A well-known television presenter and recognisable voice in the UK and China, Susan Osman is an experienced international broadcaster in both Television and Radio, in numerous fields of journalism: news, current affairs, consumer affairs and business news. After 20 years with the BBC network, Susan moved to China where she was asked to devise, edit and host a new live daily radio Breakfast Show for China Radio International (CRI) in Beijing. The programme, The Beijing Hour with Susan Osman was transmitted live in China, Australia and America and was translated into 62 languages with an estimated audience of over 30 million listeners worldwide.
Appointed visiting Professor of Communication and Leadership at the prestigious Communication University of China in Beijing. Susan lectures and runs workshops for China's political leaders and professional broadcasters as well as teaching online to thousands of Chinese students.
During her time in Beijing, Susan also presented and produced television programmes for China's only privately owned television station, Blue Ocean Network (BON) targeting the American market. Presenting Chinalogue, Beyond the headlines and BON News.
Due to the popularity of The Beijing Hour and Susan's high profile in China, she is often invited to chair and host debates, lectures and workshops. She will be one of the main speakers in Lagos in March 2016 at an Africa China conference endorsed by President Buhari.
Susan is also an ordained interfaith minister. An interfaith minister embraces all religions and beliefs, at the same time being non-denominational believing that, there are many ways to the same truth. As a spiritual teacher she writes bespoke services and officiates at baby naming ceremonies, weddings and funerals. She also runs courses in forgiveness, The Forgiveness Project. In her role as an Interfaith minister she is often invited to chair related debates and host conferences. In Hawaii she hosted the International Meta Health Conference 2015 and presented a short documentary on Meta Health for a German/American production company.
She began her career as a Theatre Director and Voice Coach in the USA (Washington DC) - New Theatre where she was given the keys to the city for her work with underprivileged black actors. A speech specialist, along with Cicely Berry (RSC) she worked at the Guildhall of Music Speech and Drama and currently works at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School on the international Masters course. As a result of her specialism in the voice and her vast media experience Susan is often invited to coach senior executives in presentation skills, as well as delivering media training, specifically preparing individuals and groups to maximise any media exposure they might have.
As well as being an experienced television and radio presenter, Susan was ordained as an Interfaith Minister almost ten years ago. An interfaith minister embraces all religions and beliefs, at the same time as being non-denominational believing that, there are many ways to the same truth, focusing on what unites us, rather than what sets us apart. As a spiritual teacher she writes bespoke services and officiates at baby naming ceremonies, weddings and funerals. She also runs courses in forgiveness, The Forgiveness Project.
Many people have a belief in something, even if in themselves. A survey revealed that over 80 percent do not approve of religion and yet most have a belief in something-interfaith fills the gap. Funeral directors will often ask me to officiate rather than a vicar because the deceased is a lapsed Christian or Catholic or perhaps they have no religion but some faith so, don't want a humanist service. Many gay couples also choose an interfaith ceremony as same sex marriages were conducted years before it became mainstream within the Christian faith.
An interfaith minister has no mosque, no church or temple but works on a freelance basis and because of the nature of the services sometimes they can be conducted in unusual places. I have conducted a marriage under a tree at Glastonbury Tor, someone's home, as they were disabled and house bound as well as in a church, with the permission of the Parish priest. Interfaith is not recognised by the Arch Bishop of Canterbury so; a marriage has to be registered at a registry office either on the day or before the service. Scotland is different which means the ceremony and the registration can happen at the same location. More and more people are turning to interfaith, as it does not say we are right and you are wrong and you must believe this or that, rather we embrace your beliefs, your sexuality and your traditions - let's find out what binds us.
The training focuses on what aspects of a religion or belief system have a common thread, in other words what binds rather than separates. Part of the training involved ready all the major spiritual books, The Torah, The Bible, The Koran, The Bhagavata and The Noble Eightfold Path, (although technically Buddhism is a belief system rather than a religion, as there is no acknowledged deity). The training was for two years. In the first year ministers are required to live as believers of the major faiths for at least a month; observing spiritual practices, ritual and tradition, as well as attending the various religions places of worship, totally immersing themselves into a specific faith so, as to understand it more fully. The one core belief at the heart of all the religions is to be a loving and kind to your fellow man and to treat others as you would like to be treated.
The second year is spent learning how to structure ceremonies and services, given all that has been learnt in the first year. All services are written specifically for an individual or couples, given their spiritual background. For example, I have married a Muslim with a Christian and having read the sacred scripts, The Bible and The Koran, as well as observing the various spiritual customs it makes it more possible to write a service which will respect each tradition and combine reverence and custom from both faiths. I have also married a Catholic with a Protestant atheist again it helps when you understand the historical dogma. There are of course, those with no faith and again it is important to respect an individual's wishes. The first funeral that I conducted the person wanted: no prayers, no mention of God, no hymns and no singing and yet the family required a spiritual service.
Her website is www.susanosman.co.uk