A Course in Miracles (ACIM or the Course), refers to itself as a course of "spiritual psychotherapy" and of spiritual transformation, and is considered by some who study it to be their "spiritual path".  The earliest public version of the Course, known as the "Urtext", was co-written by Dr. Helen Schucman and Dr. William Thetford. Schucman described the writing process as coming from a divine source through a form of channeling which she referred to as "inner dictation",  and wrote the text as if transcribing the words of Jesus Christ.
The philosophy of the Course is monistic and contains some theological elements also found in traditional Christianity, Eastern mysticism, psychology, and New Age spirituality. It is monistic in its position that ultimate reality consists of nothing more than God's love. The Course asserts that one's mind is causally responsible for everything that appears to one as the physical world.
The Course teaches an inner turning toward God through the meditation of Jesus Christ. The Course is a 'received' spiritual teaching, and in this sense it is not unlike various sections of the Christian Bible that were 'received' through various types of visions. Schucman wrote the Course as if in the first person of Jesus Christ, speaking of his birth, miracles, apostles, experience in Gethsemane, crucifixion, resurrection, portrayal in the New Testament, and characterization by Christianity. The Course considers itself as an inspired scripture in the lineage of the Bible, but possessing a greater authority. It demonstrates this in over eight hundred biblical allusions in which its author feels no compunction about selectively affirming certain biblical themes while freely correcting others.
The Course differs in some ways from Christian statements of belief such as the Nicene Creed, and contains many elements in common with Eastern thought. The Course focuses on the mastery of the art of 'forgiveness', the primary object being the correction of one's misperceptions so that one no longer perceives one's self as separate from one's brother or from God. Accordingly, The Course teaches that 'Correct perception of your brother is necessary (to correct one's misperception of one's separation from God).' Because of theological and philosophical differences between the Course and some forms of Christianity, some Doctrinal Christian apologists have considered it heretical or counterfeit.
The Course builds upon the original system of Freudian psychology. The Course fully accepts the Freudian concepts of the conscious mind, the unconscious mind. It also acknowledges the human tendency to develop defense mechanisms, such as denial and projection, in an effort to screen off from one's awareness, what one may fear could be inconvenient or uncomfortable truths. After first acknowledging this Freudian system of inner dynamics, The Course then proceeds to propose what it claims to be a way of reconciling this typical system of inner conscious and subconscious tensions, by essentially redirecting the energies of the mind towards reconciliation with one's fellows, with one's self, and with one's God via the art of forgiveness and the consequent relinquishment of guilt.
The Course has been considered the single text qualifying as "sacred scripture" in the New Age movement, but is atypical. It teaches true other-worldliness and has been characterized as a Christianized version of non-dualistic Vedanta where the world is just an illusory chimera that offers violence, sorrow and pain. This is very rare in the New Age movement. Students of the Course seek the ultimate goal of existence in a radically different mode of being than that found in this world.