Thursday 29 March 2018

A Problem-Posing Pedagogy

Senior Member Doug Blomberg's paper, "A Problem-Posing Pedagogy: Nurturing Wisdom in Higher Education", has been selected for publication in the e-book from the April IAPCHE Conference in New Zealand.

Friday 23 March 2018

New Essay on Blomberg’s Work

Senior Member Emeritus Lambert Zuidervaart has completed a new essay on the work of Senior Member and former ICS President Doug Blomberg. Titled “Distantial Ways of Knowing: Doug Blomberg’s Proposal for a Reformational Epistemology,” the essay explores the conception of knowledge that Blomberg proposed in his 1978 doctoral dissertation on reformational philosophy and school curriculum. Lambert says Doug’s proposal contains untapped potential for a holistic and pluralist theory of knowledge. The essay will be published by Philosophia Reformata in 2019.

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Prayer Letter: April 2018

“Easter is the most joyous time in the Christian calendar. It’s when all the stops are pulled out, all the choirs are gathered to sing. It is a time of celebration beyond hope, because with Easter, hope is made real. Christ’s resurrection heralds the final triumph of life over death, and we humans are left gobsmacked by something so incredible, so amazing (he was dead and now he’s not!) that it can sometimes take us a while to catch up and start to celebrate…. Joy is infectious, though, and when the wonder of Easter sinks in, its message changes the way we understand all of life.” (taken from Changing to Stay the Same, by B. Sweetman)

Monday April 2 - Friday April 6

  • Please pray for Elizabet Aras, Registrar, Bob Sweetman, Academic Dean, and the Academic Council as they focus on finalising the agenda and supporting materials for the upcoming Senate meeting (May 10). Please pray that they will accomplish all that is needed in this busy time.
  • Our Annual Convocation is fast approaching and we want to pray that the many preparations for this important event will go well and come together in time. We pray also for the faculty, students, and board members who will be participating in this important ceremony, and for Elizabet Aras, our Registrar, as this is her first time overseeing this event.
  • Since 2016, our Centre for Philosophy Religion and Social Ethics (CPRSE) has been actively involved in the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded research collaboration “Faith and Settlement Partnerships: Setting Immigrants and Canada Up for Success”. This month, CPRSE and partner organizations will launch a community toolkit and webinar series to further faith and settlement partnerships across the country. Please pray for the success of these events and for the communities involved.
  • This month, Joshua Harris will submit a clean copy of his ICS/VU PhD thesis "Neither Solitary Nor Diverse: Transcendental Multiplicity in Thomas Aquinas" to the VU to be evaluated by a VU/ICS Examination Committee. We trust God for a successful completion of this conjoint program.
  • Over the coming weeks, Meg Giordano, one of PhD students, will be negotiating with her VU supervisor a stay in The Netherlands to work closely with her on a (semi) formal thesis concept titled "Crimes Against Inclination: A Thomistic Account of Evil as Human Violence".

Monday April 9 - Friday April 13

  • This month, Bob Sweetman’s Trinity College PhD candidate, Maria Simakova, will be defending her formal Thesis Proposal "Parrhesia as Theological Method: Truthtelling in the Late Foucault and the Practice of Theology".
  • Thursday, April 12th is the last day of classes for this academic year. We praise God for his sustaining grace throughout this past year. As is customary for ICS, we will express our gratitude to God for his help in our accomplishments by gathering for a celebratory brunch to enjoy some fun and fellowship with one another.
  • Please pray for the International Association for the Promotion of Christian Higher Education (IAPCHE) Conference hosted by Bethlehem Tertiary Institute in Tauranga, New Zealand, April 11-13. May this be an encouraging and challenging gathering for all involved. Senior Member Doug Blomberg is presenting a paper entitled "A Problem-Posing Pedagogy: Nurturing Wisdom in Higher Education".
  • We are beginning to receive applications for this year’s ICS Undergraduate Workshop, “Philosophy as/of Storytelling”. Please pray for the planning team as it assesses applications and matches interested undergraduate students with Senior and Junior Members for collaborative work throughout the workshop.

