OSTS Courses for the year 2017/2018

Fall Term 2017 (September 18 – November 27, 2017)

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

Course A: Biblical Personalities: 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 Biblical Book of Genesis is punctuated with the stories of many significant personalities, including Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Isaac, Ishmael, Rebecca, Jacob, Esau, Rachel, Leah, Joseph and his brothers. These personalities will be studied through the prism of the Biblical text.

Course B: Spirituality Across Generations: Ruth Sword (Lay Minister)
Ruth Sword is a Designated Lay Minister (retired) focusing on ministry for children, youth and family with the United Church of Canada

This course will be an opportunity to explore spirituality for all ages and stages.  We will look at ways spiritual growth may be nurtured with children and youth across generations, whether familial or congregational.  Varied resources and media will be offered.  Interactive participation is encouraged.

Course C: Life-giving Spirituality: An Exploration of Process Theology: Rev. Dr. George Hermanson
Rev. Dr. George Hermanson is a  
United Church minister  and Director of  The Madawaska Institute for Religion and Culture
Religious language is being questioned. We are perplexed about whether there is truth to our claims.  Process thought offers a way to help religion explore and voice beliefs in a way that they can have a transforming impact on both the individual and society. This course will examine new ways to understand faith language, rituals and symbols to ground our faith.


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


Course D: The Nativity Through Different Lenses:  Rev. Canon Jim Beall

The Reverend Canon Jim Beall, Anglican priest, former Secondary School teacher, and a regular   lecturer at OSTS.

This course is based on the belief that any event as utterly amazing, miraculous and world-changing as the birth of Jesus, son of Mary, Son of God, can only be revealed from several different perspectives. Thus we have Matthew’s account of the man born to be King, Luke’s story of the helpless infant, child of a peasant girl, and John’s revelation of the Incarnation, the word made flesh.  In the course we will experience the narrative in detail, discovering what each contributes to our understanding of the fullness of Christ. We will also listen to (or sing!) some Christmas hymns and carols, to see how different aspects of the Christmas story have entered our hearts through our imagination.

Course EWays of thinking about God:  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.

Can we think about God? How? Why? What are the tools available to us? What can we say and maybe not say about God? This question, which has always been understood as crucial and necessary to the Christian tradition, has tormented generations of believers, since the very beginnings of Christianity. In the current cultural situation, this challenge is obviously more urgent than ever. The course will explore some ways of thinking about God, mainly from a philosophical perspective rooted in a Christian context. Ancient as well as modern and contemporary authors will be studied.


Course F: Art and Religion: Visions of faith:  Rev. Dr. Linda Privitera
The Rev. Dr. Linda Privitera works part time as an associate priest at All Saints Anglican Church in Westboro. Her thesis, Artists of transformation: a new model for priests and the people of God, focused on art as spiritual practice and its implications for pastoral care, liturgy, congregational development and faith formation

We will explore the power of art in religious traditions - to teach, to heal, to draw us deeper into reflective practice. The course will include group discussion, individual projects and a field trip. When we encounter art as representing a faith story participants are encouraged to respect the imagination of artists and the diversity of expression.

Winter Term 2018 (January 08 – March 19, 2018)

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

Course G: Mystic and Prophet: the spirituality of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross: Rev. Canon Allan Budzin
The Rev. Canon 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 will examine the origins, themes, and social contexts of Carmelite spirituality.  It begins with an examination of the history of the Carmelite Order and its place in the Mendicant movement. Special attention will be given to the spirituality of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross and their relevance for contemporary journeys of faith.

Course H: How the Church Was Born – A study in the book of Acts: Rev. Stanley Hanna
The Rev. Stanley Hanna is the pastor of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Aylmer and a regular lecturer at the OSTS.

Acts tells us the story of what happens after Jesus leaves the planet.  Up next, the Holy Spirit! Now the fun begins as we follow the account in Luke’s famous sequel.

Course I: Temptation:  Fr. Maxime Allard, O.P.
Fr. Maxime Allard, O.P., lecturer in philosophy and theology at and president of Dominican University College

In the Old Testament, Israel is tempted and is said to tempt God.  In the New Testament, Jesus is presented as undergoing temptations at the beginning of his mission.  In the letters of Paul and other writings of the New Testament, different forms of temptations of Christians are addressed. Anthony, an early Christian monk in the Egyptian desert, is presented in literature and art as the paradigm of the tempted Christian.  These lectures will explore the experience of “temptation” from its biblical representations to current theological understandings.  Are they still relevant? How do these representations, ideas and ideals shed light on the complexities of human existence in relation to God?

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

Course J: Faith Through the Pens of Women Writers:  Sharon Hamilton, Ph.D
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 class will explore the personal faith journeys of great female writers across church history, from the medieval mystics Margery Kempe and Hildegard of Bingen to the contemporary poet and essayist Mary Oliver, who declares – “When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement.”  The course will showcase women’s unique perspectives on spirituality by examining poetry, essays, songs and short stories, by such writers as Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, Madeleine  L’Engle, and Flannery O’Connor and via guest readings by contemporary local artists.

Course K: Spiritual But Not Religious – Hearing and Responding to Young Adult Spirituality:
Rev. Tom Sherwood is a Minister with the United Church of Canada and has served as Campus Minister at Carleton University and studied the spirituality of young adults  as part of his as part of his appointment as McGeachy scholar.
Tom's recent 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. Time will be spent alternating between examining aspects of this and considering possible responses."

Course L: Would You Want Jesus as Your Financial Adviser:  Rev. Paul Dillman, Brien Marshall

Rev. Paul Dillman is Minister at Riverside United. Brien Marshall, B. Comm, Certified Financial Planner is in his 26th year at Tradex Management Inc., a not-for-profit mutual fund manager and dealer, he is currently Sr. VP Operations and Financial Advisor.
Jesus spoke a lot about money, wealth and possessions. Those teachings are challenging ones to understand in our 21st century economy. This course will wrestle with Jesus’ words and seek to discern values and principles that may translate into how we live with our money.