Thursday, 23 May 2013

Dawn Wolthuis in Classis Hamilton "Talk Show"

ICS president Dawn Wolthuis joined Julius de Jager (Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools) and Hubert Krygsman (Redeemer University College) in a talk-show format discussion that was streamed live to viewers on the internet. Discussion centred on how church and school might work together to prepare children for Christian life and leadership. The link below will provide more details as well as the chance to watch the recording of the two-hour discussion.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

May 2013 Meditation from Bob Sweetman

Two weeks ago or so I finished teaching a course on the intersection of philosophy and rhetoric. It was a very special seminar, one I have been missing since it stopped. I look forward to getting the papers to mark in part because it will be a little like the seminar is still on the go. Together we in the seminar looked at texts that were produced by orators and philosophers of the ancient and medieval worlds as they struggled to understand the connections between language, personal formation and wisdom. Words, they understood, can function as a principle of motion in and among their hearers and readers. Words are dynamic and communicative. You can do things with words. Of course if words are to lead to wisdom one has to pay attention to the circumstances in which words are spoken and received. Wisdom is picky it would seem.

Collectively, these ancient and medieval theorists paint a very interesting picture of words in their connection to wisdom. For one, wisdom demands more than the words themselves can mean or say. Wisdom demands love. One must fall in love with the world that words articulate if one is to encounter wisdom within the words. Speakers and writers must understand the connection between love and wisdom and structure it into their very way with words. You can lay out the truth—Athens should do this or that with respect to the Thebans or Spartans—but if you do it in a way that leaves Athenians cold, that does not provide a way for Athenians to see what ought to be done as lovely and as such moving and attractive, an object of love, you have failed in your truth-telling for truth is in matters of wisdom but a means to an end, and the way from truth-telling means to wise end is motivated by love, at least when the end is something human or divine.

If love has this role, they were convinced, then love must mark the context in which we seek wisdom, in which we seek to see and desire wisely because wisdom is present and deigns to gift us with herself. For the ancients and medievals, that context was communal, a community in which interpersonal relations were marked by friendship. A community of friends, they thought, was the most obvious context in which to generate the love that can move us from truth to wisdom and a life lived wisely. Among the Christian voices we examined there was a sense that the existence of human communities of friends always bespoke a divine agency involved transforming a speaker’s effect so that hearers would be informed, pleased and transformed. Christ the Word and the Spirit were to be numbered members of the community of friends seeking wisdom.

In remembering all this, it struck me that medieval and Christian theorists we read this semester marked out something important about ICS too at its best. It too understands there to be an intimate relationship between words, love and wisdom. It too is at its best a community of friends who struggle to think and speak the truth in love, to speak the truth in such a way that love marks the world spoken in the conviction that there is wisdom to be had in such speaking and loving. May ICS, heck, may we all truly be a community of friends in love with God’s world and as such open to God’s wisdom in service of that world.

Bob Sweetman

Ruthanne Crapo in Dayton, Ohio

Junior Member Ruthanne Crapo will present a paper titled “Nature, Bodies, and Representation: Philosophizing with Underrepresented Students as an Underrepresented Philosopher” at the Diversity in Philosophy Conference to be held on May 29-31, 2013 at the University of Dayton in Ohio.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

ICS Convocation

The ICS community gathered this past Saturday afternoon in St. Joseph Chapel at Regis College to install the Presidents Dr Rev Tom Wolthuis and Ms Dawn Wolthuis who presented the Inaugural Address titled “He’s Got the Whole World...” (Tom Wolthuis) “ His Hands” (Dawn Wolthuis). We also gathered to recognize and celebrate the academic achievements of seven of its Junior Members. Degrees were conferred upon Daniel Mullin (PhD – VU/ICS), Thomas McCormick (PhD - ICS), Jelle Huisman (MA), Rebecca Tait (MA), Andrew Tebbutt (MA), Elita Fung (MWS) and Clinton Stockwell (MWS). It was a wonderful afternoon of celebration!

• Watch the Inaugural Address(es)

Picture, from left to right: Tom Wolthuis, Henriette Thompson, Daniel Mullin, Andrew Tebbut, Elita Fung, Clinton Stockwell, Dawn Wolthuis, Nicholas Terpstra.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

May Prayer Calendar

Wednesday, May 1:  We ask for God's guidance for everyone who is involved in planning for next year, including those doing work on our budget. 

