Log in
Log in

Pagan Leadership Institute

The Pagan Leadership Institute at PSG includes workshops and training programs designed for Pagan ministers, elders, activists, others in leadership roles, and those engaged in leadership training.

Pagan Leadership Institute workshops are taught by trained ministers, elders, and ritualists, and are an excellent way to further your development as a Pagan community leader - - whether or not you seek ministerial credentials. 

Attendance at PLI classes is open to all who identify as Pagan Leaders and is free for those registered for PSG.

2024 Pagan Leadership Institute Workshops  

A Beautiful Death – Why Talking About Death Matters - PLI

Presented by: Rev. Sharon Stewart

Why aren’t we talking about death and making end-of-life plans in advance of needing them? It’s never easy, but it matters! These conversations can be some of the best and most intimate that families and friends share. As a minister and leader, we can facilitate these conversations to help the dying have their wishes carried out at death. These meaningful conversations can then lead to the creation of beautiful memorials, funerals, and celebrations of life ceremonies. In this workshop, we’ll learn the tools to carry out these conversations and how to build healing rituals and services not only after death but before death even happens.

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency #6.

Active Nonjudgmental Listening - Playing Baseball - PLI

Presented by: Jimmy Butterfly

Description: "So often when we enter into sensitive conversations, the conversation turns into tennis. While you're talking, I'm already planning my response. I'm listening with the intent of hitting the ball back to you. Active listening is more like baseball. When you're pitching, my only job is to catch. My job isn't to respond or interpret. My job is to ensure you know I've heard and understand you. This workshop will provide some basic active, nonjudgmental listening skills, but most of the time will be spent in experiential practice. The intended audience is ministers who are sometimes stopped unexpectedly and enter a conversation with someone in crisis. However, these skills (and their practice) apply equally to parents with children, children with parents, friends, siblings, and romantic partners.

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency #s 6 & 13

Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs) and Adult Resiliency - PLI

Presented by: Dia Crabtree

Description:  Adverse Childhood Effects (ACE) has a direct correlation between elevated likelihood of disease, physical and mental, and a high ACE score. Although it can be validating to understand a chronic illness is rooted in childhood trauma, it seems rather anticlimactic for adult trauma survivors. Recent studies have been looking at how Resiliency can assist adult trauma survivors with chronic illnesses. We will review what ACE is, learn what Resiliency is, and explore ways to up our own Resilience.

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency #s 6, 4 & 2.

Circle Ministry Training Program (MTP) Info Session

Presented by: Revs. Jake, Minerva, Eldritch and River

Description: If you’re interested in learning more about how Circle prepares ministers for ordination, what we teach about, how the program works, etc., come on along! This is a “no strings attached” chance to get questions answered, meet some program instructors and coordinators, hear from current and/or past MTP students, and advance your own discernment about whether Circle’s MTP program is right for you. Also, if you are planning to apply to the program for next fall or future years, come and find out how!

Confessions of a Zen Catholic Pagan: religious practice across religious boundaries – PLI

Presented by: Br. Patrick Finney

Description: Is it possible to sincerely and authentically practice multiple religions? What does it mean to be a “panspiritual religious anarchist”? Can one be agnostic or even atheist and devotedly religious too? Can things like political and gender theories inform our approaches to religion? This workshop explores some of the concepts and insights that lead to a spiritual existence beyond traditional historical and cultural boundaries and the joys and significant challenges of such a path.

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency #s 5, 6, 7 & 8.

Connecting with the Divine in Daily Life - PLI

Presented by: Liz “Spark” Rohret

Description: The divine is all around us everywhere and at all times, but faith leaders might struggle or forget to tune in and make connections. In this class, we will discuss shrine-building, cooking, art, and other ways of connecting with the divine and refreshing the soul on a daily basis. For youth and adults.

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency #8.

Creating and Facilitating Embodied Participatory Rituals- PLI

Presented by: Rev. River Higginbotham and Panel

Description: Experiencing powerful, moving rituals together grows Community, opens hearts, and supports individual spiritual journeys. Creating and offering such rituals is an art - with participation, embodiment, context, liturgy, sound, movement and voices as key components. In this workshop we will experience, share and discuss effective ways of bringing participation and embodiment to rituals of many kinds.

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency #2.

