Announcing the Stanford Center for Compassion & Altruism Teacher Training Program

UPDATE (June 2012): Please note that all admissions for the 2012-2013 program have been completed. The admissions process for the next program will begin in 2013, and information will be available at this site at the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.


The Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education is launching a new teacher certification program. I am co-running this program, and will be co-teaching the core classes as well as retreats. Below is all the info! Note that the early application deadline is 2/15, and the regular admissions deadline is 3/15.


CCARE’s Compassion Training Teacher Certification program is a part-time, 12-month training for professionals who want to deepen their ability to share the science, philosophy, and pedagogy of compassion. Graduates, who fulfill all program requirements, including a period of supervised teaching, will be certified to teach CCARE’s Compassion Training Course. The Compassion Training Course is 9-week program developed by a team of psychologists, scientists, and contemplative scholars at Stanford University.


Requirements include:

  • Academic coursework (1 course per quarter) that may be completed at the Stanford University campus or online
  • Quarterly projects that can be completed independently
  • 2 3-day residential retreats at an educational retreat center and sanctuary in Woodside, CA, and 1 5-day professional intensive course at Stanford University.

Retreat dates for the 2012-2013 academic year are as follows:

3 day intensive retreat, September 7-9, 2012, at Stillheart Institute in Woodside, CA.

3 day intensive retreat, January 18-20, 2013, at Stillheart Institute in Woodside, CA.

5 day intensive retreat, June 26-30, 2013, at Stanford University.

Pre-Requisite for the Program

Students in the Teacher Certification Program are required to take either the 9-week Compassion Training Course, or a 3-day intensive version of the course, by September 2012. This pre-requisite may be completed following acceptance in to the Teacher Certification Program. See live course listings here.

Who are the instructors and retreat leaders for the program?

Classes and retreats will be led by certified instructors affiliated with the Center for Compassion & Altruism Research & Education. See a partial instructor list here.

Academic Calendar

Fall 2012(September 24-December 14, 2012)

Retreat at Stillheart Institute in Woodside, CA. September 7-9, 2012

Academic Coursework: The Science of Compassion. This class will explore the latest scientific thinking on the evolution of compassion; the psychology, biology, and neuroscience of empathy, compassion, and altruism; and how early life experiences, social forces, and culture shape our responses to others’, as well as our own suffering

Independent Project: Daily practice of the compassion-focused meditations taught in the Compassion Training Course, along with a journal of observations and questions.

Winter 2012 (January 7-March 22, 2013)

Retreat at Stillheart Institute in Woodside, CA. January 18-20, 2013

Academic Coursework: Philosophical Perspectives on Compassion. This class will explore how various religious and philosophical traditions understand suffering, compassion, and altruism; and how individuals can draw on and respect different traditions when interacting with diverse groups.

Independent Project: Retake or virtually view the Compassion Training Course, with a focus on analyzing classroom dynamics and teaching strategies.

Spring 2012 (April 1-June 12, 2013)

No Retreat.

Academic Coursework: Perspectives on the Practice of Compassion. This class will address practical strategies for offering compassionate presence and service in a wide range of settings, from hospitals to prisons, and how to avoid compassion fatigue and burnout. A wide range of guest speakers will share their professional and personal experiences.

Independent Project: Complete and report on a service project (volunteer or professional) that involves offering compassionate presence and/or action.

Summer 2012

Professional Intensive at Stanford University, CA. June 26-30, 2013

During this intensive, practical/oral exit examinations will be completed.

No Academic Coursework.

Supervised Teaching. Candidates who wish to be certified to teach the Compassion Training Course will teach the 9-week program under the supervision of a senior instructor. Candidates will have up to 1 year (Summer 2013) to complete this requirement. Undergoing the supervision process does not guarantee that candidates will be certified; however, every effort will be made to support the candidate through the process.

How to Apply

What are the admission requirements?

We welcome applicants of diverse backgrounds and goals.

Ideal candidates will have professional experience in a field that is related to, or could be enriched by ideas and practices of compassion. This includes, but is not limited to: education, healthcare, social work, psychotherapy, religious services, public policy, law, business, science and others.

There are no education requirements for admission to the certificate program. However, candidates must be prepared to complete a graduate-level curriculum in psychology, philosophy, and theories of teaching/learning.

Because daily compassion-focused meditation practice is central to the Compassion Training Course and Teacher Certification Program, all candidates must be willing to commit to their own daily personal practice. Candidates are not required to have previous experience practicing or teaching meditation. However, such experience will be considered in the admission process.

How do I apply?

To apply, complete the online application process.

Application fee: $50 payable online.

You will be asked to submit the following materials via postal mail. Please send the materials to:

CCARE Teacher Certification Program, 1215 Welch Road, Module B Room 55, Stanford, CA 94305-5400

  • A brief personal statement (approximately 1000 words) explaining your interest in the program, including how professional and/or personal experiences have shaped your interest.
  • A brief response (approximately 500 words) to one of the following questions:
  1. Compassion is often described as the desire to relieve suffering. How do you define suffering, and what does it mean to you to relieve suffering?
  2. Describe a time when your compassion was challenged, or you experienced the limits of your own compassion.
  • A resume or C.V. that includes your education, work experience, and any other relevant activities (e.g. service/volunteer projects, religious or community involvement, meditation training).
  • 2 letters of recommendation from someone who is well-suited to assess your candidacy for the program. The letters may come from a colleague/co-worker, employer, religious leader or meditation teacher, or anyone in your community who can speak to your interest in compassion, education, and/or service.

All applications will be reviewed by the admissions team. Applicants may be contacted by email/phone to arrange for an interview.

Deadlines for Application

There are two deadlines for applying to the Professional Certificate Program in Compassion Education.

Early Acceptance Deadline: Feb 15, 2012

We will begin reviewing applications, and granting early acceptance, to highly qualified and motivated candidates on a rolling basis. Applicants may be contacted for interviews. Those accepted will be notified of their acceptance by March 15, 2012. Applicants not accepted in this process will be fully re-considered during regular admissions (see below).

Regular Admissions Deadline: March 15, 2012

Submit all materials by March 15. Applicants may be contacted for interviews. All candidates will be notified of the admissions decision by May 1, 2012.

What is the cost?

The total cost for completing the year-long program is approximately $4500.

Application fee: $50

Pre-requisite fee (if not already completed): $325 for in person 9-week course or $750 for 3-day intensive

Quarterly tuition/assessment fee (Fall through Spring): $1500 total

$500 per quarter; $350 for each 10-week class; $150 for each quarter’s individual assessment ; $175 for the second Compassion Training Course in Winter, 2013.

Retreat fees (housing/meals/materials included; fees may vary based on housing choices): $750 each for Fall and Winter Retreats.

Professional Intensive fee $950 for 5 day intensive at Stanford.

Additional costs for those who require for on-campus meals and housing.

Teaching supervision fee (for certification candidates only):$500 tuition fee for the group supervision conference call and a single evaluation of a single class- live or video. Candidates who want more intensive mentoring will have the opportunity to arrange for private supervision at an additional cost of $125 per hour.

Payment is due on a quarterly basis.

Limited financial aid/scholarship money is available. Please contact for more information.

1 Comment

Leave a Comment

  1. This is awesome. Tentatively planning on the June 5-day retreat–Can’t wait!

    Congrats on all your success. I’m still trying to get you booked at Marin General…


    Ryan Rodriguez

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s