Certificate in Applied Storytelling

Discovering the Power of Story in Contemporary Culture

"We are our stories. We compress years of experience, thought and emotion into a few compact narratives that we convey to others and tell to ourselves. Stories are important cognitive events for they encapsulate, in one package, information, knowledge, context and emotion."

Business Writer and Commentator Daniel Pink
A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers will Rule the Future

  • Overview
  • Curriculum
  • Faculty
  • Tuition
  • Dates
  • Loans, Tuition Help

The Certificate in Applied Storytelling focuses on the pervasive power of story as a tool for activating the imagination, stimulating the intellect and awakening the compassionate sensibility that lies at the heart of every successful human activity. Stories can be used to heal, to educate and to motivate both teller and listeners. Colleagues who enroll in this program will be guided as they become skillful storytellers and thoughtful story practitioners—using story as an agent for change in their chosen spheres of influence. This program combines the latest scholarship on narrative intelligence and oral tradition with the time-honored techniques of  oral storytelling to create a bold and audacious perspective on the role that story can play in creating a more just and sustainable world.

The Power of Story

As American Poet Muriel Rukeyser says,
“The universe is made of stories, not atoms.”

Once we understand the power of story in shaping all of our perceptions of self and world, we glimpse the possibilities of becoming more than storytellers; we begin to see ourselves as story practitioners. This shift in perspective makes an enormous difference. Whether you are a teacher, a business leader, a community-builder or a creative artist; whether your goal is to make measurable social change or to feel more alive in your everyday life, the way of the storyteller can provide a clarity and vitality that few human activities can match. A story is the shortest distance between two people and the most effective method for exploring unseen parts of ourselves.

"Stories set the inner life in motion. This is particularly important when the inner life is frightened, wedged or cornered. Story greases the hoists and pulleys, it causes adrenaline to surge, shows us the way out, down, or up, and for our trouble, cuts for us fine wide doors in previously blank walls, openings that lead to the dreamland, that lead to love and learning, that lead us back to our real lives."

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes,
Traditional Hungarian/Latina Storyteller and Author of Women Who Run with the Wolves

Come join us as we set our inner and outer lives in motion through story…

Classes in Applied Storytelling meet monthly (Friday evening from 5 to 9pm, and Saturday 9am to 5pm) for a period of eleven months. In addition, each student completes a self-designed field research project which will allow them apply the principles of story creation, performance and application in real-world settings.

Courses and Descriptions (12 Credits):

OT 501: Oral Traditions: Medium and Inquiry - 3 credits

Throughout history, oral tradition has been the primary method for communicating information and transferring knowledge between individuals, across generations, and throughout cultures. This course introduces the emerging field of oral tradition and provides an examination of representative oral literature. Students assess the impact of oral traditions on the development of complex syntax and grammar structures and the emergence of written literature. Special attention is paid to the relationship between oral traditions and contemporary thought.

OT 508: Therapeutic Processes of Orality - 3 credits

How we envision and interpret the unfolding narrative of our lives has a tremendous impact on our personal sense of well-being and our relationship to society at large. This course investigates the therapeutic applications of writing and oral traditions – from the management of physical and psychological health, to the resolution of conflict in professional and social relationships, to the alleviation of discord within whole societies. Students learn to harness the power of the spoken and written word through affirmative, expressive, and transformative language, metaphors, and imagery.

OT 509: Cultural Diversity and Unity - 3 credits

The rich culture and heritage of ethnic communities are reflected in the scope and diversity of world literature and oral traditions. In this course, students are encouraged to use writing and oral tradition as mechanisms for cross-cultural understanding. The oral traditions of various African, Asian, European, Hispanic, Jewish and Native American groups are explored, with a focus on the significance of such traditions in an emerging multicultural society. Students are introduced to oral traditions that have been used to preserve cultural knowledge, subvert dominant or oppressive groups, and cultivate intercultural problem-solving.

OT 513: Field Research - 3 credits

This course provides an opportunity for personal, hands-on examination of contemporary applications of writing and the oral traditions and the issues surrounding the field. Through research, students learn to balance tradition and innovation in applied storytelling, and they discover the many ways that “performance arenas” function in everyday situations. An analytical research paper is required in which program participants describe the purpose of the research, delineate an extensive literature review, conduct an appropriate methodological procedure, collect and analyze data, and report all findings.


