Monday 28 February 2022

Prayer Letter: March 2022

Tuesday, March 1 - Friday, March 4:

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an ICS student? Know someone who’s curious about ICS? During the months of March and April, we’ll be opening up several of our classes to any interested visitors who'd like a chance to see what an ICS course is like. Anyone interested in attending can RSVP to Elizabet Aras at Please pray for each of these online sessions and for the students who find their way here, that ICS might speak to their desires for their future studies.

Please pray for our Perspective production team as they work hard to finish compiling the content for the spring issue. Pray particularly for Danielle Yett and Héctor Acero Ferrer as they give leadership to the process, ensuring that all runs according to the timeline amid continuing paper supply shortages. The content of this issue will be inspired by Cal Seerveld’s idea of living “glocally,” and we ask God to give the authors creative minds as they write and encouragement as they participate in this project together.

March is a very busy time for the recruitment team as they work to get all the promotional materials for the summer and fall courses created and sent out to our various student populations. This is particularly urgent for our MA-EL courses because they need to be communicated before the March break when teachers and principals tend to make decisions about the courses they will take in the summer and fall semesters. Pray for energy, inspiration and creativity for the whole team.

We are grateful for the willingness of Beth Green (Provost of Tyndale University and an education scholar) to serve as the Vice Chair of the ICS Senate. The Senate elected Beth to this position in its meeting in January 2022. We pray for God's blessing on and guidance to Beth in her service to both ICS and Tyndale University. We would also like to express our gratitude for the work of the whole ICS Senate at that meeting in reviewing and approving revised ICS academic policies for the academic year 2022-2023. We pray for God's blessing on all our ICS external Senators: Beth Green, Janel Kragt Bakker (Memphis Theological Seminary), Pamela Beattie (University of Louisville), John Caruana (Ryerson University), Kristin Kobes Du Mez (Calvin University), Henry Luttikhuizen, Margie Patrick (The King’s University), and ICS Chancellor and Senate Chair Aron Reppmann (Trinity Christian College).

Monday, March 7 - Friday, March 11:

This week, ICS/CPRSE will launch “Philosophy Otherwise,” a new Ground Motive blog series exploring practices that better equip scholars—individually and as a community—to listen to alternative philosophical voices and to integrate them in the traditional approach to the philosophical craft. Please pray for the “Philosophy Otherwise” team, Abbigail Hofstede, Andrew Tebbutt, Danielle Yett, and Héctor Acero Ferrer, as they compile and edit contributions to this series.

The Finance Committee will begin preparations this month for developing the 2022-2023 budget proposal for consideration by the Board at its June meeting. Please pray for each member of the committee, our Director of Finance, Harley Dekker and the rest of the Leadership Team as they plan and forecast for the next year.

On March 8-10, MA-EL Program Director Edith van der Boom will be attending the Converge Global Christian School Leadership Summit in San Diego. Please pray that Edith may have safe travels to and from the conference. Please pray also that this conference will provide Edith with inspiration and many opportunities for deep interactions with fellow colleagues in educational leadership.  

Thursday, March 10 is the open class session for our Interdisciplinary Seminar (IDS) on Colonization, Racial Identity, and What it Means to be Human. We continue in our prayers for Senior Members and Junior Members participating in this year's timely IDS, and for the students who may join them on this particular day. Join us in praying that the readings and conversations throughout this course will illuminate the realities within which we live, and will spark scholarship that will contribute to truth and reconciliation.

In January 2022 the ICS Senate conducted its first ever Reflective Practice Conversations, with Senior Members Nik Ansell and Rebekah Smick. These conversations will be a core part of the work of the Senate and of the performance evaluations of ICS faculty as of this year. Nik and Rebekah received written commendations on behalf of the Senate, which included the following observations. Janel Kragt Bakker wrote: "Thank you, Nik, for your thoughtful and thought-provoking reflections about what you have offered to the life of the Institute for Christian Studies in this particular season of your vocation as a Senior Member of the community. I was struck by the breadth of your contributions, both in terms of the various facets of your work in scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and service, as well as in the wide-reaching and interdisciplinary nature of your academic work." Pamela Beattie wrote: "I was recently reminded of a saying of Plutarch, who reputedly declared that: 'A mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.' As I reflected in turn on your reflection, Rebekah, it occurred to me that there are many different kinds of fires, and that in the academic world, this statement could be seen as particularly applicable to scholars such as you, whose work it is to engage with the broader community beyond the confines of academia." We are grateful for the work of Nik and Rebekah and, with the Senate, pray for them as their scholarship contributes to ICS being (in the words of our mission) "an interdisciplinary graduate school where the gospel's message of renewal shapes our pursuit of wisdom."

