final ordination. [Support Membership may be obtained from the ICS Inc. Administration Officer]
A student must register with the ICS Inc. and be given a Student Registration Number, that must be used on all documentation in connection the Education Program. Application forms can be obtained from the Administration Officer of the ICS Inc.
After training is completed and all relevant examinations have been completed and passed, including any set by the Nominating Authority Delegate /Chief Minister of the Denomination, plus all prerequisites adhered to, an application for Ordination can be lodged with the Nominating Authority Delegate/Chief Minister. [If ordination is approved an ordination fee will apply and the Minister Elect will be expected to purchase a Ministers Collar and Medallion from the ICS Inc., a Warrant for the ordination will then be issued for the NAD chosen representative to perform the ceremony on behalf of the ICS Inc.
The candidates must be encouraged to start their own church, centre or group and apply for membership of that church, centre or group, this will not become mandatory until they are ordained, but it is advised that preparation for such a move be made well in advance and their church, centre or group name include the word SPIRITUALIST.