Six reasons to learn at CCS

With the 2017-2018 school year coming to a close, CCS program staff are turning their attention to the upcoming year and six new theme learning circles!  Whether taken as part of formation for diaconal ministry, or as continuing education to deepen your understanding of a topic of interest, these learning circles are a rich opportunity for learning alongside others.

Ministry as Community-building– Oct 15-20, 2018 in Winnipeg.  Strong, vital communities don’t just happen.  Whether it’s a small rural town, or an urban neighbourhood hard hit by poverty, or a congregation trying to live faithfully, communities rely on people who can connect, support, advocate, inspire, and mobilize.  This Social Justice learning circle will focus on how community works – including the social, political, economic, and theological aspects of healthy community – and the ways in which community-building is a crucial ministry role.

CCS students Lisa Beyer-de Wever and Don Evans both work in community ministries.

Worship– Oct 22-27, 2018 in Winnipeg. What is worship?  What’s it for?  Who’s it for?  Is worship just a one-hour “show time” on Sunday morning, or can worship occur in other times and forms?  How does a community create worship, and how does worship create a community?  This Education & Worship learning circle will explore theologies of worship and sacraments, and offer practical skills for designing and leading meaningful, transformative worship experiences.

Living Scripture– Jan 9 – Feb 15, 2019, online.  Our first foray into online learning circles!  Aren’t you curious?  I know I am. This Education & Worship learning circle will focus on ways of engaging, and helping others engage, with the Bible – not just as an academic study but as a potentially radical encounter. What makes scripture scripture? How does our context affect the way we interpret scripture, and how does scripture speak to and transform our context? What does the history of the Bible’s use and abuse do to our understanding of the Word?  Come learn how much fun it can be to take the Bible seriously.
(This online learning circle will include video conferences every Wednesday and Friday from 3 to 5pm Central time, along with asynchronous online engagement throughout the week.  Participants should plan on about 6 hours of activity per week.)

Ministry as Listening– Jan 10 – Feb 19, 2019, online.  We ran this circle last fall in Winnipeg; now let’s see what it’s like with an online learning community!  This Spiritual Care learning circle focuses on some of the essential skills of being withpeople.  The urge to help, to fix, to problem-solve can be strong, but the power of simply being present and attentive to those seeking care can be transformative.  We practice skills for active listening that empowers others to uncover and speak their truth.  We wrestle with the issue of boundaries in ministry relationships, and explore prayer as a form of listening.
(This online learning circle will include video conferences every Tuesday and Thursday from 11am to 1pm Central time, along with asynchronous online engagement throughout the week. Participants should plan on about 6 hours of activity per week.)

The Ministry as Listening circle took place in-person last fall. This winter a new community will explore the theme online.

Health, Pain, and Trauma– March 20-26, 2019 in Winnipeg.  This is the heavy stuff.  What does it mean to be a healthy and whole human being, and what happens when it feels like life has taken that from you?  What does suffering mean?  Is there a way back?  Or forward? And what is the role of the spiritual care provider?  This Spiritual Care learning circle will explore issues of mental health, chronic pain, stress, depression, suicide, abuse, trauma, and healing.

Power and Privilege– March 28 – April 3, 2019 in Winnipeg.  Social Analysis plays a key role in this circle.  Who has the power?  Who benefits from the way things are, and who suffers?  Whose voice gets heard in society, and who is rendered invisible?  Can one be privileged and marginalized at the same time?  What is the role of the prophet in speaking “truth to power?” Are there ways of using and sharing power that can create a just world for all?  This Social Justice learning circle will invite you into a critical awareness of your own social location, and will open your eyes to the reality experienced by others not like you.

Learning on Purpose 2017 participants exploring social location.

If you are interested in any of these learning circles, and you are not yet a student in the CCS Diaconal Ministries program or our Continuing Studies program, visit the Admissions page, or contact Scott at sdouglas@ccsonline.ca .  (If you are already an active CCS student, you can register online.)

Registration deadlines:

  • for fall circles – June 15th
  • for winter online circles – October 1st
  • for spring circle – February 1st