Available Courses

Lay Certificate Program

Sisters & Brothers Speak: Feminist, Womanist & Diverse Voices in Theology

  • Instructor: Rev. Dr. Darlene Brewer
  • Schedule: October 6, 13, 20/2021 (Wednesdays, 7-9p AST / 6-8p EST / 5-7p CST / 3-5p MST)
•   Syllabus & Reading List

Location: Online via Zoom

Course Description:

How do women’s voices shape the church? How are ethnicity and sexuality important in our understanding of theology, who Jesus is and who we are? A diversity of voices have explores theologies and spiritualties over the last 50 years and more. These have reimagined who God is, what sin means, how to understand salvation does it mean to be a Christian in a world facing ableism, sexism, heterosexism and racism?

Come join our conversation on these voices in contemporary theology. How do you understand being a voice of justice and advocacy and its importance in the faith life? Join us for an exploration of diverse voices in theological reflection in our times.

Course Outline:

Week 1 What is Feminist Theology: Lived Experience, Waves of a Movement and New ideas about Theology
Week 2 What is Womanist theology saying? Who is Jesus/Christ from a womanist perspective?
Week3 What are Queer theologies and what do they say? Understanding The Relationship Identity, Christianity and Sexuality

Course Materials:

Online, acessible materials for the course will be made available to participants just prior to the course. A bibliography will also be also be available for further reading, once the course begins

Assignments & Method of Evaluation of Assignments:

Participants will be given a pass/fail evaluation. As long as you are present for courses and complete the one assignment, you will pass the course. There will be one assignment. You will be required to write a 1500 word reflection paper on your learning in relation to one of the themes of the course. This is not a research paper but more a measure of how you learned and express your learning in relation to the course materials. Please complete the paper by October 27th or before and submit it for your pass.

The paper will respond to these questions:

  1. Choose one of the areas we explored and write about what you learned about it. Maybe one of the readings or something an author said really was meaningful to you. You can choose from womanist theology, feminist theology, or queer theology. Why is this important to you?
  2. What have you learned about justice from taking this course? How do you understand what it means to learn and grow in our theological understanding and faith?

How do women’s voices shape the church and society? In this course we will explore the writings of feminist, womanist, mujerista, and Asian theologians to speak about the state of the church today. A diversity of voices has explored theologies and spiritualities as they arise for women and other groups experiencing oppression today. Over the last few decades these contributions have reimagined and reshaped how we understand God, sin, salvation, and Jesus as well as what it means to be Christian in a world facing racism, sexism, hetersexism, and ableism. How have women’s voices and the voices of other oppressed groups shaped our historical and theological understandings? Come join the conversation on women’s voices in theology today. How do you understand being a voice of justice and its importance in the life of faith? Students will be expected to write a reflection paper to integrate their learning from the assigned readings, made available online.

Pastoral Care

  • Instructor: Rev. Dr. Jane Pekar
  • Schedule: November 3, 10, 17/2021 (Wednesdays, 7-9p AST / 6-8p EST / 5-7p CST / 3-5p MST)
•   Syllabus & Reading List

Course Outline:

Course Syllabus:

In this survey course, participants will review and reflect on challenges and opportunities of pastoral care to enhance a holistic experience of congregational life. Foundational skills, ethics and boundaries and general caregiving principles will be discussed with personal reflection for individual competency. Participants will create a list of local support resources with a focus on one specific Care Need.

It is highly recommended that the participant has available a skilled person to consult with and discuss ‘Reality Practice’ throughout the course as some content may benefit from extended personal discussion beyond class time.

Course Materials::

Required Reading:

Clinebell, Howard., McKeever, Bridget Clare. Basic Types of Pastoral Care & Counseling, Resources for the Ministry of Healing and Growth. (3ed.), Abingdon Press, 2011

Assignments & Method of Evaluation of Assignments

“We are better abled to be Caregivers if we are completely honest with ourselves and each other. In Pastoral Care, we are only successful if the person coming to us will trust us. Therefore; we must trust each other.”-Darrel Vandervoot.

* Start preparing for class 1 at least a week ahead of time as there is a lot of foundational content to be covered before the first class.

