Monday 6 May 2024

Prayer Letter: May 2024

Monday, May 6 - Friday, May 10:

Reformational economist and professor at the Vrije Universiteit Bob Goudzwaard passed away on April 20. His memorial service took place on April 26. If you would like to watch the recording of the service, it will be available online for a short time. Please join us in prayers of consolation for Bob’s colleagues, friends, family as they mourn his loss and await reunion in resurrection hope.

Two ICS staff have also lost family members this past month. Please join us in prayer for them and for their extended families as they navigate the travel, logistics, and mourning that accompany these losses. We pray that each of them may feel God’s comfort in spending time with their families and celebrating the lives of their loved ones.

Please pray this month for the instructors and students in our online Spring-Summer 2024 courses as they prepare for their time of study together. Three of these courses have already started, but one starts this week on May 7th: State, Society, and Religion in Hegel’s Philosophy (with Andrew Tebbutt). This course considers the interrelation of political, social, and religious life in the philosophy of G.W.F. Hegel. Explore the political and social conditions of human experience, Hegel’s account of the human engagement in ‘absolute spirit’, and Hegel’s role in the historical construction of the modern West’s category of religion. There’s still time to apply so email if you’d like to learn how to join! Please also pray with us for fruitful discussions among participants as this course gets underway.

Monday, May 13 - Friday, May 17:

We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who participated in the Beyond Culture Wars conference April 18-20th! In particular, we’d like to thank keynote speakers Kristin Kobes Du Mez and James K.A. Smith for their contributions to our collective conversation, our Senior Members and colleagues from fellow institutions for leading workshops, and our partners at Martin Luther University College for graciously hosting the event with us. To everyone who traveled to Waterloo to attend and joined us online: we are very appreciative of your active participation in the sessions and workshops! Thanks for making this event a huge success!

On May 20-22, Academic Dean Gideon Strauss will be participating in the 2024 Crouse Seminar in Toronto. Dr. Mark Elliott, Professor of Biblical and Historical Theology at Highland Theological College in Scotland and Professorial Fellow at Wycliffe College, will lead this year’s Seminar on Augustine's City of God. Please pray that this will be a fulfilling time of study, conversation, and camaraderie for Gideon and all those in attendance.

On May 20-23, Senior Member Neal DeRoo, PhD candidate Mark Standish, and alumnus Theoren Tolsma will all be presenting at the joint Annual Conference of The Society of Phenomenology and the Human Sciences (SPHS) and The Interdisciplinary Coalition of North American Phenomenologists (ICNAP) at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. The theme of the conference is “Phenomenology at the Borders.” Please pray for their safe travels and that they may enjoy rich conversations with peers at this conference.

Monday, May 20 - Friday, May 24:

This is the week of our end-of-year celebrations and events! First up, our annual Senate meeting is taking place on Thursday, May 23. Many ICS Senators will travel to Toronto in order to spend the day considering key academic concerns and strategizing academic plans for the future, with special care taken to steward our particular intellectual legacy at ICS. Please join us in prayers of gratitude for each of these Senators and the time and expertise they share with the ICS community in this way. Please also pray for the ICS Academic Office as they arrange the numerous details of this meeting.

The following day on Friday, May 24, the ICS Board of Trustees also has its annual meeting in Toronto. Board Members will gather in person and online to attend to important budgetary and business matters of ICS. Please join us in prayers of gratitude for each of these Trustees and the time, wisdom, and insights they provide in the task of stewarding ICS’s financial gifts and responsibilities. Please pray in particular for Board Chair Dan Beerens as he leads discussions during this meeting and for the ICS Finance office and Executive Leadership Team as they provide reports and substantively contribute to the planning.  

Also on May 24, we will be hosting our 2024 Convocation ceremony at Christ Church Deer Park in Toronto. The ceremony will feature a convocation address by President Ronald A. Kuipers. Please pray for each of our three graduands whose academic accomplishments at ICS we will be celebrating this evening. This is a wonderful opportunity for the broader ICS community to gather and hear more about the diverse projects our Junior Members have brought to completion and to celebrate their achievements. 

Monday, May 27 - Friday, May 31:

Our final Summer 2024 course will begin June 10th: God of Solidarity: Liberation Theology as a Social Movement (w/ Dean Dettloff). In the latter half of the 20th century, a wave of liberation movements swept across the globe as colonized and exploited people undertook seismic struggles for self-determination. In this class, consider liberation theology in historical perspective—specifically its Latin American expressions—examining its relationship to a revolution in global Christianity and revolutions in various political contexts. If you would like to participate in this course, email And please pray with us for a rich learning experience for all involved in this course.

Please join us in prayer as we near the end of our fiscal year, that we might receive a strong response to our annual spring appeal. Our appeal mailing, along with the newest issue of Perspective, is being mailed out now! In this issue, you’ll be able to read some reflections on collaboration, and its importance to ICS as a Christian educational institution. We give thanks for the issue’s contributors, particularly our friends and colleagues at the Toronto School of Theology, and we give thanks for the generosity of our supporters so far this year. We rely on your gifts to meet our budget goals and we’re grateful for your continued support of the vital work of Christian education!