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act program requirements 

Please read all of the information on this page thoroughly if you're considering our program. You'll find important program details, requirements for the certificate of completion, how this program differs from other trainings and answers to the most commonly asked questions. 

What is the Applied Compassion Training?

ACT is an 11-month training and certificate program offered in collaboration with ACA (The Applied Compassion Academy) and CCARE (The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education), at Stanford University.

The ultimate aim of the ACT is to prepare people who feel an urgency to bring compassionate action into their occupations, professions, communities, institutions, and into their own personal development. 


Is this training offered as an online program?

For 2021, this training will be offered in an online format. 

Due to current public health and travel guidelines, we will meet virtually for three immersion retreats online. Because of the experiential nature of these retreats, live participation is required online. These virtual immersion retreats are highly interactive. The retreats are scheduled at the beginning of the program, mid-way through, and at the end of the training, in the Pacific Time zone.


If public health and travel guidelines permit, we will also offer an in-person retreat option, onsite at Stanford University on the same dates, in addition to the virtual retreats. We anticipate being able to notify participants of this additional option 12 weeks prior to each immersive retreat date. 

What are the main components of the Training? 

ACT is comprised of three virtual immersion retreats online, multiple monthly sessions via Zoom, and the creation and delivery of an Applied Compassion Capstone Project. 

What are the techniques and sources you draw from during the ACT Program?

This training draws on a variety of principles and practices from diverse wisdom traditions, science/research-based sources and from direct personal experience. Each student is encouraged to discover the principles and practices of compassion that are most meaningful

to their own background and relevant to developing their unique Capstone Project.

What are the dates and hours for the three virtual immersion retreats? 


The dates for the ACT 2021 virtual immersion retreats are:

January 8-10

July 9-11

November 5-7

The hours for the virtual immersion retreats are: 

Friday: 11:00am-2:30pm Pacific Time Zone (with short breaks)

Saturday: 9:30am-5:30pm Pacific Time Zone (with a 2 hour break for lunch)

Sunday: 9:30am-5:30pm Pacific Time Zone (with a 2 hour break for lunch)

What are the dates and hours for the monthly Zoom sessions?

In between the virtual immersion retreats, we will have twice monthly Zoom sessions (both live and on-demand).


The first session is a monthly teaching session which takes place the second Thursday of each month, excluding the retreat months.  This is a didactic/practice session that combines course content with experiential processes associated with that month’s teaching topic. Live attendance is not required at this session.


The second session will be a monthly small group mentoring session. Live attendance at these sessions is required. This is an opportunity to bring questions, challenges, and real-world issues into a smaller group and receive direct coaching from ACA founders. In addition, you will be part of a smaller "Capstone Team" that will meet during these monthly small group sessions.  Your Capstone Team forms a backbone of support throughout the entire ACT program and serves as a powerful group of peers engaging one another in the development of each person's individual capstone project.  Since you are an integral part of this small team of participants offering support and feedback to one another, attendance in these small group mentoring sessions each month is required. 


Additional sessions will be offered to give participants a chance to engage in processes and practices that promote personal growth and transformation.  There will also be optional group sessions for participants to ask questions and receive mentoring from ACA founders in regards to designing their Applied Compassion Capstone Projects. Dates and times will be announced soon.

The 2021 Monthly Teaching Content Sessions take place the second Thursday of the month from 5:00-7:00 in the Pacific Time Zone:

February 11th : Mindfulness in the Service of Applied Compassion © 

March 11th : Triggers: A Skillful Recognition and Response © 

April 8th: Resiliency: Compassion/Empathy  © 

May 13th: Designing Systems that are Compassionate © 

June 10th: Unconscious Bias and Compassion © 

August 12th : Compassionate Leadership © 

September 9th: Compassionate Forgiveness and Reconciliation © 

October 14th: Applied Compassion: Bringing it into the World! © 

What is the tuition?



What is the cancellation policy?

Full refunds (minus a $275 processing fee) may only be issued if your cancellation request is received by November 1st, 2020. No refunds will be made for cancellations received after November 1st. All refund requests must be sent to:

Are there scholarships available?

At this time, our limited grant funding has been allocated. We hope to have more grants available for future ACT programs. If you are in a position to donate funds towards a grant, please contact us HERE. Your generosity is most appreciated and will go towards helping someone who doesn't have the financial resources available to attend.

Am I required to attend the three virtual immersion retreats?