To gain the most out of class/discussion time, it is suggested reading and reflection assignments are completed before the class meets so questions can be answered during class discussion and assignments can be submitted in a timely manner (a few days after the class).

Class 1: November 3, 2021 Background for Pastoral Care

  • Assignment 1: Prepare a brief few sentences telling your classmates where you are located, what drew you to this course, what you hope to learn to enhance your ministry and any other interests you feel comfortable sharing. An object or drawing to illustrate is helpful.
  • Assignment 2: Read Clinebell, Basic Types of Pastoral Care and Counselling. Chapters 1
    Reflect: Chapter 1, p.16. Transcending the Limitations of Pastors as Caregivers.
    Consider the four strategies listed. Briefly list:
    1. What are your coping mechanisms?
    2. What support agencies are you aware of in your community?
    3. What skill sets to you have for caregiving?
    4. Where have you given or received pastoral care?
  • Additionally: How is pastoral care different to other care giving?
  • Assignment 3: Read Chapter 2 of Clinebell.
    Reflect: p. 30 diagram and descriptions of the ‘Seven Dimensions of People’s Lives’
    What strengths and needs do you perceive in yourself? What stands out the most for you?
  • Assignment 4: Read Chapter 3 of Clinebell. Reflect on one or two Biblical themes that speak to you.
  • Try the Biblical Awareness Imaging Experience: p 61,62.

Class 2: November 10, 2021 Know Yourself As A Caregiver

  • Assignment 5: Read Chapters 4 of Clinebell.
    Reflect: p.66 Basic Care Giving Responses and Skills
    p.73 Overcoming barriers to Active Listeing
    p-87 Non-Verbal Skills
    Reality Practice p.90 try any scenario with your local support person
  • Assignment 6: Read Chapter 5 of Clinebell
    Reflect: Chapter 5 p. 95, p. 97-99 caregiving boundaries
    pp. 100-102 Where is your comfort level with the Methods described.
  • Assignment 7: Read Chapter 11.p.242—245, p264 -266, p268
    Reflect: p 268 Professional Ethics Guideline
    Reality practice p 268
  • Assignment 8: Multiple Intelligences assessment

Class 3: November 17, 2021 When And Where To Ask For Help

  • Assignment 9: Read Chapter 16 The Art of Referral in Pastoral Caregiving.
  • Assignment 10: Prepare a list of local agencies you can refer care seekers to. Consider the topics from chapters: 8 Chronic Illness, 9 Bereavement,10 Spiritual Brokenness,12 Crisis and Couples,13 Families,14 Educative,15 Groups, and in particular 17 Inclusiveness Caregiving. (This is a course by itself.)
  • Assignment 11: Read Chapter 19, Self-care for Caregivers.
    Reflect on the personal spiritual disciplines you presently use. Are there some other ideas you’d like to try? (This is a course by itself). For yourself who your anchor people are and who you might need to approach for additional suppor
  • Assignment 12: Read Preparing for Caring Ministry by Bev. Marshall-Goodell
  • Assignment13: Summative Reflection. Review your initial Quality of Care assessment. Has anything in your understanding of Pastoral Care changed from 3 weeks ago?

Final Submission due: Wednesday November 24, 2021

Pastoral Care is a vital ministry in any congregation. Lay involvement is a crucial component of living out Jesus’ call to care for others as we care for ourselves in the service of God. This course will discuss different forms of pastoral care in a congregational setting through the effective use of listening, confidentiality, boundaries and accountability when caring for vulnerable people. Learners will be encouraged to collate a list of support agencies in their community for referrals and further education. Readings, on-line discussion and a reflection paper will give an opportunity for the learner to consolidate their understanding and role of pastoral care in their congregation.

Disciples of Christ Theology

  • Instructor: Rev. Dr. Stan Helton
  • Schedule: December 1, 8, 15/2021 (Wednesdays, 7-9 pm AST / 6-8p EST / 5-7p CST /3-5p MST)
•   Syllabus & Reading List

Course Outline:

Location: Online via Zoom

Course Syllabus:

This course is an introductory course into Disciples’ unique way of doing theology, holding to historic core truths while welcoming others to think for themselves. This unique tension between historic orthodoxy and the freedom to think has created a vibrant environment for a diversity of people to both share the riches of their culture while being informed by the cultures of others. In this introduction we will explore the classic themes of Christian theology and discover the advantages of doing theology the Disciples’ way

Course Materials:

Mark G. Toulouse, Joined in Discipleship: The Shaping of Contemporary Disciples Identity,Revised ed.
(St. Louis : Chalice Press, 1997). ISBN: 978-0-827217-10-2.
M. Eugene Boring, Disciples and the Bible: A History of Disciples Biblical Interpretation in North America
(St. Louis : Chalice Press, 1997). ISBN: 978-0-827206-22-9.

