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)
•   Syllabi & Reading List

Location: Online via Zoom
Day(s): Wednesdays, October 6th, 13th, 20th 2021
Time: 7-9 pm Atlantic time

Instructor(s): Rev. Darlene Brewer, Ph.D.
Contact info: dr.dbrewer2008@gmail.com

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)
  • Syllabi & Reading List

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)
  • Syllabi & Reading List

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)
  • Syllabi & Reading List

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)
  • Syllabi & Reading List

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)
  • Syllabi & Readling List

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)
  • Syllabi & 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)
  • Syllabi & Reading List

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)
  • Syllabi & Reading List

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)
  • Syllabi & 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)
  • Syllabi & Reading List

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)
  • Syllabi & 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)
  • Syillabi & 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)
  • Syllabi & Reading List

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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