Sikh Dharma Ministry: Our Mission Statement
“To selflessly serve and uplift humanity and to perpetuate Sikh Dharma in the spirit of Cherdi Kala.”
In service to our mission statement, the Office of the Secretary of Religion supports a global community of Sikh Dharma Ministers. Our Office provides administrative services, educational and outreach programs, Minister Candidate processing, ordination of Ministers, and Sikh Dharma Minister resources. For the past 45 years, the Office of the Secretary of Religion has supported the growth of Sikh Dharma in the West.
Sikh Dharma Ministers serve in a variety of ways. Ministers hold positions on the Siri Singh Sahib Corporation board, the Sikh Dharma International board and non-profit boards, and serve on the International and European Khalsa Councils (leadership bodies of Sikh Dharma International). They work tirelessly as healers, teachers, counselors, and business professionals—spreading Dharmic teachings through their areas of expertise, providing chaplaincy and interfaith services, and participating as leaders in service and gurdwara activities.
In support of the vital role of Sikh Dharma Ministers and to serve the mission of Sikh Dharma and the Siri Singh Sahib, the Office of the Secretary of Religion:
- Oversees annual credentialing of ordained Sikh Dharma Ministers
- Maintains Minister administrative records and legal documents
- Creates resources and training tools for our global Sikh Dharma Ministry
- Supports and facilitates our global Regional Minister Coordinator program
- Processes New Minister Candidate applications and ordination of New Ministers
- Supports the development of Ministers around the world
- Publishes a quarterly Ministry newsletter
- Organizes global Minister gatherings three times a year
- Interacts and works with SDI, 3HO, IKYTA, SikhNet, EPS, KRI, SSSC
- Maintains and develops our Minister code of conduct, standards, and ethical practices of the Minister vows and oath
- Manages the financial administration of the Office of the Secretary of Religion
Our goal is to offer effective and efficient support services for the Sikh Dharma Ministry and to involve Ministers on a geographic and global level by responding to their priorities, concerns, needs, and requests. We work with Ministers around the world so they can serve humanity.
The Office of the Secretary of Religion is served by the Secretary of Religion, the Assistant Secretary of Religion and an Executive Assistant.
THE SECRETARY OF RELIGION
Sardarni Sahiba Dr. Sat Kaur Khalsa
I have been asked to describe the role of the Secretary of Religion. The Office of the Secretary of Religion is responsible for the administration of the Ministry in co-operation with the Chancellor of Sikh Dharma International. The role of the Office of the Secretary of Religion includes ministering to the Ministry of Sikh Dharma so the Ministry can in turn minister to the Sadh Sangat and the world.
This is a many-faceted position. It requires me to hold the position in my psyche and to ask for continued guidance from God and Guru to serve it in the best way possible and through the highest of consciousness. I hold it as a sacred trust with reverence.
As Secretary of Religion, I oversee and am ultimately responsible for the delivery of the functions of this Office as listed above, including overseeing the New Minister Candidate process for ordaining Sikh Dharma Ministers, administrating annual Minister credentialing, and working with the Office of Ethics and Professional Standards. I also act as a liaison between the Office of the Secretary General of Sikh Dharma International and the Office of the Bhai Sahiba and support and consult with the Siri Sikdar Sahiba of Sikh Dharma. I am an officer of the Sikh Dharma International board, as well as a member of the International Khalsa Council and a member of the Khalsa Council Executive Committee.
In 1991, the Siri Singh Sahib asked me if I would be willing to be Secretary of Religion for Sikh Dharma. At that time, the Ministry was a rich body of individuals whose talents and gifts were still fairly untapped. I initially helped Ministers embrace their roles as leaders of the Aquarian Age. I see each Minister as a unique “patch” of a quilt with their God-given gifts sewn together by the Shabad Guru to be able to cover the needs of the sangat and the world.
As Ministers, we have an etheric connection to the lineage of Guru Amar Das, who founded the first Sikh ministry system. Our roots are deep. From our spiritual roots, our Ministry will help uplift our sangats and humanity as they evolve in consciousness. It is my hope and prayer that God and Guru ever bless us and keep us in His light and love.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF RELIGION
Sardarni Sahiba Dr. Shanti Shanti Kaur Khalsa
The Office of the Secretary of Religion administers the Ministry in cooperation with the Chancellor of Sikh Dharma International. In the fall of 2000, the Siri Singh Sahib appointed me to be Assistant Secretary of Religion, to help increase the capacity for service and growth of the Sikh Dharma Ministry.
Although the Assistant Secretary of Religion serves, upholds, and is integral to the Office of the Secretary of Religion, this person, in the Siri Singh Sahib’s words, “Is not the assistant to the Secretary of Religion.” It is a role that encompasses a sacred trust to serve the Sikh Dharma Ministry and each Minister in relationship to the original source of the Sikh Dharma Ministry—Guru Amar Das—into the modern day manifestation held now in the Office of the Secretary of Religion.
On a practical level, the Assistant Secretary of Religion serves as another set of eyes, ears, hands, and— often—feet on the ground to connect with, hear, see, sense, and feel the pulse of the Global Ministry as a living, evolving body. My heart pays particular attention to our mutuality and unity in our diversity as a Ministry.
My tasks, duties and responsibilities are in support of the functions of the Ministry. I help shape the content and delivery of the Sikh Dharma Minister gatherings at Summer and Winter Solstice and at the European Yoga Festival. I participate on the teams that produce the quarterly newsletter and website content, and I contribute to the planning, processes, and procedures of the Sikh Dharma Ministry. In addition, I am an officer of the Sikh Dharma International board and a member of the International Khalsa Council.
I am ever grateful to God, Guru, and to the Siri Singh Sahib for blessing me to serve as a Sikh Dharma Minister and as Assistant Secretary of Religion.
Guruamrit Kaur Khalsa
Guruamrit Kaur is currently the Executive Assistant to the Office of the Secretary of Religion. Her focus is on serving the needs of the Secretary of Religion, and the global body of Ministers beautifully serving around the world. She is the Editor of the quarterly Sikh Dharma Ministry Newsletter and website manager. She also facilitates the new Minister candidate and ordination process, as well as the annual credentialing process. In addition, she assists with the visioning, budgeting and strategic and operational planning for the Office. Finally, she provides administrative support to International Khalsa Council meetings.
In addition, she serves as a Marketing and Global Leadership Assistant with Sikh Dharma International, with a focus on content creation, digital marketing and social media. Previously, she worked at the U.S. Department of State in the Office of India Affairs (2016-2018).
She obtained her undergraduate degree in Journalism from Ohio University (2011), and her master’s degree in International Affairs from American University (2014). She completed a fellowship with Interfaith Youth Core (2010) and served as an organizer for the Reimagining Interfaith conference in Washington D.C. in 2018. She attended Miri Piri Academy for three years (Grades 6 – 9).