Rural Ministry Program
In the Fall of 2000 Iona College introduced a Diploma in Rural Ministry with the first of a series of courses in Rural Ministry. Iona College has developed the Diploma in recognition of the unique character of Rural Ministry.
The Diploma program is designed to strengthen and support ministry in the rural context, both for those in ordered ministry and those in lay ministry.
Four courses are offered over a period of two years, one in each of the fall and winter semesters. The courses may be taken in any order either as a credit course towards the Diploma in Rural Ministry or as an audited course. Credit courses are also accepted as credit towards the Iona College B.TH. Degree. Each runs for ten, three-hour sessions.
The courses are held at Westminster College in London, Ontario. If others, at a distance from London wish to participate in a course, arrangements may be made to hold the courses in other areas.
The courses offered are intended to provide a forum for discussion on rural realities, the nature and complexity of the rural community and congregational life. Participants are encouraged to bring to the discussion their experience and knowledge, as well as their questions and concerns.
Ministry in a Rural Context examines the realities of rural life and their impact on ministry. Definitions of ‘rural’, the nature of rural communities, the dynamics of congregational life and a faith which comes from the land form the core content of the course, around which learning and discussions revolve.
Theology of the Land asks the question, “Whose land is it, anyway?” as it considers faith understandings of the land. In biblical, historic and modern story voices are heard which express their relationship with the land; this course listens for those voices.
Understanding the Business of Farming provides a view into the complexity of farming, with the economic and environmental issues, which affect families who farm, rural communities and rural churches. The diversity of farming practice and the accompanying economic and ethical questions will be explored.
Rural Community will examine the issues, which currently impact life in rural communities. Discussions will reflect on these issues, which challenge and, at times, divide rural communities.
For more information please visit the website.