Other Readings Will Be Made Available as Handouts. These readings will largely come from

Douglas A. Foster, Paul M. Blowers, Anthony L. Dunnavant, and D. Newell Williams, eds., The Encyclopedia for the Stone-Campbell Movement
(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004). ISBN: 978-0-8028-3898-7.

Recommended (but not Required) Course Materials::

Joe R. Jones, A Lover’s Quarrel: A Theologian and His Beloved Church
(Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2014). ISBN: 978-1-62564-226-4.
Joe R. Jones, A Grammar of Christian Faith: Systemic Explorations in Christian Life and Doctrine, 2 vols.
(Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield, 2002). ISBN: 0-7425-1311-4.

Assignments & Method of Evaluation of Assignments:

This course will use the categories of systematic theology to give a summary understanding of Disciples’ theology. Students will be required to a write a one-page summary statement on each of the categories that will serve them as a basis for understanding Disciples theology in both their ministry context and larger ecumenical expressions. These summary statements will be due one week after our discussion of each topic. See proposed schedule below.

Date Topics Readings Assignments
December 1 God, Christ, Holy Spirit Articles from ESCM Summary Statement on God, Christ, Holy Spirit
December 8 Scripture, Humanity, Sin & Salvation Articles from ESCM Summary Statement on Scripture, Humanity, Sin & Salvatio
December 15 Ecclesiology, Eschatology Articles from ESCM Summary Statement on Ecclesiology, Eschatology

Since this is a brief course, attendance will be required for all three sessions. As a crash introduction, the purpose of this course is to bring student into conversation with general theological understandings in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The primary assessment for this learning will be the eight summary statements which the students will write following the class meeting on the topics to be covered in those statements.

This is an introductory course into Disciples' unique way of doing theology, holding to historic core truths while welcoming others to think for themselves. This unique tension between historic orthodoxy and the freedom to think has created a vibrant environment for a diversity of people to both share the riches of their culture while being informed by the cultures of others. In this introduction we will explore the classic themes of Christian theology and discover the advantages of doing it from a Disciples’ perspective. Students will be expected to a write reflection paper as an opportunity to integrate their learning from assigned readings, made available online

Art & Worship

  • Instructor: Rev. Danah Cox
  • Schedule: January 5, 12, 19/2022 (Wednesdays, 7-9 pm AST / 6-8p EST / 5-7p CST / 3-5p MST)
•   Syllabus & Reading List

Course Outline:

Course Syllabus:

The course will begin with a brief overview of the Visual Arts' impact on various faith traditions over the centuries to provide some background and context. We will then focus on exploring some practical ways congregations can leverage the Visual Arts most organically into their own specific corporate and personal worship practices in the present. This will be accomplished by using short experiential creative activities that will give examples of its effectiveness, help demystify the process, and discern some core tenants as to help avoid the many ways it can be misused and misunderstood. It will be accessible and informative to all participants wherever they are on their spiritual or artistic journey. ARTISTIC SKILLS ARE NOT REQUIRED.

Week 1 – Exploring, Expanding, Equipping
Visual Arts historic role in faith traditions of the past, how it is used in the present, and its possible roles in the future.
Week 2 – Symbolic, Abstract, or Observational
Insights into artists methods and motivations as a means to evaluate the most effective ways congregants and congregations can use the visual arts to communicate and/or meditate.
Week 3 – Cultivate, Curate, or Collaborate
Assessing the best options of implementing the Arts in your particular faith community.

Course Materials::

A selection of readings from primary documents will be provided. Resources will be made available through online and other sources. A bibliography will also be available for further reading, once the course starts. While students are expected to have pencil and paper, all other materials will be provided to you before the start of the course.

