VST Academy

VST Academy

Good Theology for God’s World

VST’s mandate propels us to provide offsite continuing educational opportunities to our wider community, and courses are currently offered annually at various locations in BC, and on occasion in locations wider afield such as Alberta, Washington State, and Hawaii. These courses are taught by VST faculty who bring their academic expertise and passion for teaching directly to congregations. Registration is required and a small fee covers the cost of the course. Courses are generally in a workshop format and include a free public lecture that all participants attend as part of their instruction.

These mini-courses can be assembled into a series of two to four weekends (or more if you want) in any order and from any of the following VST professors. When your local group of clergy is considering a VST Academy program you are encouraged to combine courses into focused series, such as an “Introduction to Christianity” or a series focused on “Outreach and Social Ministries” or another series on the arts of ministry for lay people. There is so much choice, you might run an introductory series one year, and invite VST back for an “advanced” or more focused series in a following year. Dream big to support great lay education.

For information about scheduling a VST Academy series in your area, please contact:

Chris Pullenayegem, Director of Congregational Vitality Initiative

Practicing God’s Presence

February 9th to April 20th, 2022
Wednesday’s 4pm (PT) / 7pm (ET) / 8pm (AT) – 1.5 hour Class

A 12-week experience of prayer, learning, and reflection, focused on experiencing God’s Presence within the normal rhythms of our daily living. This is rooted in Jacob’s realization, “Surely God is in this place!” (Genesis 28:16), shaped by the wisdom of Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (1614-1619), and expressed for our contemporary lives. Join with others who are experiencing new ways of seeing the world, interacting with others and themselves, all through a deepening of their relationship with God. You’ll be expected to join in 6 bi-weekly sessions facilitated by this course’s author and developer. Throughout you’ll engage in daily prayer and receive weekly encouragements and share your insights and questions with the cohort. Ministers will get free access to sermons, promotional material, and other resources to help their congregations become cultures of God’s Presence.

The Presence Project

Bi-Weekly Classes

  1. February 9th
    Where Isn’t God In This?
  2. February 23rd
    Surely God! Scripture’s story of God’s Presence
  3. March 9th
    Sensing & Savouring Sacredness
  4. March 23th
    Pots, Pans, and Presence: The Wisdom of Brother Lawrence
  5. April 6th
    Notice with Me! Sharing Experiences of God’s Presence
  6. April 20th
    Cultures of God’s Presence: The Presence Project in Your Congregation


Rev. Dr. Larry Doyle, Minister at Faith United Church, Courtice, ON
Rev Greg Smith-Young, Minister at Elora-Bethany (United Church), ON Pastoral Charge


Registration fee is $20 (for 6 classes)

Registration is now closed

(This a continuing-education non-credit course)