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"The program speaks both to my intellectual side and my passionate side. It's almost as if it were designed with my needs in mind. Choosing to come here was one of the best things I've done in my life."

Brian Palecek
D.Min. Student/Teacher

"The classes provided some of the most inspiring and meaningful moments of my life, and have given me the perspective to perform my life's work with clarity and power."

Rev David Sharp
D.Min. Graduate

"This program is helping me to integrate and synthesize all of my talents and skills as a writer, film maker, and public speaker with my life's work. It's helping me to learn new ways to talk, to look, and to help people connect."

Patricia Waak
D.Min. Student Ecologist-Psychologist

Doctor of Ministry
in Creation Spirituality

Mission & History

Doctor of Ministry in Creation Spirituality (D.Min.)


Faculty Bios

Welcome from the President

Welcome to the University of Creation Spirituality. Our pedagogy at UCS has been tested and proven for over twenty years and it definitely works. It keeps people engaged, excited, and alive. At UCS we combine cosmology, spirituality, art-as-meditation, and ritual-making, so that transformation occurs in students that prepares them with tools to be of service for transforming society, work and worship. In these post-modern times, education must become more community-oriented and more community centered. It also needs to be small and intimate and involve all the chakras, the heart, mind and body. We come to a University to find our place in the Universe. Nothing less.

Matthew Fox
UCS President


The University of Creation Spirituality, founded by visionary theologian Matthew Fox, reclaims the medieval meaning of "wisdom school" as it engages students through education, community, art, compassion, and a common cosmology. Students at UCS engage and explore body, mind, and spirit to learn alternative forms of ritual, the wisdom of century-old mystics, spiritual companioning, creative forms of art, new consciousness and paradigms, and how to practice justice-making and compassion with ourselves, our Mother Earth, and other human beings.

The Creation Spirituality movement seeks to integrate the wisdom of western spirituality and global indigenous cultures with the emerging scientific understanding of the universe and the passionate creativity of art. It is the earliest tradition of the Hebrew Bible and was celebrated by the mystics of medieval Europe. Creation Spirituality provides a solid foundation and holistic perspective from which to address the critical issues of our times, including the revitalization of religion and culture, the honoring of women's wisdom, the reinvention of work, the celebration of hope in today's youth, and the promotion of social and ecological justice, and the re-making of models of education. How can we reinvent work without reinventing education?


Originally founded in January of 1977 at Mundelein College by Matthew Fox, the University of Creation Spirituality (UCS) enfolds the 19-year tradition of the Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality (ICCS) into a uniquely integrative model of education for the 21st century.

In 1983 ICCS moved to Holy Names College in Oakland, California and in 1996 moved again, this time to the urban core of this diverse city, birthing what is now known as downtown Oakland's University of Creation Spirituality. The move to Oakland's urban core was deliberately chosen to contribute to the reintegration of ritual into the daily lives of the urban dweller, bringing soul back to work, and to young people.

Over twenty year after its inception, this unique pedagogy is still on the "cutting edge" of both education and spirituality. Creation Spirituality is not a new religion but is concerned with developing theologies and practices within religion and culture that promote personal wholeness, planetary survival, and universal interdependence

In Spring, 1999, the Naropa University of Boulder, Colorado and the University of Creation spirituality co-created an educational and spiritual alliance and community. The outcome of this union is the Naropa University Oakland Campus, offering an innovative Master of Liberal Arts in Creation Spirituality degree. This program heartily complements the Doctor of Ministry in Creation Spirituality offered by UCS. This blend of Eastern and Western wisdom that occurs through this alliance represents a vision for the next millennium. Deep ecumenism can, and is happening and with it, hope and empowerment for many.

Doctor of Ministry in Creation Spirituality (D. Min.)


UCS offers a unique program that is unlike traditional Doctor of Ministry programs because it is open to people of all professions who are eager to reinvent the workplace and contribute to deep societal transformation. Not only is it the first Doctor of Ministry program in Creation Spirituality, it is the first D.Min. in spirituality. Social workers, doctors, lawyers, artists, therapists, clergy, and social activists alike have enrolled in this program. Our students are predominantly working adults who come from all parts of the nation and world. Students find that the they are able to integrate the week-long intensives offered six times a year into their full lives with minimal disruption. After each intensive, students return to their communities, and integrate the spiritual principles studied, into their lives and places of work.