Assignments & Method of Evaluation of Assignments:

This course is evaluated on a pass/fail basis. The only assignment expected is either a reflection paper, or creative project. These should be submitted within a month of the end of the course..

Paper

The 2,000-2,500 word paper will ask you to consider the different themes raised in the course. Some starter ideas might include:

  • What did you learn when exploring the churches use of the arts in the past?
  • How might you expand what you are doing with the Arts now as an individual and/or in your congregation?
  • What new artist pursuits/actions/activities/ initiatives might invite or inspire your faith community and/or those unchurched in the surrounding community?
  • Discuss which model(s) from wk 3 seem best suited for your congregation, and why.
  • Compare and contrast Symbolic, Abstract, and Observational Art forms use in different aspects of corporate and individual forms of spiritual development.
  • What was some of the surprising/interesting things you felt you learned in this course?
  • How might you see yourself using the Arts in your faith formation going forward?
  • Which method(s) in section three do you think would best serve your church?

Creative Project

This could include any 2 dimensional artworks (drawing, comic, painting, digital, pastel, etc…), or 3d sculpture, (3d printed, wood carving, clay model…etc) or short video/animation.

Creative works need either a short paper (or bullet points) describing what you felt in the process, and/or, what you hoped to communicate with the product. (Actual art piece)

(Larger creative works will be accepted if “in progress” as long as accompanied by some explanation of the process, and product)

After a brief overview of the Visual Arts' impact on our faith tradition over the centuries to provide some background and context, the course will then focus on exploring some practical ways congregations can leverage the Visual Arts most organically into their worship practices in the present.  Because many of us are now reimagining ways of worshiping, some may not be sure how/if to incorporate the visual arts. This course will not only help churches answer that question, but it will also provide some simple steps that will help equip participants to assess their particular churches options of implementation,(Develop, Curate, or Collaborate), examine the two major approaches that images can take in worship, (Representational or Observational ), give insight into artists methods and motivation, and then unpack how considering these elements collectively can serve as a powerful means to maximize the effectiveness of the visual arts in your services specifically. We will then finish the course by uplifting some of the many enriching ancillary effects that utilizing the arts has on other aspects of the church's life in general.With an aim to be accessible and informative to all participants wherever they are on their spiritual or artistic journey, you can rest assured that anyone attending this class can gain insight into how to incorporate the arts into worship, and ARTISTIC SKILLS or knowledge is NOT required. Students will be expected to a write reflection paper as an opportunity to integrate their learning from assigned readings, made available online

Christian Education with Children, Families and Youth

  • Instructor: Rev. Dr. Jane Pekar
  • Schedule: February 2, 9, 16/2022 (Wednesdays, 7-9p AST / 6-8p EST / 5-7p CST / 3-5p MST)
•   Syllabus & Reading List

Course Outline:

Course Syllabus:

In this course parents and church leaders will have the opportunity to explore and discuss how children’s spiritual education is evolving in the church today. Weekly assigned readings and reflection questions will inform online class discussion. A list of online resources will be collated from participants’ suggestions. As well as reflections on personal growth, participants are to submit a summative reflection paper with goals and implementation strategies for enhancing the children’s/family ministry in their local congregation/neighbourhood.

Course Materials::

Required Reading:

Beckwith, Ivy, and Csinos, David M. Children's Ministry in the Way of Jesus. InterVarsity Press, 2013.

Other Resource to be used:

Stewart, Sonja M. and Berryman, Jerome W., Young Children and Worship. Westminster John Knox Press, 2011. ( any edition)

Multiple Intelligences assessment

Learning Styles information

Additional online resources will be made available when the course begins. (Don’t hesitate to search ahead of time)

Assignments & Method of Evaluation of Assignments:

Evaluation: This is a pass/fail course based on class discussion and personal reflections on assigned readings to be submitted to the instructor in a timely manner to allow a confidential response for further research or reflection.( a paragraph for each reflection topic, typed -12 pt font, double spaced )

