The Centre for Christian Studies offers courses and circles for students in our Diploma (Diaconal Ministries) and Certificate programs, as well as for Continuing Studies students. Some courses and circles have prerequisites. Visit the Tuition page for course and circle fees, and the Admissions page to apply for the Diaconal Ministries or Continuing Studies program.
- LEADERSHIP and DISCERNMENT COURSES
- THEME LEARNING CIRCLES
- FIELD EDUCATION
- ACADEMIC COURSES (Externals)
- INTEGRATION CIRCLES
Courses and Circles for 2017-2018
|August 14-25, 2017||Learning on Purpose (Winnipeg)|
|September 2017 – May, 2017||Diaconal Praxis|
|September 2017 – May 2018||Field|
|September 11-16, 2017||Integration I|
|October 2017 – March 2018||Integration II (online)|
|October 11-17, 2017||Ministry as Listening (SC1)|
|October 19-25, 2017||Grief and Loss (SC2)|
|January 2018 – March 2018||(online) Ages and Stages (EW2) *tentative|
|April 9-15, 2018||Integration III|
|April 11-17, 2018||Relationships (SC3)|
|April 19-25, 2018||Right Relations (SJ5)|
Course and Circle Descriptions
LEADERSHIP and DISCERNMENT COURSES
Explore your calling, develop your leadership skills, and discover the meaning of “learning-in-community.”
THEME LEARNING CIRCLES
Theme Learning Circles are 6-day in-person intensives (or, coming soon, 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.
SPIRITUAL CARE CIRCLES
SOCIAL JUSTICE CIRCLES
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION & WORSHIP CIRCLES
What is “praxis?” It’s action combined with reflection, and it’s how experiential learning happens. Diaconal ministry students do Diaconal Praxis for every year they are active in the diploma program.
Practical field experience and engagement with the world allows Diploma and Certificate students to put theory into practice, and provides contextual grounding for Learning Circles and Academic courses.
ACADEMIC COURSES (Externals)
Students in the Diaconal Ministries program are required to take 8 academic courses in theology, Biblical studies, church history, and ethics. These courses are often referred to as “externals”, as they are not taken at the Centre for Christian Studies but at a recognized theological education institution outside of the CCS. (For more information and to see a list of recognized institutions, visit the External Course page.) The 8 required academic courses are:
- Theology (2) – an introductory theology course and a course on a more specific theological focus (eg. Christology, feminist theology, contemporary indigenous theologians, etc.)
- Christian Scriptures (2) – an introductory Christian Scriptures or New Testament course and a course on a more specific focus (eg. the Gospel of Mark, images of nature in Revelations, etc.)
- Hebrew Scriptures (2) – an introductory Hebrew Bible or Old Testament course and a course on a more specific focus (eg. women in the Hebrew Bible, Exodus, etc.)
- Church History (1) – a course providing an overview of Christian church history.
- Christian Ethics (1) – a course providing an overview of ethical models and methodologies in the Christian tradition.
In the final year of their diploma program, diaconal students take an integrating year to pull together all they’ve learned and prepare for a life of leadership in the church and the world. (Integration Circles I, II, and III are taken in the same school year.)
- Integration I – theology, personal faith statements and official creeds, diaconal/vocational/ministry identity.
- Integration II – a 6-session online connection focusing on denominational identity and polity.
- Integration III – a 6-day circle focusing on preparation for active ministry.
Mini-courses are short, self-directed online courses focusing on some of the tools, skills, and ideas that are foundational to the Centre for Christian Studies’ education model. These non-credit courses can be taken as a prerequisite for other courses, as a refresher for CCS students, or as a “taste” of what CCS offers for the general public.
NOTE: Most of these mini-courses are still in development.
- The CCS Action-Reflection Spiral – Learn to use this tool for understanding and transformation.
- Giving and Receiving Feedback – Tips for offering encouragement and challenge without alienating people, and accepting comments without being defensive.
- Learning Goals and Learning Plans – Learn to identify what you want and need to learn and make specific plans for how to get there.
- Group Planning Skills and Processes – Tips on working with others to plan and lead an event, workshop, or educational session.
- Thinking about Spiritual Care – An introduction to some terms and ideas that are important for people who want to provide emotional and spiritual care to know.
- Thinking about Social Justice – An introduction to some terms and ideas that are important for justice-seekers, advocates, allies, and people who want to understand and change the world to know.
- Thinking about Christian Education & Worship – An introduction to some terms and ideas that are important for youth ministers, Bible study leaders, workshop facilitators, and worship leaders to know.
- Thinking about a Global Perspectives Experience – Learn to step out of your comfort zone with an openness to discovering pain, courage, and shared challenges in other parts of the world, and then integrate your global experiences when you return.
- The Alumni Reading Circle – A special online community for our alumni, with access to all the readings assigned to current students and a forum for discussion and sharing of resources.
