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Best Friends

Channel your passion for animals and the planet into a caring and supportive vocation

Animal chaplains provide support for both animals and humans by using ritual, ceremony, and the tools of spiritual companionship. Our training program helps you fulfill your heart’s call to honor and celebrate the lives of all species, including how to companion them through joys and challenges. 

Our program is non-denominational and does not require students to have a specific religious or spiritual outlook. It will, though, prepare you to work with a diverse set of belief systems, so that you can support people regardless of their own outlook.

Program is offered annually starting in September. Our next cohort begins September 2024. Scroll down for an overview of the program as well as a click-through to the full program information and program costs. And feel free to contact us with any questions or schedule a consult with our program director by clicking below. We'd love to get to know you and help you get to know us.


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Animal Chaplaincy Training is available in 3-month, 6-month,and 9-month program durations. Choose the option that best fits your desired commitment and learning outcomes. All programs begin each September and student learn together in a supportive cohort.

Training includes live classes (available from anywhere in the world via Zoom) with our faculty and guest expert speakers. The program also features curated reading and reflection, film discussions, peer-supported practice groups, 1-on-1 mentoring, and community-based experiential sessions. A year-end optional in-person retreat is offered.

Woman With Dog


Our curriculum combines chaplaincy fundamentals and bereavement basics with best practices from the innovative fields of interspirituality, humane education, animal theology, nature spirituality, and human-animal studies.


We offer a flexible program that develops the professional skills you need to:

  • Expand your healing business to include conscious and compassionate life transitions for animals and the humans who love them

  • Know what to do and say to help people navigate grief and loss in a meaningful way

  • Lead individuals and groups in interspecies practices designed to increase well-being and compassion

  • Develop creative rituals to support individuals, animal sanctuaries, nonprofits, veterinary practices, meditation centers, yoga programs, or religious communities



Animal Chaplain Sarah Bowen oversees the program and teaches core curriculum, weaving connections between your life experiences and our unique collection of expert knowledge facilitators, which includes:


  • Marc Bekoff, professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder

  • Dr. Cheryl Garrett, DVM spiritually focused Veterinarian

  • Jessica Dolce, a Certified Compassion Fatigue Educator (CCFE)

  • Zazie Todd, animal behavior expert and award-winning writer of "Purr: the Science of Making your Cat Happy" and "Wag: the Science of Making your Dog Happy"

  • Michael Skaggs, PhD, Director of Programs of the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab

  • Dr. Clair Linzey, Deputy Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics

  • Rev. Ginny Mikita, Interfaith and Interspecies minister

  • Susan Shannon, M. Div., BCC, dharma lover, earth and animal steward, interfaith minister and chaplain

  • Beth Berkowitz, Ingeborg Rennert Chair of Jewish Studies and Professor in the Department of Religion at Barnard College

  • Victoria Moran, certified life coach, certified holistic health coach, graduate of the T. Colin Campbell/e-Cornell program in plant-based nutrition, and a registered yoga instructor

  • And more...


Applications are now open for our next Cohort. Classes begin September 2024.

To view detailed information on the curriculum, when the classes meet, program cost, click the button below!

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