Compassionate Integrity Training

    CIT Training

    “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.” 

    --The Charter for Compassion

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    Duration: 10 weeks with one LIVE two-hour zoom call per week


    Dates:Two Cohorts available. Please select the cohort that is most convenient for you

    Both cohorts are limited to 50 participants each

    Course portal opens for students in both cohorts, to access information on January 13

    Cohort 1

    WEDNESDAYS beginning January 15
    7:00 pm Eastern (12:00 a.m. January 16 - London/Madrid)

    First zoom call January 15
    Last zoom call March 18

    Cohort 2

    THURSDAYS beginning January 16
    8:00 am Eastern (1:00 pm London/Madrid)

    First zoom call January 16
    Last zoom call March 19

    Click here to read testimonials about the course

    About the Course

    Have you ever wondered how you could cultivate the compassion called for in the Charter or help others cultivate that compassion? Compassionate Integrity Training (CIT) is a great place to start!

    CIT is a resiliency-informed program that cultivates human values as skills, so we can thrive as individuals, and a society, within a healthy environment.  By learning skills to calm our bodies and mind, becoming more emotionally aware, learning to practice compassion for ourselves and others, as well as engaging with compassion in complex systems, we can build towards 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. It is based on cutting-edge developments in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, trauma-informed care, peace and conflict studies, and contemplative science, and builds off of work done by Daniel Goleman (author of the book Emotional Intelligence) and Peter Senge, initiatives in Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), and other areas.

    Facilitated by representatives of Life University’s Center for Compassion, Integrity, and Secular Ethics, Compassionate Integrity Training is an online course hosted through Zoom with additional materials located in Ruzuku (an online learning platform).  The course will include large and small group discussions, experiential learning activities, reflective writing activities, mindful dialogues, and contemplative practices.  This is an opportunity to be part of a global community of like-minded individuals who want to learn more about self-cultivation, relating to others, and engaging in systems.

    CIT has been used to train self-compassion, compassion for others, and building compassionate systems to community leaders, peace builders, individuals who are currently incarcerated, and youth considered at-risk, and in shelters for individuals experiencing homelessness and issues with substance abuse. Compassionate San Antonio and Compassionate Atlanta have been at the forefront of implementing CIT and having their leaders become Level 1 Facilitators. CIT is now spreading to Compassionate Cities throughout North America and Europe.

    For more information, click here to watch a video describing CIT.

    How Does This Course Work?

    • This course will meet weekly, via Zoom, for two hours, in order to engage in “face-to-face” dialogue with colleagues.
    • The information for each weekly session will be located on the Ruzuku Education Platform for participants to review at their leisure.
    • Participants are encouraged to engage in ongoing dialogue through the discussion board in Ruzuku.
    • Participants who complete the entire course will receive a certificate of completion and will be eligible for the Level 1 Facilitator training that will take place in the spring.

    Course Outline

    CIT utilizes a “three-in-three” educational model that integrates three domains of knowledge and three levels of understanding. The three domains begin with a focus on the self (Self-cultivation), then move to others (Relating to Others), and finally to a systems-perspective, meaning the larger networks in which we exist. Additionally, each module in CIT is intended to allow participants to progress through three levels of understanding: received knowledge, critical insight, and embodied understanding. In CIT, it is important that knowledge not remain at an intellectual level; to be effective, it must lead to realizations and lasting changes in behavior. Knowledge becomes transformative when it moves from head to heart to hand. Therefore, each session has both content and practice learning objectives.

    Weekly Topics

    Series I – Self Cultivation

    Skill 1:  Calming Body and Mind


    • Participants will learn:
      • about the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the difference between its fight or flight response and its rest and digest response.
      • about the three zones their body can be in (high, low and resilient) related to the nervous system.


    • Participants will learn how to return to the resilient zone when they move outside of it and how to expand their resilient zone through practice.

    Skill 2: Ethical Mindfulness


    • Participants will learn
      • the importance of attentional stability
      • to become heedful of their capacity to do harm to self and others through their speech and actions
      • to be mindful of the reasons why harmful speech and action cause harm to themselves and others


    • Participants will increase awareness of the present moment in order to become more cognizant of their speech and actions in order to reduce their propensity to do harm to self and other.

    Skill 3: Emotional Awareness


    • Participants will:
      • investigate whether the nature of thoughts and feelings is permanent or transitory
      • learn to differentiate between what they consider potentially harmful mental states and potentially beneficial mental states for themselves


    • Participants will cultivate balance toward their mental states and create more space between thoughts and speech/action

    Skill 4: Self-Compassion


    • Participants will:
      • explore the underlying motivation beneath all of our thoughts and actions
      • explore how suffering and happiness do not depend solely on external situations
      • learn how seeking external sources of happiness, rather than internal ones, often fails to bring lasting satisfaction
      • explore how unrealistic expectations can lead to suffering and excessive self-criticism


    • Participants will explore how harmful mental states can be changed and gradually transform their harmful mental states.

    Series II – Relating to Others

    Skill 5:  Impartiality and Common Humanity


    • Participants will:
      • explore explicit and implicit bias and methods for weakening them
      • explore what we all have in common as human beings


    • Participants will learn to reduce partiality and bias and increase a sense of common humanity.