How much does a course or learning circle cost? Check out the Tuition page.
|Learning on Purpose||no prerequisite|
|Diaconal/Vocational Praxis||Learning on Purpose, or
Mini-courses: “Spiral” + “Feedback”
|Up to 4 Theme Learning Circles*||Learning on Purpose, or
Mini-courses*: “Spiral” + “Feedback” + “Thinking About…” (eg. “Thinking About Social Justice” prior to a Social Justice circle)
* students must have Learning on Purpose to lead student-led sessions in learning circles
|5th Theme Learning Circle||2 Academic Courses (externals)|
|1st Field Placement||Learning on Purpose|
|2nd Field Placement||3 Theme Learning Circles|
|Global Perspectives Experience||10 Theme Learning Circles + “Thinking about a GPE” mini-course|
|Integration I, II, and III||12 Theme Learning Circles + 3 Field Placements + 8 Academic Courses (externals) + Global Perspectives Experience|
Course and Circle FAQ
How much do Courses or Circles cost? Check out the Tuition page. Tuition costs don’t include travel or accommodations.
Where do learning circles take place? Most in-person learning circles take place in Winnipeg. The Learning on Purpose course often moves around the country.
Do I have to take a Praxis Year every year? If you’re in the Diaconal Ministries program, yes, you should do the praxis component every year. It’s how you develop the practice of reflecting on and integrating your experience, regardless of whether that experience is attending learning circles, doing a field placement, taking academic courses, or just living your life as a diaconal student. If you don’t want to or are unable to do the praxis component, you could consider becoming Inactive.
What does Inactive status mean? Sometimes life gets in the way of your being able to be a student. “Inactive” means you’re taking a break from being a CCS student for awhile – to look after your health, care for a loved one, travel, work, whatever – and you plan on coming back to your studies when you’re done. After more than 3 Inactive years in a row, we’ll consider you withdrawn from your program and you’ll have to reapply.
What would a “full” year of the diaconal program include? A typical full year would be made up of: Diaconal Praxis, a Field Placement, 4 theme learning circles (2 in the fall, 2 in the spring), and maybe a couple of Academic external courses. An Integrating Year would be made up of: Diaconal Praxis, and 3 Integration Circles. (Global Perspectives is also usually considered part of the Integrating Year, though one’s actual trip might have occurred earlier.)
Is there a schedule of courses and learning circles for the years to come? There is a tentative schedule. Generally, Praxis components and Field Placements will run from September to May each year. Integration 1 learning circles will be in September each year, Integration 2 will be online and run between October and the Integration 3 circle, and Integration 3 will be in March or April, depending on when Easter falls in a given year. Theme learning circles will usually be offered in October and in March or April (again, depending on Easter and the Integration 3 timing). The tentative rotation of Theme learning circles looks like:
- October 11-17, 2017 – Ministry as Listening (SC1)
- October 19-25, 2017 – Grief and Loss (SC2)
- January – March, 2018 – (online) Ages and Stages (EW2) *tentative
- April 11-17, 2018 – Relationships (SC3)
- April 19-25, 2018 – Right Relations (SJ5)
- October, 2018 – Ministry as Community-Building (SJ1)
- October, 2018 – Worship (EW5)
- January-March, 2019 – (online) Ministry as Listening (SC1)
- January – March, 2019 – (online) Living Scripture (EW3)
- April , 2019 – Health, Pain, & Trauma (SC4)
- April, 2019 – Power and Privilege (SJ2)
- October, 2019 – Ministry as Storytelling (EW1)
- October, 2019 – TBD (SC5)
- January-March, 2020 – (online) Ministry as Community-Building (SJ1)
- January – March, 2020 – (online) Health, Pain, & Trauma (SC4)
- April , 2020 – Oppression and Resistance (SJ3)
- April , 2020 – Ages and Stages (EW2)
- October, 2020 – Ministry as Listening (SC1)
- October, 2020 – Eco-Justice (SJ4)
- January – March, 2021 – (online) Culture and Identity (EW4)
- January-March , 2021 – (online) Power and Privilege (SJ2)
- April , 2021 – Living Scripture (EW3)
- April, 2021 – Grief and Loss (SC2)
- October , 2021 – Right Relations (SJ5)
- October, 2021 – Culture and Identity (EW4)
- January-March, 2022 – (online) TBD (SC5)
- January – March, 2022 – (online) Worship (EW5)
- April, 2022 – Relationships (SC3)
- April, 2022 – Power and Privilege (SJ2)
- October, 2022 – Worship (EW5)
- October, 2022 – Health, Pain, & Trauma (SC4)
- January – March , 2023 – (online) Oppression and Resistance (SJ3)
- January-March, 2023 – (online) Ministry as Listening (SC1)
- April , 2023 – Ministry as Community-Building (SJ1)
- April, 2023 – Ministry as Storytelling (EW1)
I started my diaconal studies before 2017. What are my Theme Years worth? If you’ve completed a Pastoral Care Year, that’s the equivalent of a Field Placement, 4 Spiritual Care circles, and a Diaconal Praxis component. A Social Ministry Year is worth a Field Placement, 4 Social Justice circles, and a Diaconal Praxis component. And an Educational & Liturgical Ministry Year is the equivalent of a Field Placement, 4 Education & Worship circles, and a Diaconal Praxis component.
I started my diaconal studies before 2017 and I haven’t done the prerequisite Academic courses to take more learning circles yet. Can I still register for learning circles? Yes. But get busy with those externals, would you.