Who We Are

To help you get to know us better, we present some informative Frequently Asked Questions. If you still have more questions, any of our ministers and practitioners will be happy to help.

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What is the InSpirit Center for Spiritual Living

The InSpirit Center for Spiritual Living is an open, affirming, diverse spiritual community that welcomes individuals wherever they may be on their spiritual paths. Recognizing and honoring the universal spiritual truths and principles that underlie the world’s various religions, we attract participants from a wide variety of faith traditions and religious experiences. We hold Sunday Celebration services in Mission Viejo, CA and also offer a wide variety of classes, workshops and activities.

We have many “sister” communities in the region, including San Juan Capistrano, Saddleback Valley, Huntington Beach, Newport-Mesa/Irvine, Seal Beach, Fullerton, Long Beach, Whittier, Claremont, Riverside, Redondo Beach, Los Angeles and San Diego.

The InSpirit Center for Spiritual Living is affiliated with the world-wide Centers for Spiritual Living. We accept tax-deductible contributions and contribute a percentage of our gifts/offerings to headquarters.

What is the Centers for Spiritual Living?

The Centers for Spiritual Living is an interfaith community that includes churches, study groups and ministries around the world and is one of several “new thought” movements that oversees and licenses ministers. Headquartered in Golden, Colorado, the Centers for Spiritual Living is the umbrella organization under which the InSpirit Center for Spiritual Living and other member ministries reside. The Centers for Spiritual Living also publishes Science of Mind Magazine. Other New Thought organizations include the International New Thought Alliance (INTA), the Affiliated New Thought Network (ANTN) and Association of Unity Churches.

How do I become a member of InSpirit Center for Spiritual Living?

Several times a year, we hold new member informational sessions, which will help you understand more about our organization and our spiritual philosophies. At this time, formal membership requirements include attendance at these New Member sessions and a commitment to be an active and contributing member of the InSpirit Center. Periodically, we have “New Member Sundays,” in which we formally welcome new members into our spiritual community.

What classes or workshops do you offer?

As interest dictates, the InSpirit Center offers a variety of workshops and classes, including accredited classes, beginning with our basic Foundations course through Practitioner studies. Workshops are offered on either a fee or love offering basis. There is a set fee for the accredited courses.

Please let the Minister or any Practitioner know if you have interest in any of these classes. The Centers for Spiritual Living website has a lot of information on our teachings, classes and books/materials.

What financial obligations are there?

We do not have any membership dues or special fees; however, members of the InSpirit Center are expected to be “conscious contributors” — that is, active givers of their time, talents and treasures.

We actively teach the principles of Abundance, which affirm that when we give of our time, talents and treasures, knowing that they are God’s blessings to and through us, we more fully experience and express God’s Divine Flow in our lives. We are so very grateful for those individuals who have made the decision to give freely from this place of Prosperity Consciousness, because they support our awesome Sunday Celebration services. We know that it is with this Consciousness that the InSpirit Center for Spiritual Living realizes our vision of being a flourishing and nourishing spiritual community.

What is our philosophy?

Our philosophy was founded by Dr. Ernest Holmes, a self-taught philosopher who rigorously studied all of the world’s spiritual paths for most of his life. In 1927, he wrote The Science of Mind, which synthesized the truths that he discerned were present throughout all of the world’s faiths. That book is the foundation of the principles we study and teach. Ernest Holmes never intended to begin a new faith; eventually, he was persuaded to allow a church to be created to assure that the principles he synthesized would outlive him.

Ernest Holmes used the terms “Science of Mind,” which he described as the synthesis of the truths running through all of the religions of the world and “Religious Science” interchangeably. He believed that religion and science were truly complimentary and named his original organization the Church of Religious Science to demonstrate this. He believed that, eventually, science would prove what the mystics have been saying for thousands of years about the nature of God, human beings and the universe: that God is the energy of the Universe and operates according to basic spiritual principles or “laws.” Holmes espoused the idea that there is One Divine Power and Presence that operates in and through each of our lives, automatically and according to our beliefs.

