Last October, All Saints’ Cathedral College in Edmonton launched a virtual campus designed to help laity and clergy update their missional skills for today’s complex and challenging global village.
The college, a joint venture between All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral and the Anglican diocese of Edmonton, is committed to the five Marks of Mission of the Anglican Church of Canada. The campus is located online but courses are given in person at Concordia University College of Alberta. The academic dean is Dr. Joanne Neal, a Concordia associate professor of education.
“Our driving principle is to equip Christians to have a strong and credible voice in the world,” says Neal. “They need to be informed about the secular issues, but also need to understand the theological underpinnings of our arguments.”
Harking back to the tradition of cathedral schools, which began in 6th-century Spain and paved the way for Europe’s first universities, the college is an ecumenical organization dedicated to exploring what it means to be people of the gospel in the 21st century.
The college views ministry as the act of being engaged in any social service dedicated to the improvement of society and the world community-a mission in which both clergy and laity have crucial roles to play as the church carries the gospel message out into the world through words and deeds.
As an affiliate of the Graduate Theological Foundation, the college provides both degree-related and non-degree-related instruction. This month, it is offering an inaugural first round of four 15-hour courses at $75 apiece, with a special fund for people who cannot afford the fee. “So far we have about 25 lay people signed on, “says Neal, “but we’re still getting the word out and we hope to gain momentum as we go.”
Courses include: 2000 years of Mission; Church Mission and Gospel in the 21st Century; Christianity and Environmental Stewardship; and Christian Implications of Globalization. “In the fall, we hope to offer a course on Paul and his history and another on Christian consumerism,” says Neal.
The college is also partnering with other denominations in Edmonton.
For more information, call 780-429-6379 or go to www.allsaintscathedralcollege.com