Assignments:
Class 1 February 2, 2020 Doing Children’s Ministry Differently

  • Assignment 1: Prepare to present an object, picture, poem or something that represents a childhood memory of learning about your relationship with God.
  • Assignment 2: Read Chapters 1-4 form the book Children’s Ministry in the Way of Jesus by Beckwith and Csinos., InterVarsity Press, 2013.
    Reflect: What ideas are new? What ideas are familiar? What ideas have you tried? What ideas would you like to try? What ideas do not sit well with you? Why?
  • Assignment 3: Prepare a summative statement about the history and development of your children’s ministry environment using the vocabulary in the readings.
  • Assignment 4: start searching for online resources for Childrens and Family ministry

Class 2 February 9, 2020 Receiving and Ministering With Children

  • Assignment 5: Read Chapters 5, 6 of Children’s Ministry in the Way of Jesus.
    Reflect: Question 1 p 93 and Question 1 p.109. Read over and consider the other questions.
  • Assignment 6: Read Chapter 7, 8 of Children’s Ministry in the Way of Jesus.
    Reflect: Question 1 p. 125 and Question 1 p. 138. Read over and consider the other questions.
  • Assignment 7: Multiple Intelligences assessment
  • Assignment 8: Learning Styles assessment

Class 3 February 16, 2020 Empowering Holistic Lifelong Spiritual Living

  • Assignment 9: be prepared to submit at least 2 online resources for the class list
  • Assignment 10: Read Chapters 9, 10 of Children’s Ministry in the Way of Jesus.
    Reflect: Question 1 p. 153 and Question 1 p. 170. Read over and consider the other questions.
  • Assignment 11: Read Chapters 11, 12 of Children’s Ministry in the Way of Jesus.
    Reflect: How has your view on Children’s Ministry changed? What dreams do you have for children’s ministry in your congregation/location?

Due February 23, 2020

Summative Assignment: Choose one goal for change in your congregational/neighbourhood ministry to children/families. Develop a rational to present to your church minister/board. Include strategies for implementation (timeline- logistics), resources needed (presently available, online, volunteers, nutrition ($)) and format (location, children/family needs, event plan, safety considerations).

Just as times have changed, so has education, including Christian Education. To support learning minds (of all ages) to receive, process, reflect and share the meaning of God’s word, each person needs to know safety to explore in their learning. In this course, we will explore the ideas of Multiple Intelligences, Learning Styles, Co-Learning and Guided instruction and how these support Sunday School, Family Ministry, Youth Discussion and Adult Learning, particularly in this time of non-contact/on-line gathering. Learners will be encouraged to survey the programme materials available within their community and share their findings with the group. Reading, on-line discussion and a reflection paper will give an opportunity for the learner to consolidate their understanding and role of Christian Educator in their

Introduction to Church History

  • Instructor: Rev. Janet Anstead
  • Schedule: March 6, 13, 20/2022 (Sundays, 4-6p AST / 3-5p EST / 2-4p CST / 12-2p MST)

Church History I : Age of the Apostle to the Protestant Reformation. Ever wondered how we ended up with the many splits in Christianity- East/West, Roman Catholic/Protestant, and 100s of Protestant denominations? What were the breaking points? Were they matters of doctrine or socio-political factors? This course will trace the development of this ever splintering Christianity from the time of the Apostles until the Protestant Reformation. We will see how the Bishop of Rome rose to prominence, how the Eastern church lived side-by-side with the growing Muslim presence and what the background was that lead Luther to nail his theses on the door. Students will be expected to a write reflection paper as an opportunity to integrate their learning from assigned readings, made available online

Joys, Challenges, and Graces of Youth Ministry

  • Instructor: Rev. Russell Prime
  • Schedule: April 3, 10, 24/2022 (Sundays 4-6 p AST / 3-5p EST / 2-4p CST / 12-2p MST)
  • Syllabus & Reading List

This course will explore the traditional approaches to Christian ministry with teens and youth in Canada. We will touch on a bit of history, question where we have come from and where we are heading with youth ministries, including current trends. We will share with two or three invited guests from the camping and youth ministry fields. And, people of all ages and families will be encouraged to consider how they can help young people mature in Christian faith, deal with real questions and life challenges, and know the joys of a life-long relationship with Jesus. Students will be expected to a write reflection paper as an opportunity to integrate their learning from assigned readings, made available online

Introduction to Systematic Theology

  • Instructor: Rev. Dr. Darlene Brewer
  • Schedule: May 4, 11, 18/2022 (Wednesdays, 7-9 pm AST / 6-8p EST / 5-7p CST / 3-5p MST)
•   Syllabus & Reading List

Course Description:

This course will highlight introductory themes in systematic theology. What is systematic theology? Systematic theology includes theological reflection on the doctrines and teachings of the Christian history and tradition, especially the themes of salvation history, sin, grace, ecclesiology, Christ, God, and the Holy Spirit, in dialogue with contemporary church life. Students will write one reflection paper, integrating their learnin

Course Outline:

g in this course.