Thursday, May 2:  As we continue our annual Phone-a-thon, we offer prayers of thanks for the diligent work of the volunteers, and the wonderful support of the ICS community. 

Friday, May 3:  We pray for stamina and wisdom for all those who are preparing for the upcoming Senate and Board meetings later this week. 

Sunday, May 5:  ICS President Tom Wolthuis will be preaching at New Life Christian Reformed Church in Guelph. 

Monday, May 6:  We ask God to bless Junior Member Andrew Tebbutt as he defends his MA thesis today. 

Tuesday, May 7:  We ask God to bless Junior Member Rebecca Tait as she defends her MA thesis today.

Wednesday, May 8:  Today the Leadership Team meets. We offer prayers for God’s wisdom to guide them in their discussions and decisions. 

Thursday, May 9:  The Senate meets today. We are grateful for our Senators and ask for safe travel and for God's wisdom as they reflect upon and assess the initiatives of the Academic Council and the Professional Status Committee of the past academic year. 

Friday, May 10:  The ICS Board of Trustees meets today. We are thankful for our Board members and ask for God's guidance as they deliberate, together with other stakeholders, about the strategic direction for ICS. We pray for wisdom as they make decisions concerning our future, addressing the financial challenges and opportunities facing ICS as we move into our next fiscal year. 

Saturday, May 11:  We offer prayers of celebration for the successful completion of the academic programs of seven Junior Members, each of whom will be recognized and honoured tomorrow afternoon at ICS's Convocation ceremony. We also celebrate the installation of our new Presidents, Tom and Dawn Wolthuis.
Allyson Carr is presenting a paper in Kalamazoo today. We pray for blessing on everyone who attends this conference. 

Sunday, May 12:  Today we celebrate Mother's Day. We ask for God's blessing on all mothers, that they may spend a peaceful, joyful and restful day with their loved ones. 

Monday, May 13:  Today we pray for God's help for those who are struggling with illnesses. We ask God for strength, patience and for good results from treatment. 

Tuesday, May 14:  We offer prayers of praise for the talents of ICS alumna Janet Read, who is exhibiting her new paintings at Galerie d’Avignon in Montreal. 

Wednesday, May 15:  We ask God to grant our Junior Members the energy and enthusiasm they need to complete their coursework for this semester. 

Thursday, May 16:  We pray for God’s blessing for our alumni association. We ask that God will make it an instrument of his will. 

Friday, May 17:  We offer prayers of gratitude and appreciation for the faithfulness of you, our wonderful donor community, who have continued to give ICS gifts of prayers, money, concern and appreciation. It is truly a blessing to have the continued interest and support of so many people. Thank you!

Sunday, May 19:  ICS President Tom Wolthuis will be preaching at Fellowship CRC in Edmonton. 

Monday, May 20:  We pray for blessings and energy for ICS Presidents, faculty and staff as they work together to manage their many responsibilities.

Tuesday, May 21:  ICS President Tom Wolthuis and CPRSE Director Ron Kuipers will be speaking at West End CRC in Edmonton. 

Wednesday, May 22:  The upcoming summer months are often a time when Junior Members give sustained attention to their Masters and Ph.D. thesis projects. We pray for our Junior Members and ask for God's blessing on their research and writing. 

Thursday, May 23:  We offer prayers for wisdom and energy for the ICS faculty as they continue to mark the papers from the spring semester. 

Friday, May 24:  ICS President Tom Wolthuis and CPRSE Director Ron Kuipers will be speaking at Emmanuel CRC in Calgary. 

Sunday, May 25:  ICS President Tom Wolthuis will be preaching at River Park CRC in Calgary. 

Monday, May 27:  We ask God's help and guidance for all those who are doing advancement work for ICS both in Canada and in the US. Please pray that support for the vision and mission of ICS continues to grow. 

Tuesday, May 28:  We thank God for all the applicants to our programs. We pray that the successful applicants will be able to join us in our mission. 

Wednesday, May 29:  We ask for blessings on Senior Member Ron Kuipers as he continues his work as director of our Centre for Philosophy, Religion and Social Ethics. 

