• Based on Susan Trout’s classic book, Born to Serve: The Evolution of the Soul Through Service, this course invites students to plunge into exploring service as a way to live in harmony with their soul’s true nature, thereby becoming free from the entanglements of the personality and experiencing the inner joy of putting their spirituality into action in the world.

  • This course offers extensive, one-on-one interaction with a faculty member carefully matched to the needs and personality of the student, including regular phone meetings and additional email support.


To support you in your experience of service as an expression of your soul’s evolution, and to integrate your knowledge and experience of the soul-service connection by strengthening your awareness of the relationship between your motives for serving and the quality of your service.

The goal of all service is simply to bring out what is already there, to unveil the soul, to support the emergence of each other’s higher potential into a joint masterpiece.


  1. To experience service as an equal partnership between the server and the served; this partnership supports the emergence of each other’s higher potential into a joint masterpiece
  2. To experience service as a fulfilling and joyful presence in your soul’s journey
  3. To practice the dynamic relationship between your inner work and your service
  4. To acquire practical psychological and spiritual tools that support both the server and the served


Are you experiencing overwhelm, exhaustion, or a lack of joy in your service? Are you disillusioned that your service is not having the result you wish it would have? Do you see your service as a way to give but not to receive? Are you searching for a spiritual approach to your service? Do you view serving others as a way to find meaning and purpose in your life?

Ask yourself if now is the time to devote yourself to beginning (or deepening) your spiritual journey of service while keeping in mind the needs of today’s changing world. As a universal and cohesive philosophical framework, the Born to Serve course focuses on these topics:  service as the masterpiece of the soul, the nature of service, service and the evolution of the soul, the dimensions of service, the shadow of service, and the soul’s seven evolutionary stages of service. The course also supports understanding the soul’s evolution of service by practicing the Ten Universal Tributes. The framework of the Ten Universal Tributes is a way to learn how to unify personal healing and service.

For optimal use of the course material, you are asked to be willing to acknowledge unrealized potential in yourself and to recognize projection, denial, and neglect in your own and others’ service. When you know that a reservoir of creativity and psychological and spiritual strength lies hidden within you, you can safely commit to improving the quality of your inner state and thus the quality of your service.  You can experience service as a joyful presence in your life.

The Born to Serve course consists of twelve weeks of study.  You will work with one lesson per week. The course allows time to work with the material and integrate its teaching at a gradual pace. As part of making your decision to enroll, carefully read course requirements and time commitments listed below. 

Whether service is practiced as duty, charity, purification, or devotion, the call to service expresses the desire to love through action…we discover service as life rather than as something we do in life; we discover that everything we do is service

Topics Covered

  • The Michelangelo metaphor of service as the masterpiece of the soul
  • The nature of the soul and its relationship to service
  • The soul’s unfoldment
  • Evolutionary shifts of consciousness for the 21st century
  • The dimensions of service
  • The prevalent shadow motivations for service and selected shadow-work exercises
  • The seven evolutionary stages of service
  • The Ten Universal Tributes and their Tenets
  • Psychological and spiritual support tools for the server


  • Read portions of Born to Serve by Susan S. Trout, PhD
  • Follow the designated study steps and complete reading and worksheet assignments
  • Spend approximately seven hours a week (about an hour a day) on each lesson
  • Apply material in personal and work (service) life
  • Work daily with the week’s assigned Universal Tribute and Tenets
  • Discuss completed assignments and handouts in phone calls with your assigned faculty member, plus additional contact by email as needed
  • Complete the Terms and Agreements Form when registering for the course.  Note that the course cannot be extended past the original three-month period.

Course Tuition: $400 

Reference: Susan S. Trout, PhD, Born to Serve: The Evolution of the Soul Through Service. Alexandria, VA: Three Roses Press, ©1997.

Disclaimer: The Institute for the Advancement of Service does not provide medical or mental health care. As such, practices, courses, and study programs are not intended to be psychotherapy, medical therapy, or a substitute for either one.  Participants are required to assume self-responsibility for their wellbeing by seeking, when appropriate, psychological and medical professional care.

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