With increasing numbers of scholarly publications and its own well-established program group at the American Academy of Religion, Contemporary Pagan Studies has been making great strides forward in rigor and credibility. The creation of a viable Pagan intellectual culture -- along with the ability to dialogue effectively with others in both scholarly and religious contexts -- is one aspect of what will allow Pagans a place of respect on both local interfaith councils and in global meetings like the Parliament of World's Religions.
I am excited and proud to be involved with Cherry Hill Seminary, where I serve as instructor and head of the Nature, Deity, and Inspiration department. Cherry Hill Seminary provides professional training for Pagan ministry in a mostly on-line format. Degree candidates are required to participate in a small number of in-person, face-to-face academic intensives before graduation.
Cherry Hill offers a variety of graduate degrees, including a Master of Divinity and a Master of Pagan Studies. Certificate programs for those who wish to pursue ministry training but do not yet have a Bachelor's are also available. Majors are offered in five areas including pastoral counseling and public ministry. Note that we are not yet accredited at this time, but are able to offer these degrees because, as a religious institution, we are exempt from state oversight. We intend to voluntarily meet accreditation requirements, however, and are currently in a multi-year process of raising funds and developing our curricula toward that goal.
Having taken classes at both the Boston University School of Theology and Harvard Divinity School as part of my PhD in Religious and Theological Studies at Boston University, I can attest that our Master's level classes offer a similar level of challenge and rigor as these well-established schools. Our faculty publish in both scholarly and popular venues, present at the American Academy of Religion and other academic conferences, and teach in other university and college settings. As we continue to develop our curricula, we envision a seminary education that will equal any other Master's program available. Not only will our graduates have the professional skills to serve Pagan religious communities of various sizes and configurations, but they will be able to interact confidently and knowledgeably with highly educated clergy of other faiths.
Although registration for our next semester won't open until July 15, I'm very excited about the classes we'll be offering this Fall! FDN (4-week) and PCE (semester-long) courses are community education classes open to all; the rest are Master's-level and require a bachelor's degree or instructor's permission. You can enroll in classes without being a matriculating student (in other words, without a plan to complete a degree program).
FDN: Research and Writing in Pagan Studies - Potts
FDN: Why Magickal Thinking Isn't Crazy - Dobyns
FDN: Effective Website Development for Pagan Organizations - Mohnkern
PCE/NDI: Erotic Ethics - Kraemer
PCE: Rites of Passage - Arthen
PCE: The Warrior in Shadow: Violence From a Pagan Perspective - Rifkin
PCE: Call of the Dark Mother - Bennett
NDI/PAL: Paganism and the Body - Kraemer
NDI/TTI: American Spiritualities - Whedon
NDI/TTI: A Saunter with John Muir and Walt Whitman: The Poetry and Politics of Nature - Highland
PAL: Religion and the Law - Bianchi
PAL: Spirit of Economics - Levitt
PAL: Starting a Spiritually Centered Business or Organization - Levitt
PPC: Human Development in a Pagan Context - Mason
PPC: Personality Theories - Oringderff
TTI: Contemporary Global Paganisms - Kraemer
TTI: Western Initiation: Theories and Issues - Winslade
Whether you're looking for a complete Master's program or simply to acquire some specific knowledge or skills, Cherry Hill has a great deal to offer. We particularly celebrate the efforts of covens and small communities to raise funds for their leaders and facilitators to study ministry skills at Cherry Hill and encourage other interested students to do the same.
Because accreditation is a time-consuming and expensive process, we also appreciate your donations. Building a seminary takes years, and our dedicated staff and instructors put in large numbers of volunteer hours. Please spread the word about our work!
Christine Hoff Kraemer