One Spirit Code of Ethics

The following is the Code of Ethics for Faculty, Students, and Graduates of One Spirit Interfaith Seminary:

Preamble: In order to promote integrity in the training of Interfaith/ Interspiritual ministers and in the practice of Interfaith/Interspiritual ministry and spiritual counseling, this code of ethics has been established for the staff, students, and graduates of One Spirit.

We dedicate ourselves to excellence in the performance of our professional service, and to living in a way which respects the fundamental dignity and worth of all people. We subscribe to the value of self-examination and to the principle that we need to give feedback to and receive feedback from each other in order to grow in personal and professional ethics. In this spirit, we commit ourselves to the following:

Code of Ethics

  1. We commit to cultivating inclusivity and practicing non­discrimination in our service to others.

Embracing the Interfaith­Interspiritual vision of the oneness of the human family, we strive to live this inclusivity in our service to others. We will not discriminate against anyone on the basis of age, color, gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, economic status, or physical ability.

  1. We commit to cultivating clarity of mind and understanding and refraining from misuse of intoxicating/mind-altering substances.

Respecting that our ability to teach, learn, and serve others rests upon clear thinking and seeing, we agree not to use intoxicating/ mind-altering substances before or during One Spirit classes, retreats or functions, and for staff, in the workplace. We further agree not to misuse such substances at any time. Any substance abuse problem may be brought in confidence to the attention of the CEO, Ilene Sameth.

  1. We commit to cultivating and maintaining healthy physical and emotional boundaries in our professional relationships. In particular, we commit to refraining from causing harm or pain to ourselves, others, or our spiritual community through sexual misconduct.

Recognizing that strong feelings of affection and caring can develop between any combination of staff, students and teachers or between counselors and clients, we agree to protect the integrity of these relationships by maintaining healthy emotional and physical boundaries.

Acknowledging that a romantic or sexual relationship between a teacher (or staff person) and a student or a spiritual counselor and a client is especially confusing and inappropriate, we agree to avoid creating harm through romantic involvement or sexuality. We will avoid romantic or sexual harassment, exploitation, or advances towards students, teachers, and clients. We also agree to refrain from accepting any such advances from any student, teacher (or staff person) or client. Should such an attraction develop, we agree that we will not pursue it until the teacher (or staff person)/student or counselor/client relationship has ended, preferably for at least a year.

In the same way, we understand that romantic and/or sexual relationships among students carry the potential for disruption and harm to the class community, particularly when such relationships end unhappily for one or both parties. Therefore, as a student, unless we are already in such a relationship with another student at the start of our training, we will not enter into a romantic and/or sexual relationship with any student during the course of our training without first seriously reflecting on the possible impact and consequences of such a relationship on the larger community, and without first discussing such possible consequences with a trusted spiritual advisor or counselor.

  1. We commit to cultivating and practicing honest, loving, and responsible communication; we commit to refraining from gossip and other forms of harmful speech.

Recognizing the power of speech to create both good and harm, we agree to speak that which is true, useful, and kind, and to refrain from spreading gossip, rumors, or that which we do not directly know to be true. We will not communicate in ways that are demeaning or hurtful to others or ourselves. We agree to cultivate conscious and clean communication and to develop loving­kindness and honesty as the basis for our speech.

  1. We commit to acting with professional integrity and refrain from misrepresenting ourselves.

Striving for integrity in all of our relationships, we recognize the importance of representing ourselves accurately to those we serve. We will not mislead others concerning the services we can offer, nor claim, directly or indirectly through implication, any professional qualifications that exceed those we have already obtained. We will respect the work of others by citing the source of our materials and observing the rights of authors. Further, we commit ourselves to open and just dealings in all financial transactions in which we are involved.