Yes. Due to the highly experiential nature, your live participation in the virtual retreats is required for certification.  We encourage people to discern if this is achievable, especially since the virtual retreats will be held in the Pacific Time Zone. 

What if I cannot attend the monthly teaching  sessions, will they be recorded?

Your attendance at the monthly teaching sessions is highly encouraged, especially as live participation will directly affect your ability to engage in the program effectively, and get the most of out of your experience--both personally and professionally. However, the monthly teaching Zoom sessions will be recorded for people to access later if needed.

What if I cannot attend the small group mentoring sessions, will they be recorded?

You are required to attend the monthly small group mentoring sessions. You will have the opportunity to sign up for the monthly session that is best suited to your schedule and time zone.


Who is eligible? 

ACT is designed for people who are ready, willing and able to commit to the study, practice and application of compassion on a daily basis.  Especially people that are interested in applying compassion in a real-world public facing setting.  This could be anyone who wants to integrate experiential access to compassion into their professional and personal lives and to develop compassion-based solutions, classes, programs, offerings, and workshops, etc.


What is the minimum age requirement to participate?

This training is open to anyone 18 years or older.

What can I do with a Certificate in Applied Compassion? 

Upon successful completion of the Applied Compassion Training, you will receive a certificate of completion from the Applied Compassion Academy, in collaboration with CCARE at Stanford University. As a graduate, you may use any or all of the following titles: Educator, Facilitator, Consultant, and Ambassador of Applied Compassion.

With the ACT certificate of completion, you will be equipped with the credibility, resources and skillset to:


  • Integrate applied compassion into your occupation, profession, community and  professional or personal life. 


  • Facilitate meetings and team discussions, teach classes and workshops and create experiences that advance the development of applied compassion for groups of people with whom you interface, as appropriate to your interests and background. 


  • Offer educational and awareness-raising programs and give talks about applied compassion for the general public in your area of interest, expertise or advocacy.


  • Consult with organizations on how to better facilitate applied compassion and evidence-based practices to create structures that support compassion within an organization’s culture and leadership development models. 


  • Promote applied compassion within your own organization, helping key leaders to recognize the benefits of evidence-based compassion practices within the workplace. 


  • Design your own applied compassion-based applications for individuals, groups, communities or institutions.


How is the Applied Compassion Training unique? 

Many excellent professional training programs necessarily concentrate on the content and protocol that the student is learning to teach. In the ACT program, the focus broadens beyond content to include four essential dimensions.

I. Personal Transformation: Transform the World ~ Transform Yourself

During the course of the 11-month training, we devote significant attention to each participant’s emotional intelligence and experiential access to applied compassion. Becoming an Ambassador of Applied Compassion means ‘walking your talk.’  This program will include a deeply reflective inward journey, and experiential processes and practices designed to support your personal development.


A core aim of ACT is a focus on how participants cultivate, embody and sustain

inner attitudes of compassion and self-awareness.  We believe that in order to truly be an ambassador who can model applied compassion in challenging settings and circumstances, each participant’s own inner development is of the utmost importance.


II. Curated Content: Essential Principles of Applied Compassion

The Applied Compassion Training is a broad-based approach, rather than teaching a specific technique or protocol. It's designed to equip participants with principles, skills, tools and practices that foster a compassionate response to the endless triggers and challenges we all have to contend with in our day-to-day lives. 


The ACT program will equip the individual trainees with the attitudes and resources necessary to design their own compassion-based offerings, talks, and programs founded on best principles and practices. Certified graduates will function in the role of an Educator, Facilitator, Consultant, and Ambassador of Applied Compassion.


III. Compassion in Action : Applied Compassion Capstone Projects

An essential part of becoming an Educator, Facilitator, Consultant, and Ambassador of Applied Compassion is to be a representative of compassion, bringing it into your workplaces and professional lives and into your personal and family daily life relationships. Capstone Projects are based on the targeted environment that participants want to affect change or offer, facilitate or teach compassion-based approaches. 


A requirement for completion, the  Applied Compassion Capstone Project is something that each participant will create, deliver, and report back on during the course of the ACT program. Participants will begin designing these projects right from the start of the training and will be required to deliver them by Summer 2021, reporting back to the faculty by October 2021. 

