Learning on Purpose 2017 – Apply Now

Learning on Purpose: Changing Leadership for a Changing World is back!  This summer our two-week leadership development course will be held in Saskatoon in June and in Winnipeg in August.  The application for the June LoP is May 1st, so apply today.  (Here’s a little secret: If you really want to attend but you can’t get your application in by May 1, send us an email and we’ll keep a space open for you.)

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Program Redesign

For the past year-and-a-half nearly 40 volunteers across the country have been meeting by phone or in person in small task groups to look deeply at various aspects of the Centre for Christian Studies’ educational programming.  The Program Review was endorsed by CCS’s Central Council, and the process for reviewing our curriculum – in light of the current social and global context, the needs of the church, the implications of communication technology, and the desire to make our programs more accessible to potential students – was designed in large part by Ann Naylor.  Over the past year, the Program Review Coordinating Team – Marcie Gibson, Linda Ervin, and Lori Stewart – have shepherded the process along.  Continue reading “Program Redesign”

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.
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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…

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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”