This group is being set up for All Paths students and alumni so that we can share thoughts, ideas and ask questions that relate to your studies.  This forum is entirely optional.

If you would like to join the discussion email a request to:
info@allpathsdivinityschool.org

Whereas some of our students prefer a more private contemplative methodology to their process we recognize that some of our students would like a context in which to converse and exchange ideas with other students, as if you were in a traditional classroom together.

We have specific guidelines below we want you to read before you join us on the All Paths google-group. Please note –  it is our policy to respect everyone’s point of view and we ask that your participation will exemplify this ethical standard.


When participating we ask that you please:

– honor and respect the others point of view
– “listen” to (read) the question or comment “deeply”
– communicate respectfully and mindfully
– understand that sarcasm can often be misconstrued when in written form
– temper any impulsive response that might be offensive (take a 10 minute breather)
– do not use any expletives, racist or sexually offensive language

** If you would like to add to these guidelines, please feel free to let us know what else is important to you.**

As the area of belief, and personal conviction, especially in relation to religion can be highly charged please remember that this is NOT a forum to try to make someone else change their point of view. Some behaviors are inappropriate in a discussion group and this can be especially true when issues discussed may be sensitive to some students. Please remember that your mentors and faculty could be reading this as well.

This does not mean that discussions cannot be thorny sometimes. This is how we all learn to navigate and to minister. This can be healthy if approached with these simple codes of ethics in mind. It is a place to share ideas, ask questions, and offer/ask for support if needed.

By opting into this forum please know that we will assume that you are in agreement with these guidelines. Any student blatantly violating these will be asked to desist and if this is not adhered to will be removed from the google-group.

Other than this, we hope that this will provide an added layer of nourishment and support for you as you move through your program. As this program is not only about ideas and concepts but also about spiritual development and inner growth -please bear in mind that each person is at a different stage of their program and at a different point on their own spiritual journey. Our students all have deep hearts and inquiring minds – but some might be highly pragmatic in their orientation and some might be quite mystical and esoteric. We are all learning to minister, this might be a great and safe place to experiment, to share ideas and perhaps even experience unconditional love!

 

POSTING A QUESTION OR COMMENT:

(Here are some expanded guidelines we like and adapted from another college.)

• Post something that shows careful thought. One of the great things about discussion forum communication is that you can think before you respond. Discussion forum prompts are almost always open-ended questions, so even if it seems that the question only needs a short answer, assume that you should provide some explanation or narrative about that answer.

• Include examples and supportive arguments, not just opinions. Discussion forums are not just a place to put opinions and feelings. You should also include specific examples, statistics, quotes, and other support materials. On the other hand, you are encouraged to include your opinions too. These will make all of the details more interesting!

• Cite your sources. It’s OK if you borrow ideas from your readings or conversations, but you should attribute these ideas to their source. You can give the official citation of reading material (online or in print) or simply attribute ideas from your classmates. For instance, “In her posting, Shelly said … That made me wonder about …”

 

RESPONDING TO POSTS

• Read any prompts carefully. A prompt is the statement or question to which you are responding.

• Replies should be useful and constructive. A good reply will give everyone following along more to think about. If it is critical, the critique should be specific, clear, and point toward possible expansion. Often, asking more questions is the best sort of reply. A good reply will encourage the poster to respond again. Hopefully, they will look forward to more interactions in the future.

• Attack arguments, but don’t attack people. Don’t get overly personal in a discussion forum. At the worst, be generous and assume that it is the person’s idea that you don’t like, not the person. Ad hominem attacks (against the person) will lose respect for you. So will comments about racist, sexist, ageist,  intelligence levels or income brackets and other bigoted statements. So will profanity and obscenity. The latter are all not permitted.

• Thorny discussions can be healthy and do not necessarily need to be avoided. If you encounter difficulties or the argument gets too hot, let your mentor know. Your mentor will be checking the forum regularly, but may miss a critical posting. If someone posts something that upsets you, talk to your mentor about it. In some cases, your mentor might help clear up misunderstandings, or if necessary, delete an offensive message from the discourse.