Compassion Integrity Training

Compassionate Integrity Training


Compassionate Integrity Training - REGISTRATION CLOSED

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“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

Read testimonials about the course here.

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!  Join the leaders of Compassionate Cities like San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, Atlanta, Tucson, St. Louis, and Monterrey, Mexico and others who have completed CIT and are becoming Certified CIT Facilitators to share it with their communities.

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. 

Facilitated by Marilyn Turkovich, Executive Director of the Charter For Compassion and members 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.  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.

Those who receive a certificate in CIT are eligible to enroll in the CIT Level 1 Facilitator Training Program, which will be offered through the Charter for Compassion’s Education Institute.

CIT has been used to train self-compassion, compassion for others, and building compassionate systems to community leaders, peace builders, incarcerated individuals, and at-risk youth, and in homeless shelters and substance abuse facilities. 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.

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

Duration: 11 weeks with LIVE two hour zoom calls on Mondays from 6pm-8pm EST, beginning Monday, May 20th. (There will not be a Zoom call on May 28 due to Memorial Day Holiday in the US)

Cost of the Course

Based on Life University's guiding principle of Lasting Purpose: To Give, To Do, To Love, To Serve – Out of a Sense of Abundance, and in the respectful spirit of common humanity and interdependence, so that all might attend regardless of means, registration for this Compassionate Integrity Training is based on what you can afford.

To cover expenses and to honor life investments, the recommended rate is $250 for CIT. If that recommendation exceeds your financial means, then pay what you can. If you are blessed with abundance, please consider a larger-than-$250 contribution to offset those who cannot pay the recommended rate.  All revenue for this course will be shared equally by CCISE and the Charter for Compassion.



 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 covered include:

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

Course Facilitators

michaelMichael Karlin

Michael Karlin is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Life University in the Positive Human Development and Social Change Department and the Associate Director of the Life University Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics. He is the co-author of Compassionate Integrity Training: A Secular Ethics Approach to Cultivating Personal, Social and Environmental Flourishing.

Karlin received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Jewish Studies from Emory University in 2014. His dissertation, “‘To Create a Dwelling Place for God’: Life Coaching and the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic Movement in Contemporary America,” is an ethnographic study of two Jewish life coaching programs that blend psychology, religion and contemplative practice in order to provide resources with which individuals can construct moral selves and heal psychological wounds.

jenniferJennifer Valtos

Jennifer has been working in higher education in the area of student affairs for more than 20 years.  With a background in housing and residence life, student conduct, student activities, and leadership development, she has facilitated programs and trainings for students, faculty, and staff in a variety of areas.  Her most recent experience as Dean of Students provided her with the opportunity to engage in the educational system and work to create a positive experience for all students on campus.  She also had the opportunity to train faculty, staff, and students to serve as facilitators for large and small group experiential learning activities.  Jennifer currently serves as the Director of Training for the Center for Compassion, Integrity, and Secular Ethics.  

Jennifer received her bachelor’s degree in history, political science, and secondary education, a master’s degree in secondary school counseling, a certificate of advanced graduate studies in elementary school counseling, and a post graduate certificate in leadership and accountability.  She is currently enrolled in a doctoral program and plans to receive her EdD in Educational Leadership and Management in 2020.  

Jennifer is the proud mother of two young ladies, Madeline (9) and Hannah (7) and lives in New Jersey with her family.  


About Us

  • charter brand transp blue mediumCharter for Compassion provides an umbrella for people to engage in collaborative partnerships worldwide. Our mission is to bring to life the principles articulated in the Charter for Compassion through concrete, practical action in a myriad of sectors.


  • Charter for Compassion
  • PO Box 10787
  • Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
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