Holmes wrote the following in the book, How to Change Your Life: “The Science of Mind is not a personal opinion, nor is it a special revelation. It is a result of the best thought of the ages. It borrows much of its light from others, but, in so doing, robs no one, for Truth is universal.”

“The Christian Bible, perhaps the greatest book ever written, truly points a way to eternal values. But there are many other bibles, all of which, taken together, weave the story of spiritual Truth into a unified pattern. All races have had their bibles as all have had their religions; all have pointed a way to ultimate values, but can we say that any of them has really pointed THE WAY? It is unreasonable to support that any one person or race encompasses all truth and alone can reveal the way of life to others. Taking the best from all sources, the Science of Mind has access to the highest enlightenment of the ages. The Science of Mind reads everyman’s bible and gleans the truths therein contained. It studies all people’s thought and draws from each that which is true. Without criticism, without judgment, but by true discrimination, that which is true and provable may be discovered and put to practical use.” (from The Science of Mind, pps 113-114).

Are "religious science" and "science of mind" the same things?

Essentially, they both are terms used to describe our philosophy.

What is "New Thought"?

There are a wide variety of organizations that teach spiritual philosophies that are very similar to those of Religious Science, including Unity and Divine Science. There are various associations that support these organizations, such as the Affiliated New Thought Network (ANTN), the International New Thought Alliance (INTA) and the Association for Global New Thought (AGNT).

The term “New Thought” refers to the teaching that God is inside and not outside of us and that we need no intercessor or intermediary between us and God. It also relates to the idea that each of us is a divine, unique emanation of God, for whom life is a process by which we awaken and recognize this truth.

What do you believe about meditation?

Meditation is the time-honored technique for taming, training and transforming the mind. We endorse all forms of meditation, from creative visualization to the more traditional mind-stilling techniques, as a means for becoming open and receptive to God. We believe that meditation allows one to more fully commune with God and thus experience a feeling of unity with all of life. Thus, there is no right or wrong way to meditate. However and whenever you are able to connect with the presence of God can be considered a meditative experience. Some people meditate while hiking, gardening or exercising. Others may do so more formally, using meditation pillows, music or guided meditations. Just as there are many paths to God, so too there are many ways in which to meditate.

How do you pray?

We honor and endorse all forms of sincere prayer that comes from the heart. In addition, we teach a unique and structured form of affirmative prayer called spiritual mind treatment. This is a method of prayer that was developed by Dr. Ernest Holmes and involves a five-step process:

(1) Recognition of God’s Presence,

(2) Acknowledging the unity of life,

(3) Affirming the truth about situations,

(4) Thanksgiving and

(5) Release.

We do not pray from a place of beseeching or begging. Instead, we pray from a place of knowing that that which we seek is already done in the mind of God. Thus we pray to wake up and recognize that which is already so and the structure and words of our prayers are intended to assist us in this process.

What is an affirmation?

The term affirmation is normally associated with a verbal statement that is made about some goal that we are trying to achieve or some experience that we desire to have. However, the act of affirmation is really much more than that. It is an act of faith. It is the ability to put aside your doubt and fear in order to act as if your desired goal were already a reality. In this sense, an affirmation can be any statement, act or symbolic gesture that affirms the reality of your intentions. Through the process of affirmation we “act as if” our highest aspirations were already a reality.

What Is a licensed Practitioner?

A licensed Religious Science practitioner is an individual who is licensed by the Centers for Spiritual Living as a spiritual counselor, after having completed four years of studies. They are in service to you and others to take prayer requests and pray on them during the week. They are also available after the service in our prayer circle and are responsible for holding prayerful vigil and consciousness for our Center. As licensed professionals, the Practitioners are available for private counseling sessions upon appointment, for a session fee.

Our church has many licensed Practitioners. Please feel free to discuss your needs with them.

What do you believe about sin?

We believe that the original meaning of sin was simply to fall short of or “miss the mark” of spiritual perfection. Thus, we see sin as simply an activity that produces an undesirable effect in our lives or the lives of others, but which is not evil or necessarily bad.

We do not believe in being punished for sins or having to seek penitence, nor do we believe in “original sin” or that we are sinful by nature. We do not condone acts that harm others and we strongly support the “Golden Rule” in terms of how we treat all beings on this planet.

