Compassion Cultivation Training: About

At a Glance

Program Type
Certificate (Non-Credit)
Delivery Method
Field of Interest
Compassion Cultivation
Certificate Courses
Days of Week
One semester

Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is an eight-week (16 hour) curriculum that was developed by research psychologists and clinical psychologists at the Stanford University Medical School through their Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE).  These scholars and scientists translated training protocols and concepts from ancient wisdom traditions into a secular framework, which all persons can use, regardless of religious and/or spiritual affiliations. CCT introduces students to psychological concepts and practices that strengthen and expand a person’s innate capacities for compassion and related pro-social dispositions, such as, kindness, forgiveness, gratitude and generosity.  Instructors of CCT must complete a rigorous training and certification program. 

Program cost: $395.

Contract Credit Units:

1.6 CEUs - Continuing Education Units with SSU.

There will be an additional cost to receive these 14 CE hours.  Instructor will provide details in class.

Students will also have the option to receive 14 CE hours from the Spiritual Resource Competency Center, an approved CE provider for the American Psychological Association; California Board of Behavioral Sciences, and the California Board of Registered Nursing. The instructor will provide details in class.

Why Enroll?

Empirical evidence strongly associates the cultivation of compassion and related pro-social dispositions with a wide range of psycho-physical benefits: 

  • Improved resiliency;
  • Improved immune function;
  • Increase in optimism; stronger social connections;
  • Decrease in loneliness and anxiety;
  • Increase in confidence;
  • Enhanced psychological flexibility;
  • Stronger commitment to values;
  • And greater sense of meaning and purpose.

The more compassionate one becomes, the less stress one experiences.  Compassion burnout is a misnomer for another problem, namely, empathic distress.  An antidote to burnout is more compassion, not less. The roots of compassion lie in love and kindness, which provides us with an inexhaustible reservoir of energy and inspiration.

Cultivating compassion is strongly associated with effective leadership, enhanced communication skills and facilitating cooperation within institutional settings. 

Who We Encourage to Attend:

Compassion Cultivation Training is designed to support anyone who wants to cultivate compassion for themselves and for others.

This includes:

  • Parents and caregivers
  • Educators
  • Healthcare professionals and therapists
  • Executives and managers
  • Public service leaders and employees
  • Individuals seeking to increase awareness and mindfulness

People working in a wide range of professions and life contexts can benefit from this program. No previous meditation experience is required, although willingness to practice daily meditation is a key component of the training.

Student Testimonials

This has been an incredibly transformative experience. There are so many ways in which this class has improved my life--my personal relationships, teaching, and larger view of the world. I am more mindful of all of my interactions. There is no aspect of my life that has not been positively impacted by this class. The information is deep and meaningful. I have learned so much in weeks since this class began and every week there is new information and a deepening of my understanding and capacities for compassion and mindfulness. I highly recommend this course for anyone who wants to improve their relationships and ability to move in the world with empathy, compassion, and positive intentionality. Thank you Andy! - Kim Hester- Williams


I am a retired alumni of Sonoma State University. I started attending the Pop-up Guided Meditations by Professor Andy Wallace last April and continued attending the sessions during the Summer 2020. I signed up for the Compassion Cultivation Training program because it is online through Zoom. I have tried various meditation methods in the past and practiced meditation for about 10 years. I stopped sometime in the early 1990s. When I read in an alumni newsletter last April that free guided meditations were offered using Zoom I decided to give meditation another try. Living 15 miles from where the first Nationally reported deaths from the pandemic occurred was scary. I wanted assistance dealing with my emotions. King County flattened the curve from Covid-19 quickly and life settled into a new routine. I am hoping to continue meditating after this class ends. This training allowed my to feel comfortable following the recommendations from Washington State Public Health and the governor's office for trying to avoid the virus.- Cheryl Sigona