Sometimes it can feel challenging to know which form of New Thought to choose. Within Australia, Unity has been very strong for many years. There has been a Divine Science presence and lately there is also a Science of Mind presence. There are also various independent New Thought Centers.
Ask lots of questions
And as you get answers, trust but verify. There are some wonderful New Thought organizations such as Centres for Spriitual Living which teaches Science of Mind and at least nine other denominations and there are some great online programs that many hail as being superior to in person studies.

Places and Programs of Study
As previously stated, there are some wonderful online study programs, but some people, especially older students are not as comfortable with online studies and may wish to study at a local center. Before beginning any studies make sure that you get clear answers concerning what your course of study is and what their expectations are.

Know the complete costs of your studies
It is a dreadful thing to spend a great deal of time studying at a local centre and then find out in the end that the only way you can complete your studies is to travel all the way to the land of Bush and spend the same amount of money that would get you a regular degree from University of Sydney or Bond University. Presently we can observe movements in Australia to increase regulation of education through the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs. Remember that when studying New Thought, you are getting a religious degree. It will not transfer to Oxford, Cambridge or University of Melbourne and you will not get HELP {Higher Education Loan Programme} to attend.

Enjoy your Spiritual Journey!
We know that the certifications offered are not recognized by TAFE or VET but they are still great ways to support your personal transformation. Just remember that if you are studying at a centre and when you begin to feel that you would like to be a Spiritual Practitioner, Minister or Teacher, then get the answers to all your questions and once you have decided upon your course, do your homework and have fun!
New Thought Around the World
Athough some may argue that New Thought goes back thousands of years and indeed there are certain South American tribes who can make a legitimate case for this. New Thought today started about 150 years ago in the U.S. and England. Over the years, there have been many different denominations that have grown then shrank or come and gone.

Trends in New Thought today
New Thought today appears to be running into two streams. Northern and Southern. Northern New Thought is characterized by a focus upon prosperity, Southern New Thought is characterized by a focus on relationships. Perhaps this should not be a surprise considering that the strongest denominations come from the United States. But the largest denomination of New Thought in the world is Japanese.

 



1. When looking at a center, be sure and observe the leadership. Ask questions.
Ultimately it comes down to whether they are truly interested in helping you, or in becoming the next Deepak Chopra?
Keep a lookout for puffery, this is a good clue that you might be in the wrong place. Then finally ask yourself, am I happy with these people. The center is not a location or building, it is the people.
2. Examine their beliefs, if they actually have them. Sometimes, the focus is simply on the process of transformation and not upon any particular belief pattern. This comes back to the universal principle underlying all New Thought that "as we change our thinking we change our lives." Remember that many centers will keep the existence of other centers and denominations secret. As you explore New Thought, use the internet and always remember that if a particular person belongs to a particular denomination, he will say that is the best. It may or may not be the best for you.
3. There are some great paths for all people in New Thought and many of these paths are not so easily found because of the above tendency. Go to resources such as FindACentre.com and NewThought.info to get actual information. Remember that Wikipedia is also a good resource but that at times, the people writing the entries may actually be subtly promoting their own agendas and uninterested in helping others. If you are Christian oriented, you might find Unity or Universal Foundation For Better Livng to be a good place to go. If you are Islamic you will probably be happier at a Science of Mind or New Thought discussion group..
4. Be aware of costs and observe actions related to classes. Some centers will offer entry classes which are free and these can help you understand their perspective. Many New Thought Center are charging for the lessons that lead to various certificates. These are all issued by their own organizations and even if they sound very academic they generally do not transfer to any normal university. You are studying a religion, philosophy and spiritual path, do not expect to transfer your studies to the Curtin University of Technology or University of South Australia.
5. Remember that organizations like the University of Metaphysics offer online correspondence courses that are highly respected around the world. Their program is simple and leads directly to your certification. Other organizations offer three tiers of classes and no guarantee that you will actually become a practitioner, a teacher or a minister. As in all human organizations, there are politics and the people who rise to the top of them are generally politicians.
6. In New Thought, there are very few service organizations or service ministries, we know of only one. The rest are membership organizations which charge annual fees and dues and appear to focus strictly on their membership. These organizations can be great places for networking, meeting retired ministers and arguing about the various forms of New Thought. They will often be "led" by stellar figures in New Thought but in general these people do not have a lot to do with the actual function of these organizations other than to attend staged events at various locations around the world. Don't under estimate the value of such events. Even though they are generally pricey, they can be great fun and you will usually meet some wonderful like minded people. Just don't expect to get much help from a member organization if you are not a member and if you are a member don't forget the politics.
7. The bottom line is to remember that you are on a journey and everyone you meet is on a journey too. You may get 'certified' as a religious or spiritual practitioner but don't expect to walk into the Department of Education with your certificate and begin teaching at one of the 43 universities in Australia & don't expect that your certificates have either TAFE or VET recognition. On the other hand, there are literally millions of people who are turning to New Thought today and they will be happy to study with any caring teacher who enables them to absorb and apply the universal principle within their respective lives. What is the principle? "As we change our thinking, we change our lives."
   
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