Monday April 16 - Friday April 20

  • We give thanks for our Junior Members who are such an important part of our community. We pray for them as they wind up their course papers over the next few weeks and make plans for their summer work and studies in the coming year.
  • The Finance Committee is hard at work on the coming year’s budget. Please pray for them in their deliberations, that these will be suffused with wisdom and grace from the Holy Spirit.
  • The last in-person class this semester of the Vocational Wayfinding hybrid course taught by Gideon Strauss takes place on Wednesday, April 18th. These classes have been held on site at Toronto District Christian High school with nine teachers registered to take this course. We thank God that the logistical arrangements went smoothly and that the interaction and fellowship during the class was fruitful and uplifting.
  • CPRSE is expanding its network of support and impact through new and exciting partnerships. Please pray for CPRSE as it begins to collaborate with Citizens for Public Justice in the context of their Annual General Meeting.

Monday April 23 - Friday April 27

  • We give thanks that ICS PhD candidate Joseph Kirby has formally submitted his supervisor-approved doctoral dissertation, “Moral Ontology in the Age of Science: A Philosophical Case for the Mystery of Goodness”. Today is the deadline for one external evaluator and one internal evaluator to submit written reports commenting on the defense-readiness of the dissertation. We pray for a good outcome and that these reports will be helpful to Joe as he prepares for the oral defense, scheduled to take place on May 7.
  • Please pray for Ron Kuipers and Pat Webb as they travel to Calgary this week to meet with our supporting community there. Pray for safe travels and engaging interactions in our individual visits and group events.
  • We want to pray these next two weeks for all those who will be participating in our annual phone-a-thon. We ask particularly for God’s blessing on our student and board volunteers as they talk with our friends and supporters across Canada and the US, that it might be an enriching and encouraging time of fellowship for all.

Monday April 30:

  • In less than two weeks, the Senate and Board meet again in Toronto. We give thanks for their service, and pray for safety as they travel from near and far. We ask God to grace their deliberations with wisdom and vision.
  • CPRSE continues to build on the “Currents in Reformational Thought” series, featuring the contributions of our current and emeriti faculty to our tradition of scholarship. Please pray for those involved in editing, producing, and publishing this important series.

Thursday 1 March 2018

Art in Orvieto 2018 Information Meeting

This summer, the Institute for Christian Studies is offering a three-week course on Art, Religion, and Theology in Orvieto, Italy! If you are a practicing artist, or someone who is interested in the role of the image in Christian traditions, this is an opportunity not to be missed. If you would like to hear more about what this course offers, ICS will be hosting an Information Night on Thursday, March 15, from 7:00-8:30pm at the TST building. Please join us for a presentation and some light snacks!

For more information visit Art in Orvieto.
If you have any questions, please email Danielle Yett at

ICS to host its Second Annual Undergraduate Workshop!

The Institute for Christian Studies in cooperation with the John Mary Fraser Centre for Practical Theology at Regis College is currently soliciting proposals for a three-day undergraduate workshop on the theme of Storytelling. Questions we hope to consider include but are not limited to the following:

  • How do stories create and disrupt meaning for human life?
  • Whose stories organize contemporary life, and whose stories go unheard?
  • Do different media (film, novels, paintings, children’s books) tell stories differently? Does digital media change the narrativity of our lives?
  • What do stories have to do with the sciences?
  • Are biblical, theological, or traditional stories malleable? 
  • Does the postmodern “suspicion toward metanarratives” mean an end for big stories?
  • What stories construct social categories like race, gender, and class?

Selected participants will have the opportunity to present their own work before peers and receive feedback from ICS faculty and graduate students, making connections and “learning the ropes” of the scholarly enterprise at the graduate or professional level. The workshop is a great opportunity for outstanding undergraduate students who might be interested in deepening existing lines of research and pursuing new ones with guidance from budding and established scholars in disciplines such as philosophy, theology, religious studies, etc.

The call for papers deadline is April 6, 2018. For more information, click on the following links: