Deborah Lindsey, IMU President
While most college presidents boast a litany of degrees, IMU President Deborah Lindsey comes to the table with a lifetime of real-life exploration in the field of metaphysics. Yes, she holds a B.A. in Communication from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania (and an honorary doctorate in metaphysics from IMU), but it was her search for a credible masters degree program in metaphysics that brought IMU to life.
In the early 90′s I really wanted to get my Masters degree in Metaphysics, but I couldn’t find anything that was credible that matched what I was looking for. Not one mainstream university was willing to touch the field of metaphysics. The closest anyone came was to offer a degree in philosophy. That was nice, but it didn’t fit what I was looking for. I wanted a masters degree or doctorate in metaphysics and I was very clear about that.
At the time, the internet was new. Online colleges and university, especially metaphysical colleges and universities were non-existent, even online. While I did find a few distance learning schools (home study), I didn’t find a single school that to me offered the quality of education and the quality of experience that I was looking for. To me they all lacked credibility.
So, I did the next best thing. I started a spiritual development and holistic healing center in Parkersburg, WV, the town where I had recently relocated from the Washington, DC area, and I set out to learn everything I could.
Over the course of the next 11 years, I was able to take every course and training that came down the pike. If I had an interest in a subject, I would look for the best teacher I could find and then invite them to come to my center to teach. During that time I learned many energy healing protocols including the Jaffe-Mellor Technique (JMT), the Emotional Healing Technique (EFT), Usui Reiki, Toltec Nagual Reiki, Ma’heo’o’ Reiki, Pranic Healing, Pranic Psychotherapy, Quantum Touch, Microbial Balancing, Muscle Testing and Kinesiology (Touch for Health), Brain Gym (Educational Kinesiology), Tibetan Figure 8′s, MAP, and Hypnosis, among others. I learned spiritual counseling and life coaching techniques along with meditation techniques. I studied energy anatomy and learned how to apply this information to read energy as a medical intuitive. I also put this knowledge to work doing independent research on many issues that affected the people in my life including autism, obesity, and addiction.
While I loved, loved, loved the healing work, my heart really sang every time we taught a metaphysical course that studied consciousness. I studied the Law of Attraction, Masterminding (I still mastermind weekly to this day), Energy Anatomy and its role in conscious creation, the Mayan Calendar, and alchemy including hermetic philosophy and the Kybalion (which I now teach at IMU in the course called Principles of Metaphysics). I also deeply love Sacred Geometry and the Flower of Life teachings, which we now offer online as well. To me sacred geometry is a universal language of light that stimulated DNA activations and awakenings that are hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t yet experienced it. These teachings took my consciousness to the next level.
I put all of this together and created a successful healing practice that helped many hundreds of people over the course of the next decade. I taught dozens and dozens of workshops, even going on the road to teach what I knew when time allowed. I particularly loved teaching EFT and went on to train and certify many dozens of people in EFT Levels 1, 2, and 3. I also taught “how to bend a spoon with your mind,” fascinating people wherever I went with the simple power of telekinesis.
I also had the good fortune of working with Rev. Randy Hastings who was a devoted and talented shaman who had been working in the field for more than 4o years. Randy was able to guide me to learning many shamanic practices including shamanic journeying, soul retrieval, native american ceremony, and more. He introduced me to the world of Huna Shamanism and the Mayan Calendar teachings and guided me toward another amazing teacher, Don Zane Curfman, who taught me the ways of the Andean Shamans as well. Randy was also very involved in the UFO community and brought these teachings to the center along with what I think of as “the ascension” teachings.
While my interest in palm reading started while I was still an undergraduate at Shippensburg U, I was able to develop and hone these skills as well. My interest in the psychic and intuitive arts was greatly developed and enhanced over my time with the Center as well. I also studied the tarot and astrology as well as runes and other divination techniques. Finally I was able to develop my skills in mediumship and was able to begin giving readings, which I continue to do in moderation to this day.
Renowned author and psychic Susan Sheppard was also very involved in the center teaching courses in astrology and the paranormal, among others. I learned all about ghosts and ghost-hunting techniques, and various other aspects of the paranormal.
During this time, I was also created the International Metaphysical Churches and began having services each Sunday. I grew to love the ceremonial process and enjoyed visiting the local Indian Mounds when possible to do ceremony. For me, this was replacement for the church I had loved so much in the DC area, the Arlington Metaphysical Chapel, and was my chance to help others along the metaphysical path. It was at a retreat center for AMC in Roanoke, Virginia, where I first met future IMU dean Janet Decker. She was the creator of “The Angel Board” which to me was a fascinating divination tool. Her ability to make that thing fly has always amazed me.
In my spare time, I would put on metaphysical expos, doing what I could to spread the word and create community. With the shift of the ages looming, I redoubled my efforts to bring this information to the world any way that I could. The expos were great fun and I met many wonderful people who I count among my friends. One such expo was held at Hocking College and this is where I met the other future IMU dean Kelly Weary, whose deep love of all things UFO has always kept me fascinated.
