Thursday, 27 October 2016

2016 Annual General Meeting

The ICS Annual General Meeting will be held on Friday, November 11 at 7:00 p.m. at the Institute for Christian Studies, 229 College Street, Toronto.

Members are cordially invited to participate in this gathering. Reports from the Treasurer and the President will be presented. There will be opportunity to discuss matters arising from these and other items on the Agenda. Most members of the Board of Trustees will be attending; it will be a great chance to meet with the people who shepherd the vision and mission of ICS. Please come, if you're able.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Philip Shadd at Ryerson

On Thursday October 27th CPRSE Research Associate Philip Shadd presented his most recent research, which concerns the issue of institutional rights and of hospitals as conscientious objectors in particular. His line of argument is inspired and informed by neo-Calvinist social thought. This issue and argument should especially be of interest to anyone concerned with religion given that religious reservations to physician-assisted death are common.

The talk was part of Ryerson's Philosophy of Religion Reading Group, organized by Dr. Klaas Kraay.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Christian Counselling Services 50th Anniversary Celebration

Christian Counselling Services celebrated their 50th anniversary on October 21, 2016 in Toronto. The evening included a musical performance by David and Lynnell Julien, and a keynote address by Senior Member Emeritus James Olthuis on "Letting Love Happen."  For more information about Christian Counselling Services please visit their website:

All proceeds from this event went to the Ken Van Wyk Legacy Fund in support of work with low income clients.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Janet Read's Art Exhibition

ICS Alumna Janet Read's new exhibition titled Ways of Cloud and Water will be held at Rebecca Gallery, 317 Harbord St., Toronto.

The opening is on Saturday October 15 from 2-5 pm, and her works will be on display until November 12.For more information, visit Rebecca Gallery.

From Henk's Archives

Hendrik "Henk" Hart was the first Senior Member at the Institute for Christian Studies, where he taught from its founding in 1967 until his retirement in 2001. Over the course of his career, Henk explored such themes as, among others, the relationship between reason and faith, what the call to do justice means for Christians, and how the Bible might be read for the sake of wisdom in God's world. Many of these explorations were published in articles and books, but further investigations into these and other themes were undertaken in letters, notes, jottings, and journals. From Henk's Archives is a series on Ground Motive offering readers a look into this previously unpublished material graciously selected by Henk himself.

The material shows a wide variety in form, content, and length. Though it is edited for accessibility, it is not necessarily edited for more formal publication. Some pieces reflect more polish than others. What emerges is a panoply of writing that provides a way into the life and work of one of ICS's founding members, a career marked by provocations and consolations, ranging from devotional inspiration and personal introspection to theoretical frames and thought experiments. It is of interest for readers long familiar with Henk's work, now able to see other sides of and motivations for his thought, as well as new readers, who might encounter the seeds of contemplation that have grown into longer studies and projects. Pieces in From Henk's Archives will be published as they are made available from the author and collected into this dedicated page on Ground Motive (see below).

Ground Motive considers it a blessing and a privilege to host this collage of literature from one of the founders of the Institute, and we hope it finds a wide and welcoming audience.

--Ground Motive Editors

Book Reception in Grand Rapids

Religion, Truth, and Social Transformation: Essays in Reformational Philosophy by Professor Emeritus Lambert Zuidervaart was one of the books featured at a book reception in Grand Rapids. The reception, sponsored by the Philosophy Department at Calvin College, took place on Thursday, October 20, at 3:30 pm, in the Meeter Center Lecture Hall. For more information about Lambert’s book, go to the website of McGill Queen’s University Press or to the recent book symposium on ICS’s Ground Motive blog.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Prayer Letter: November 2016

Tuesday, November 1:  Tonight the Board of Trustees meets to review the President’s Report, held over from the last two meetings due to pressure of business, and to finalise preparations for the Annual General Meeting on November 11. Please pray for the Spirit’s guidance in their deliberations.

Wednesday, November 2:  These first weeks of November bring with them the task of preparing the Annual Report for 2015-16 for the AGM on November 11th. As we reflect on this year, through our staff, faculty and students, we are reminded again of how faithful God has been. Pray this process will go smoothly and will instil in each of us a deepening sense of gratitude for the task with which our Lord has entrusted us.

Thursday, November 3:  Our Junior Members are the primary reason for our existence as a graduate school. We invite you to uphold them before the throne of God as they continue their studies. They and their spouses are making significant sacrifices as they run the race towards completion, in their dedication to integrally Christian scholarship.

Friday, November 4:  Most of the thirty-four members of Christian Higher Education Canada meet today in Toronto. Doug Blomberg will participate in the Universities caucus conversation on the topic of Religious Freedom and the Future of Higher Education in Canada. In light of the challenges to Trinity Western University’s Law School from provincial law associations and the proposal by Universities Canada to remove exemptions on the grounds of discrimination for faith-based institutions, this is a very important conversation indeed. Please pray for insight and wisdom as CHEC seeks to address this challenge communally. After lunch, former ICS Board Chair Aileen Van Ginkel will moderate a discussion titled Our Future as CHEC; pray also for this session, and Aileen in particular as she gives leadership.

Monday, November 7:  There are very promising signs of movement towards the sale of 229 College, in which ICS holds a 27% share. The Board has resolved to invest the bulk of the proceeds for an endowment to support the mission and vision of ICS into the future. This is a crucial moment in our history. Please pray for a positive and timely conclusion to what has been a long drawn-out process, due to the receiver’s reluctance to list the property for sale.

