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Life University’s Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics Enters Training Partnership with Charter for Compassion

July 25, 2018

LifeUniversity_Brandmark[4]Life University’s (LIFE) Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics (CCISE) has entered into a dynamic partnership with Charter for Compassion to offer its Compassionate Integrity Training (CIT) to more than a dozen cities and sectors within its organization:

  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Austin, Texas
  • Brownsville, Texas
  • Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas
  • Houston, Texas
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Monterey, Mexico
  • Charter for Compassion’s:
    • Education Sector
    • Environmental Sector
    • Social Justice Sector
    • Executive Director, International

Compassionate Integrity Training (CIT) is a ten-part training program that cultivates basic human values as skills for the purpose of increasing individual, social and environmental flourishing. By covering a range of skills from self-regulation and self-compassion to compassion for others and engagement with complex systems, CIT focuses on and builds toward compassionate integrity: the ability to live one’s life in accordance with one’s values with a recognition of common humanity, our basic orientation to kindness and reciprocity. After several training sessions with both Compassionate San Antonio (Texas) and Compassionate Atlanta (Georgia), the leaders of both fully endorsed the CIT training to Compassion International, which heads Charter for Compassion.

CCISE is dedicated to developing and promoting empirically-based programs that foster the human values most conducive to individual, social and environmental flourishing through research, dialogue, education and community empowerment. To that end, their CIT program is a multi-part training that teaches basic human values as skills based on the Dalai Lama’s model of secular ethics, an approach to the cultivation of pro-social values based on common sense, common experience and science. CIT is grounded in the individual’s natural capacity for kindness and is built on the two pillars of common humanity and interdependence.

CIT fits hand in glove with the Charter for Compassion’s mission. As the Charter states, “We believe that a compassionate world is a peaceful world. We believe that a compassionate world is possible when every man, woman and child treats others as they wish to be treated-with dignity, equity and respect. We believe that all human beings are born with the capacity for compassion, and that it must be cultivated for human beings to survive and thrive.”

Dr. Michael Karlin, Life University’s Assistant Professor of Psychology, Assistant Director of the Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics, and co-author of CIT says, “The partnership between the Charter for Compassion and CCISE is perfect, since CIT provides a scalable and inexpensive ‘technology’ for cultivating compassion for self, others and systems, which is at the heart of the Charter’s mission. I see the Charter for Compassion as the ‘what’ and ‘why’ and CCISE as the ‘how.'”

Rev. Ann E. Helmke, Community Faith-Based Liaison for the City of San Antonio’s Department of Human Services states, “San Antonio officially became a Compassionate City in June 2017 with City Council resolve to have education about compassion at every level. This city is taking that seriously as mayor and other civic leaders, healthcare and business leaders, college and university leaders have been and are immersing themselves in CCISE’s Compassionate Integrity Training. It contains what every great compassion training does and needs to – self-compassion and compassion for others. What is unique and brilliant to this particular training is the third component – compassion in systems. It is applicable across the board from family systems to healthcare systems to civic systems and beyond!”

And, Leanne Rubenstein, Executive Director of Compassionate Atlanta adds, “Compassion is one of the greatest strengths we have. It is a skill that can be practiced, developed and strengthened like a muscle. Compassionate Atlanta is excited to work alongside Life University’s Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics to bring the work of Compassionate Integrity Training to the larger community. When we come together and share our resources, we see that everything is easier and that together, building community builds abundance. Working locally and globally with Compassionate Atlanta and the International Charter for Compassion takes this simple and critical training to reach wider audiences across our local communities and ultimately, the globe.”

Now, in part due to these endorsements of the value of the CIT program, Charter for Compassion will run a pilot program to see if their member cities have the same overwhelmingly positive response that other organizations have had, such as the ones in San Antonio and Atlanta. Those organizations will gather for the training and after which, the Charter for Compassion will evaluate its substance and effect and consider offering CIT to the rest of its member cities and organizations.

Currently, more than 200 people have been through CIT, with 70 of them having also started or completed an advanced facilitator training program. Dr. Karlin notes, “The high rate of interest in our Facilitator Training Program is a great testament to what people think of CIT and shows how it can scale. What we’ve been talking about with Charter for Compassion is having a trained facilitator in each of their member cities, thus endorsing the crucial work that CCISE performs.”

The missions of both Charter for Compassion and CCISE go hand-in-hand with mission of Life University itself. LIFE’s primary initiative is to break boundaries in disciplines across the health and wellness spectrum by impacting and inspiring future leaders to become life-change agents. Just one example of the type of global change that the University would like to affect is its Master of Science in Positive Psychology degree. LIFE is ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing a curriculum for Positive Psychology, and with trends in today’s society going toward areas such as mindfulness, meditation and self-cultivation, we expect many others to follow. In fact, no other program in the Southeast offers a master’s degree in Positive Psychology and LIFE has one of only three such degrees in the United States.

The master’s degree in Positive Psychology at LIFE investigates what makes a happy life as opposed to an unhappy one. It is focused on the study of flourishing and positive human functioning, in particular, key areas such as happiness, meaning in life, gratitude, compassion and forgiveness. Positive psychology is about building on individuals’ strengths so that they can lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, and families and communities can thrive. In the same way, positive psychology focuses on the ways social institutions and groups can enhance people’s lives.

LIFE offers its master’s degree program in Positive Psychology in three specialized areas of study (tracks): General, Coaching Psychology, and Secular Ethics and Contemplative Science. Both the General and Coaching Psychology tracks are offered online and on campus.

LIFE’s Positive Psychology degree is the recipient of many accolades, including ranking highly on many comparative lists of higher education degrees. For example, in a ranking list compiled by Best College Reviews, LIFE’s Master of Science in Positive Psychology online degree program ranked fifth best for 2018 out of all online psychology master’s degree programs in the country. And, LIFE’s has been identified as one of the most affordable online Master’s in Psychology degree programs from a private university in the recent ranking by The Best Master’s Degrees, whose mission is to help prospective graduate students make informed decisions about what kind of degree to pursue and where to study.

For more information about the CCISE partnership, as well as what Life University offers its compassionate, positive psychology students, please visit the following sites:

About Life University
Founded in Marietta, Georgia in 1974, Life University is a health sciences institution most known for its chiropractic program, the largest single campus chiropractic program in the world. Life University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, master’s, and Doctor of Chiropractic degrees, and also has programmatic accreditation through the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic  Training Education (CAATE). The mission of Life University is to empower students with the education, skills and values necessary for career success and life fulfillment, based on a vitalistic philosophy.

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