OSTS Courses for the year 2023-2024

Fall Term 2023 (September 18 – November 27, 2023)

First half - Sep 18-Oct 23  (7:30-9:30 p.m.)

Course A:  Storytime: Using Quality Children’s Books to Teach the Seven Christian Virtues   [In-Person]
Experts agree that reading with children promotes emotional and cognitive development. It’s also a way to share values and ethics. Focusing on quality children’s books, this course will show how to share stories and talk about them to highlight the virtues. It will also suggest strategies for choosing engaging and meaningful books.

Rhonda Birenbaum is a retired elementary school teacher with a speciality in reading and writing for children.
Rowena MacKeen is a current elementary school teacher and a special education specialist.


Course B:  The Book of Ezekiel and Congregational Renewal   [ONLINE]
Can the total obedience of a mere mortal —a faithful servant of God— change the course of history, transform the community of faith, and guide it from death to resurrection? The course explores the Book of Ezekiel, with emphasis placed on the theological messages of the prophet, and the task of interpreting them in the context of congregational renewal.

Rev. Paul Wu is the minister at St. Giles Presbyterian church. Deeply committed to congregational ministry, he is passionate about engaging youth to explore the Christian faith. He is fond of Hebrew Scriptures, particularly prophetic literature.


Course C:  Science and Theology Part I: The Galileo Affair   [ONLINE]
In this course we will examine the primary texts and historical contexts of the “Galileo Affair,” including the controversial Dialogue of the Two Chief World Systems. Along the way, we will learn a little astronomy and physics, and some relevant Christian theology.

Jarrett A. Carty is Professor and Principal of the Liberal Arts College, Concordia University, where he has taught for 16 years. He is an ordained Anglican deacon and chaplain to the three day shelters run by the Diocese of Ottawa.

Second half - Oct 30-Nov 27  (7:30-9:30 p.m.)

Course D:  History of the United Church of Canada   [ONLINE]
This course will examine the history of the United Church from the events leading to its creation in 1925 up to the present. It will look at key developments in various eras as the Church sought to respond to challenges in its own life and in the wider society.

Rev. Dr. John H. Young is a retired United Church minister. He served in congregational ministry, as faculty of the theology programme at Queen’s University, and as Executive Staff in the national United Church office.


Course E:  Sacramental Voices: Spiritual Themes in Poetry and Song   [In-Person]
This course explores various themes in spirituality as displayed in a selection of poetry, song, and film. Emphasis will be given to the theological significance on Incarnation and its creative expression in the religious imagination of several poets.

Allan Budzin is a priest in the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa. His interests include historical theology and spirituality, particularly the poetry & spirituality of St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila. He is both a former lecturer and Dean of OSTS.


Course F:  The Bible: Who is Missing from the Story?    [ONLINE]
How stories are told is just as important as which stories are being told. Our task will be to uncover marginalized and silenced voices within the stories and deconstructing our potential biases imposed on biblical studies. Let us explore the impact of context and worldviews on how we receive God’s narratives.

Rev. Chung Yan (JoAnne) Lam is Pastor at All Saints' Westboro Anglican Church. She is passionate about ecumenism, storytelling, and learning. Her approach to biblical studies and life is with a healthy dose of hermeneutics, of curiosity, and suspicion.


Winter Term 2024 (January 8 – March 18, 2024)

First half - Jan 8-Feb 5  (7:30-9:30 p.m.)

Course G:  Interreligious Dialogue as a New Christian Path   [ONLINE]
Interreligious dialogue was considered a reality when John Paul II died, yet it remains unknown in its development and objectives today. Dialogue remains just as vital today as there can be no peace between nations and peoples without peace between religions. This raises concerns and questions, reviving debates on the future and role of religion.

Fabrice Blée is Associate Professor at Saint Paul University. He teaches theology of interreligious dialogue and Christian spirituality. Internationally recognized for his work on Monastic Interreligious Dialogue, he produced & directed a film on French Benedictine Henri Le Saux: Dawn of the Abyss: The Spiritual Birth of Swamiji.


Course H:  Science and Theology Part II: Darwin and Evolution   [ONLINE]
In this course we will examine Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. We will become familiar with the theory of evolution by “natural selection,” its history and implications. We will learn a little about the divergent treatments of evolution in evangelical churches and in Roman Catholicism.

Jarrett A. Carty is Professor and Principal of the Liberal Arts College, Concordia University, where he has taught for 16 years. He is an ordained Anglican deacon and chaplain to the three day shelters run by the Diocese of Ottawa.


Course I:  Introduction to Orthodox Theology   [In-Person]
The Christian East draws on centuries-old sources for its teaching. How does the Orthodox Church understand theology and Tradition? What are the basic teachings of the Ecumenical Councils? What is the Orthodox understanding of salvation? The aforementioned topics are some of those included in this course, which serves as an introduction to Orthodox dogmatic theology.

The Very Rev Dr Maxym Lysack is Pastor of Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church, Ottawa. He has degrees in Ukrainian language literature, Theology, Patristics & Dogmatic Theology, and a doctorate in Orthodox Theology. He is Adjunct Professor at Saint Paul University, teaching courses in Eastern Christianity.


Second half - Feb 12-Mar 18  (7:30-9:30 p.m.)

Course J:  History and Theology of Ministry of the Churches   [ONLINE]
Jesus appears throughout the gospels as one who came "not to be served, but to serve." His earliest followers understood Jesus' actions, words, and person to be characterized by service. In turn, service became foundational to all ministries within the early Church. This course explores developments and changes in how ministry has been understood and practiced ever since.

Rev Canon Kevin Flynn is Priest at Chelsea-Lascelles-Wakefield in Western Quebec. Formerly he was Director of Anglican Studies at Saint Paul University and taught pastoral theology, ministry, liturgy, and ecumenism.


Course K:  Church Revitalization and Growth   [ONLINE]
This course delves into the art of revitalizing and growing churches, equipping participants with a thorough understanding of key concepts such as the Church's mission, successful case studies of thriving churches, and their common practices. Students will also learn how to develop a tailored plan for revitalization and growth.

Dr. Pierre-Alain Giffard is Director of pastoral work in the diocese of Pembroke (ON). He specializes in evangelization, church growth and parish revitalization. He was formerly Director of Practical Theology at St Paul University.


Course L:  Theological Elephants in the Room   [In-Person]
NOTE: This course is now FULL.

Dr. Teik Chye (TC) Ooi is a retired endocrinologist at The Ottawa Hospital and professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Travis DeCook is Associate Professor at Carleton University and author of The Origins of the Bible and Early Modern Political Thought.