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CMU Professor Leads 2012 Study Tour to UK

February 27, 2012 – Irma Fast Dueck and Students to Explore Contemporary Edge of Christian Ministry – “What does Christianity look like ‘deep down on the edge’ of today’s contemporary society?  How are innovative ministries reaching out to people in modern society? On CMU’s Deep Down on the Edge Study Tour, participants are given the chance to explore these questions while discovering the fierce physical landscape of the isle of Iona, visiting urban ministries in Glasgow and London, and attending the 37-year-old Christian arts festival in Cheltenham, England. 

“The Deep Down on the Edge Study Tour will explore Christianity on the edge, both physically and spiritually,” says CMU Professor of Practical Theology and tour organizer Irma Fast Dueck.

The United Kingdom study tour runs from August 24 to September 8, 2012. Open to undergraduate students, graduate students, and auditing participants, the study tour will explore wild physical, social, and theological Christian landscapes in Great Britain.

“Innovative ministries in Great Britain 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 London, and through the Greenbelt Christian Arts Festival,” notes Fast Dueck. “When I attended the Greenbelt Christian Arts Festival, there were thousands of Christians there,” she says.  “It was great to see so many people from different faith groups and cultural backgrounds who were committed to peace and justice and communicating the Christian faith.”

The study tour begins at the Greenbelt Christian Arts Festival in Cheltenham. The Greenbelt festival hosts a rich programme of music, visual and performing arts, comedy, and discussions on spirituality.

“I don’t think students at CMU will have experienced anything like this in North America,” says Fast Dueck. “The festival explores Christian faith and life in fresh and creative ways, through speakers, music, and art, pushing at the edge of what might considered ‘mainstream.’”  

After Cheltenham, the tour group will examine the theme “deep down on the edge” in the urban settings of London and Glasgow, exploring ministries that are on the fringe of the mainstream church and society. 

The tour will end on the Isle of Iona in Scotland, a fierce physical landscape where the line separating the material from the spiritual is described as being “tissue paper thin.”

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 edges of Christendom.

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) is a Christian university offering undergraduate degrees in the arts and sciences, business, communications and media, peace and conflict resolution studies, music, music therapy, theology, and church ministries, as well as graduate degrees in Theological Studies and Christian ministry. Located in Manitoba, CMU has approximately 1,700 students at its Shaftesbury Campus in Southwest Winnipeg, Menno Simons College in downtown Winnipeg, and through its  Outtatown discipleship program. CMU is a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC).  

For tour information, contact: Professor Irma Fast Dueck