    Skill 6:  Forgiveness and Gratitude


    • Participants will:
      • learn the benefits of and strategies for cultivating forgiveness
      • learn to distinguish forgiveness from condoning, excusing, forgetting or reconciling
      • learn the benefits of gratitude by exploring interdependence
      • learn that it is possible to be grateful for the harm that someone does not cause them


    • Participants will get better at noticing the ways others benefit them and recalling past benefit, cultivate the ability to recognize the benefits others provide for them, develop a greater appreciation for forgiveness, and gain a better ability to see the positive in people, objects, and experiences that were previously taken for granted

    Skill 7:  Empathic Concern


    • Participants will learn:
      • empathy operates on two levels: feeling and thinking
      • the difference between empathic distress and empathic concern
      • the definition, and recognition, of sympathetic joy
      • the benefits of having consideration for others


    • Participants will increase their ability to experience emotional resonance with others’ joy and suffering, strengthen perspective-taking, and cultivate affection for others.

    Skill 8:  Compassion


    • Participants will learn:
      • compassion is not weakness
      • the three necessary components of compassion
      • suffering and needs occur on multiple levels, not just obvious ones


    • Participants will increase their ability to extend compassion and increase their awareness in the universality of needs and suffering

    Series III – Engaging in Systems

    Skill 9:  Appreciating Interdependence


    • Participants will learn:
      • about the radical interdependence of the world
      • the importance of context in systems thinking
      • the way identity is constructed fluidly by chance
      • to recognize structural inequality, structural violence, and cultural violence
      • interdependence requires us to see solutions as sustainable and support collective success
      • to approach problems through the lens of critical inquiry


    • Participants will practice evaluating ethical dilemmas through the larger context of interdependence and analyze how objects, situations, and actions come to be

    Skill 10:  Engaging with Discernment


    • Participants will learn:
      • compassion must be complemented with insight and understanding for decisions to lead to the most positive outcomes
      • to use common sense, personal experience, and scientific evidence as a foundation for discernment
      • to check their personal motivation when facing a dilemma
      • how much we gain by listening to others to gain a bigger picture and new ideas 


    • Participants will practice examining an issue from multiple perspectives, considering the viewpoints, debating the pros and cons, and accessing the creative and imaginative problem-solving capabilities for engaged action within their community

    The course includes:

    • Online interaction with facilitators and colleagues for two hours each week throughout the course.
    • A toolbox of skills focusing on self-cultivation, relating to others, and engaging with systems.
    • Access to course content, activities, and writing exercises, as well as access to a variety of contemplative practices.

    Questions about the program?  Please contact Jennifer Valtos at

    The Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics is pleased to offer this course in partnership with the Charter for Compassion.

    Course Facilitators:

    Large registration buttonCohort 1 - Wednesdays

    Rebecca Koch
    Marietta, GA

    Rebecca’s work involves finding ways to operationalize the founding value of Life University, Lasting Purpose (To Give, Do, Love and Serve from Abundance), and includes customer service, community service, and service to one another within the University community. CIT holds special interest for her since it is an expression of and is in perfect keeping with Lasting Purpose. Rebecca is a long-time experiential learning facilitator and holds a Bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Positive Psychology with a focus on coaching. She has participated in and facilitated numerous CIT sessions with Life University personnel, CIT Facilitators in Training, and with homeless persons in Atlanta, GA.

    Merida McCarthy
    Monterrey, Mexico

    I’m British by birth, travelled most of my life living mostly in Nigeria, Spain and currently in Monterrey, Mexico. I have a Diploma in Environment and Social Development by the Open University, UK; I’m certified in Gestalt Psychotherapy by Procesos Humanos in Monterrey, México; and an organizing member of Grupo Manos and Sintergética Monterrey. I collaborate closely with the Encuentro Mundial de Valores (World Wide Meeting of Human Values) an annual event that takes place every year in Monterrey, México bringing together great minds to give talks and workshops about human values; and I’ve been collaborating with Charter for Compassion, Think Equal, SEE Learning and CIT in order to promote Compassion as a way to reduce violence in all areas of society.

    Marilyn Turkovich
    Bainbridge Island, Washington

    Marilyn started with the Charter for Compassion (CFC) in 2013 as the education director and since that time has moved into a number of different roles with CFC, and is now the Executive Director. Marilyn's background has been primarily in higher education and most specifically in directing teacher training programs for the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, and chairing Columbia College-Chicago's master's program in multicultural and global education. She has done a considerable amount of curriculum writing through the years, much of it related to international and cultural topics. She worked with Independent Broadcasting Associates on a series for airing on National Public Radio, BBC and the Australian Broadcasting companies. There was a period of time in the 1990s when she worked in organizational development and specialized in instructional design work, strategic planning and leadership development. She also wrote and developed training on race and social justice initiatives.

    Cohort 2 - Thursdays

    Shane O’Connor
    Madrid, Spain

    Shane is a versatile CIT level 1. facilitator, trainer and educator trained in everything from teacher training workshops, youth work or outdoor movement-based activities. He is an energetic team building, leadership and conflict management specialist and experienced in working with groups from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds. Shane has practical knowledge and experience of living and working in five different continents and passionate about empowering people to ignite their own passions, improve their health, build their resilience, harness their growth and foster their sense of contribution. Shane has over two decades of working in the area of Peace Education and has worked for local human rights organisations as well as within larger International NGO’s and Educational Institutions in the Global North and South. Shane also has a degree in journalism and a graduate degree in development education and conflict mediation.

    Kaley Hixson
    Williston, VT

    I live in Vermont, USA with my son, and we spend a lot of time in Canada as well. I love to travel, which is why I am so grateful that it is so easy to learn and work online these days. I am a professional coach and massage therapist, and am currently finishing up my Masters in Positive Psychology from Life University. When I first took CIT I knew within the first few weeks that I would like to be a facilitator; there is something about this training that seems so relevant and so needed in this time where so many people are divided and are in search of language that can unite people with differences. This course provided me with that language as well as practices to become a more compassionate person. This is the reason I am excited to share CIT with others.

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