New Look on the Website

Centre for Christian Studies, Imagine Church Differently

If you’re a regular visitor to the CCS website, you might notice things looking a little different.  We were due for a spruce up, and we’ve recently done some branding work with folks at Barefoot Creative.  You’ve maybe noticed our new logo and our new tagline: “Imagine Church Differently.”

There’ll be a few more tweaks to the website in the days and weeks to come.  Hopefully you’ll be able to find information you’re looking for and news and ideas that inspire you.  If there’s something particular you’re trying to find and you just can’t figure out where it went to, feel free to email Scott at sdouglas@ccsonline.ca.

The Only Point Is To Be Together

CCS student Meghan Witzel recently accompanied eleven youth from Waterloo Presbytery as a leader/chaplain on the “Two Countries One World” trip to Colombia.  Meghan shares some of her reflections:…


I have always believed in relational ministry. I think when we connect with people, whether on faith-based mutual ground or not, we discover the Holy in each other.

“In true relationships, the only point is to be together. Once there is another point, the relationship withers under the heat of expectations and obligations.”  – theologian Andrew Root.
Continue reading “The Only Point Is To Be Together”

Spring 2017 Ed Year Learning Circle

The twenty-one diaconal ministry students from coast to coast in the spring Educational & Liturgical Ministry learning circle are wrapping up their two-and-a-half weeks of intensive learning tomorrow.  They’ve been exploring things like christology, preaching, sacraments, aboriginal spiritualities, interfaith connections, and the role of the arts in ministry.

Final Week of CCS Learning Circle Cancelled Due to Student Strike

Recipients of the Companion of the Centre award are often role models for students in the diaconal ministry program of the Centre for Christian Studies. This is not necessarily a good thing.

Linda Ervin, rabble rouser

At part of last weekend’s celebrations, students in the Educational & Liturgical Ministry learning circle sat down with new Companion of the Centre, Linda Ervin, to hear about her life of diaconal connections and convictions. Linda regaled them with tales of justice-seeking and social activism. And then she dropped the bombshell: As a CCS student in the 1970s, Linda organized a student strike. Continue reading “Final Week of CCS Learning Circle Cancelled Due to Student Strike”

And the New Principal Is…

The Centre for Christian Studies is pleased to announce the appointment of Michelle Owens as its new principal.

Michelle Owens, the new principal of the Centre for Christian Studies

Michelle Owens is a United Church diaconal minister and a graduate of the Centre for Christian Studies (2007).  For the past four years she has been the Personnel Minister for London Conference of The United Church of Canada.  She brings keen skills in administration and policy, as well as a commitment to adult education and lifelong learning.

When Michelle came to Winnipeg for interviews last month, it was the first time she’d been back to the city since her graduation from the Centre. Having only recently returned from a pilgrimage, she came with what she calls “a spirit of discernment” – and with advice from her spiritual director: “Look for bends in the river.” Continue reading “And the New Principal Is…”

The Rain is Over and Gone

Before CCS student Charmain Bailey-Foutner started studying for diaconal ministry, she was a professional singer.  She closed out last Saturday’s graduation banquet with a stunning rendition of Paul Halley’s “The Rain is Over and Gone.”

2017 Graduates – video

Graduates Josh and Ian, with principal Maylanne Maybee

This past weekend two students graduated from the Diploma in Diaconal Ministries program of the Centre for Christian Studies.  Congratulations Ian McLean and Josh Ward.

At the Annual Service of Celebration on March 26, 2017, CCS Program Staff member Janet Ross delivered the citation to the graduating students…

Continue reading “2017 Graduates – video”

Unsettled

Shelagh Balfour is a recent graduate from the Centre for Christian Studies’ course for Anglicans exploring the diaconate – Ministering by Word and Example.  One of the goals of the course was to help students develop their capacity for biblical and theological reflection, and to connect their reflections to pastoral and social responses.  She’s agreed to share her reflections on Leanne Simpson’s article “Liberated People, Liberated Lands” as an example of the kind of critical thinking our students are invited to engage in. Continue reading “Unsettled”

Congratulations Are In Order 2017

Ian and Charmain hand-to-hand
Integrating Year students Ian McLean and Joshua Ward

This weekend is CCS’s Annual Service of Celebration.  At the banquet on Saturday two students – Ian McLean and Josh Ward – will receive their Diplomas in Diaconal Ministries.  At the worship service on Sunday, they will share a reflection and be recognized as grads.

Linda Ervin
Linda Ervin, 2017 Companion of the Centre

Also at the service on Sunday, Linda Ervin will be honoured as a Companion of the Centre.

Ann Naylor

As well at the banquet and the service we will be offering tribute to CCS program staff member Ann Naylor who is leaving the Centre to go on long-term disability.

Please be part of our celebration this weekend …

  • by coming in person,
  • or by leaving a personal comment below congratulating any of our graduates or our new Companion or expressing appreciation for Ann,
  • or by inviting your congregation or faith community to pray for us this weekend.

Integrating Year Spring Circle Starts

Ah spring, when a young theology student’s thoughts turn to graduation!

Josh Ward and Ian McLean began their final learning circle today before they graduate from the Centre for Christian Studies’ Diploma in Diaconal Ministries program this weekend.  Over this coming week they will plan for the worship service this Sunday, reflect on their personal credos, explore polity and changes within the church, think about ways to build support networks in their ministry, and continue making connections between their ministry and the need to work for right relations and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Continue reading “Integrating Year Spring Circle Starts”