UCS is currently accepting applications for people wanting to begin their Doctor of Ministry degree in January 2000. Application and admission occurs on a revolving basis with intensives scheduled in January, June, and August. *

For further information regarding registration, tuition, or program inquiries, please contact the Admissions Office: 510-835-4827 Ext. 14, .

The University of Creation spirituality admits students of any race, color, sexual orientation and national or ethnic origin.

Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Ministry requires completion of ten one-week long intensives (Monday to Friday) which may be taken over a period ranging from one-and-a-half to four years. Ten intensives, each worth 4 units, give the student 40 units. Certification is 1 (one) credit and the final project counts a 13 credits, giving the student a total of 54 credits for degree completion.

Body Prayer is an experience of prayer and meditation that begins each day. Seminars are classes that engage participants in provocative dialogue and intellectual discipline. Art-as-Meditation classes awaken creativity through expression of body and soul. This unique methodology unites head-work with heart-work, and analysis with intuition. Process Group allows for the conscious integration of the D.Min. experience in small group settings.

Required Intensive Schedule:

Body Prayer          9am - 9:30am

Seminar              9:30am - 12pm

Art-as-Meditation    1:30am - 4:30pm

Process Group        5pm - 6:30pm

Course work

D. Min. candidates bring to each seminar the required preparatory reading. In addition, candidates have the option to do a five-page pre-paper based on these readings (brought to the seminar) followed by a five-page post paper, integrating the readings and seminar class material, OR a ten-page paper following attendance at the seminar. All papers must be completed within two months following the intensive attended.


Upon successful completion of the five required core seminars and papers, each D.Min. candidate, acting in collaboration with a D.Min. Director(s) will submit two copies of the graded core seminar papers for review. A meeting is scheduled to certify the preparedness of the student to begin the dissertation/project process. Following certification, the candidate formulates a written statement of intent which must be approved before the commencement of the dissertation/project; forms a committee consisting of a UCS Professor, a peer in the D.Min. program and an outside (mentor) expert in your field of study.

Doctor of Ministry Project

Candidates will have a minimum of one-and-a-half years to complete a final D.Min. Project. The Project may take a variety of forms, such as a research document, a creative learning project, teaching, or other tasks showing the candidate is actively applying Creation Spirituality principles to his or her own work.

Seminars Offered:

  • Core Readings in Creation Spirituality*
  • Wisdom Scriptures
  • The New Cosmology*
  • Urban Spirituality
  • Reinvention of Work*
  • Ritual
  • Medieval Mystics*
  • Creation Spirituality and Profession
  • Mystics of the East and West: Deep Ecumenism*
  • Vision Quest

* core courses

Additional Elective Seminars Being Developed:

  • Relationships in the Creation spirituality Tradition
  • Hildegard of Bingen
  • The New Consciousness and Healing
  • New Jewish Spirituality
  • Creation Spirituality: Gay and Lesbian Experience
  • Everyday Rituals
  • New Jewish Spirituality
  • Sacred Sexuality
  • African-American Spirituality
  • Celtic Spirituality
  • Contemporary Mystics
  • The Spirituality of Aging

Art-as-Meditation Classes Include:

  • Shabda Yoga
  • Native American Rituals
  • Painting as Meditation
  • Journeying with the Chakras
  • Drumming
  • Dancing Our Wisdom
  • Tai Chi and Mask Making
  • Dreams
  • African-American Rituals
  • Massage


Art-as-Meditation is the primary form of prayer in the creation-centered tradition. Ritual itself is a practice of art-as-meditation.

See our Art-as-Meditation page for detailed information.


Full-Time Faculty
Dorsey Blake, Stuart Cowan, Matthew Fox (co-chair), Ana Perez-Chisti

Part-Time Faculty
David Abram, Anita Barrows, Peter Brokenleg, Daniel Buford, Charles Burack, Kaleo Ching, Adriana Diaz, Dale Ellis, Mary Ford-Grabowsky, Gina Rose Halpern, Jackie Hairston, Genny Lim, Michael Mansfield, Jill Martin, Betty McAfee, Judith McKinnon, Rolf Osterberg, Russill Paul D'Silva, Robert Rice, Jyotsna Sanzgiri, Bruce Silverman, Brian Swimme, Jeremy Taylor, Luisah Teish, Michael Ziegler

Visiting Faculty
Carl Anthony, Margaret Pavel, Angeles Arrien, Joanna Macy, Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, Anita Roddick, Beverly Rubik, Rupert Sheldrake

Also available: detailed bios of all faculty.

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