Our program actively explores the convergence Eastern, Western, and indigenous worldviews in the spirit of pluralism, dialogue, and open inquiry. We are eager to explore the meaning of this convergence for our diverse and multicultural world.

Integral Vision

Our program is guided by and dedicated to the following educational ideals:

  • To create a learning community focused on the exploration of Western, Eastern, and indigenous psychologies and spiritualities in the spirit of integral inquiry and open-ended dialogue.
  • To offer an integral education that honors intellectual excellence and the voice and wisdom of the somatic, vital, emotional, imaginal, and spiritual dimensions of our students.
  • To foster the psycho-spiritual development of our students, as well as their individual gifts and potentials.
  • To bring spirituality into academia and to explore transformative elements of inquiry, learning, and writing.

Transformative Education

Our program encourages students to build bridges between fields of research (for example, psychoanalysis and Buddhim), research methodologies (for example, theoretical, phenomenological, narrative, and heuristic), approaches to knowledge (for example, a first-, second-, and third-person standpoints), and epistemologies (for example, Eastern contemplative and Western scientific)

With the integration of multiple ways of knowing, students develop inquiry skills that engage a wide range of human faculties and experiences (somatic, emotional, vital, imaginal, intellectual, intuitive, and/or contemplative). Acquiring these skills is not only a catalyst for meaningful personal transformation, but also a foundation for the elaboration of more holistic knowledge and the design of integral transformative approaches relevant to the needs of individuals and collectives in the contemporary world.

Engaged Psychology

Engaged psychologies address issues of psycho-spiritual practice, embodied self-actualization, social justice, and ecological awareness. These stand in sharp contrast to psychologies of disengagement and departure, which adjust the individual to unhealthy and unjust social, financial, and political realities while ignoring declining social systems and deteriorating ecosystems.

  • We explore inner conflict as a barometer of collective consciousness.
  • We extend spirituality to the work place and personal relationships.
  • Our research employs multiple angles of experience.
  • We analyze life situations in terms of mythological structures.
  • We apply spiritual practices as a response to cultural or ecological trauma.
  • We interpret images or motifs in life though the lens of dream theory.

Practitioners of engaged psychology are attentive to what has been relegated to the margins and edges of collective consciousness, to recover personal, social, somatic, ecological, and spiritual voices and meanings in search of fuller articulation.

Collaborative Learning

Embodied Spiritual Inquiry classOur program's coursework may include dialogical inquiry, class presentations, small-group discussions, web-based learning and networking tools, group assignments and cooperative inquiry, as well as group work in daylong retreats. Collaborative learning allows our students to share in the construction of human knowledge, to create emotional and interpersonal competence, and to learn how to enter into fruitful exchange with people holding different views.

Community building is also central to our pedagogical approach. In addition to the retreat that all new students attend, our program offers a fall social gathering and a spring end-of-year celebration. All students are invited to the MA presentations and to dissertation defenses. Students may also use various platforms to connect with each other for housing opportunities, academic discussion, and activities like student-led retreats. Faculty teach students and graduates to present at professional conferences and to publish work in scholarly journals. Students leave our program with personal and professional connections that enhance their research and practice.

Questions about admissions or our program?

Admissions Counselor:
Richard Wormstall
(415) 575-6156| rwormstall@ciis.edu

Program Manager:
Stephen Julich, PhD
(415) 575-6189| ewp@ciis.edu

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