Enhancing Health and Well-being by Strengthening our Relationship with the Rest of the Natural World - PLI

Presented by: Dr. Dennis Carpenter

Description: We will explore ways to tap into the healing aspects of experiences in Nature by strengthening our sense of interconnectedness and relationship to the rest of the natural world, including Nature mindfulness techniques. For those in PLI track, we will discuss ways to help others realize this potential. This workshop is suitable for Pagan Leadership Institute participants and general PSG participants.

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency #s 8, 13, 10 and 6.

Grief – the Price of Love - PLI

Presented by: Rev. Sharon Stewart

Healing from grief is not easy. As ministers and leaders in our community, we find ourselves with little experience or tools to support our communities through what is sometimes a long and painful process. Providing comfort through words isn’t nearly as helpful as providing support by being willing to offer concrete ways that you can help. While divorce, sickness, injury, destruction, and loss of employment are among the list of tragedies people grieve, we will primarily be discussing grief as it relates to death. As a friend, family member, clergy, or just a compassionate person you have the skills you need to support a griever, come see how.

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency #6.

Keys to Effective Chant in Ritual and as Ritual - PLI

Presented by: Rev. River Higginbotham and Jasmine

Description: Voices chanting together. Vibrating together. Raising energy and connecting. Bringing these powerful tools alive in ritual are skills leaders/facilitators may seek or wish to expand. We will explore and share best practices, tips, lessons learned on using chant and voice in small, medium and larger group rituals. Exploring techniques to create mainly sung rituals will also be part of our learning together in this workshop. Bring your voice and imagination!

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency #2.

“No One Else Here is Pagan--Now What Do I Do?” - PLI

Presented by: Nancy Melito

Description: We Nature Spiritualists are often in a significant minority when we are in the ordinary world. How do we cope with the different faiths that boldly assume that they are the only true religion, and that our religion has no validity? Please come with an open mind and ready to share your own tips and tricks for getting along in a nation that frequently counts us out.

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency # 7.

Online Research Methodology - PLI

Presented by: Rev. Eldritch and Rev. Jewels

Description: This session will provide insights into a fantastic trove of resources at your fingertips from the Temple of Minerva (Library of Congress). Take a moment to learn to search art, culture, science, social justice, business, law, literature, and history. The info will include several folklife talks, concerts, and lectures that are useful for research. Since we’re camping, we’ll provide note-taking material. Feel free to bring your journal, laptop, or smartphone for “Research right at your fingertips!”

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency #s 3 & 10.

Our Whole Lives: OWL Training Info Session - PLI

Presented by: Rev. Eldritch

This session presents an overview of the Our Whole Lives (OWL) curriculum, which helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their relationships, sexual health, and behavior. With a holistic approach (PDF), Our Whole Lives provides accurate, developmentally appropriate information about various topics, including relationships, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, sexual health, and cultural influences on sexuality. Health professionals created this curriculum in a collaborative effort of the UCC and UUA (Unitarian Universalists and the United Church of Christ) and, with training, adaptable for the Pagan community.

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency #s 10, 12 & 13.

Pagan Education for Families: How Do We Talk about Pagan Faith Practices with Children and Youth - PLI

Presented by: Becky Malke

Description: Often, as Pagan leaders, and/or parents and guardians, want to give those under our care the freedom to explore their own religious and spiritual beliefs. How do we talk about our faith without forcing our beliefs onto our children? How do we talk about what it means to be Pagan while possibly dealing with our own spiritual woundedness? Becky will talk about why it's important for children and youth to know what Paganism is even if that is not the path they want to follow and why it's important to be a guide if they do want to take this spiritual path.

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency #10.

Pagan Group Administration, Funding, and Financial Management - PLI

Presented by: Mars Sylvanius

Description: For those who lead or are about to lead their group, navigating the management of finances can be a daunting challenge. This class will review common ways to help fund a group, essential rules for 501c3 and tax-exempt status, and the why and how of keeping business records.

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency # 11.

Pagan History of the US - PLI

Presented by: Liz “Spark” Rohret

Description: Did you know there was an illegal Maypole in Puritan New England? How about the official Goddess of the USA? Come learn about these and more Pagan influences on the history of the United States, and how to spread awareness about them as a representative of Paganism. An interactive class for youth and adults.

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency # 3.

Pagans Transforming Society - PLI

Presented by: Rev. Eldritch

Description: Pagan groups can be the leading edge to change and evolve our society. To fulfill this promise, groups and leaders need to understand the basic building blocks for authentic Social Justice work in many forms. Opportunity and privilege is one topic we will explore together. Pagans are passionate about bringing positive change to the world. Responding to social changes and transitions is the work of Pagans making positive contributions to the world.

