Continuing Studies


Our continuing studies learning experiences provide an integrated, grounded opportunity to step away from the day-to-day to be fed and renewed.  Each learning circle provides opportunity for deepening, for connection and holds relevance to life and work in ministry. They are at once soul-filling, spiritual and practical.

From six-day theme circles to the 12-day Learning on Purpose, participants find themselves in a  focused environment of spiritual and enriched learning.

The CCS learning methodology is both collaborative and self-reflective, engaging body as well as heart and mind.  Readings are drawn from a breadth of sources to provide a foundation for rich exploration within the learning community.  Learners are not told what to believe, but invited by the diversity of the students present to challenge assumptions and broaden understanding.

Lay leaders find CCS learning circles both rigorous and invitational. Even those new to theology find their insights welcomed.

Apply to be a Continuing Studies student, and you can register for theme learning circles with a mix of full-time and continuing studies students – reading, discussing, exploring, connecting.

This spring we’re offering two six-day learning circles:

March 20-26, 2019 Power and Privilege (SJ2)
March 28-April 3, 2019 Health, Pain, and Trauma (SC4)
June 10 – 29, 2019 Learning on Purpose

Beginning in January 2019 we will also offer our first on-line courses!

January 15, 2019 – February 21, 2019 (online) Ministry as Listening (SC1) (video: Tues and Thurs, 11am CST)
January 16, 2019 – February 22, 2019 (online) Living Scripture (EW3) (video: Wed and Fri, 3pm CST)


Theme Learning Circles are 6-day in-person intensives (or 8-10 week online courses), exploring various themes in ministry and faith-based leadership and action.  Learning Circles include readings, assignments, and group work.  Two in-person Learning Circles are offered back-to-back in the fall, and two back-to-back in the spring.


  • Ministry as Listening – ministry of presence, pastoral visiting, prayer, counseling and spiritual direction, pastoral ethics and boundaries.
  • Grief and Loss – pastoral support to the dying and those they leave behind, end of life issues, funerals, and questions of afterlife.
  • Relationships – intimate and familial relationships, sexuality and gender, family systems, weddings, covenants, relationship break-ups, and the role of minister as support.
  • Health, Pain, & Trauma – mental health, chronic pain, stress, depression, suicide, abuse, trauma, and healing.
  • To Be Determined – a circle focusing on a significant aspect of spiritual care.


  • Ministry as Community-Building – healthy community, issues of safety and comfort, advocacy, congregational systems, and theology of the reign of God.
  • Power and Privilege –social location, individual and systemic power, social analysis, and the role of the prophet.
  • Oppression and Resistance – systems of oppressions (racism, sexism, heterosexism, colonialism, etc.), models of change, and theologies of resistance (liberation theology, feminist theology, queer theology, etc.)
  • Eco-Justice – environmental concerns, climate change, water and food security, population displacement, and the theology of creation.
  • Right Relations – the relationship of indigenous and settler people in Canada, treaty as covenant, truth and reconciliation, indigenous spiritualities, land, and the theology of mission.


  • Ministry as Storytelling – preaching, scripture as narrative, and the arts in worship and education.
  • Ages and Stages – ministry with various age groups, development theory, curriculum, youth ministry, children’s ministry, adult education, ministry with seniors, and intergenerational ministry.
  • Living Scripture – practical bible study, understanding and interpreting the bible in context, and the theology of revelation.
  • Culture and Identity – exploring race and culture, interfaith and ecumenical connections, and intersectionality.
  • Worship – liturgy planning and worship leadership, sacraments, and special services.