Course Outline:

  • Week 1 Early Church Doctrines and Ideas on Sin, Salvation & the Spiritual Life: The Big Thinkers
  • Week 2 Who is God? Expressions of the Trinity
  • Week 3 What is the Church: Identity and Movements of the Past & Present

Course Materials::

A selection of readings from primary documents will be provided. Resources will be made available through online and other sources. A bibliography will also be available for further reading, once the course starts. All materials will be provided to you before the start of the course

Assignments & Method of Evaluation of Assignments:

Participants are given a pass/fail evaluation. There will be one assignment of a 1500 word reflection paper required for this course. This is not a research paper but more a measure of how you understand your learning in relation to one of the themes or ideas explored in the course. Remember, it’s pass or fail so completing the assignment by sharing your learning is what is most important. Please complete the paper by May 25th and submit it to me. You may send it earlier if it’s completed.

The paper will respond to these questions. Answer question 1 and question 2 or 3.

  1. What have you learned about ONE of the themes we have explored in this course? Choose one idea you learned about in relation to the theme. How has it challenged or affirmed what you already knew about this area of church life and the doctrines of the church? Choose one of the themes we explored: either a) Sin and Salvation b) The Trinity c) The Church as Identity and Movemen
  2. How do you understand what you have learned in relation to your faith life as a disciple? What does it mean as you continue to learn from your course(s) and life of faith?
  3. How do you see the church growing/changing in the next 20 years? What is most essential for our growth and belief as we go forward into the future?

In this course we will highlight introductory themes in systematic theology. What is systematic theology? Systematic theology includes theological reflec tion on the doctrines and teachings of Christian history and tradition, especially the themes of salvation history, sin, grace, ecclesiology, Christ, God, and the Holy Spirit in dialogue with contemporary life. We will explore understandings of some of these topics in relation to scripture and tradition through historical periods of the church. This will be an introductory level course designed to basic themes in systematic and historical theology. Students will be expected to a write reflection paper as an opportunity to integrate their learning from assigned readings, made available online.

Introduction to World Religions

  • Instructor: Rev. Janet Anstead
  • Schedule: June 6, 13, 20/2022 (Sundays, 4-6p AST / 3-5p EST / 2-4p CST / 12-2p MST)
•   Syllabus & Reading List

Course Syllabus:

The purpose of the course is to develop students’ understanding of the living religions of the world with a major emphasis on their origins, historical development, teachings and practices. The current practices of these religions, both within their region (country) of origin, and abroad, will be discussed. It is assumed that all students have a knowledge of Christianity therefore that tradition will not be given individual focus but rather will be referenced as appropriate.

  • Week 1 – Introductions and Overview – common themes and unique traditions.
  • Week 2 – Eastern Traditions – in-depth look at the history of Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism
  • Week 3 – Western Traditions – Judaism and Islam

Course Materials::

For individuals who wish to explore this subject matter further, Concise Introduction to World Religions, ed. W. G. Oxtoby & A. F. Segal. New York: Oxford University Press. 2012 is a respected text. The same editors have also prepared a 2 volume more extensive work that focuses on the Western and Eastern traditions respectively.

All sacred scriptures from the faith traditions examined are available through various sources.

Assignments & Method of Evaluation of Assignments:

This course is evaluated on a pass/fail basis. The only assignment expected is a 2000-word reflection paper which should be submitted within a month of the end of the course. The paper will address the following:

  • Which of the world traditions did you know the least about and the most about (excluding Christianity) prior to taking this course (approximately ¼ of the paper)
  • Pick 3 of the traditions discussed in lectures. For each of these traditions what surprised you? What resonated with you? (approximately ½ of the paper)
  • Has your understanding about your own faith been impacted by this course? (approximately ¼ of the paper)

According to multiple recent studies more than 95% of the World’s inhabitants identify themselves as a follower of a religious tradition. Thus understanding the different traditions helps one understand this complex world in which we live. This course explores 6 major ‘living’ religions of the World: Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam (with others mentioned as time allows). In order to develop an understanding of these faith traditions this course will focus on their origins, historical development, teachings, scripture and practices.  The current practices of these religions, both within their country of origin, and abroad, will also be discussed. Students will be expected to a write reflection paper as an opportunity to integrate their learning from assigned readings, made available online.

