A Transformative and Holistic Educational Experience to Cultivate a More Just, Sustainable, and Fulfilling World
The certificate program is an occasion to learn of the great diversity of process philosophies and the wide variety of ways in which those ideas can be expressed in everyday life. It will begin with a general introduction to process thought and end with an opportunity to creatively and concretely express what participants have learned. In between students will participate in courses covering a variety of topics: an in-depth look at Whitehead's philosophy of organism, an exploration of religious traditions through a process-relational perspective, an overview of the complex landscape of ecological civilization, and an analysis of the relevance of Whitehead's cosmology to the natural sciences.
We look forward to having you join us for this experiment in a creative, transformative, and holistic adventure of ideas.
“There is only one subject matter for education, and that is Life in all its manifestations.”
–Alfred North Whitehead, Adventures of Ideas
January 2024 – September 2024
Complete Three Courses
(2 core and 1 elective)
- Attend or view the recording of each class session.
- Complete required readings.
- Participate in discussion forum.
- Complete required assignment.
Complete a Synthesis & Springboard Project
Produce one of the following:
- Research paper
- Creative localization project
- Work of art
Note: It is possible to sign up for the individual courses that are part of the certificate program without enrolling in the program. See the frequently asked questions below for more details.
INTRODUCTION TO PROCESS THOUGHT AND PRACTICE
This course offers an overview of the process outlook on life and way of living in the world. You will be introduced to the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead; four hopes (aspirational ideals) that shape the process movement around the world; twenty key ideas important to the process worldview; a process (Whitehead influenced) understanding of God; a process approach to spirituality; a process approach to science; and a process understanding of Ecological Civilization and Compassionate Communities.
Jay McDaniel, PhD
WHITEHEAD’S PROCESS PHILOSOPHY
Whitehead’s “philosophy of organism” is one of the most significant attempts in all of philosophy to think through what reality must be like because you are apart of it. His philosophical vision is at once vast, various, and prismatic. His wife Evelyn once used the wonderful metaphor of a prism to describe his thinking, saying: “It must be seen not from one side alone but from all sides, then from underneath and overhead. So seen, as one moves around it, the prism is full of changing lights and colours. To have seen it from one side only is to not have seen it.” The five sessions of this course aim to reveal the various sides, lights, and colors belonging to Whitehead’s process philosophy from the microscopic to the macroscopic, and in direct relation to your experience as an expression of the universe.
Andrew M. Davis, PhD
ELECTIVE COURSES: SELECT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING
PROCESS THOUGHT & WORLD RELIGIONS
We live in a world marked by great diversity, and if humans are to live peaceably together, we must seek to understand each other. In this course, participants will explore various world religions, as well as indigenous/traditional ways of thinking and living, through a lens of process and relational thought. Over the course of six sessions, we will discuss Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Indigenous/Traditional Ways. As we approach each tradition, we will seek to encounter its commitments and matters of ultimate concern alongside its primary practices, exploring how it may be situated within process and relational metaphysics. Through this lens, we might ask how each tradition fosters zest and enjoyment, nourishes its adherents’ spiritual and ethical lives, and knits communities together, with an eye on each tradition’s view of the proper relationship between the transpersonal or sacred and humans, as well as between humans and the earth.
PROCESS THOUGHT & ECOLOGICAL CIVILIZATION
Course summary will be available soon. We appreciate your patience.
Mary Elizabeth Moore, PhD
PROCESS THOUGHT & SCIENCE
This course introduces students to Alfred North Whitehead’s organic cosmology by exploring its relevance to contemporary natural science, including physics, biology, and cognitive neuroscience. In light of his protest against the modern bifurcation of nature into separate physical and psychical domains, the course examines the ways Whitehead’s process-relational ontology allows us to understand the knowledge produced by natural science as compatible with human experience, including the presuppositions of ethical social relations and cultural self-understanding. Whitehead’s “organic realism” makes it possible to re-enchant the world without contradicting the latest scientific findings. In fact, his philosophy of organism provides us with one of the most promising means of integrating the increasingly fragmented natural and social sciences into a comprehensive and potentially civilization renewing vision. In this six-session course, students can expect to gain a deeper understanding of the major categories of Whitehead's metaphysical scheme, receive an introduction to his novel interpretations of relativity, quantum, evolutionary, and complexity theories, and become familiar with the usually unspoken metaphysical assumptions underlying contemporary physical cosmology.
Matt Segall, PhD
Synthesis & Springboard Project
The culminating experience of the certificate program provides an opportunity for participants to integrate and synthesize various aspects of the subject matters they studied within the program. This experience may take the form of an academic research paper, a creative localization project illustrating the application of process thought, or a work of art (including a performance) with substantial commentary.
Examples of possible projects include developing an introduction to process thought in a local setting, creating an open and relational arts festival, developing an urban garden, or setting up programs at a local library exploring the four hopes of the process movement. Participants can begin thinking about their capstone experiences early in the process and be in communication with the dean of the program (Rolla Lewis) and other faculty members.
“The ultimate subject in education is Life in all it manifestations: human life but also the life of the plants and animals, the earth, and the wider universe. The whole of nature is alive.”
–Jay McDaniel, Open Horizons
Enrollment is limited to 30 students.
Don't miss out.
- Receive one-on-one advising from the program dean
- Lifetime access to session recordings
- Receive early notification of future courses
- Watch live or follow your own schedule
- Interact with class members via discussion forums