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency # 9.

Religion as Art: Truth and Meaning in the Practice of Religion - PLI

Presented By: Br. Patrick Finney

Description: For many people, their spiritual quest is a search for truth and understanding. This approach leads to interminable debates over theology, correct practice, and whose religion is right and true. But another way can open more options and greater freedom in one’s religious life. Rather than focusing on such issues as metaphysics and theology we will explore an approach to religion which privileges meaning and practice over truth and professions of faith.

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency # 7

So… You (May) Wanna Be a Minister? - PLI

Presented by: Rev. Jake and others

Description: This discussion is for all those who have (remotely or seriously) contemplated whether formally pursuing ordination or designation as a minister might be right for you! Jake will explore lots of different possible functions of a designated minister (because it takes all sorts of skills and people to provide the wide array of things people might call upon a minister to do), and what it means to be faith leader. We will talk a little about the kinds of boundaries and relationship implications ministers need to consider, how to make sure you are taking care of yourself and remaining accountable to your mission and values, etc. All this applies to those working or intending to work directly with Circle in ministry, or in your local groups, or otherwise.

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency #s 5, 12 & 13.

Spiritual Direction for Pagans  - PLI

Presented: by Bryce Woyak

Description:  At its core, spiritual direction is an intimate relationship that encourages us to deepen our connection to what we hold most divine. As someone trained in many ways of noticing, listening to, and experiencing the Sacred, a spiritual director invites us to engage with the Holy as it shows up in our daily lives. While best known from Christian monastic traditions, spiritual direction has roots spanning many cultures and religions, and people of all and no religious beliefs continue to find value from this practice. This workshop will explore how people from Pagan and nature-centered paths can authentically engage in spiritual direction, including: what to expect from spiritual direction; common types of spiritual direction relationships; how to find an appropriate spiritual director; and a sample of common techniques used in spiritual direction.

This workshop primarily addresses Circle Ministry Competency 7.

Theology Roundtable - PLI

Presented by: Rev. Jake

Description: Faith leaders often get called on to answer questions or impart messages about some of life’s biggest questions, and it’s also our job to help people make meaning of their own lives and experiences, and integrate their values and life philosophy into their everyday decisions and activities. We often don’t talk a lot about these theological or philosophical concepts, though. This roundtable discussion will explore some ideas held by philosophers, theologians and/or people of faith about some of the big questions: “Who or what is/are ‘god’? “What happens when we die?” “Where did we come from before we were born?” “How do I know I’m being a ‘good’ person?” “Why is there suffering and pain in the world?” “Why did ____ happen to me?” Come ready to listen and share!

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency #s 3, 5, 6,7, 8, 10 & 13.

Trauma Informed Ministry - PLI

Presented by: Raven and Rev. Messina

Description: Join us for a discussion on “Trauma-Informed Ministry,” where we will explore trauma-informed approaches, literature, and suggestions that are easily applicable to ministerial work. This workshop is designed for anyone interested in learning how to hold space for community members who have experienced trauma, not just ministers and leaders. We will delve into the concept of trauma-informed care, apply it to a spiritual and ministry context, and leave with a better understanding of the tools, knowledge, and empathetic disposition necessary for those who have survived traumatic experiences/events.

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency #s 6 & 12.

Who Are You, What is Your Path and Why

Presented by: Chip Brown

Description:  A practical guide to undertstanding/finding your own path, and to assist others in understanding/finding theirs. We will explore religions, spiritual practices, their tenets and historical bases; we will discuss the opportunities and criteria for "joining" churches or following practices; and we will explore critical aspects of ourselves that validate and/or "qualify" us for participation and practice in these systems of worship.

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency # 8.

Working Within the Interfaith Community from a Pagan Point-of-View - PLI

Presented by: Rev. Dave Sassman

Description: We will have a discussion about getting involved and comfortable working in the Interfaith and Multi-Faith Community, while representing the Earth Based / Pagan Faith community.

This workshop addresses Circle Ministry Competency #s 7 & 3.

© 2023 Circle Sanctuary, all rights reserved.
Privacy Policy

Call or Email us:
Phone: (608) 924-2216

Mailing Address:
Circle Sanctuary
PO Box 9
Barneveld, WI 53507

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software