Online Courses

Learn the Story of the Universe

Enroll in these free courses from Yale University and Coursera to understand who we are, where we come from, and where we are heading.

New discoveries from science show that you are connected to everything. What does this mean for how you view the world, live your life, or shape our collective future? 

The Challenge of our times

Our present evolutionary story of a separate, mechanistic, and competitive universe is insufficient. This limited understanding of how the universe and Earth function is leading us to destroy the natural life systems on which we rely. This is culminating in climate change and the 6th mass extinction event in Earth’s history. The loss of biodiversity and the climate emergency has initiated a wave of ecological despair and disempowerment in the human community.

Our opportunity to evolve

Come to understand the dynamic, connected, and cooperative universe.  And when you do, so much will change.

Learn a New Story - grounded in the sciences, animated by the humanities, and imbued with wisdom from Indigenous traditions and world spiritualities. Realize our connection to the universe and Earth that helps us not only know, but also shape the course of evolution for a thriving future. Find new ways as individuals and communities to create a vibrant and healthy Earth Community.

Our offering:

Journey of the Universe is a scientific, philosophical, spiritual, and poetic offering for those seeking to understand the dynamic unfolding story in which we find ourselves.  This project is several decades in the making, arising out of a rich lineage of Thomas Berry, Brian Thomas Swimme, Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim, and many others.

The Journey of the Universe online courses offered by Yale and Coursera were made for anyone who has a desire to connect more deeply with the story of our universe and enhance the wellbeing of both people and the planet.

Three, six-week courses:

Journey of the Universe: The Unfolding of Life
Journey Conversations: Weaving Knowledge and Action
The Worldview of Thomas Berry: The Flourishing of the Earth Community

Highlights include: 

• Courses can be taken independently or together as a specialization
• Start anytime and work at your own pace
• Free to audit
• Over 25,000 enrollments and average 4.7/5 star rating 
• Online community to support and deepen your learning

What people are saying:

"I've shared this with students, friends and colleagues who have been deeply moved by it! Instead of feeling overwhelmed by our current ecological crisis, they often feel moved to get involved."

- Tina Stromsted

"If you have any interest in modern science, including astronomy, and maybe felt some despair about our future, this is for you. It brought me back to wonder, awe, lots of questions, and some hope. That is a big order and this fills it."

- Eleanor Gilpatrick

"I now have a dynamic way of envisioning our universe and beyond. This course is entertaining, compelling, and educational. I've gained unexpected personal discoveries which include finding connective concepts in the evolution of the world, humanity, language..."

- Steven (via Amazon)

"Fantastic content and well structured for the busy working person to fit into their schedules!"

-Betty (via Amazon)

What initially drew me to the class was the title itself; this idea of a cosmic, all-encompassing journey truly captivated me, a young person who has always nursed a strong sense of wonder in regards to the world around me, but also the many worlds that live within me. I believe that this course has gifted me with answers, but perhaps more importantly, it has given me the ability to dream and to ask more questions. After all, is that not the true beauty of humanity?

Emily Cho (High School Student in Illinois)


“For those of us enmeshed in symbolic consciousness, this is just the story we need to hear, loud and clear. It helps us understand how we happened to be here, and, more important, why.”

- Bill McKibben

"Journey of the Universe is a spiritual manifesto that becomes a Genesis for the 21st Century. Brian Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker have given us not only an expanded creation story of the Cosmos but an expanded look into the evolution of our own consciousness. I cannot imagine a more urgent book to read as we enter this revolutionary moment on the planet. Its message is beyond hope or even faith, it is an illuminated manuscript, a book of wonder and awe for our time."

- Terry Tempest Williams

"Journey of the Universe is a fantastic book—by turns mind-blowing, awe-inspiring, and emotional. As a writer, I especially admired the writers' prose style that was at once lucid and impassioned. Journey of the Universe reminds us what a wonder the miracle of life is."

- Jason Mark, Editor in Chief, SIERRA (the national magazine of the Sierra Club)


Broaden your understanding of existence and life
Connect with meaning
and purpose
Renew your hope
for our future
Ignite your wonder and creativity

About Professors:

Mary evelyn tucker & John Grim

Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim teach at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Yale Divinity School. They direct the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale, which arose from ten conferences they organized at Harvard's Center for the Study of World Religions. They are series editors of the Harvard volumes from the conferences on Religion and Ecology. 

Tucker specializes in East Asian religions, especially Confucianism. Grim specializes in Indigenous traditions, especially Native American religions. 

Grim and Tucker have written a number of books including Ecology and Religion (Island Press, 2014) and edited the Routledge Handbook of Religion and Ecology (2017). They are editors for the series on Ecology and Justice from Orbis Books. 

They were students of Thomas Berry and collaborated over several decades to edit his books. They also wrote Thomas Berry: A Biography with Andrew Angyal (Columbia, 2019).

With his article “The New Story,” Berry was a major inspiration for Journey of the Universe. With Brian Thomas Swimme, Tucker and Grim created this multi-media project that includes a book (Yale, 2011), an Emmy award winning film, a series of conversations, and online courses from Yale/Coursera. 

For the last 30 years, following in Berry’s footsteps, Grim has served as president of the American Teilhard Association and Tucker as Vice President. 

For more information:

brian thomas swimme

Brian Thomas Swimme is a professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Mathematics at the University of Oregon in 1978 for work in gravitational dynamics.

He brings the context of story to our understanding of the 13.7 billion year trajectory of cosmogenesis. Such a story, he feels, will assist in the emergence of a flourishing Earth community.

Swimme is the author of The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos (revised 2019) and The Universe is a Green Dragon (1984). He is co-author of The Universe Story (1992), which is the result of a 10 year collaboration with the cultural historian, Thomas Berry.

Swimme is also the creator of three educational video series: Canticle to the Cosmos (1990), Earth’s Imagination (1998), and The Powers of the Universe (2006).

He lectures widely and has presented at conferences sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The World Bank, UNESCO, The United Nations Millennium Peace Summit, and the American Museum of Natural History.

For further information: 

Are you ready to learn the Journey of the Universe
and how it applies to your life and these times?

start now