   Full course descriptions are available in our Catalog of Programs.

The faculty for the Certificate in Applied Storytelling is comprised of award-winning writers, editors, oral specialists, and instructors from across the U.S. 

Core Faculty

  Mark Amodio, PhD
Academic Director


Mark C. Amodio is Professor and Chair of English at Vassar College. He holds his AB and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. A specialist in oral theory and Old and Middle English language and literature, his research focuses on the intersection of orality and literacy throughout the English Middle Ages.  He is the author of numerous articles and two books, Writing the Oral Tradition: Oral Poetics and Literate Culture in Medieval England (UNDP, 2004) and The Blackwell Anglo-Saxon Literatue Handbook (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).  He has also edited a number of volumes, including Oral Poetics in Middle English Literature (Garland, 1994), Unbinding Proteus: New Directions in Oral Theory (ACMRS, 2005), and A World of Oralities: Essays in Memory of John Miles Foley (ACMRS, forthcoming). He lives in Poughkeepsie, New York. 

  Robin Moore, MA
Program Coordinator


A professional performer, author, and workshop leader, Robin Moore was voted “Storyteller of the Year” by Storytelling Magazine and has shared his stories with more than one million people. Since 1981, he has presented more than 5,000 educational offerings that include storytelling performances, writing workshops, and family programs based on the rich folklore of Pennsylvania, where he grew up.  He was named Pennsylvania School Librarian’s “Author of the Year” and has taught his innovative approach to "Awakening the Hidden Storyteller" at many institutions, including The University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and Omega Institute.  Author of several award winning books published by HarperCollins, Random House, and Simon & Schuster, Robin is best known for The Bread Sister of Sinking Creek, the first in a series of historical fiction novels about women on the PA frontier.  He holds a Master of Arts in Oral Traditions from The Graduate Institute.  “Robin’s ability to portray characters with the subtle use of voice and gesture as well as his talent for involving his audiences is second to none on the East Coast. He ranks with the best of today’s professional storytellers.”—Dr. Kenneth Goldstein, Chairman, Department of Folklore, University of Pennsylvania.  Visit his website at robin-moore.com.

Visiting Faculty

Lisa Worth Huber, PhD

Lisa Worth Huber holds a vision of a peaceful, sustainable world. She is a peace educator and a participatory action researcher with a focus on empathy development. She teaches in universities, K-12 classrooms, homeless shelters, safe houses, and youth at risk, incorporating the arts as a means to give voice to the silenced, address injustice, foster understanding, and nurture compassion. Concerned with the growing epidemic of violence and bullying, Lisa has conducted numerous studies on the efficacy of humanitarian and social justice education as compared with existing programs on bullying; this has led her to advocate for mandated peace and conflict transformation curricula in all schools nationwide. A teaching artist for nearly two decades, Lisa blends story in its myriad forms—theatre, poetry, prose, storytelling, comic books, and graphic novels—with social justice and environmental concerns, and nurtures the development of creative activism and ecological stewardship. She is honored to be the first recipient of the Frank McCourt Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Currently, Lisa is on the Board of Directors of the National Peace Academy, and the Launch Team for the Global Sustainability Fellows program. She has served on numerous boards and committees statewide and nationally—from the Campaign to Establish a U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence to the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence: A Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute—designing, promoting, and implementing programs in nonviolence, ecological and sustainability education, literacy, and peacebuilding. Lisa is trained in a variety of mediation and dialogue techniques. Her doctorate is in Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies from Lancaster University in the U.K.  She continues to research methods for developing empathy, one of the most important skills for creating a compassionate global society.

