New Workshops Go Into the Community -- for Continuing Education and Credit
Ambrose University launches the first in a new series of one-day workshops this fall, offering focused content in a place and at a time that is convenient for participants — and letting them decide if that learning will be for academic credit.
“We’re eager to respond to the need for deeper knowledge that’s been expressed by both churches and people in ministry who want to know and do more,” says Mark Buchanan, associate professor of Pastoral Theology in the Ambrose Seminary.
“We want to ensure they receive the full value of Ambrose, and at the same time, we also strive to provide essential course material to our Seminary students in the best way possible.
“We know time can be an issue both for people who are working and for students. They may not be able to free up a full week to attend a traditional workshop or course, but they want to learn. Since most people have a good foundation of knowledge, these workshops will let them delve deeply into certain topics, giving them a knowledge ‘tune up’ or providing new perspectives.”
Because each workshop will be offered for one full day, and in a community location, Buchanan says learning opportunities that are both highly relevant and highly accessible will be available to the widest number of people.
First up: Preaching People’s Jobs
The workshop series kicks off by focusing on preaching, and ways in which pastors can help members of their congregations understand that only does their work matters to God, it is a reflection of God.
John Van Sloten, well-known former senior pastor at Calgary’s New Hope Church, will lead Preaching People’s Jobs: Learning how to exegete and preach vocation, on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, at Brentview Baptist Church, unpacking concepts presented in his recent book, Every Job a Parable.
“The workshop will help people better understand how the work people do reveals God’s work in the world,” Mark Buchanan says. “By underlining people’s sense of how God is already with them and working through them in the jobs they do, pastors can help people integrate the various components of their lives, and appreciate that their work and their faith are parts of a complete whole.”
“People will learn more about these ideas, and how they might preach them. It may help people go back to their places of work with a keener understanding that their job isn’t apart from their faith, but a primary way to live it out and express it.”
A moveable knowledge feast, open to all
Designed for pastors, people working in various aspects of ministry, Ambrose Seminary and undergraduate students and members of the public, whether living in Calgary or beyond, each workshop also comes with an added bonus: all can be taken for continuing education, general interest or one academic credit.
“The workshops will be intensive, immersive and immediately valuable,” Buchanan says. Each will explore a specific topic to augment knowledge to better address today’s challenges. Topics are still in development, and over the year may include everything from preaching and leadership, to discipleship and social media.
With a possible nine workshops being considered, anyone taking all could potentially earn nine credits by completing the required assignments. All told, the workshops could equal half a semester’s work, which could fast-track a degree.
“For someone who has perhaps thought about a Seminary degree but was concerned about the time commitment, the workshops could be a way to ease into future study,” Buchanan notes, adding that those who haven’t thought about post-secondary education might be inspired to do so as a result of take part in the workshops.
“In many ways, this will be a way for people to get a real feel for Seminary — and for Ambrose University — and to see how what we offer fits with their needs.”
For more information on all workshops, please contact Mark Buchanan, Mbuchanan@ambrose.edu.