Courses

 

OSTS Courses for the year 2024-2025

Fall Term 2024 (September 23 – December 2, 2024)

First half - Sep 23-Oct 28  (7:30-9:30 p.m.)

Course A:  An Introduction to the Baha’i Faith   [IN-PERSON]
This course explores the history and teachings of the Bahá’í Faith, the youngest of the world’s global religions. We will look into the spiritual teachings, perspectives on human nature and the divine, and how the principle of oneness of humanity shapes community life, commitment to social and economic development, and the administrative structures of the global Bahá’í community.

Jóhanna Taherzadeh Jochumsdóttir is an historian who has taught at universities and in community education in South Africa, Israel, Ireland, the United States and England. Originally from Iceland, she lives in Old Ottawa South with her family.

 

Course B:  "Just Wars": A Brief History of a Lure and a Trap   [Online]
These lectures will present briefly propositions concerning "just" war theories as people seem to need them to justify violence, killings, destructions, etc. It is an important topic today as different types of wars are raging... and peace seems to be a distant dream and ideal.

Maxime Allard, OP is a Catholic priest in the Dominican Order and past president of the Dominican College in Ottawa, where he continues to teach. He is a long-time lecturer and supporter of the OSTS.

 

Course C:  From the heart: Indigenous Spiritualities, Cultures and Identities   [Online]
Indigenous speakers from different communities in Canada will share their knowledge. They will speak about their work, their passions and their identity from their own lived experience and desire to make the world a better place.

Carole Brazeau, Professor Richard Budgell, Reverend Mary Fontaine and Dr. Reverend Teresa Burnett-Cole

Second half - Nov 4-Dec 2  (7:30-9:30 p.m.)

Course D:  Introduction to the Gospel of John   [IN-PERSON]
This course is an introduction to the study of the Gospel of John – its structure, cultural setting, and major theological themes. It will include exegesis of selected passages in the Gospel of John; with special attention given to the meaning of "light", "life", and "signs".

Jason hails from Montreal and obtained degrees in history and English literature from the University of Ottawa. He also has a Masters in Theological Studies from Saint Paul University where he is currently completing a doctorate in theology. His research is in the area of Greek Patristics, where he studies the theology of repentance in Orthodox ascetic and monastic texts. He also researches early and medieval Church history as well as Orthodox theology and spirituality.

 

Course E:  Why Advent? Christmas is almost here   [Online]
Advent is the unsung hero of the church calendar even though it is what our world most desperately needs. When everyone is already celebrating Christmas, we do something else in the four weeks before December 25th. In the gentle pacing of Advent, we discover what hope really means.

Reverend Martin Malina is currently the Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Ottawa, and Dean of the Ottawa Ministry Area in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. He serves on the Board of the Canadian Christian Meditation Community and is a patron of the Ottawa Multifaith Housing Initiative. He received his M. Div. at Martin Luther University College in Waterloo, Ontario, and is currently achieving a graduate level degree in Counselling and Psychology from Yorkville University. He has previously taught at OSTS.

 

Course F:  Cultural Hermeneutics with Reformation Artists   [Online]
Great painters are not simply masters of mediums, technique, and color, but are also keen observers of cultural, political, and religious contexts. This course explores works of four Reformation Era artists who painted during a period of dramatic cultural change, political unrest, and religious fervor and who can help us understand the world we live in centuries later.

Andy Brubacher is a Pastor at Ottawa Mennonite Church. He taught Christian Formation at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Indiana for 20 years before returning to the pastorate in Ontario. In both pastoral ministry and teaching ministry Andy is fascinated by the interplay between faith and culture.

 


Winter Term 2025 (January 6 – March 17, 2024)

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

Course G:  The Journey to Forgiveness   [Online]
Why can it be so hard to forgive someone who hurt you? What can we do if someone will not forgive us for the harm we’ve done? Using stories, we will explore the stages along the way that make forgiveness more likely to happen for individuals and communities.

Dr. Carol Penner is the Director of Theological Studies at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. She was a pastor for many years, and has been a freelance writer. Her research explores issues of abuse, accountability and forgiveness. Her most recent book is Unburdened: A Lenten Journey Towards Forgiveness

 

Course H:  Preference and Power in Congregational Song   [Online]
Why do we feel such strong reactions to new kinds of music? Is all congregational music suitable for church? Who gets to decide which music is "best"? Participants will explore cultural bias, canonization processes, and questions of race, gender, and class in order to nuance what are often contentious debates about congregational song.

Anneli Loepp Thiessen is a PhD candidate in the Interdisciplinary Music Research program at the University of Ottawa, where her dissertation examines women’s experiences as songwriters and worship leaders in the contemporary worship music industry. She is published in several academic journals, including The Hymn, Journal of Contemporary Ministry, Religions, and Worship. Anneli was a committee member for the 2020 Mennonite hymnal Voices Together, and is co-director of Anabaptist Worship Network.

 

Course I:  2SLGBTQQIA+ — Journey to Full Inclusion   [Online]
Topics include: the process of welcome over the past 50 years in church denominations, including arguments made for and against, and stories from congregations and clergy. There will be guest appearances from Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders and we will review the acronym 2SLGBTQQIA+, and discuss the challenges of becoming inclusive and welcoming.

The Rev Canon Gary van der Meer is Rector of St John the Evangelist Anglican Church in downtown Ottawa, a congregation and extended community has a long history of welcome and inclusion.

 

Second half - Feb 10-Mar 17  (7:30-9:30 p.m.)

Course J:  The Reformation: Is it Relevant Today?   [Online]
Is the Reformation relevant to contemporary Christians? How did it form modern Christian ethics and worship practices? This course will help answer these questions with an overview of Reformation history, how it has been understood since the 16th century, its effects upon society and politics, and how deeply influential it continues to be.

Jarrett A. Carty is Professor and Principal of the Liberal Arts College, Concordia University, where he has taught for 17 years. He is an ordained Anglican deacon and chaplain to the three-day shelters run by the Diocese of Ottawa.

 

Course K:  Christian Responses to Earth's Fragility – Scripture, Liturgy and Movements for Change   [Online]
This course addresses key issues around the current ecological crisis: including climate change, biodiversity loss, and human impact on water quality and land use. We will explore relevant parts of Christian scripture and theological tradition. Each class will look at new liturgical expressions prompted by this crisis and emerging movements for change.

Dr. Anthony is the Ontario director of A Rocha, an international Christian organization dedicated to sustainability of earth’s resources through scientific research and education. He holds several degrees, including a doctor in Christian theology and a Masters in Science. He is an author and speaker and currently lives in St. George ON with his family.

 

Course L:  Cultural Appropriation and Sacred Song   [Online]
Cultural appropriation is a growing topic of concern, but discerning how to sing across cultural difference remains complicated. What is the line between cultural borrowing and stealing, sharing and appropriation? This course will help participants explore differences between cultural appreciation and appropriation in order to empower justice-oriented congregational singing.

Anneli Loepp Thiessen is a PhD candidate in the Interdisciplinary Music Research program at the University of Ottawa, where her dissertation examines women’s experiences as songwriters and worship leaders in the contemporary worship music industry. She is published in several academic journals, including The Hymn, Journal of Contemporary Ministry, Religions, and Worship. Anneli was a committee member for the 2020 Mennonite hymnal Voices Together, and is co-director of Anabaptist Worship Network.