Jonas Zdanys, PhD

A bilingual poet and translator, Jonas Zdanys is the author of forty books, thirty-seven of them collections of poetry, written in English and in Lithuanian, and of translations from the Lithuanian. He has received a number of prizes, book awards, writing and travel grants, and public recognitions for his own poetry and for his translations, most recent among them an exhibit about his life and work by the National Library of Lithuania, appointment as Phi Beta Kappa Poet at Connecticut College, a translation grant from the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture, and selection for the 2012 Poet’s Voice Series. Jonas is also active as an editor and a literary panelist and has served as a reviewer for Wesleyan University Press, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, and World Literature Today. He has taught at the State University of New York and at Yale University, where he held a number of administrative positions and was a Scholar-in-Residence in the Yale Center for Russian and East European Studies. He serves currently as Professor of English at Sacred Heart University. Before his appointment at Sacred Heart in 2009, he served for more than a decade as the state of Connecticut’s Chief Academic Officer. Jonas holds a BA in English from Yale University and an MA and PhD from the State University of New York. Visit his website at jonaszdanys.org.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for Master of Arts Degree Programs

Total tuition for each 36-credit MA program is $15,408, at $428 per credit. A one-time, non-refundable, application fee of $60 – and a program fee of $385 – are also required. The graduation fee is $90.

After paying the application fee of $60, MA students pay a deposit of $483 upon acceptance or conditional acceptance to the program. Students then make 20 monthly payments of $770, which includes the program fee of $385 and the graduation fee of $90. The total of all tuition and fees is $15,943.

Tuition for Certificate Programs

Tuition for certificate programs is $428 per credit. A one-time, non-refundable, application fee of $60 – and a program fee of $195 – are also required. The graduation fee is $90.

After paying the $60 Application fee, Certificate students pay as follows:

12-Credit Certificate Program students pay a deposit of $521 upon acceptance or conditional acceptance to the program. Students then make 7 monthly payments of $700, which includes the program fee of $195 and the graduation fee of $90. The total of all tuition and fees is $5,481. If the student decides to matriculate to an MA program, the student will pay $1,222 in the 8th month, followed by 12 monthly payments of $770. (Certificates in Ecotherapy, Applied Storytelling, and Positive Psychology)

11-Credit Certificate Program students pay a deposit of $793 upon acceptance or conditional acceptance to the program. Students then make 6 monthly payments of $700 which includes the program fee of $195 and the graduation fee of $90. The total of all tuition and fees is $5,053. If the student decides to matriculate to an MA program, the student will pay $880 in the 7th month, followed by 13 monthly payments of $770. (Certificate in Integrative Energy and Eastern Medicine)

9-Credit Certificate Program students pay a deposit of $637 upon acceptance or conditional acceptance to the program. Students then make 5 monthly payments of $700 which includes the program fee of $195 and the graduation fee of $90. The total of all tuition and fees is $4,197. If the student decides to matriculate to an MA program, the student will pay $966 in the 6th month, followed by 14 monthly payments of $770. (Certificate in Integrative Health and Healing)

6-Credit Certificate Program students pay a deposit of $753 upon acceptance or conditional acceptance to the program. Students then make 3 monthly payments of $700 which includes the program fee of $195 and the graduation fee of $90. The total of all tuition and fees is $2,913. If the student decides to matriculate to an MA program, the student will pay $710 in the 4th month, followed by 16 monthly payments of $770. (Certificate in Consciousness, Transformation and Mindfulness)

Tuition for Coaching Program

Tuition for the Transformative Coaching program is $ 3,168 which includes three one-on-one mentor coaching sessions with Guthrie Sayen, PCC. 

A one-time, non-refundable, application fee of $60 is also required. 

Students pay a deposit of $918 after acceptance to the program. Students then make 3 monthly payments of $750.

In addition, Non-TGI costs associated with the acquisition of the ICF ACC coaching credential are:

  ICF membership dues paid directly to the ICF $245
  ICF exam fee, member rate, paid directly to the ICF $300

NOTE: Admission to the Transformative Coach Training program only requires a completed Application form, the application fee of $60, and Proof of Immunization.

Acceptable Forms of Payment 

Payment may be made by check or money order (payable to The Graduate Institute), or online payments can be made using credit or debit cards through PayPal. Please click here for more information on making a PayPal tuition payment.

Admission: Acceptance and Conditional Acceptance 

Please see Admissions section for complete information about Admission requirements.

Students are given Conditional Acceptance after they have submitted their application, paid the application fee and submitted a resume, CV, or employment and educational history. 




Enrollment Dates

All of The Graduate Institute's programs operate via a cohort model, which means you will join a group of approximately 12-15 students and complete the entire program of study as a cohesive learning community. We are continually starting new cohorts as existing cohorts become filled. 

