Registration is now open for seven Niagara School for Missional Leadership (NSML) courses beginning in September and October as the school heads into its second year. Laypeople, clergy, and groups who are excited about joining in God’s mission in the world are encouraged to register.
Courses cover a range of subjects that speak to opportunities and challenges being faced in the parishes and communities of this diocese—and beyond! They are led by experienced, effective missional practitioners who aim to inspire and equip participants to lead vibrant communities of faith.
Several courses return this fall as part of a core slate that will be offered regularly. These include the first of two Christian Foundations courses taught by Patrick Paulsen that seek to explore the connected narrative of the Old and New Testaments; Bishop Susan Bell’s course on allowing church, culture, and mission transform one’s preaching style; Archbishop Colin Johnson’s course on being responsive in leadership to the needs of the changing world around you; and John Bowen’s course on challenging contemporary perspectives on Christian faith.
The NSML welcomes three new teacher-practitioners ready to guide learners this term. Cid Latty, Congregational Development Associate for the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec, is excited to lead a course on How to Start a Cafechurch, of which Latty has planted over a hundred across the United Kingdom and Canada. Tim Wray is a bi-vocational minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada living in Airdrie, Alberta, and will be sharing his experience of ministering in rural areas through the lens of relationship-forming. Finally, Chris Pullenayegem, Director of the Congregational Vitality through Community Engagement initiative at the Vancouver School of Theology, will work with participants on forming partnerships between parishes and community organizations, supporting the diocese to be active and present in neighbourhoods as part of the Parish Mission Action Planning process.
The steering committee of the NSML is passionate about ensuring that these courses are not solely directed at ordained clergy, or people interested in pursuing ordination. While some courses emphasize growth for pastoral leadership, many courses are best experienced by teams of people from parishes that include both ordained and laypeople, and most are open for all regardless of their status.
“It’s worth saying that the NSML exists for all people who desire to join God’s mission in whatever their own specific context may be. Everyone is called to be a missional leader, not just those who hold formal leadership roles,” says Carrie McFarland, the school’s new coordinator. “If you are interested in learning more about how to practically live and serve in missional ways in your own life and in the life of the church, then I encourage you to sign up for a course.”
The NSML’s rapid growth during its first year has been bolstered by opportunities to partner with other dioceses across the Anglican Church of Canada. In the winter, a working relationship was formalized with the former Moosonee School for Ministry, now renamed after its founder, the late Bishop Tom Corston. This fall, the NSML will welcome participants from several other dioceses across Canada, including Toronto, Montreal, and Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Applications for enrolment are currently being accepted for the fall 2022 term. To learn more about the Niagara School for Missional Leadership’s current course offerings and teacher-practitioners, and to apply for enrolment in a course for fall 2022, visit nsml.ca or email [email protected].