OSTS Courses for the year 2018/2019

Fall Term 2018 (September 17 – November 26, 2018)

First-hour courses (7:30 - 8:20 p.m.)

Course A:  Understanding the Stories in Genesis:  Rabbi Dr. Reuven P. Bulka C.M
A long-standing lecturer at OSTS, Rabbi Dr. Bulka is a widely respected writer, broadcaster, and religious leader in Ottawa.

The second half of Genesis contains some perplexing episodes involving Biblical personalities. The apparent clash between Isaac and Rebecca, the volatile relationship between Jacob and Esau, between Jacob and Laban, the disconnect between Laban and his daughters Leah and Rachel, and the protracted clash of Joseph and his brothers will be analyzed through careful study of the Biblical text.


Course B:  Revelation across Religions:  Fr. Louis Roy O.P.
Fr. Roy teaches theology and spirituality at the Dominican University College in Ottawa. He has published books in English, French, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

We shall examine the main characteristics of various world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and Christianity with as much objectivity and respect as possible. Participants will be invited to identify and discuss the advantages and drawbacks of each of those religions, especially from the perspective of faith and revelation.


Course C: New Ways of Ministry with SBNR Young Adults (Spiritual But Not Religious): Rev. Dr. Sherwood
Tom Sherwood is a Minister with the United Church of Canada and Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University.

Tom's book, “Listening to The Echo”, quotes hundreds of thoughtful, spiritual, ethical young adults as they explain why they reject the religious institutions of their families. They are the "Echo Generation" – the children of Baby Boomers, the Echo from the Boom. But they do not echo their parents' opinions or values. They express a new spirituality in their beliefs and practices. This course will consider new ministries that are connecting with them, enriched by Tom’s interviews with guests from some of those ministries.

Second-hour courses (8:40 - 9:30 p.m.)

Course D:  A Liberating Word from the Mountain Top - The Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes
Rev. Kevin Flynn is an Anglican priest and director of the Anglican Studies Program at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Ontario. He is also part of a broad network of Christians who practice yoga, meditation and prayer.

Are these teachings, rules, and attitudes to be held as aspects of character that are moral imperatives, conditions for Christian living, or aspirations to be lived into? The course will explore how these teachings may be understood and experienced for personal and social freedom.


Course E:  Coptic Orthodox Christianity:  Fr. Shenouda Boutros and Deacon Mike Gawargy
Rev. Fr. Shenouda Boutros has served in Egypt, Germany, and England and most recently in Ottawa for over 25 years. He is renowned for in-depth Biblical studies and Coptic Hymnology.
Mike Gawargy is a local IT leader who serves as deacon at Saint Mary’s Coptic Church.

This course provides a comprehensive overview and understanding of the Coptic Church – a church prophesied about in Old Testament scripture, founded by Saint Mark the Evangelist and Apostle, founded in a land blessed by the Holy Family’s visit to Egypt, carrying a rich heritage of tradition and spiritual treasures, surviving and thriving over the course of twenty centuries despite eras or persecution. From its origins in Alexandria to its modern day global presence, we look at the founding biblical figures, history, culture, liturgy, sacraments, saints and martyrs, monastic elements, and current clerical leaders. Come learn how the Coptic Church continues to spread Christ’s message of salvation and hope in the modern era.


Course F:  Learning A New Way to Pray: Tracking the Trajectory of Reformation in the Church:  Pr. Malina
The Rev. Martin Malina is pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Nepean and has served as Dean of the Ottawa Ministry Area of ELCIC Lutheran congregations. Martin sat on the Christian Council of the Capital Area and is a patron of the Multifaith Housing Initiative, Ottawa.

In 2017, Christians worldwide marked the 500th anniversary of Reformation by gathering together in several contexts to pray. During the anniversary year, diverse assemblies recognized that the 16th century Reformation left a legacy of division in the church defined more by conflict and competition than the way of Jesus who prayed for his followers, “that they may be one.” Protestants and Catholics have committed to turning the tide, and prayed for the healing of old wounds. In this course, participants will explore together the ‘architecture’ of relationships in the church today. We will examine these commitments to greater visible expressions of unity while recognizing ongoing points of difference. Participants will move outside comfort zones to experience Christian unity in contexts other than their own denomination, all in order to grow in appreciation of the ‘other’ and thereby contribute to the trajectory towards greater, visible unity in the church for the next 500 years.


