Our Mission Statement:
“To selflessly serve and uplift humanity and to perpetuate Sikh Dharma in the spirit of Cherdi Kala.”
Sikh Dharma Ministers serve in a variety of ways. They work around the world as healers, teachers, counselors, and business professionals—spreading Dharmic teachings, providing chaplaincy and interfaith services and participating as leaders in service and gurdwara activities. Ministers hold positions on the Siri Singh Sahib Corporation board, the Sikh Dharma International and non-profit boards, and serve on the International and European Khalsa Councils.
Visit the Sikh Dharma Ministry Website at www.sdministry.org
The Code of Ethics for Sikh Dharma Ministers
The Vows of a Sikh Dharma Minister
History of the Ministry
The concept of a Sikh ministry was first started by the Third Guru, Guru Amar Das ji, in the mid-1500s. He created 22 Sikh centers all over India, corresponding to the 22 states of the Mughal Empire. These centers were called Manjis because the teacher would sit on a platform or cot (a manji) and spread the Word of the Guru to all who came to listen. Guru Amar Das was a progressive and enlightened leader who included women missionaries at a time when women were severely oppressed in India. The Guru dispatched 146 missionaries to the Manjis, including 52 women. Bhai Gurdas Ji, one of the most inspired and enduring teachers of all time, was also included in this first group of missionaries.
In 1971, in acknowledgement of his extraordinary impact of spreading the universal message of Sikh Dharma through sharing the Sikh teachings with the spiritual seekers in the West, Sant Chanan Singh (president of the SGPC–the governing body of Sikh Temples in India) bestowed on Harbhajan Singh the title of Siri Singh Sahib, whereupon he created the Sikh Dharma Ministry. This was the first time in history that anyone outside of Amritsar, India, was granted this honor. He was later bestowed with the reverent title Bhai Sahib by the Akal Takhat in 1974.
Roots of the Ministry in the West
In 1971, the Siri Singh Sahib created the Ministry of Sikh Dharma on the concept of the Manji system. In the West we have adopted the word ministry, because it implies a life of service and devotion, but it is important to understand that we don’t share many characteristics with ministers of other faiths. Sikh Dharma Ministers do not live off their congregation and they serve their sangats and communities in a variety of ways, while working in the world as professionals and householders.
That year, 19 male Ministers were ordained and on June 27, 1972, the Siri Singh Sahib ordained a large group of women as Sikh Dharma Ministers at the Summer Solstice gathering in Mendocino, CA. This was the first ever ordination of women in the history of Sikh Dharma. The spiritual nation he envisioned is what we serve today as Sikh Dharma Ministers.
Sikh Dharma was legally incorporated and officially recognized as a religion in the United States in 1971. The Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji established the Sikh Dharma Ministry to serve the organizational, leadership, and spiritual needs of Sikh Dharma. Today, we are a global Ministry, with Sikh Dharma Ministers serving on seven continents to radiate the presence of the Sikh Gurus and to live our motto: Working in Unity and Purity to Serve Humanity.
The Office of the Secretary of Religion
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, 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. The Office of the Secretary of Religion is responsible for the administration of the Ministry in co-operation with the Chancellor of the Siri Singh Sahib Corporation. 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.
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 provides the following:
- Annual credentialing of ordained Sikh Dharma Ministers
- Maintaining Minister administrative records and legal documents
- Creating resources and training tools for our global Sikh Dharma Ministry
- Supporting and facilitating our global Regional Minister Coordinator program
- Processing New Minister Candidate applications
- Supporting the development of Ministers around the world
- Publishing a quarterly Ministry newsletter
- Organizing global Minister gatherings three times a year
- Interacting and working with Sikh Dharma International, 3HO, IKYTA, and KRI
- Maintaining our Minister code of conduct, standards, and ethical practices
- Managing the financial administration of the Office
Our goal is to offer effective and efficient administrative 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, an Assistant Secretary of Religion, and an Executive Assistant.
SS Dr. Sat Kaur Khalsa has served the Sikh Dharma Ministry as Secretary of Religion since 1991. “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 sangat and the world,” she says. “As Ministers, I see us as stewards of the direct teachings given by the Siri Singh Sahib on Sikh Dharma. 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.”
SS Dr. Sat Kaur Khalsa has served as Secretary of Religion since 1991 and was ordained as a Sikh Dharma Minister in 1975. As Secretary of Religion, Dr. Sat Kaur oversees and is ultimately responsible for the delivery of the functions of this Office. She administrates the New Minister Candidate process for ordaining Sikh Dharma Ministers, supports the development and training of Ministers, publishes a quarterly Sikh Dharma Ministry Newsletter, and works with the other non-profit Dharmic and 3HO organizations to spread the teachings of the Shabad Guru and the technology of Sikh Dharma as taught by the Siri Singh Sahib. Dr. Sat Kaur is a long-time member of the International Khalsa Council and the Khalsa Council Executive Committee. She also serves as a liaison between the Office of the Sikh Dharma Secretary General and the Office of the Bhai Sahiba and is an Officer of the Sikh Dharma International Board. Dr. Sat Kaur maintains a full-time psychotherapy private practice in Santa Monica, California and Santa Fe, New Mexico. She counsels individuals, couples, and families to support their personal and spiritual growth. She is a Level 1 certified Kundalini Yoga teacher and a facilitator for White Tantric Yoga, and a published author.
SS Dr. Shanti Shanti Kaur Khalsa was ordained as a Sikh Dharma Minister in 1973 and has served as Assistant Secretary of Religion of Sikh Dharma since 2000 supporting the Office of the Secretary of Religion in building a global grassroots Ministry. She travels and works with Ministers around the world and is a member of the Sikh Dharma Ministry Newsletter team. She is also a member of the International Khalsa Council and an Officer of the Sikh Dharma International Board. By profession she is a Medical Family Therapist with a PhD in Health Psychology. She serves as Executive Director of the Guru Ram Das Center for Medicine & Humanology founded by Yogi Bhajan to bring Kundalini Yoga into healthcare and was trained by him as a Kundalini Yoga Therapist. She is a charter member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and serves on its Advisory Board. Dr. Khalsa travels the globe to bring the International Kundalini Yoga Therapy Professional Training, an accredited program held in four regions worldwide, to 22 countries.
Guruamrit Kaur Khalsa supports the Sikh Dharma Ministry as the Executive Assistant to the Office of the Secretary of Religion, managing the administrative duties of the global Sikh Dharma Ministry. She serves as the Sikh Dharma Ministry Newsletter Editor and Ministry webmaster (www. sdministry.org). Guruamrit Kaur is a member of the International Khalsa Council and has also serves as the Khalsa Council Recording Secretary. 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).