This, to me, was the education I had been looking for. For more than a decade I had my face in every book I could find and took every training that interested me (and some that didn’t.) But at the end of it, I had no documentation (i.e. diploma) that could translate into the mainstream world. This was particularly frustrating to me because I also had many students who had been coming to the Center for many, many years who also had no mainstream credentials to show for their work. They had earned degrees and I longed to be able to bestow on them that credibility and well-earned validation.
Along the way, I continued to look for credible mainstream education in metaphysics and could never find it. It got to the place that Rev. Hastings and I, along with a cast of many others, held a meeting about the idea of starting a metaphysical college. I think that meeting took place in 2003. I remember sitting in the meeting room at the Center with ideas overflowing and everyone looking at me as if I was somehow going to magically pull this off.
As you can imagine, the idea was overwhelming. I had no idea how to create a curriculum, let along attract the millions of dollars necessary to purchase the land and buildings that would be needed, for marketing, staff, etc. Add to that the desire for mainstream accreditation, and it was more than I could do.
I remember going home that night and saying to God, “If you want me to do this, you’re going to have to bring me everything I need. I’m not pushing this puppy uphill by myself.”
As if by magic, a few weeks later I received an email from a friend of mine who is a medical doctor and EFT practitioner in Athens, OH, Dr. J.J. Johnson. He was writing to tell me about a new program that was being developed at Hocking College in Ohio and to invite me to sit on the board that was creating the new curriculum. The call was so random that I had to take notice.
I was subsequently able to invite Rev. Hastings to join us in this endeavor.
So over the course of the next two years, we worked with a team of amazing people to create a mainstream degree that was designed for accreditation at Hocking College in the field of Natural Health. It was a great freaking program and I was very proud of the work we had created. My biggest problem with it was that they were so very, very careful to keep all of the spirituality out of the program. No one could ever mention spirit as part of the equation and to me that mitigated the whole thing.
Finally, the program was launched. I was invited to teach the EFT training but the search went out for people with mainstream masters and doctorate degrees to teach the regular courses. The problem, of course, is that no one in the entire freaking world had a mainstream masters degree in metaphysics and so they were trying to fill the teacher positions with people who had unrelated degrees. It was a disaster. People had credentials but no real knowledge of the topics they were teaching. Worse, the administration didn’t know what they were doing either. The result was that the program was closed down before the first students could even graduate. It was a very sad day as you can imagine.
In retrospect, I think that God created that program so that I could learn how to create a mainstream curriculum. It was all part of a master plan to birth IMU into the world.
Shortly after that, while I was still licking my wounds from this seemingly failed project, a woman showed up to learn Reiki at the Center who I had never seen before. Afterwards, I was sitting with her while she was waiting for her husband to pick her up when she turns to me and she says, “I could put this class up on line for you. I am a part of a business that creates online colleges.”
As you can imagine, I heard those words with absolute incredulity. Here it was, the next step of the puzzle, strategically placed in front of me by the divine source itself. I had never taken an online course or even really knew what it entailed but I knew it was important.
It took a few weeks for the information to settle in and for me to do the research as to what this really meant. By then she had sent me a sample of what the course could look like. It was unimpressive in its scope but the framework was there and I could see it. Within a week, I had a meeting set up to see how this would work. Within a month contracts were signed and the International Metaphysical University, the educational branch of the International Metaphysical Churches, was born.
Next came the fun, crazy part. Ideas were pouring in. The possibilities were everywhere! What did I want it to look like? Who did I want as part of my team? How would it be structured? What degrees would we offer? Courses? Instructors? It was CRAZY! And it was absolutely glorious. I assembled the highest quality team available anywhere in the world and we got to work. We worked our butts off for the dream that was IMU. It was hard and it was fun. It was the project of a lifetime for all of us. We were on a high that pervaded every aspect of our lives.
We held our first summit on March 24, 2009 and launched the school with just 9 classes on November 4, 2009 with a beautiful ceremony at Mound Cemetery in Marietta, OH. It was a glorious fall day. The weather was chilly and the leaves crunched under our feet as we walked toward the mound. As the ceremony commenced, we noticed that a mist had settled in around us as Rev. Hastings pointed out that the unseen world had come to join us in full force. We buried a crystal at the gateway to the mound to forever hold the energy of IMU at that sacred spot, and we grounded the energy of this amazing project into the earth for manifestation.
As we closed the ceremony, the sacred mist dissipated. I will always remember that day.
One week later Reverend Hastings made his transition into the light. I am forever grateful for the role he played in launching IMU and am soo grateful that we were able to record his class on Toltec Nagual Reiki before he crossed. It is his legacy and carries on even though his body is gone.
So that’s my story and the story of IMU. The two are intricately entangled. I am proud of the work we have done since that auspicious day in 2009 to create what I believe is the best metaphysical school in the world. It is now possible to earn a masters degree in metaphysics that has the grit of a mainstream degree. We are still working on mainstream acceptance in the role of accreditation, though sometimes I worry that accreditation would require us to whitewash what is currently very authentic spiritual training. It is a goal we aspire to reach in the very near future.
To me, this university is the work and creation of the divine. I know that sounds hokey but Source Energy made this happen and Source Energy will guide its way. IMU is a dream come true and I sincerely hope that we are able to be the best possible stewards of this school we can be so that we can bring this new concept in education to the people of the world, and hey, maybe beyond.