Winter Term 2019 (January 07 – March 18, 2019)

First-hour courses (7:30 - 8:20 p.m.)

Course G: Crisis? What Crisis?:  Robert Sibley, PhD
Robert Sibley, an award-winning journalist and author, holds a PhD in political science. He is currently working on a new book, "The Way of Mountain and Forest: Journeys in the Spirit of Nietzsche, Heidegger and Kierkegaard.

The West is undergoing a spiritual crisis whereby attacks on its traditions of freedom, rights, and the sanctity of human consciousness are fostering political instability, social discontent, and psychological anxiety. Drawing on political philosophy, we consider various "morbid symptoms" – cultural Marxism, political correctness, identity politics, etc. - to explain why this is.


Course H:  World Christianity:  Catherine E. Clifford, STL, PhD
Catherine E. Clifford is Professor in the Faculty of Theology at Saint Paul University, where she teaches systematic theology.

This course will explore changes in the face of the Christian movement in the past century, including the dramatic expansion of Christian communities in the global south, the rise of Evangelical and Pentecostal movements, and the indigenization of Christianity in post-colonial contexts. We will consider some possible consequences for the future of the churches in Canada and around the world.


Course I:  An Introduction to the Evolution of Christian Church Architecture:  Dr. Vicki Bennett
Dr. Vicki Bennett has worked as an archaeologist in Europe, Roman North Africa and Canada. Her book Sacred Space and Structural Style was critically reviewed as "One of the very best books on church architecture in Ontario, and an important addition to the architectural canon..." (ROM)

This course goes beyond a simple history of architecture to include a fascinating glance into the complex world social, cultural, and political factors that have influenced the structure and style of churches across almost two millennia. Participants will explore how the codification of liturgy and changing attitudes towards the status of church and state shaped the space in which Christians worshiped.


Second-hour courses (8:40 - 9:30 p.m.)

Course J:  Studio Course in Christian Art:  Rev. Doug Valerio
Doug is Pastor at Manotick Community Church and taught this course at Christ for the Nations Bible College in the UK. He spent 4 years at Art College and paints for pleasure.

Each week, there will be a 25-30 min PowerPoint presentation on the history of Christian art. Selected artworks will be discussed in their theological context and the development of art within the social context. For the remainder of the time, participants will work on doing studies for a final piece of their own Christian Art, drawing on ideas and inspiration from the lecture. At the end of the course we will have an art exhibition, where the participant will display their final piece, their portfolio of studies and idea development along with a short, 1-page written piece describing their journey and meaning of their work. No previous experience in drawing or painting is required, just a willingness to have fun, try something new, and journey on a visual exploration of faith. Participants will need to purchase their own art materials (info will be given on the first evening).


Course K:  Journeys to Justice: Reflections on Canadian Christian Activism:  Joe Gunn
Joe Gunn M.A. has been the executive director of Citizens for Public Justice since 2008 and was the founding vice-chair of KAIROS-Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives. His work has been recognized most recently with the Eugène de Mazenod Medal from St. Paul's University.

What have we learned as people of faith who stopped the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline, ended apartheid, organized the private sponsorship of refugees and called for an end to poverty? The example of those who have been tireless labourers for social change across Canada over the years can - and should be - models for our own journey in the quest for public justice. Joe Gunn will present case studies from his interviews with ten key actors from varied ecumenical backgrounds, offer the lessons as they relate them, and discuss perspectives of current justice efforts among faith communities.


Course L:  You've Got Mail: A study in Revelation:  Rev. Stanley Hanna
The Rev. Stanley Hanna is the pastor of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Aylmer and a regular lecturer at the Ottawa School of Theology and Spirituality since 2004.

"Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea." (Rev. 1:11) And the letters arrived at each of these churches with an attachment — the "apocalypse" (revelation) of John's vision from God! Do you know the end from the beginning?