Frequently Asked Questions
Who is this program designed for? Do I need to be a business or community leader?
The PTS TL Program is designed for anyone wanting to deepen their awareness, attunement, and alignment with spirit and the divine presence. It is for those who want to be part of a community or cohort of learners dedicated to learning, growth, and upliftment. It is for people who are new to a spiritual path or who have followed a dedicated spiritual practice for many years, as long as they seek to strengthen that connection to the divine, to all that is. It is for those who want to know what it means to lead a life dedicated to the awareness of soul and divinity in all. The TL program is for those who know that they lead by their demonstration of who they are through their own presence and actions and who want the support of a beloved cohort of souls to join them on this journey of leading a life of soul transcendence. The Transcendent Leadership Program is here to support the leader within all of us in living with soul awareness. That is the true leader.
Do I need to be INVOLVED WITH MSIA or on MSIA discourses to enroll in this program?
No, you do not. As a seminary program our courses are built on the foundational teachings of the Church of MSIA. Course faculty incorporate some of MSIA's texts into the curriculum, and throughout the TL Program teachings of John-Roger and John Morton are integrated with the works of other spiritual teachers, philosophers, artists, scientists, poets, community or business leaders, and so on. Further involvement with MSIA is not required or expected. It is a specific requirement of the program for all students and faculty to read Years 1 and 2 of MSIA Soul Awareness Discourses over the course of the two-year program for informational and educational purposes.
what is a “residency” in the transcendent leadership program? what takes place at the residencies?
The majority of the work in the TL program can be done from where you live or where you are traveling--from wherever you are! There are five residencies over the course of the two-year program where all students and faculty come together in person in Santa Monica California for several days.
Residencies are the time where we are together, in the same space, focusing our attention together in the divine presence and energy of spirit's blessings.
The residencies include a six-day orientation in August, just before the first semester of enrollment. Then there is a five-day residency in each of the four semesters—these happen at the end of October in the fall semester and the end of March in the spring semester. The full calendar is here. Like most schools in the United States our semesters are labeled fall for the August - Decembersemester, and spring for the January – May semester, even though it might not be fall or spring where you live. But it will be here in Los Angeles when you join us for the residency!
During our residencies we have many guest speakers who share their wisdom about transcendent leadership, soul awareness, and leading a soul-led life. John Morton, the spiritual director of MSIA and PTS, has graced us with lots of his time and wisdom at each residency. Other speakers have included Robert Waterman, Leigh Taylor Young, Ron Hulnick, David Allen, Leslie Boyer, and many more.
There is time at each residency to focus on the three courses for the semester, including presentations from every student. Faculty offer workshops and we engage in fun, adventurous opportunities for experiential learning. And of course there is plenty of time for sharing together in spiritual exercises, meals, play, dancing, and even ice cream and movies.
You can go to our blog page and see articles that have come from some of our guest speakers' talks with us, as well as reflective sharings about our residencies with photos.
For many of the faculty and students, the residencies are the highlight of our work and we all carry them with us as we go out in the world.
What is an online learning platform? what happens in these online spaces?
Online learning platforms are software programs that create a classroom-like environment where students and faculty can come together even if not in the same physical location or working at the same time of day. These learning spaces use a social learning approach to education that allows students to be engaged in a dynamic learning community online. It's very different from a correspondence course where a student is sent an assignment to complete. This is a social space where students and faculty are together in conversation, exploration, discovery, and learning.
PTS Wisdom School is our online learning space, and it uses the online learning platform Moodle.
Each course in the program has a Moodle classroom in the PTS Wisdom School and that space is where the entire class is presented. Faculty share media, resources, assignments, and more. Students write and share their experiences, ask questions, offer support, and more.
This social learning approach to distance learning allows the students and faculty to be engaged with each other on a daily basis, but in the timing that works for each person. Someone might post a question or insight on a Monday morning, and the cohort members and faculty will reply in their own timing over the next week or so.
Every course in the program is different, as each is offered by a different team of two faculty members, and here is an example of one week in one course. The material provides daily support for you as you make your journey to deeper living in soul awareness and soul transcendent leadership.
how much work, and what type of work, is required in this program?
The work of PTS’s MSS program in Transcendent Leadership primarily takes place in spirit. The TL program provides a space for deep connection with a cohort of peers and an opportunity to deepen personal awareness, attunement, and alignment with the divine presence.
The intention of the faculty in designing and presenting the MSS program in Transcendent Leadership is to provide a curriculum that encourages students to integrate the beauty, grace, and practical spirituality of the PTS experience with a scholarly approach that connects the teachings of John-Roger and John Morton with existing published works on spiritual concepts and truths.
In our classes we refer to this scholarly approach in various ways, drawing from a number of disciplines and perspectives. In the program, students gain experience with scholarly practices such as collaborative inquiry, integrative learning, reflexive or transformative learning, and scholarly goodness. When we speak of scholarship, we are referring to the value (the good) that is gained from critical thinking and a curious, open approach to learning. In this way we integrate our church's teachings with the works of other spiritual teachers, philosophers, artists, scientists, poets, community or business leaders, and so on.