Thursday, May 30:  We offer prayers of praise for the talents of Junior Member Ruthanne Crapo who will be presenting a paper in Dayton, Ohio today. 

Friday, May 31:  Senior Members often spend much of the summer developing course curriculum and giving attention to research projects. We are extremely grateful for the work of our Senior Members and ask for God's blessing on them.

Janet Read’s Art Exhibit

ICS alumna Janet Read is exhibiting her new paintings at the Galerie d’Avignon from May 14 to June 4. The opening reception will be held on Friday, May 24. The Galerie d’Avignion is located at 88 avenue Laurier Ouest in Montreal. For information, call 514-278-4777 or visit

Allyson Carr in Kalamazoo

CPRSE Associate Director Allyson Carr is giving a paper at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo on May 11. The title is "Christine's Stories: Libera and the Sabine Women as Images for Ethical Political Action".

Lambert Zuidervaart in Kalamazoo

Senior Member Lambert Zuidervaart will be a featured speaker and guest at a major conference on “Art, Social Justice, and Critical Theory” at Kalamazoo College in West Michigan, May 16-18. Friday morning of the conference is devoted to his work—especially his books Artistic Truth and Art in Public—and the work of the German philosopher Martin Seel. It features papers on Zuidervaart and Seel’s philosophies of art by Professors Paul Guyer (University of Pennsylvania), Richard Eldridge (Swarthmore College), Michael Kelly (University of North Carolina), and Elizabeth Millán (DePaul University). Zuidervaart and Seel will give responses to all four papers, and on Friday afternoon they will comment on a paper about Schopenhauer’s aesthetics by Professor Sandra Shapshay (Indiana University) and a paper about Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty by Professor Veronique Fóti (Pennsylvania State University). Lambert also will moderate a panel discussion about “Museums and Curatorship” on Saturday morning. The conference is sponsored by the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, and it is free and open to the public. More information is posted at

Tom Wolthuis to Preach in Guelph, Edmonton and Calgary This Month

On Sunday, May 5, ICS President Tom Wolthuis will be preaching at New Life Christian Reformed Church, 400 Victoria Road North, Guelph.

On Sunday, May 19, he will be at Fellowship CRC, 9125 - 50 Street, Edmonton.

On Sunday, May 26, he will be at River Park CRC, 3818 14A St SW, Calgary.

Tom Wolthuis and Ron Kuipers in Alberta

Edmonton and Calgary area readers: Please join us for an evening of celebration and discovery of the new initiatives and faces at today's ICS. Dr. Tom Wolthuis, new ICS co-President, and Dr. Ron Kuipers, new Director of ICS' Centre for Philosophy, Religion, and Social Ethics (CPRSE), would like to express appreciation for your ongoing support and share news about some exciting developments now taking place at ICS:

    • A partnered, community-based research project with the Christian Reformed Church in Canada exploring the different ways CRC congregants understand the relationship between the Gospel's call to pursue justice and their own sense of spiritual identity

    • A planned multi-sector conference on Economic Justice, in partnership with the King's University College, to be held at TKUC in May 2014

We'll include time for discussion of these and other projects so we can hear your thoughts about what we are doing, or even about what you think we should be doing! 

Edmonton location:  West End CRC
10015 - 149th St.  Edmonton
Tuesday, May 21 at 7 pm

Calgary location:  Emmanuel CRC
3020 - 51 St. SW Calgary
Friday, May 24 at 7 pm 

Refreshments will be provided.

We encourage you to invite anyone who you think might be interested in the work of ICS to this event. We are eager to share our work with as wide an audience as possible, and we hope to see you at either the Edmonton or Calgary event!

To help us with our planning, we would greatly appreciate an RSVP to

May 11: Convocation and Installation

You are invited to attend the Annual Convocation of the Institute for Christian Studies for the Conferral of Degrees upon Junior Members and for the Installation of our Presidents, Tom and Dawn Wolthuis. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm
St. Joseph Chapel, Regis College
100 Wellesley Street West, Toronto

Please join us for the celebration! We have seven Junior Members on track to graduate, and we will be installing our new Presidents. If you are able to join us for this important celebration in the life of ICS and its Junior Members, please RSVP no later than Wednesday, May 8, 2013 to Space is limited.