What about evil?

We do not deny the appearance of evil. We teach that evil does not exist as a force or power in the world. That which is called “evil” is merely the obstruction or inversion of the only power acting, which is God. The obstruction of God’s expression always occurs in the mind by the false beliefs that we hold. According to our philosophy, the only presence acting in the universe is God, which is always good. Evil is merely the way that we withhold our expression and experience of that good by accepting false beliefs into our minds.

Do you believe in the devil?

We believe that, since the only power acting anywhere is God, the devil simply cannot exist as a force acting in opposition to God’s expression through Spirit. Therefore, there really is no devil. There is only the manifestation of falsely held beliefs within our minds, which produces that appearance of some sinister invisible force or being, acting in our lives. To blame unpleasant conditions and circumstances on the devil or anyone else, is a way of avoiding responsibility for our own experience of life.

What about heaven and hell?

We believe that heaven and hell are states of mind here on Earth. We experience heaven to the extent that we are aligned and in harmony with the fundamental nature of God and Life itself.

Hell is a state of mind that arises when we forget our true nature and experience chaos and negativity in our lives, rather than peace and flow. It is a mental state in which we believe that negative things are happening uncontrollably to us and a state in which we choose not to move forward or change our beliefs. The truth is that we create our own heaven or hell, depending upon what thoughts or beliefs we choose to hold.

What about death?

We teach the eternality of life. We accept that our physical bodies operate within a natural cycle of birth and death. Even though we may have a body, we are never just our body. What we really are is life immortal and infinite that animates our body. As we become increasing identified with our divine and eternal nature, our underlying fear of death begins to dissolve and our experience of life become more joyous.

Dr. Michael Beckwith, Founder of Agape Church in Los Angeles, refers to our body as a “wardrobe,” that serves as our physical expression of the Divine for this particular lifetime. When we die, we “shed” this wardrobe and take on another one; however, our eternal soul carries the experiences and energy from past lives into the next life.

Do you believe in reincarnation?

We neither endorse nor reject any particular theory or concept of reincarnation. Since life is eternal, there are an unlimited number of possibilities for its evolvement after the experience of physical death. We accept the on-goingness of life and we deal with what is before us in the present moment.

Do you believe in miracles?

Everything that occurs in our lives is simply the out-picturing of our consciousness operating through the Law of Mind. Therefore, those events that seem to be miraculous in nature are actually the Law acting at a level beyond our awareness. God operates in many dimensions beyond our five senses and has a grand pattern or master plan that we often do not perceive. Miracles or synchronicities tend to occur more and more frequently as we become more awake and aware. As we evolve our consciousness, what previously seemed miraculous becomes a natural, normal and understandable way of life.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ?

In our philosophy, Christ is viewed as a universal principle rather than a person. It is the principle of God expressing through humanity. Jesus of Nazareth — Jesus the Christ — was a human personality through which the Christ Principle or Divine Personality, expressed itself on Earth. The principle of Jesus Christ represents the mystical marriage of our inner spirit with our outer personality. This union produces an expression of Life that includes both, yet is greater than either. The potential for this expression lies within each one of us. Therefore, Jesus the man is viewed as a great example for humanity, rather than the great exception. We can point to many other great examples of humanity, such as the Buddha, Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Krishna.

Ernest Holmes, founder of the philosophy of Religious Science, says:

“Religious Science does not deny the divinity of Jesus; but it does affirm the divinity of all people. It does not deny that Jesus was the son of God; but affirms that all beings are children of God. It does not deny that the Kingdom of God was revealed through Jesus; but affirms that the Kingdom of God is also revealed through you and me.”

— Ernest Holmes, How to Change Your Life

Are you Christians?

Ernest Holmes came from of a Christian tradition. He studied all of the world’s religions and synthesized what he saw to be the truths running through them all, free of any particular dogma. He began the philosophy with the intention that all churches, especially Christian ones, might embrace the philosophy and incorporate those teachings into their own. When that did not happen on a large-scale basis, he allowed the people around him to talk him into starting a church to make sure that the teachings would endure.