Monday, March 14 - Friday, March 18:

We have been receiving applications from students wishing to begin various academic programs in the fall. As Elizabet, our Registrar, sends out admission letters to these students, please pray for them as they discern whether they will make ICS their academic home, and as they plan for their immediate and long term futures. Pray too for our Financial Aid Committee as they meet to discuss scholarships and awards for new and current students. Pray especially for those students wishing to apply for the MA-EL and MWS-ART programs so they can make their decisions in time for the application deadline of April 1.

Pray today, Tuesday the 15th, for Bob Sweetman’s class, Reformational Philosophy as this is another of our open classes where we invite interested students to participate. Pray that this opportunity will provide an interesting experience for these student guests and provide important information on the learning opportunities at ICS.

ICS welcomes our new Librarian Peter Gorman on March 16! We are grateful to the Librarian Search Committee (Marci Frederick, Elizabet Aras, Héctor Acero Ferrer, and Gideon Strauss) for their diligent work in reviewing applications and interviewing candidates, and to our President, Ron Kuipers, for finalizing the interviewing process and appointing Peter. We pray for Peter as he moves into this new position, that he will experience a warm welcome from our community and for the contribution he will make to the scholarship of our instructors and students.

Please pray this month for Elizabet Aras as she begins the planning process for Convocation 2021, which will happen in June if we are able to have an in-person event. This is always a special event for ICS and its graduates and families, especially this year as we celebrate Barb Carvill as she receives an honorary doctorate for her outstanding contribution to Christian higher education around the globe, and for her steadfast commitment to ICS and its mission. We’ve been unable to organize a convocation for two years now, so please pray that any pandemic restrictions will be such that we will still be able to have a wonderful in-person event and celebrate the accomplishments of our many graduates!

On March 18th, please pray for our MA student, Abbigail Hofstede, as she will have her thesis examination sometime this month. Please also pray for Supervisor and Chair, Gideon Strauss, Internal Examiner, Jonathan Chaplin, and External Examiner, Govert Buijs that they might have wisdom and discernment in this important part of Abbigail’s degree process.

Monday, March 21 - Friday, March 25:

Please pray this Monday for our Board of Trustees as they meet this evening. The Board will be discussing board development and succession, ways to support the President, and a positive financial update. We ask for guidance as they discuss these matters, and continued wisdom in their decision-making. As this is the time of year when they begin to look forward to the next fiscal year and its budget, we ask God to give them clarity and understanding of the operational needs of ICS as it continues to work out its mission.

Please pray on Thursday, the 24th for Edith van der Boom’s open class session of Deeper Learning. We want to pray that the student guests who join us will find the material inspiring and provide important insights about the MA-EL program to help them discern if this program is right for them.

On Friday, March 25th at 1:30pm, Andrew Tebbutt, Postdoctoral Research Associate at ICS’s Centre for Philosophy, Religion, and Social Ethics, will present the talk, “Sharing Singularity: Hegel on the Language of Forgiveness.” This event will be an opportunity for our community to learn more about the scholarly work that Andrew has undertaken over the past two years, as well as an occasion to celebrate his appointment as Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Trinity Christian College. Please pray in thanksgiving for Andrew’s contribution to the life of ICS, and for God’s rich blessings for him as he starts a new stage in his academic career.

Monday, March 28 - Thursday, March 31:

This month, ICS/CPRSE published the third volume in its Currents in Reformational Thought series (Wipf & Stock) titled, Post-Truth? Facts and Faithfulness, by The King’s University Philosophy Professor and ICS Cross-Appointed Faculty, Jeffrey Dudiak. In this book, Dr. Dudiak reminds us what the richer understanding of truth embedded in the Reformational tradition has to say to today’s polarized North American society. Please pray with us in thanksgiving for Dr. Dudiak and the gift of his scholarly and pedagogical work.

We continue in our prayers for the school administrators participating in Gideon Strauss' course How to Govern a School, that their studies will contribute richly to the leadership they provide in their own schools: Angie Bonvanie (Halton Hill Christian School), Carla Buckingham (John Knox Christian School, Oakville), Sara Flokstra (Trinity Christian School, Burlington), David Geertsema (Alliston Community Christian School), Colin Hoving (Toronto District Christian High School), Jason Jarvis (Halton Hills Christian School), David Park (Pickering Christian School), and Yadira Quintanilla (Presbyterian Church Schools in Belize).

The last day of classes for the Winter 2022 semester is fast approaching! Please pray for the students as they work hard to complete their assignments and study for their final papers. We especially want to pray for those Junior Members who intend to graduate this year, as well as those who are finalizing their theses or preparing for their defenses.