9 January 2017

Vocational Wayfinding

Study ONLINE in Continuing Education or Degree Credit mode.

“What am I to do with my life?” “Who am I?” There appears to be an inextricable connection between the work that we do and our sense of who we are. As the poet David Whyte has suggested, work is for all of us a pilgrimage of identity. It is not, however, a pilgrimage for which any of us are provided with a GPS device, allowing us to navigate in straight lines with comfortable certainty towards clear career objectives that cohere in obvious ways with an immutable sense of our identity. Instead, this pilgrimage is more like the experience of Polynesian sailors, who traversed the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean with the help of the stars, memory, and close attention to the patterns of the waves on the surface of the ocean as these reflected features of the ocean (including far-off islands). Polynesian wayfinding was a way of navigating that required alert improvisation and frequent reorientation from within a perpetually shifting context. Our vocational pilgrimages require of us to find our way in a similar manner.

In this course we will explore particular practices, frameworks, and tools, by means of which we can engage in vocational wayfinding. Prompted by our readings we will consider some of the relationships between work and identity: How does my work prompt my discovery of my sense of self? How do I try out possible selves in relation to whatever in the world is calling me toward particular kinds of work? What am I to do with my life? We will give close attention to those passages in our lives (in particular young adulthood and the middle passage of life) when both our work contexts and our experience of our identity are most obviously in flux. In addition, we will consider how to contribute skilful leadership and insightful mentoring to others as they engage in their own vocational wayfinding, particularly in the contexts of the workplace and educational institutions.

Vocational Wayfinding is a two-part course that will equip participants to navigate the work-life journey. The first six-week module will focus more on frameworks for digging into the meaning of our work-life journeys, and will include a discussion of David Whyte’s book Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity. The second six-week module will focus more on practical tools for figuring out how to go about the next phase of our careers, and will include a discussion of Herminia Ibarra’s book Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career.

As a credit course Vocational Wayfinding is part of our Wayfinding Master of Worldview Studies program and is a credit level course for MWS, MA and PhD programs. The tuition fee in this mode is $900 for both modules.

As a continuing education course Vocational Wayfinding is oriented towards professional and personal development and has no particular academic prerequisites. It can be taken individually or as part of a small discussion group in your church or school with prices ranging from $150 to $500 (depending on the number of modules and options you choose).

Click here for more details and registration information.

ICSD 132502/232502 W17
Dr. Gideon Strauss
(MWS, MA, PhD)


First Module: Week of Jan.9 - Feb. 13
Second Module: Week of Feb. 27 - Apr. 3

Leadership: Vision and Mission

This course is designed to enable participants to understand, develop and encourage faithful leadership in Christian schools. School leaders are a vital link in the translation of parents’ hopes and priorities into the life of classrooms. The vision of Christian schooling that leaders seek to sustain, is not simply their own, but that of the supporting community. This is both exciting and challenging. Where does the vision come from? What are the components of an educational vision? How is a vision articulated? How does a vision inform the educational agenda? How does a vision grow and flourish through generations of parents, teachers and students?

Christian schools have developed a variety of management structures to support their vision for Christ-centred education. This course gives participants the opportunity to examine these structures critically in the light of:
  • the school’s and their own educational focus and values
  • the need to nurture Christian community
  • the need to sustain a dynamic vision for Christian schooling.
ICSD120304/220304 W17
CSTC 1560
Instructor: Dr. Dirk Windhorst
(MWS, MA, PhD)


Required Texts

Sergiovanni, Thomas J. (2004). The Lifeworld of Leadership: Creating Culture, Community, and Personal Meaning in Our Schools. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
There is a 2013 review of this book, affirming its continuing relevance, at http://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1576&context=ce
Stronks, Gloria Goris and Doug Blomberg (Eds.). (1993). A Vision with a Task: Christian Schooling for Responsive Discipleship. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
This text is available free as a PDF file for reading and/or printing at http://www.calvin.edu/academic/education/news/publications/monoweb/vision/pdf.htm There is also a link on this page to a web version, but this contains transcription errors.

5 January 2017

Pragmatism and Religion: From Classical to Neo

This course will explore a number of questions regarding the mutual influence between the philosophical school known as pragmatism and the religious traditions that form part of its historical context: How do the passions and commitments of pragmatism relate to religious concerns? How does the pragmatic tenet that the meaning and worth of ideas lies in their practical consequences comport with religious forms of life and the understandings of morality they fund? How might its suspicion regarding traditional “supernaturalist” theologies affect the way we wish to think about religion, God, and our place in the world? What have pragmatists suggested are the best ways for religious groups to comport themselves in a democratic society? Finally, how does pragmatism’s emphasis on futurity and experimental flexibility fit with the religious concern to carry forward and pass along an age-old tradition? In exploring various pragmatists’ answers to these questions, this course will explore the potential resources that this philosophical tradition might offer to our contemporary understanding of religious life patterns. In addition to exploring the insights of such "classical" pragmatists as Charles Sanders Pierce, William James, and John Dewey, this course will also focus on the work of such contemporary (or “neo”) pragmatists as Richard Rorty, Jeffrey Stout, and Kevin Hector.

ICS 120501/220501 W17
Dr. Ronald A. Kuipers
Thursday 1:45pm-4:45pm

(MWS, MA, PhD)


God/Sex/Word/Flesh: Gender, Theology, and the Body

How is our agenda for theology related to our gender? Is ‘God’ a male word? Is the ‘Word made flesh’ a male God? Does the experience of women change how God is (made) known? Is sexuality embraced by the resurrection? Attentive to the work of feminist theologians and biblical scholars, we will attempt to develop an ‘embodied’ theology open to the biblical vision that God will be ‘all in all’.

ICS 220804 W17
Dr. Nik Ansell
Thursday 9:30am-12:30pm

(MA, PhD)


4 January 2017

IDS: Archeology, Power and “Truthtelling” in Michel Foucault as Challenge to and Resource for Christian Thought

This course is designed to examine the body of work that marks Michel Foucault’s last years (1981-1984) in the context of the earlier themata of his career in order to examine that concentration upon the self as aesthetic construction and the philosophical self’s construction of itself as “truthteller”.  This examination is designed as a mirror in which the seminar participants are invited to consider their own orientation to themselves as Christian person, scholar and philosopher/theologian. 

Drs. Robert Sweetman, Nicholas Ansell, James Olthius
ICS 2400AC W17
Wednesday 9:30am-12:30pm

(MA, PhD)


3 January 2017

Rhetoric as Philosophy from Isocrates to the Age of Abelard and Heloise

This seminar examines the ancient and medieval discipline of rhetoric and its practitioners’ claim that it represented a properly philosophical discourse.   It does so in terms of a selection of texts drawn from the works of Isocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Abelard and Heloise.   In the process, it explores the relationship between affectivity and discursive validity with a view to the effect such a focus has on our understanding of Greek and Latin philosophy, patristic and medieval theology and their intertwined history.

ICS 220407 W17
Dr. Robert Sweetman
Tuesday 9:30am-12:30pm

(MA, PhD)