His original intention was not to start a new religion. Our philosophy comes out of the Christian tradition in the sense that we believe in the teachings of Jesus and the Bible and use them to create a “Heaven on Earth.” We do not believe that an individual has to accept Jesus as a personal Savior to be “saved.” Instead, we believe that each of us embodies the Christ Consciousness as a principle and that Jesus the man was one of many enlightened beings that have walked this planet. We also do not view the Bible as being the only and literal word of God. We honor and support the Bible as being one of many sacred texts that contain universal spiritual truths.

Is this "New Age"?

Our philosophy is a New Thought philosophy and many people with New Age leanings are attracted to our teachings and practices. We do not consider our philosophy to be a New Age Religion and we do not overtly espouse nor condemn New Age practices such as tarot card reading, psychics, laying on of hands, etc. We honor all paths that lead to God, whether they be Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, New Age or any other spiritual paths.

Is this the same as Scientology?


Is this a Cult?

No. Unlike a cult, we teach that each individual has the power over and the responsibility for his or her own life. We highly discourage the following of or dependence upon any one person, including our founder Ernest Holmes or any present ministers or teachers. We challenge people to think for themselves and only believe what rings true for them. One must look into one’s own heart for truth.

Is this Christian Science?

No, Ernest Holmes did study with a host of spiritual luminaries, including Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science. Religious Science attracts many from the Christian Science tradition, who tend to find our teachings to be broader in scope and more “open at the top” than Christian Science, which was Holmes’ intention.

Do you go to doctors?

Absolutely. We believe that all is God and that God is expressed through doctors and medicine just as God is expressed through all of the physical universe. We believe in spiritual as well as physical healing. Our Ministers and Practitioners often work in conjunction with doctors and other physical and mental health practitioners to facilitate healing. We see the value in non-traditional healing modalities such as naturopathic medicine, massage, yoga, chiropractic medicine and other modalities as ways to support and nurture our body temples.


FAQ adapted from the student workbook for a workshop entitled, “QuickStart” created by Lloyd Strom. Answers also written by various licensed Practitioners within the Centers for Spiritual Living, particularly Christine Tillotson.

About Science of Mind

Sunday Services

Sunday Services

What We Believe

We believe in God, the living Spirit Almighty; one, indestructible, absolute, and self-existent Cause. This One manifests Itself in and through all creation, but is not absorbed by Its creation. The manifest universe is the body of God; it is the logical and necessary outcome of the infinite self-knowingness of God.

We believe in the individualization of the Spirit in US, and that all PEOPLE are incarnations of the One Spirit.

We believe in the externality, the immortality, and the continuity of the individual soul, forever and ever expanding.

We believe that HEAVEN is within US, and that we experience IT to the degree that we become conscious of It.

We believe the ultimate goal of life to be a complete emancipation from all discord of every nature, and that this goal is sure to be attained by all.

We believe in the unity of all life, and that the highest God and the innermost God is one God. We believe that God is personal to all who feel this indwelling Presence.

We believe in the direct revelation of Truth through our intuitive and spiritual nature, and that ANYONE may become a revealer of Truth who lives in close contact with the indwelling God.

We believe that the Universal Spirit, which is God, operates through a Universal Mind, which is the Law of God; and that we are surrounded by this Creative Mind which receives the direct impress of our thought and acts upon it.

We believe in the healing of the sick and control of conditions through the power of this Mind.

We believe in the eternal Goodness, the eternal Loving-kindness, and the eternal Givingness of Life to all.

WE BELIEVE in our own soul, our own spirit and our own destiny; for we understand that the life of all is God.

— Dr. Ernest Holmes

For more information please visit the Centers for Spiritual Living.

Youth Programs


Empower your kids with Spiritual Principles

“To live a single day and hear a good teaching is better than to live a hundred years without knowing such teaching.” Buddha

We are very proud to say that our InSpirit Center for Spiritual Living, Orange County has a fine staff of dedicated teachers that show up every week to make our world a better place by providing a safe and sacred space for kids to fully and joyfully express.

Please join us on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. for nursery care for children from birth-4 years-old. Our youth ministry programs are held at 10:30 a.m. for children of all ages, including nursery, youth, tweens and teens.

Visitors are welcome!