Tuesday, November 8:  Members will soon vote for new trustees in BC-Western US, Midwest US-Canada, Southwest Ontario and Central Ontario. Give thanks to our Lord for those who have offered to serve and pray for a significant turnout as people cast their votes.

Wednesday, November 9:  This afternoon the Educational Policy Committee is scheduled to meet to review course proposals and other curricular matters, and prepare recommendations for Academic Council. Following this, the Leadership Team and Admin. Team will hold their regular two-weekly meeting staff meeting. Please pray for fruitful discussions in both contexts, guided by the Holy Spirit.

Thursday, November 10:  We praise God for our administrative staff: Jeff Hocking, Vidya Williams, Kathy Lynch, Pat Webb, Harley Dekker and Doug Blomberg. May our Lord continue to encourage and strengthen them in their ministry--for “ministry” is at the heart of what “administrators” do. Without them, our mission would perish; with their commitment to our vision, they enable us to flourish: by the grace of God!

Friday, November 11:   Please pray that we will know the presence of Jesus in our midst during our Annual General Meeting this evening. There will be the normal matters of business to deal with, along with the opportunity for all present to discuss issues of interest. We will also say farewell to three Trustees, Peter Brouwer, Philip Preville and Ansley Tucker (Chair), with thankfulness to them and to God for their service.

Saturday, November 12:  The Trustees gather today in Toronto, with many members able to be present (and some joining electronically). Pray for them as they continue to safeguard our vision and chart our course into the future. It is an often onerous task, with many weighty matters to consider, yet they serve with joyfulness and unremitting dedication. We praise God for calling them to serve us in this way.

Monday, November 14:  The Leadership Team (Pat Webb, Bob Sweetman, Ron Kuipers and Doug Blomberg) meets this morning. This two-weekly event is an important opportunity for consultation across the various sectors of the Institute, and an invaluable support to the President in executing his responsibilities under the Board’s direction. Please join us in entreating the Holy Spirit to lead the group through its deliberations.

Tuesday, November 15:  We offer thanks for our faithful supporters over so many years. We could not survive without your commitment. We pray especially at this time for our US supporters, and for the Friends of ICS who represent them. At the FICS meeting a few weeks ago, we shared many of the details of our mission, and their feedback was invaluable.
We have served a large number of American students over the years. Current Junior Members in this category include Danielle Yett, Daniel Rudisill, Benjamin Shank, Josh Harris, Jenna Arkema, Jazz Feyer-Salo, and Dean Dettloff. May God bless them as they pursue their calling, no doubt with nostalgia from their home country, family and friends.

Wednesday, November 16:  Please bring our Academic Council before the Lord as it meets this afternoon. As well as their regular oversight of policies and their implementation of recommendations brought to the meeting in the main by the various committees, there may also be matters arising from the recent Board meeting to address.

Thursday, November 17:  We invite you to support in prayer our Junior Members who have come to us from overseas and sacrificed much to be with us: Helena Hoogstad (South Africa), Joonyong Um (Korea), Godfrey Nkongolo (Tanzania) and Fisseha Feleke (Ethiopia).

Friday, November 18:  We have several students in our distance courses each semester, from Canada, the US and beyond. They too are an important part of our community, usually working or studying full-time. Do support them in your prayers, also.

Monday, November 21:  In a time when funding study at ICS becomes ever more difficult for our Junior Members, we give thanks for the opportunities they are able to make for themselves. In this regard we give thanks to our Lord for the opportunity MA candidate Julia de Boer has to teach Latin at the Westminster Classical Christian Academy in Toronto and the contribution she is able to make to the lives of her young students, even as she carries on with her studies.

Tuesday, November 22:  We praise God for the significant infrastructure grant recently received from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and give thanks for the hard work by Ron Kuipers, Director of CPRSE, and former Associate Director, Allyson Carr, that made this possible. [See the item in News on our website.]

Wednesday, November 23:  Continue to pray for further openings for the Wayfinding program, particularly the Vocational Wayfinding course, to be offered as adult discipleship classes in churches, and as professional development courses in Christian organisations. Interest continues to grow, but it takes time to develop connections and to work out the details for each group. Please pray along with us that this opportunity to reach out to the broader Christian community will see fruit in God’s time.

Thursday, November 24:  We give thanks for the generosity of our supporters during the current appeal and ask for your prayers as we prepare our Advent Appeal for mailing next month. This is a major event on our advancement calendar.

Friday, November 25:  We continue to explore ways to expand our Master of Worldview Studies program locally and globally. We pray in particular for an adequate number of enrolments for the Art, Religion and Theology courses and workshops next summer in Orvieto, building on the first offering there in 2015. [See News.]

Monday, November 28:  Isabella Guthrie-McNaughton, our Director of Library and Information Services, is a member of the Toronto School of Theology Library Committee, which is meeting this morning. This is an important forum, enabling ICS to interface with TST and also University of Toronto libraries. May God bless them in their discussions.

Tuesday, November 29:  Please pray for the development of the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, in partnership with Redeemer and Tyndale University Colleges. While this program is commencing as a focus on leaders in Christian schools, our hope is that it will reach out into other fields.

Wednesday, November 30:  Tonight’s presentation by Charles Taylor at the Art Gallery of Ontario, organised in part by Senior Member Rebekah Smick, is a significant event, to which ICS supporters have been invited. Please pray for fruitful interaction around the relationship between spirituality and art. [See News.]