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Secular Buddhist Ministry Certifications?
Does there currently exist an organization which offers certifications for secular buddhist ministers? In the USA some work (especially with prisoners) is facilitated by organizational certifications. My own work as a secular buddhist psychotherapist would be facilitated by some sort of organizational certification. If no organization currently exists what do the sisters and brothers think about creating one?
I have no official status around here so I'm just going to share my thoughts on certifications.
While I can see how useful it would be, I lean more strongly to the position expressed by Ted Meissner in his post from 2016 "Changes at the SBA", where he says:
Some have asked how they might join the SBA. Joining wasn’t something to encourage, as secular Buddhism is a way of being in the world, more than an identity to assume. We continue with that exploration today, though some of the themes have begun to coalesce, little by little, and are still actively fluid in nature. Ossified identity is something that tends to constrict rather than lend itself to creative exploration of the present, so living as a secular Buddhist has always been a tall and wide tent with room for growing and change, less about setting up barriers to being whatever is called for in the moment.
Though 2016 seems a long time ago, I believe Secular Buddhism is still young enough for the idea of certification to be problematic. I'd suggest that there might be some non-secular-Buddhism certifications out there, in traditional Buddhist lineages that might suit your needs just as well. Perhaps you've already found them since it's been almost two years since your post.