This fall semester, we're continuing to make all ICS courses available online to students from anywhere in the world. The courses listed below vary in delivery format (synchronous format versus a blended synchronous/asynchronous format for MA-EL courses), so please check the full course descriptions for details.
Here you will find an alphabetical list of all the courses on offer and links to full course descriptions and syllabi (as they become available throughout the summer). If you are interested in taking an ICS course for credit and applying it to a program at another institution, you may contact our Registrar with questions on how best to do so.
MA-EL Course Fee Reduction: Two or more educators from the same school who register for the same course (for credit) at the same time would each receive a $100 rebate from their course tuition. We believe that when teachers from the same school take a course together, they become stronger conversation partners and can better support each other in the implementation of their project.
First-Time & Alum Discount: If you are a continuing learner or want to get a taste for what ICS courses are like, first-time ICS auditors and ICS alums can take these courses for only $425 (registration included). You can find more information on this and all other fee options on our fees page.
A Cosmic Theopoetics of/for Love
This seminar will explore, question and develop Jim Olthuis’ ‘theopoetic philosophical work.’ Despite the ever present reality of brokenness, trauma and evil, in conversation with Levinas, Derrida, Caputo, Lacan and Žížek, Olthuis argues theologically, anthropologically, psychologically and etho-politically that the universe comes from Love, continues in Love, and is headed to Love....
Biblical Foundations: Narrative, Wisdom, and the Art of Interpretation *
How can we read and experience the Scriptures as the Word of Life in the midst of an Academy that believes the biblical witness will restrict human freedom and thwart our maturity? How may we pursue biblical wisdom as we “re-think the world” when our Christian traditions seem convinced that biblical truth may be disconnected from—or simply applied to—the most pressing and perplexing issues of our time?
This course will explore the Bible—from Genesis to Revelation—as the ongoing story of and for God and all God’s creatures, paying special attention to the way in which humanity’s attempt to find its way is interwoven with the story of the Divine presence and with the wisdom and promise of creation-new creation. In asking whether and how the biblical story may find its future in our ongoing narratives, we will attempt to identify which hermeneutical methods and sensitivities might help us discern its significance for present day life, including the academic enterprise.
If Jesus is the Living Word at the heart of Scripture, does that change our understanding of where biblical truth is coming from and where it is going? Does the Bible have an implicit, sapiential pedagogy that we have misconstrued? Can the familiar Reformed themes of creation and covenant, election and eschaton speak to us in new, reformational ways? These are some of the questions we shall explore together as we reintroduce ourselves to the biblical writings....
[More info here]
* Approved for Area 1 of the CSTC.
Critical Theory and Religion: The Frankfurt School and Beyond
This course will explore the different interpretations of religion emerging from the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School. First generation thinkers in this school understood religion, especially Judaism and Christianity, to be integral to modern social and cultural evolution. Religion must be studied, they felt, because it can both display forms of pathological socialization and yet be a resource for a critique of, and eventual emancipation from, oppressive social realities. After exploring key writings of the first generation of Critical Theorists, the course will examine Jürgen Habermas’s evolving appreciation of religious contributions to social justice and conclude with a selection of readings from contemporary thinkers influenced by the Critical Theory tradition broadly understood, such as Judith Butler, Seyla Benhabib, Enrique Dussel, Achille Mbembe, and María Pía Lara.
Cultivating Learning Communities of Belonging
This is a course for instructional leaders and school administrators in the consideration of both school and classroom cultures. Course content will include attention to social and cultural contexts, racial justice, Indigenous perspectives, human sexuality, and restorative practices and how these topics impact and form school and classroom cultures.
This course seeks to help students find clarity in answers to the following questions:
What is the relationship between the daily behaviour of educational leaders and the cultures of schools?
How do we awaken our students’ knowledge, creativity, and critical reflective capacities in our schools and classrooms?
How do racism and other forms of oppression underlie achievement gaps and alienation within our schools?
How can classroom learning be linked to larger movements seeking to effect change in the community?
How can school culture be a vehicle for social change?
How do we cultivate learning communities of belonging in our schools?
* Approved for Area 2 or 3 of the CSTC.
Facing the Darkness: The (Human) Nature of Evil
ICS 120801 / 220801 F23
ICT3352H / ICT6352H L6201
with Nik Ansell
In this interdisciplinary theology seminar, we shall probe the origin and nature of evil by engaging key biblical, philosophical, psychological, and anthropological resources. Central to our discussions will be a sapiential (wisdom-oriented) re-reading of the Fall narrative of Genesis 3–4, set against the backdrop of the good, yet largely wild, creation of Genesis 1–2. In addition to surveying a variety of contemporary theodicies read up against the challenge offered by both “protest atheism” and the biblical lament literature (especially the book of Job), we shall also pay special attention to the correlation between victim and agent in the ongoing dynamics to “original sin” and to the concomitant role of fear in the construction of culture. In attending to evil’s (arguably) anthropocentric origin as a key to its present nature—which will prompt us to revisit our understanding of the primordial conditions of possibility along with the largely overlooked biblical connections between the Satan and the absolutization (and denaturing) of Justice—we shall also look ahead, via pondering the relationship between law and grace, to the promise of a (divine and human) judgment unto salvation.
Reconsidering Kant's Aesthetics
Until recently, it was customary to regard Kant as the thinker who definitively separated aesthetic knowledge from the domains of reason and morality by identifying its core epistemological activity as a kind of judgment that he qualified as a matter of taste. The postmodern rejection of the “modernist” practice of aesthetic theory, however, has done much to undermine Kant’s position in both the arts and in philosophy. This course aims to re-examine Kant’s aesthetic theory as set out in his Critique of Judgment of 1790 from the vantage point of the art theoretical literature that preceded it vis a vis the integral place of the aesthetic in both premodern ethics and theology. In an effort to better understand Kant’s contribution to the history of thought about art and its purposes, it will seek to contextualize such “Kantian” themes as judgment, taste, genius, beauty, sublimity and purposiveness. It will also consider to what degree our understanding of Kant has been shaped by later modernist assumptions about the character of his contribution.... [More info coming soon]
Religion, Life, and Society: Reformational Philosophy
An exploration of central issues in philosophy, as addressed by Herman Dooyeweerd, Dirk Vollenhoven, and the “Amsterdam School” of neoCalvinian thought. The course tests the relevance of this tradition for recent developments in Western philosophy. Special attention is given to critiques of foundationalism, metaphysics, and modernity within reformational philosophy and in other schools of thought.... [More info coming soon]
The Craft of Reflective Practice *
We humans make sense of things by telling stories. In this course we will learn how to do critical reflective practice, primarily by telling stories about our everyday professional lives. We will zoom in on the story of an ordinary day at work, and then zoom out to the story of our career to date, zoom out further to the story of our work community, and zoom out even further to the overarching story of God’s world. In the process we will learn qualitative research skills, receive an introduction to phenomenology (the philosophical study of lived experience), develop our own approach to praxis (that is, the craft of morally-oriented, theoretically-informed, and theory-generating critically reflective practice), and, most significantly, come to terms with who we are in what we do.
* Approved for Area 2 of the CSTC.