Racial Justice & Reconciliation

  • Instructor: Drew Gillette
  • Schedule: September 7, 14, 21/2022 (Wednesdays, 7-9 pm AST / 6-8p EST / 5-7p CST / 3-5p MST)
  • Syllabus & Reading List

This course will be looking at the history of racism in Canada, various aspects and nuances of racism in Canada and ways that participants can work towards cultivating an anti-racist practice in their personal lives and congregrations. Students will be expected to a write reflection paper as an opportunity to integrate their learning from assigned readings, made available online

What does the Lord Require of Us? Introduction to Social Justice

  • Instructor: Rev. Dr. Darlene Brewer
  • Schedule: October 5, 12, 19/2022 (Wednesdays, 7-9p AST/ 6-8p EST / 5-7p CST / 3-5p MST)
•   Syllabus & Reading List

Course Description:

As Disciples of Christ, we say we “are a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world.” In this course we will explore Christianity as a movement for justice in dialogue with ecojustice and human rights. What is the role of activism in Christianity? We will explore activist movements of our time, including the Civil rights movement, Idol No More, and Black Lives Matter. How can we be in conversation with activism to learn from it? We will explore the historical and biblical roots of social justice and consider what justice today means in our faith communities and within our everyday lives, especially within the North American context.

Course Outline:

  • Week 1 What does the Lord require of you? The foundations of biblical justice as shalom and mercy in the Old Testament, faith and works in the New Testament
    Christianity as a movement: Tracing the roots of social justice in the history of our activism over the last 50 years. What does it mean to be a movement?
  • Week 2 Snapshots of Justice: The Civil Rights Movement, Idol No More and Black Lives Matter in Dialogue with Christianity.
  • Week 3 Ecological Collapse and Faith activism for Creation: Voices on Climate Change within Christian and Interfaith Communities

Course Materials::

The materials for the course will be readily accessible online and made available to the students before the course begins. A bibliography for further reading will also be made available to students, once the course starts.

Assignments & Method of Evaluation of Assignments:

Participants will be given a pass/fail evaluation. Students are expected to participate in all lectures unless otherwise communicated with the instructor. There will be one assignment of a reflection paper to be 1500 words. This is not a research paper but more a measure of what you have learned and understand in relation to some of the themes or ideas explored in the course. Remember, it’s a pass or fail mark so as long as you attend classes and complete the paper you will pass. The paper is due by October 26th but you may hand it in before if it’s completed.

The paper will respond to these questions and will be 1500 words in length, double spaced, with 12 pt font.

  1. In this course, what have you learned about the roots of social justice in the bible? 500 words
  2. When you read about the civil rights, idol no more and black lives matter movements, do you make connections with your faith and our call to justice? How are these movements related to social change and justice? 500 words
  3. Psalm 24 tell us, “The earth belongs to the Lord.” How can we be more active in our faith in relation to climate change? Why is it important to the life of faith? 500 words

OR

Choose one of these topics and write 1500 words about what you learned from the course and how this impacts your faith and your understanding of justice.

As Disciples of Christ, we say we “are a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world.” In this course we will explore Christianity as a movement in dialogue with contemporary movements for social justice and ecojustice. We will also highlight some learnings from the activism movements in our time, especially the civil rights movement, Idol No More and Black Lives Matter movements. How can be/are these movements in dialogue with Christianity? We will explore the historical and biblical roots of social justice and consider what social justice/injustice means in our churches and in our everyday lives, within our North American contexts. Students will be expected to a write reflection paper as an opportunity to integrate their learning from assigned readings, made available online.

