Rev. Grant Rodgers

Grant Rodgers

Director, Anglican Formation

Anglican Church of Canada

Email Rev. Grant Rodgers

Biography

Grant has served in many capacities in three different dioceses, including General Synod delegate, advocate and facilitator of low-income housing projects, ACPO assessor, Chair of the Committee on Ordained Ministry (examining chaplains), university chaplain, Regional Dean, Archdeacon, Diocesan Council member, EfM mentor, intern supervisor, supervisor for the newly ordained, hospice chaplain, Diocesan Marriage Preparation coordinator, and chair of the Ecumenical and Multi-Faith Unit. He began ordained ministry as curate of an eight-point rural parish, and has been Rector of six parishes, from family to program size.

Grant is the only full-time Anglican faculty member at VST, although numerous Anglicans serve as sessional lecturers and guest presenters.  Grant continues to be a priest of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster. He is married to Sue, a United Church minister.

General Information
During the pandemic, VST will be offering virtual classes and worship. Please note information on the VST web site and Facebook page. Anglican students can also check the VST Anglican Community Facebook page. Outlines for Grant’s Fall term classes are posted on VST’s website, and he can be reached at grodgers@vst.edu.

Educational Background

  • B.A. from the University of Saskatchewan
  • M.Div. from the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad in Saskatoon
  • Graduate of the Pacific Jubilee Program in Spiritual Direction
  • Two units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)
  • Studied conflict resolution and mediation at Mount Royal University in Calgary
  • As of Fall 2018, four classes from the UBC Sauder School of Business

Areas of teaching specialty
As Director of Anglican Formation, my focus in teaching and formation is primarily upon those who are studying and discerning toward ordained ministry in the life of the Anglican Church. A significant part of my teaching role involves integrating theological learning and pastoral and liturgical practice. I teach a number of courses relating to liturgy, sacraments, vocation, ministry, and the nature and purpose of the Anglican Church. Some of the classes I offer are typical classroom-centered courses, while others are conducted off-site as teaching retreats, which has proven to be a very effective format for both learning and formation.

What I hope to do is help students become willing to learn in as comprehensive a way as possible. We learn through lectures, great books and lively discussion, certainly. But formation for ministry involves learning through liturgy, through participation in relationships and community, through self-examination, through frustrations and failures, and through prayer. Jesus suggested we have much to learn from the birds and wild flowers, and nature in general, and also from the poor and powerless. Helping students connect the theoretical and the practical is at the heart of what I do.

What makes you passionate about teaching?
I have always loved the teaching and formational aspects of ministry and at VST it is a pleasure to be working with students who are willing and able to explore the depths of the Anglican tradition, to confront the questions of our time, and become agents of transformation and new life in the leadership of the Church. We have some amazing students here! Watching their growth in wisdom, confidence, faithfulness and compassion is very inspiring.

What challenges do students face today that may represent new challenges with respect to changes in practices of education?
One of the challenges relates to the changed relationship between church and society. Things that once were taken for granted have come under intense scrutiny and scepticism, most people do not attend church, there is a lot of negativity toward religion in general, and the Church appears to be in confusion, chaos and decline. It is both a challenging and potentially creative time for church people, and especially for our emerging leaders, as we re-examine the meaning and purpose of Christian life, and how we might better relate to and serve the world around us.

It is not enough simply to learn the ways the Church used to do things. People studying for ministry now are dealing with very different theological and social questions and issues, in a context of rapid and continuous change. They must be aware that the Anglican Church will, God willing, have a future much longer than its past, and respond accordingly.

Another challenge has to do with creating meaningful community, traditionally a key aspect of formation, as students are typically living off campus and many, if not most, are studying on a part-time basis and/or from a greater distance. Informing and including students via good communication is essential, and making the most of opportunities to be together (e.g. Interterm, summer school, weekend retreats, intensives) and making good use of available technologies (principally Zoom) connects people and builds a sense of community and support.

For example, using Zoom, a group of Anglican VST students has created opportunities for daily morning and evening prayer, five mornings a week, and several evenings, and we have participants from many locations taking part.