School of Pagan Leadership

Dean: Amber K


The School of Pagan Leadership offers exploration and training in the following subjects:

Vision, Mission, and Goals

How officers and members of an organization can create a vision statement, a mission statement, and goals that will successfully achieve them. Includes management by objectives, criteria for useful goals, and measurement of progress.

Structure and Organization of Religious Groups

Alternative methods of structuring groups, selecting decision-making processes, minimizing boundary issues, and apportioning responsibilities.

Group Dynamics

Understanding how people behave in groups, how “corporate culture” develops, how family paradigms are reenacted in organizations, the relationship of Maslow’s Hierarchy to group success, and the roles members act out.


Basic communications theory, active and reflective listening, conscious communication, the effects of silence, eye contact, body language, tone of voice, word selection, and written vs. oral communications.


Information- and resource-sharing through networking face-to-face, via telephone, the mass media, and the internet. Targeted resource location and networking for numbers.

Pastoral Counseling

The role of the religious counselor, the goals of counseling, legal considerations, effective referrals, listening skills, open-ended questions, crisis situations, counselor stress and self-care, professional networking.

Teaching and Educational Programs

Designing educational programs, the degree systems, “train-the-trainer” programs, the aims of education, class design, teaching in three sensory modes, pretesting, reinforcement, recognition, and post-testing.

Relationships in Small Religious Groups

Interpersonal barriers, defining limits, bonding, friendship, intimacy, and change in relationships due to personal growth, situational stress, and organizational stages.

Team-building and Forging the Group Mind

Techniques for team-building, creating group identity, establishing boundaries, clarifying needs and goals, selecting strategies and tactics, consensus decision-making, achieving commitment, ritual techniques for expression and reinforcement.

Leadership Intensive

An intense program with lecture, exercises, and discussion focused on the roles, skills, and attributes of religious leadership. Includes vision and goals, group process, communications, and teaching.

Certificate Program:

Practitioner Level:

  • Wicca 101 (2-day intensive) or Paganism Today (1-day workshop)
  • To Be a Priestess, To Be a Priest (1-day workshop)
  • Pagan Leadership 101 (2-day intensive)
  • Basic Communication Skills (2-day intensive)
  • Group Dynamics in Paganism (2-day intensive)
  • Ritual Design Leadership 101 (2-day intensive) OR Rites of Change: Making Ritual (Ritual 101) from the School of Magic and Witchcraft
  • Introduction to Theology: The Great Questions of Religion (2-day intensive)

Total for Practioner Level: 13-14 days of instruction at the Ardantane campus, spread over 1-2 years.

Advanced Level:

  • Organization and Administration (1-day workshop)
  • Consensus and Mediation (2-day intensive)
  • Teaching 101 (2-day intensive)
  • Pagan Pastoral Counseling (2-day intensive)
  • Comparative World Religions (2-day intensive)
  • Paganism and the Law (1-day workshop)
  • Practicum (Designed with Advisor)
  • Three units of electives from the Ardantane curriculum

Total for Advanced Level: 13 days of instruction at the Ardantane campus, spread over 1-2 years.

Course Descriptions

Teaching Intensive

Teaching Pagans how to teach more powerfully and effectively. Learn how to create lesson plans, work with psychic energies in the classroom, communicate on multiple levels with all sensory modalities, evaluate your strengths as a teacher, handle challenging students, gain confidence, and more.

Take home a toolbox full of ideas and techniques. Certificate provided.