Disciples of Christ History

  • Instructor: Rev. Dr. Jen Garbin
  • Schedule: November 7, 14, 21/2022 (Sundays, 4-6p AST / 3-5p EST / 2-4p CST / 12-2p MST)
  • Syllabus & Reading List

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is the first Protestant denomination to be birthed on North American soil. With roots as far back as 1806 in the United States and 1811 in Canada, this "movement" was a product of the Great Awakening that created a shift away from Reformation theology towards Restoration theology and ideology.  This course will provide a brief history of the Disciples and its founders, beginning in the United States, with special attention paid to the birth and growth of the movement in Canada.  It will also touch on major milestones in its development including events leading up to the creation of the Convocation, the All Canada Convention, NAPAD, Obra Hispana, and Restructure. Some time will be spent looking at our founding documents with an eye to understanding our unique polity and the way we are organized, our ecumenical connections, and what the future holds for the DoC in Canada. Students will be expected to a write reflection paper as an opportunity to integrate their learning from assigned readings, made available online.

Church Administration

  • Instructor: Rev. Dr. Jen Garbin
  • Schedule: December 4, 11, 18/2022 (Sundays, 4-6p AST / 3-5p EST / 2-4p CST / 12-2p MST)
  • Syllabus & Reading List

Administration is a vital but often overlooked ministry of the church.  This course seeks to understand a variety of aspects of administration in light of the call to be stewards of the gifts God has given our communities. We will explore the stewarding of relationships, finances, budgets, places and spaces, staff, mission, and a host of other responsibilities inherent in this unique ministry.  Special attention will be paid to DoC-specific processes and areas participants identify in advance of the class.  Students will be expected to a write reflection paper as an opportunity to integrate their learning from assigned readings, made available online.

Biblical Studies 1: Why We Read the Bible? Why Study It? Why Care?

  • Instructor: Rev. Janet Anstead
  • Schedule: January 2023 - Dates TBA (Sundays, 4-6p AST / 3-5p EST / 2-4p CST / 12-2p MST)
•   Syllabus & Reading List

Course Syllabus:

The goals of this course are to explore the creation of the canon, the approaches to Biblical interpretation and develop a personal theology of scripture. As a result, you will be empowered to:

  • Engage in further Biblical study and reflection, whether individually, in a group or in a classroom setting
  • Reflect on the place of the Bible in your own faith-community (if applicable), and in your own life

Course Outline:

  • Week 1 – What am I reading? – Creation of the Canon
  • Week 2 – How am I reading? – Tools for Biblical interpretation
  • Week 3 – Why am I reading? – Theology of Scripture

Course Materials::

The primary source material will be the Bible. For purposes of exploration the NRSV version will be used, however, participants are encouraged to explore other translations. A detailed list of the passages to be explored will be provided prior to the beginning of the course. Readings for those who wish to explore this subject further will be provided.

Assignments & Method of Evaluation of Assignments:

This course is evaluated on a pass/fail basis. The only assignment expected is a 2000-word reflection paper which should be submitted within a month of the end of the course. The paper will address the following:

  • What surprised you most about the creation of the canon? (approximately ¼ of the paper)
  • Did any of the tools for interpretation discussed challenge you? Did any resonate with you? (approximately ¼ of the paper)
  • Please articulate your current theology of scripture with some supporting arguments or illustrations. (approximately ½ of the paper)

Biblical Studies 1: Why We Read the Bible? Why Study It? Why Care?

The Bible is understood by most Christians to be both human and divine. What are the implications of this when we study, interpret or proclaim these beloved texts? How did the Bible as we know it come to be and why do the books included differ among various Christian faith traditions? What diverse voices are we encountering when we engage with these ancient texts? If you have ever asked these questions … or others … about the Bible this course is for you. It provides an introduction to a number of foundational questions and approaches for eng0aging with contemporary Biblical study. At the end of this course, you will be able to share why the Bible retains relevance and importance in contemporary culture, to understand why different communities have made different choices as to what is ‘in’ and what is ‘out’ of the canon, and you will have a strong appreciation of the importance of identifying literary genres and forms within the Bible. In summary, this course will help you to engage with the scriptures in such a way as to be empowered to reflect on the place of the Bible in your own faith-community (if applicable), and in your own life. Students will be expected to a write reflection paper as an opportunity to integrate their learning from assigned readings, made available online

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