OSTS Courses for the year 2019/2020

Fall Term 2019 (September 16 – November 25, 2019)

First half - Sep 16-Oct 21  (7:30-9:30 p.m.)

Course A:  Grief  -  Verna Nuttall
Verna Nuttall has been a facilitator with the OPCTP for many years as well as providing leadership for grief support groups and workshops/seminars on a variety of topics. Verna likes her groups to be interactive.

Grief comes from many types of losses. Our five weeks together will centre around grief feelings with tips on moving forward despite the many losses in our lives. Participants may choose from a range of subjects, including forgiveness/letting go, anger/bitterness, healthy boundaries, caregiver health which will be determined at the first session.


Course B:  The Search for Meaning in our Lives  -  Dr. Edward Marshall
Dr. Edward Marshall is Registered Psychotherapist in Ottawa and Faculty of the Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy. He is the author of several books and offers Professional Development Courses at the Ottawa Institute of Logotherapy.

Viktor E. Frankl, a psychiatrist and holocaust survivor, maintained an appreciation for “the last of the human freedoms” – our ability to choose our response to unavoidable suffering. He is the founder of logotherapy and existential analysis which holds that the search for meaning is our lives’ primary motivation. Join us in learning more.


Course C:  Life Writing as it Pertains to Faith  -  Dr. Sharon Hamilton
Dr. Sharon Hamilton has taught classes on literature at universities in Italy, Austria, Canada, and the United States; including at Georgetown University. Her most recent published work on American literature appears in Teaching Hemingway’s Modernism. She has taught past OSTS classes on drama, the visual arts, and poetry.

This interactive class allows students to read, write, and explore the art of spiritual memoir writing. Students will learn about autobiographical faith writing through talks with guest writers; readings from poetry and prose memoirs; tips for strong life writing; and writing workshop-style activities.

Second half - Oct 28-Nov 25  (7:30-9:30 p.m.)

Course D:   Discernment  -  Rev Dr Glen Stoudt
Glen Stoudt is a retired United Church minister and former seminary professor who now serves as a Spiritual Director at Orleans United Church. He has previously taught two courses at OSTS on blessing and on stewardship.

Each of us is on a spiritual journey that invites us to make choices with hope for a more meaningful life. Discernment is the sacred art of recognizing how the Spirit accompanies us in that practice. But what if the goal was not simply making life-affirming choices, but even more to discover and embrace a collaborative relationship with the Holy. A recommended book for this course is: "Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life", Henri Nouwen; HarperOne, 2013 (available on Amazon).


Course E:  Daniel: Dream Interpreter and Prophet  -  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.

Royal Prince of Palestine, Daniel is carried off into exile to Babylon. No ordinary captive, he rises through the ranks to become advisor to kings of two nations, first Babylon then Persia. Dream interpretation and prophecy are his specialties. Nice work if you can get it!


Course F:  Islam 101: Between Myth and Reality  -  Dr. Ali Alhalawani
Dr. Ali Alhalawani is an Assistant Professor at the International Islamic University Malaysia and a lecturer in various universities around the world on Islam. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of the Electronic Da`wah Committee in Kuwait, and Deputy Chief Editor and Managing Editor of the Shari`ah and Fatwa Department,; He holds BA, MA, and PhD from world-renowned Al-Azhar University. Dr. Alhalwani is currently teaching at Siraj Institute for Islamic Studies, Ottawa.

In this course we will introduce basics of Islam and its foundations, including questions such as: What is the difference between Islam as a religion versus as a culture? What is halal food? Why do women wear head coverings? What is the role of media in covering Islam – is it negative or positive and why? Who are some prominent figures in Islamic traditions?


Winter Term 2020 (January 6 – March 16, 2020)

First half - Jan 6-Feb 3  (7:30-9:30 p.m.)

Course G:  Lent: an Intriguing Liturgical Season  -  Fr Maxime Allard
Fr. Maxime Allard, O.P., lecturer in philosophy and theology at and president of Dominican University College

Over five weeks we retrace the history of Lent, its theological roots and anthropological implications. We explore the meaning of Lent in our world and Churches. Preceded by Mardi Gras, framed by Ash Wednesday and Holy Week, Lent was the occasion of special penances, mortifications, liturgical rites, and the inspiration of numerous painters and writers.


Course H:  Sacramental Voices: Spiritual Themes and Poetry and Song  -  Rev. Allan Budzin
The Rev. Allan Budzin is currently a priest in the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa. As a former member of the Carmelite Order, he has wide experience with Carmelite spirituality

This course examines the work of numerous poets and songwriters such as Mary Oliver, Emily Dickinson, Denise Levertov, Czeslaw Milosz, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Cockburn, Paul Simon and others. Themes include: joy and ecstasy, suffering and death, love, prayer and praise, compassion and justice, God, epiphany, darkness, and more.


Course I:  Christianity in a Post Christian World  -  Dr. Louis Perron
Dr. Louis Perron has been trained both in Philosophy and Theology. He is currently teaching philosophy and ethics at the School of Public Ethics, Saint-Paul University.

We in the Western world live in a secular age, often lamented by Christians as a loss and regression. Is it possible to interpret the current situation from a more positive perspective? This course will suggest that the current situation might be more attuned to the Gospel than appears at first glance.


Second half - Feb 10-Mar 16  (7:30-9:30 p.m.)

Course J:  The Beauty of Holy Week  -  Rev. Jim Beall
The Reverend Canon Jim Beall, Anglican priest, former Secondary School teacher, and a regular lecturer at OSTS.

Holy Week moves us from the glory of Palm Sunday to the glory of Easter. Through our experience of the Liturgies of the Church – Procession of Palms, Tenebrae, Last Supper, Passion Gospels, Vigil – and through the splendid music composed for Holy Week, we will enrich our appreciation both of Jesus’ sacrifice and of His Triumph.


Course K:  All in the Family: the Genesis Version  -  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 stories in the latter half of Genesis are at once intriguing episodes and historical tone setters. The interaction of Jacob with Laban, the great confrontation between Jacob & Esau, and the complicated relationship of Joseph and his brothers, will be carefully analyzed through a study of the Biblical text.


Course L:  Death and Afterlife in World Religions (Part 1)  -  Dr. Angela Sumegi
Angela Sumegi is a retired Associate Professor of Religion, now Adjunct Research professor in the College of the Humanities at Carleton University. She has is the author of multiple books and is also director of the Palyul Namdroling Foundation, a Canadian charity that supports Tibetan refugee children in India.

This course explores the ideas and beliefs associated with death and life after death as expressed in various religious and cultural traditions. We begin with small scale tribal beliefs, examine concepts of death and afterlife in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, and the development of these ideas in the traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The lectures will follow Angela's book Understanding Death: An Introduction to Ideas of Self and Afterlife in World Religions (Wiley-Blackwell 2013). The textbook is optional but available on Amazon.