Advanced Teaching Intensive

Have you taken the Ardantane Teaching Intensive? Are you ready for more? Have you been teaching for a while and want to hone your skills or find new ideas? If so, then this is the workshop for you. Join us for an intensive, experiential weekend and take your natural teaching abilities to a whole new level. Prerequisite: Ardantane Teaching Intensive or permission of facilitators. Expect to learn:

  • How learning happens in the human mind
  • How to create effective lesson plans for any time frame, group, or space
  • How to monitor and work with psychic energies in the classroom
  • Communication on multiple levels with all sensory modalities
  • When to stick to the plan and when to allow for more flexibility
  • The ins-and-outs of team teaching
  • Creative ways to handle challenging students
  • Techniques for evaluating yourself, your team, and the class a whole

To Be A Priestess; To Be A Priest

An exploration of the many roles, responsibilities, and delights of priest- and priestesshood, for experienced clergy, spiritual beginners, and everyone in between. What do priestesses and priests do? How is it like, or different from, the work of rabbis, ministers, pastors, and shamans? Do you have a calling or vocation as a spiritual leader, and if so, which one of the many specialties would fit you best? Or have you done it for years and realize it’s time for a change? How can you avoid burnout, and make the work joyful and renewing? What resources and networks can support you?

The program will include some lecture, much discussion, experiential exercises, and rituals to celebrate, refresh, and renew you.

Elements of Communication

Interpersonal communication is often taken for granted, without acknowledging the complex processes at work. Without understanding the basic principles of communication, you may find that what you want to say is not what is heard, or that what you perceive is not what was intended, situations which can be disastrous for magickal groups. This brief workshop will provide insight into your processes and patterns, and those of others you may interact with using a Pagan framework for understanding communication styles and preferences based upon the Elemental model. It has been said that “You cannot not communicate.” Find out how to function effectively within the seeming strictures of this truism.

Mindful, Magickal Communication

Conflict is a natural part of all relationships, even among individuals and groups with very congruent goals and values. This practical workshop will build upon basic principles of communication, attentiveness, and attunement to provide information on how create and maintain sacred space for effective, mindful communication within a framework of Perfect Love and Perfect Trust. The focus will be on conflict resolution, the clergy role, and applying pagan principles and cosmology to the intricate art of hearing and being heard. Concepts relevant to mediation and consensus decision making will be introduced. Sharing of personal experiences and insights is encouraged, and participants will have hands on time to work with the tools and techniques discussed through role play and exercises.

Prior completion of the Basics of Communication course or its equivalent is recommended.

Facilitation and Mediation for Group Leaders

This intense, practical course is intended to provide group leaders with a foundational set of skills in guiding groups through decision making using consensus principles, and to act as mediators when conflict arises between two or more members of a group or community. The focus will be on role play and experiential learning.

Participants are assumed to have a grasp of the basic principles of interpersonal communication, group dynamics, and leadership principles. Prior classwork and/or practical experience in these areas is strongly recommended. Pre-reading is required, and materials will be provided to students upon receipt of registration.

Group Dynamics in Paganism

You have worked hard for the Pagan community. Why not reward yourself with a weekend in the beautiful Jemez Mountains, learning, socializing, and relaxing with other friendly Pagan elders?

The Group Dynamics Intensive is for you, if you hold a leadership role in a group, if you have ever wanted to be a group leader, or if you want to thrive as a member within a group. It is a chance for you to meet with other experienced Elders and share concerns and solutions. The intensive is highly recommended for Pagan Elders who have not had any formal training in Group Dynamics and Group Process. The program will:

  • Provide tools you can use to make your own group stronger and more effective.
  • Fill gaps in your own formal training on group facilitation and group dynamics.
  • Give you techniques for fostering love and trust in your group.
  • Offer strategies and tactics for dealing with challenging members and problem situations.
  • Provide a forum where you can discuss group issues with other Pagan elders and leaders, in a confidential and supportive environment.

Ethics for Pagan Leaders: The Good, the Bad, and the Muggley

How do we know when we are leading or participating with honesty, integrity, and honor? What guidelines can light our way through the murky landscape of Pagan relationships and politics? How do Pagan standards of ethical behavior differ from those in the muggle world that surrounds us, and how are the the same? Join is for a weekend of lively discussion, scenarios familiar and unfamiliar, exercises and resources. Discuss both ethical theory and the application of theory to situational ethics. Emerge with your path more clearly marked, by your own hand and heart. Along the way: gorgeous scenery, tasty snacks and beverages, fun companions on the journey of discovery.

Living as Druid

See the listing in the School of Pagan Spirituality Course Descriptions.


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