This study tour will explore wild physical, social and theological Christian landscapes in Great Britain. While the church in the Great Britain is currently experiencing decline, innovative ministries continue to flourish on the margins of the mainline church—on the isle of Iona through the work of the Iona community, through urban ministries in Glasgow and Birmingham, and through the Greenbelt Christian Arts Festival.
In the history of Christianity the renewal and regeneration of the church has frequently happened on the margins of the church, a place where Christians were more faithfully able to discern the call of Christ. Perhaps this is not surprising for it was frequently on the edge and the margins of society and religious structures where our Lord Jesus Christ found him self and from where he proclaimed the gospel. The “edgy” experiences of this study tour in the United Kingdom will hopefully enable participants to examine what Christianity looks like on the margins, way “deep down on the edge,” and on the edge have their own faith renewed.
The study tour will begin in Glasgow with orientation and workshops with the Wild Goose Resource Group and a trip to Edinburgh for a visit to one of the largest arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The tour will continue to the Island of Iona in Scotland, a fierce physical landscape frequently described as a “thin place” where the line separating the material from the spiritual is said to be tissue paper thin. Students will stay in the Macleod centre run by the Iona community and will worship in the restored Iona Abbey, originally a medieval Benedictine foundation. On the Isle of Iona students will be given an opportunity to explore Celtic Christianity, a faith hammered out on the margins of Britain and Europe and on the margins of Christendom. The time on the Isle of Iona will also include a one-day pilgrimage. On Iona participants will have an opportunity to interact with people from all over the world.
After a brief return to Glasgow the tour will continue by train to England and the Greenbelt Christian Arts Festival at Boughton House near Kettering in Northamptonshire. Greenbelt Christian Arts Festival is a 40 year old festival, where “art, faith and justice collide” and the festival hosts a rich programme of music, visual and performing arts, spirituality, comedy and talks and discussion. Engaged with culture, inspired by the arts, sustained by the Christian faith, the festival is another liminal place characterized by openness and a generosity of spirit, reimaging the Christian narrative for the present time.
The study tour will end in the Birmingham area of England with a shift from the festival back into urban life. This will include engagement with the work of the Anabaptist Network in the U.K. and a trip to Coventry Cathedral to explore the cathedral’s unique reconciliation and peace-building work.
This study tour is open to both undergraduate and graduate students as well as auditing participants. The study tour will be limited to 12 participants. Irma Fast Dueck will be facilitating the tour. Applications for the study tour will be accepted as of 9:00 AM Tuesday, November 4, 2014.
Students will receive 3 credit hours of course credit for their participation on the tour and the completion of course requirements. Course requirements for this course will be done before, during and after the study tour. These requirements will include:
A full course syllabus will be given to students once they have registered for the course. There will be different syllabi for undergraduate and graduate students. Course credit will be given in the area of Biblical and Theological Studies. The course is also eligible for church music credit in the Music department (with a revised syllabus). Participants may choose to audit the course and will therefore not be required to complete the course requirements.
Students taking the tour for academic credit must also register for the course through the Registrar’s Office at Canadian Mennonite University.
The tour will officially begin on Wednesday evening, August 19th, 2015. The study tour will officially end in Birmingham on Wednesday, September 2, 2015. Students may choose to fly out of Birmingham on that day or choose to take a train or other public transportation to London and fly out of London (Heathrow Airport).
Deadline for application for the course is January 2, 2015. A deposit of $500.00 is required with the application form. This will be credited toward the total cost of the tour. Space is limited and earlier reservations are encouraged to secure place on the tour.
Note: applications for the study tour cannot be submitted before Tuesday, November 4, 2014. Applications can be submitted to the receptionists at CMU (north or south sides) or directly to the tour leader’s office: B333 (north side).
Please complete and submit the application and waiver form to inititate the registration process.
The cost of the study tour is: $1,800–$1,900 (plus applicable tuition fees). Final price will be determined before the final payment of the tour is due.
Tuition fees are as follows:
Airfare: Airfare is not included into the cost of the study tour. CMU will facilitate a group fare for those interested. Airline tickets (if purchased through CMU’s agent) will be issued well in advance and upon receipt of final payment for the airfare. Cancellation policy follows protocol of the airline. Trip Cancellation and Interruption insurance is advised. Students are also free to make their own travel arrangements. Participants should arrive in Glasgow on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 and depart from Birmingham (or London) on Wednesday, September 2, 2015.
Ground Transportation: when possible the group will be travelling by train and other public transportation throughout the U.K. The trip to and from Iona from Glasgow will include train, ferry, and bus. These fees are included in the registration costs.
For more information contact Irma Fast Dueck
Tel: 204.487.3300, ext. 636.
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