Most of our programs begin in the fall (September/October), although certain Master of Arts degrees and certificate programs are also available in the spring (April/May) of each year. Please check back frequently for new cohort start dates.

The dates listed below reflect the current cohorts that are available for each of our programs. If you have any questions about admission to a particular program, please contact Admissions at (203) 874-4252, or email admissions@learn.edu.

To fill out an inquiry form: Click Here

Master of Arts Degrees and Certificates in Emerging Fields of Inquiry:

MA Programs First Session   Apply By   Link to Schedule
Writing and Oral Traditions May 26 - 27, 2017    Call!   Link to Full Class Schedule
Integrative Health and Healing May 19- 21, 2017   Call!   Link to Full Class Schedule
Consciousness Studies & Transpersonal Psychology June 9 - 11, 2017   May 1, 2017   Link to Full Class Schedule
Organizational Leadership Aug. 18 - 20, 2017   July 1, 2017   Link to Full Class Schedule
Learning and Thinking TBA - Fall 2017   Sept. 1, 2017    
Certificate Programs          
Positive PsychologyEmotional Wellbeing and Happiness June 2 - 4, 2017   May 1, 2017   Link to Full Class Schedule 
Applied Storytelling May 26 - 27, 2017   Call!   Link to Full Class Schedule
Integrative Health and Healing May 19 - 21, 2017   Call!   Link to Full Class Schedule
Energy and Eastern Medicine Sept. 15 - 16, 2017   Aug. 1, 2017   Link to Full Class Schedule
Ecotherapy and Cultural Sustainability May 19 - 21, 2017   May 1, 2017   Link to Full Class Schedule
Non-Credit Program          
Transformative Coach Training - ICF Approved April 28 - 30, 2017   Call!   Link to Full Class Schedule and Details

Apply Online here

Request Information

Student Loan Opportunities

Students may apply for Connecticut state loans through the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA), which offers low-fixed-interest-rate loans, with no application fees. Applicants – or co-applicants, if any – must have a minimum $20,000 gross annual income, and monthly loan installment payments must amount to 40% or less of monthly gross income. Students may defer interest while in school and for a 6-month grace period (interest is capitalized annually). The CALS Graduate Institute School Code is 117777-00. Access the loan hotline at 800-935-2275 or visit www.chesla.org for more information.

Alumni Partial Tuition Waiver 

An alumnus of any of The Graduate Institute's Master of Arts degree programs qualifies for a partial tuition waiver of $2,000 towards another MA degree, or $1,000 towards a Certificate program, or $300 towards the TCT coaching program. 

Tuition Waiver for Six Credits for Educators

Applicants for the spring of 2017 for MA degrees who teach full time in Priority and Alliance School Districts* are eligible for a $2,568 tuition waiver. 

*Ansonia, Bloomfield, Bristol, Bridgeport, Danbury, Derby, East Hartford, East Haven, East Windsor, Hamden, Hartford, Killingly, Manchester, Middletown, Naugatuck, New Britain, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, Norwich, Putnam, Stamford, Vernon, Waterbury, West Haven, Winchester, Windham, Windsor, and Windsor Locks.

Tuition Waiver for up to Six Credits for an MA Program

Master of Arts students may apply for a tuition waiver for up to six (6) credits if they show evidence (official transcript) for credits of graduate study as a non-matriculated student. Requests for this tuition waiver are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The Academic Affairs Committee renders all decisions regarding transfer of credit.  

Need-Based Scholarship

Need-based scholarships are available to eligible candidates who have financial hardship and can provide documentation (most recent tax return and asset statement) to support their need. Fill out and mail the TGI Need-Based Scholarship Form, link below, to: The Graduate Institute, 171 Amity Road, Bethany, CT 06524 Attention: Bursar

   TGI Need-Based Scholarship Form


Important considerations regarding tuition waivers:

  • Tuition Waivers will be credited at the end of the degree program.
  • Tuition Waivers may not be combined.
  • Tuition Waivers will not be applied retroactively.
  • Other restrictions may apply. Policies are subject to change.



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Photo Credits: Maureen Edwards.
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