Friday 28 August 2015

The New Fall Semester Begins at ICS!

This month marks the beginning of the new fall semester at ICS. There are seven courses starting next week:

Reformational Philosophy with Dr Bob Sweetman

Aristotle, Aquinas and the Scholastic Approach to the History of Philosophy with Dr Bob Sweetman

Beauty: Theology, Ethics, or Aesthetics? with Dr Rebekah Smick

Biblical Foundations with Dr Nik Ansell

20th-Century Postmodern Theories of (Inter)Subjectivity with Dr Jim Olthuis

The Divine (at) Risk: Open Theism, Classical Theism and Beyond with Dr Nik Ansell

Charles Taylor and the Religious Imaginery with Dr Ron Kuipers

Plus, four distance courses are offered this semester:

Curriculum: Organizing the World for Learning with Dr Doug Blomberg and Elaine Brouwer

Christianity and the Ecological Crisis with Chris Allers

"They Looked for a City": Biblical, Theological and Sociological Perspectives of the City from Ancient Times to the Global Era with Dr Clinton Stockwell

Meaning and Method with Dr Gideon Strauss

For course descriptions and timetables, please visit

Nik Ansell Describes Continuing Ed/ge Series

Senior Member in Theology Nik Ansell describes the new Continuing Ed/ge series in a nine minute video on the ICS Youtube channel using examples that illustrate the three key themes of the series: the evocative-provocative call of wisdom, the meaning and significance of gender, and the nature of power and violence.

View the video and find more information about the series on its home page at

Lambert Zuidervaart in Allendale MI

Senior Member Lambert Zuidervaart will speak on the topic of truth as part of the Philosophy Colloquium Series at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. Lambert will present his paper, titled “Propositional and Existential Truth in Edmund Husserl’s Logical Investigations,” at 3:00 pm on Friday September 25.

On the Varieties of Religious Rationality

Junior Member Joe Kirby’s paper "On the Varieties of Religious Rationality: Plato (and the Buddha) versus the New Atheists" has been published at Cosmos and History: the Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy". You can read Joe’s paper here

Thursday 27 August 2015

Prayer Letter: September 2015

Tuesday, September 1:  We pray for guidance and energy for all those participating in the Registration and Orientation Week and the annual ICS community fall retreat later this week.

Wednesday, September 2:  Today we pray for safe travel for all new and returning Junior Members who are coming to study at ICS this fall.

Thursday, September 3:  We offer prayers of thanks for the addition of nine new Junior Members to the ICS community this fall. Please continue to remember them in your prayers as they make the final preparations and transitions this summer in order to begin their program studies here next week.

Friday, September 4:   We thank God for all of our Junior Members and ask God to bless them as they begin another year of studies at ICS.

Monday, September 7:   As another academic year begins, we thank God for Christian education in our world, and thank God for ICS's unique position in that sphere.

Tuesday, September 8:   We pray for blessings for the Friends of ICS Board and all those who are doing advancement work in the US.

Wednesday, September 9:  We continue to pray for blessings and energy for ICS President Doug Blomberg, as he manages his many responsibilities.

Thursday, September 10:  This is Registration Day for all our Junior Members. As the students arrive, we ask God to help with energy and flexibility for their back-to-school transition.

Friday, September 11:  Today is ICS's Community Fall Retreat. This event has traditionally served as a wonderful start to another year of our life together at ICS and we pray that this year will be no exception.

Monday, September 14:  The first week of classes begins today! The first course of the new academic year starts today: "Reformational Philosophy" with Senior Member Bob Sweetman. We ask for God's blessing on all the course participants.

Tuesday, September 15:  Two new courses begin today: "Aristotle, Aquinas and the Scholastic Approach to the History of Philosophy” with Dr Bob Sweetman and “Beauty: Theology, Ethics, or Aesthetics?” with Dr Rebekah Smick. We offer prayers for God's blessing on all the course participants.

Wednesday, September 16:  Today is the first class of two new courses: “Biblical Foundations” with Senior Member Nik Ansell and “20th-Century Postmodern Theories of (Inter)Subjectivity” with Senior Member Emeritus Jim Olthuis. We pray for God's blessing on all the course participants.
Today is the first Academic Council meeting of the 2015-2016 academic year. We pray for God's wisdom to guide the discussions and decisions at this meeting.

Thursday, September 17:  Today is the first day of two new courses: "The Divine (at) Risk: Open Theism, Classical Theism and Beyond” with Senior Member Nik Ansell and “Charles Taylor and the Religious Imaginery” with Senior Member Ron Kuipers. We pray for God's blessing on all the course participants.

Friday, September 18:   We offer prayers of gratitude and give thanks to you, the many supporters who have presented ICS with gifts of prayer, money, and expressions of appreciation, especially during the quieter summer months. We truly value our relationship with you, as we are constantly blessed with your interest and support.

Monday, September 21:  Three distance education courses begin this week: “Curriculum: Organizing the World for Learning” with Senior Member Doug Blomberg and Elaine Brouwer, “Christianity and the Ecological Crisis” with Chris Allers, " 'They Looked for a City': Biblical, Theological and Sociological Perspectives of the City from Ancient Times to the Global Era" with Dr Clinton Stockwell, and “Meaning and Method” with Dr Gideon Strauss. We pray to God to bless all the course participants.

Tuesday, September 22:  We ask God's help and guidance for all those who are doing advancement work for ICS. Please pray that support for the vision and mission of ICS continues to grow.

Wednesday, September 23:  Please pray for the ICS Board recruitment process, that committed and able candidates for Board vacancies will be offered to the ICS membership for approval this fall.

Thursday, September 24:  Today we offer prayers for the general well-being of the ICS. We ask for blessings and energy for ICS faculty and staff as they work together to manage their many responsibilities.

Friday, September 25:  We pray for stamina and wisdom for Senior Member Bob Sweetman as he continues in his role as Academic Dean.

Monday, September 28:   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, September 29:  We ask God to bless and guide Senior Member Ron Kuipers and Allyson Carr as they continue their work with our Centre for Philosophy, Religion and Social Ethics.

Wednesday, September 30:  We pray for energy and enthusiasm for those who are involved in planning the next issue of Perspective.

Thursday 13 August 2015

Summer Reading in Ground Motive

If you're running out of things to read this summer, our online forum Ground Motive might help fill that gap. The two most recent articles will surely whet your appetite for more!

In his article "Sleepless in Ferguson, Waking Up in Toronto" ICS junior member Dean Detloff reflects on the anniversary of Mike Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri, an event which, according to Dean, "transformed my orientation to philosophy, religion, myself, and my world."

In "The Gesture of Blogging", guest author Matt Bernico gives a bit of a sneak preview into the kinds of questions that will be discussed in the distance course he will be teaching for ICS in January of 2016, "In Media Res: Media, Technology, and Culture"

Read these and many other great articles at

Continuing Ed/ge "Genesis" module begins Oct. 1

This is a reminder that the first module of our new Continuing Ed/ge series begins October 1. If you can't make it on that date it may be repeated on another if there is demand. To register, or request information about a possible repetition of the first module, please go to

Registration is $240 for non-members and $200 for members.