  1. We commit to respecting our need for ongoing professional guidance and support and to avail ourselves of supervision.

Acknowledging that situations may arise in our ministries that challenge our personal judgment and go beyond our professional skills and abilities, we recognize the need for supervision and guidance beyond our years of One Spirit experience and training. We therefore agree to have a supervisor who can advise us in these circumstances. In addition, we agree as spiritual counselors to engage in ongoing professional and/or peer supervision for our spiritual counseling work.

  1. We commit to creating safe and sacred space for growth and healing by maintaining confidentiality.

A sacred relationship exists between a spiritual counselor and a client, between a minister and the community served, between a staff person and other members of the One Spirit community, and, due to the deeply self-examining nature of our studies, between a student and faculty member. Therefore, we will hold all personal information shared in these relationships in strict confidence. We will discuss such privileged information only within legitimate forums of support, such as supervision, and only for the purpose of serving more lovingly and effectively. In order to create our classes as a space for heartfelt sharing and honest self-exploration, we also agree to hold as confidential whatever is shared within the class.

7a. We commit to extending this safe and sacred confidential space to our use of all internet/web materials and activities provided through One Spirit.

Recognizing that the internet has become an important form of education, communication and interpersonal connection, we understand and honor that the information in One Spirit’s secure webspace is confidential and provided exclusively for use by One Spirit students in the course of their studies; that the usernames and passwords provided by One Spirit are for our individual use only; and that the personal sharing communicated through One Spirit provided internet venues (website, listservs, etc.) is confidential. We also recognize that information in One Spirit’s secure webspace is the sole property of One Spirit, and may not be shared, copied or otherwise used outside the One Spirit educational experience without the prior written consent of One Spirit.

  1. We commit to upholding the ethical principles of the spiritual path we follow.

We recognize that the moral and ethical precepts of most religions and spiritual traditions are basically quite similar. Therefore, whether our own practices are based on the Ten Commandments, the Eightfold Path, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, or any other moral guidelines, we agree to allow the ethical principles of the spiritual path we follow to guide our thoughts, words, actions, and choices.

  1. We commit to ongoing spiritual growth and deepening of our understanding and practice.

Accepting that the strongest foundation for ministry is the integrity of our own spiritual life, we agree to ongoing spiritual practice in order to deepen our connection to the Divine and to each other.

  1. We commit to continuing education and ongoing professional development.

Understanding that, regardless of our level of professional training, there is always more to learn, we commit ourselves to continuing education through professional development courses, conferences, retreats, seminars, workshops, or other forms of ongoing learning.

  1. We commit to living the values of compassion, tolerance, respect, and open-mindedness.

Being affiliated with an Interfaith/Interspiritual seminary that includes all authentic spiritual teachings in its embrace of spirituality, we agree to live by this vision of inclusiveness, excluding no person or group from our hearts or from our own concept of spirituality. We commit to confronting attitudes of prejudice and intolerance within ourselves, that we may better embody Interfaith/Interspiritual ideals.

  1. We commit to the reporting of any abuse or ethical violations, with the intention of promoting healing for those involved.

Recognizing that these ethical guidelines exist primarily to support the safety, well­being, happiness, and integrity of our spiritual community, we agree to honestly and compassionately address any situations in which we feel someone is in danger or in which the ethical standards of One Spirit have been compromised. In such a case, we agree to report the situation as outlined below, with the shared intention of promoting healing for all those involved.

Grievance Procedure for Ethical Concerns or Violations of the Code of Ethics

We believe that it is best, whenever possible, for difficulties arising between individuals to be addressed directly by the individuals involved, as lovingly and responsibly as possible. When necessary, mediation and/or facilitation of this process by staff or faculty members of One Spirit can and should be sought by the individuals involved. If after sincere effort with the involvement of a staff or faculty member a resolution acceptable to the people involved cannot be reached, the situation may be brought to the attention of the Ethics Committee by e­mailing ethicscommittee@onespiritinterfaith.org.

In situations involving potential legal or reputational ramifications for One Spirit, the Board of Trustees will be informed immediately and may participate in facilitating a resolution to the problem.




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