TL students have a wide range of options when fulfilling the course work. Some of our current students choose to deepen their skill and experience with inquiry and scholarship in a formal fashion. Others choose to write in a more personal and reflective manner. The balance and integration of both is up to each student. Our current students tell us this freedom is magical and profound, and that no matter how they participate they find great depth in the transformative experience, and deeper attunement to leading a life of soul transcendence.
Like all PTS programs, the TL program has minimum participation requirements to earn the MSS or Certificate of Completion in Transcendent Leadership.
- Residency Attendance: Students participate in full at each of five residencies (including the orientation) over two years. (This includes approved make-up work.)
- Cohort Connection Calls: Students participate in three Cohort Connection video calls each semester. Students are also encouraged to participate in the daily Solarium Space video calls as often as possible.
- Transcendent Leader Circle (TLC): Students participate with a TLC throughout the two-year program. Each TLC meets live (in person or via video conference) at least once a month during the semesters; each TLC can decide to meet as often as desired.
- Transcendent Leadership Presentation: Students present on a topic at each semester residency, integrating learning from the semester’s three courses.
- Satisfactory Course Completion: During each semester, students track their participation in each of the three courses and submit completed monthly tracking sheets. Active participation in each course involves:
- logging in to the course Moodle page each week and reviewing the week’s prompts and materials provided by the course faculty;
- posting each week in the course page at least two new thoughtful, relevant contributions in response to the course topic, materials, and activities;
- reading as many of your peers’ posts as you feel called to read;
- responding thoughtfully to at least two peers’ written posts each week;
- and completion of the final assignment for the course. In most courses the final assignment is a paper reflecting on or making an argument addressing a particular concept, question, or topic—faculty will assign specific required or recommended readings to inform and prepare students for completing the assignment.
Upon completion of the two year program, students who hold a bachelor’s degree and who met these participation requirements are awarded the MSS in Transcendent Leadership. Students without a bachelor’s degree who met the requirements receive the Certificate of Completion in Transcendent Leadership.
Beyond these requirements, participation and the form of writing is up to each student. Written responses to class activities do not need to be in a formal academic style. Responses can be in any form as long as they demonstrate scholarly or reflective inquiry process. This means sharing an idea, exploring it, integrating ideas from others with your own, and coming to and sharing a deeper understanding of the topic. More than reporting, reflexive writing is about developing your thinking and awareness about any given topic in a way where you are changed by the experience—in other words, using the experience for your learning, growth, and upliftment.
The two-year experiential learning process maximizes opportunities for praxis (the application of learning) and discipline toward mastery. Emphasis is placed on gaining firsthand experience with concepts related to transcendent leadership through engaging, applying, exercising, realizing, and practicing. In the context of spiritual learning and growth, praxis includes the firsthand experience of the divine. In the praxis of spirituality, we move beyond the wisdom of the finite mind and language, to experience and express the infinite divine.
While a substantial amount of the TL course work involves writing, the program also offers students rich opportunities for direct engagement, dialogue, and creativity. In addition to the in-person orientation and residency gatherings, the program offers opportunities for daily, weekly, or monthly connections with classmates in real-time.
Like all PTS offerings, the TL program exists in service to soul transcendence. Come and discover more of what that means for you.
DOES THE PROGRAM REQUIRE ACADEMIC RESEARCH AND WRITING?
The TL program was designed to be a scholarly program that is accreditation-worthy. This means that if a student chose to complete all of the courses as designed and using a formal APA style, the student would earn a master's degree that is equivalent to a graduate degree at other universities. Students interested in a formal academic experience may opt in to this level of participation, which requires a separate application process and will result in the awarding of a unique master’s degree title.
How much reading and writing is required in the program?
Faculty teaching each course will provide assignments specific to that course. On average, courses may offer 3-5 books, any number of short written reflective repsonses, and 1 or 2 longer papers. The length, style, and depth of thought for each written assignment is up to each student.
Like all PTS programs, the TL Program has minimum participation requirements, which are listed above.
How much time will the program take in between the residencies?
Students can assume that they will put in anywhere from 2 to 20 hours per week focused on this program. As a program designed specifically to be integrative with our lives, this work will include things you are already doing as you carry out your own life. For example: demonstrating and mastering transcendent leadership in your community (family, neighborhood, work, church, or other community); focusing on your personal spiritual practice; reading books that are focused on bringing greater Light and effectiveness to our social and relational experiences; and so on.
Do I have to live in California? How often do I have to come to California?
The Transcendent Leadership Program is designed to be carried out from wherever you live. As a highly interactive program, students and faculty will be engaged and connected on a daily basis through online technology, including the PTS Wisdom social learning platform (which uses Moodle technology) and internet-based video conferencing (using Zoom technology).
New students and faculty come together before the program begins in August for a six-day orientation in Santa Monica, CA.
Once in the program, students and faculty come together for a five-day Fall Residency in October and a five-day Spring Residency in March. These are also held in Santa Monica, CA. All other work is carried out from wherever you are located.
How much does the program cost?
For students beginning the program in August 2019, which begins with orientation in Santa Monica on August 19, there is a reduced tuition of $2,367.00 per semester.
Details about the tuition and fees can be found here.