Throughout the course of the training, participants will receive support and mentoring as they create a Capstone Project based on the targeted environment they want to offer, facilitate, or teach compassion-based practices and approaches. In some cases, the environment may be a workplace or professional setting or it may be a community setting in which the participant volunteers. It might be a project that focuses on social or cultural issues (e.g., inclusivity or climate change). It may even be familial.

An example of an ACT Capstone project might be to develop a workshop or other offering that integrates compassionate principles and practices to address specific and unique issues around burnout, in the environments in which the individual participant lives and works.

IV. A Community of Applied Compassion Practice

Throughout the ACT program, participants come together in multiple ways as a community focused on support and practice, small mentoring groups and ambassador teams, as well as continued engagement within a robust network of alumni.


ACT participants will be trained as facilitators, educators, consultants, and - most importantly - as ambassadors who can bring a unique offering tailored specifically to their particular workplace, community, volunteer association, and/or to the social and cultural environments in which they live and work.  

What type of people participate in the Applied Compassion Training? 

The Applied Compassion Training is suitable for people from all walks of life and is open to participants from  government, medicine, therapy, academia, students, business, technology, non profit organizations, NGOs, end of life/hospice, caretakers, school teachers, lawyers, coaches, consultants, law enforcement and first responders, the criminal justice system, religious institutions, entertainment, film makers, music and art to name a few. ACT participants are people who live and work in environments like these and who want to model and intentionally bring compassion into the multiplicity of worlds in which they find themselves. 

I am not working or retired.  Can I still participate?

Yes! You'll probably want to give some extra thought as to how you can apply this training in a real-world setting.  People that are not working could bring this into a community of which they are a part, a volunteer cause,  a board of directors that they serve on, a church or community center,  or could initiate a project within their own neighborhood.

What is the ACT Capstone project

An essential part of this training is an Applied Capstone Project that each participant will create, deliver, and report back on during the course of the Applied Compassion Training. Participants will begin designing these projects right from the start of the training and will be required to deliver them by Summer 2021, reporting back to the faculty by October 2021. 

Each trainee will design and implement their ACT Capstone project with the goal of bringing compassionate action into the world within the context of their occupations, professions, and/or personal lives. The Capstone Project will involve a step-by-step process and be supported with ongoing mentoring.


An example of an ACT Capstone project might be to develop a workshop or other offering that integrates compassionate principles and practices to address specific and unique issues around burnout, in the environments in which the individual participant lives and works.

Is the ACT Capstone project a requirement for completion? 


Does the Applied Compassion Training train you to teach CCT, MBSR, MSC, CBT, MBCT, etc? 

No. The Applied Compassion Training (ACT) is not a program to train or certify participants to teach one specific protocol. This certificate program is intended for people who will create and deliver a variety of unique projects which feature and integrate applied compassionate approaches to general and specific issues associated with their occupations, professions, and/or personal development. The ACT program will equip the individual trainees with the  principles, attitudes, skills and resources necessary to design their own compassion-based offerings, talks, and programs based on best principles and practices. Certified graduates will function in the role of an Educator, Facilitator, Consultant, and Ambassador of Applied Compassion.


What is the average time commitment for a student undertaking this training?

Participant attendance is required at all three (2.5 day) virtual immersive retreats scheduled in January, July and November of 2021. Throughout the 11 months, there will be monthly online Zoom sessions (approximately 5 hours per month). Participants should also expect to spend an additional 6-10 hours each month working on their individual Capstone Project, as well as in discussions with their Capstone team and ACT instructors and mentor.

How can I know if I'm ready for this program?

If you are able to meet the program requirements (attend the monthly Zoom sessions, the three on-site retreats, and complete the Capstone project within the 11- months, then you're well on your way to being ready.


In addition to the above requirements, we strongly invite you to consider if you're committed and able to undergo a profound process of inner transformation. The road to becoming an Ambassador is a combination of external (action-oriented) work as well as internal (personal growth) work. We encourage an attitude of humility--especially with regards to one's own personal growth. There's always more to discover and learn about ourselves, and so we invite you to consider if you're ready to embark on a deeper level of your own transformational journey.


If you are someone with a deep desire and commitment to your own growth, as well as someone who is called to be an agent of change and action in the world, then this program is for you!

I'm ready to register, what do I do?

Please click HERE to complete the registration process and secure your space in the next cohort.

My question still hasn't been answered, what do I do?

We have found that most answers can be found in this FAQ section. If you've read through this entire section thoroughly and still have question, please contact us HERE.

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