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Knox College receives Calvin Institute of Christian Worship ‘Vital Worship’ Grant

The Rev. Dr. Sarah Travis, Minister of the Chapel at Knox College, will serve as lead researcher for a project exploring worship and institutional identity at Knox. The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW) has granted $17,300 for this project as it seeks to: 1) revive worship so that it supports the formation of community in the midst of diversity; and 2) incorporate worship practices that more adequately nurture a cultural climate that meets the community’s spiritual needs and expectations. The CICW announced the 2017-2018 grant recipients this week.

“Due to various cultural differences and a predominantly part-time student body, the Knox College community enters the worship space without a collective experience and expectation of worship,” Dr. Travis wrote in her project proposal. “Worship at Knox College occurs at the intersection of identities – personal, cultural, denominational, vocational, as well as historical. The diversity of the Knox College community gifts us with the opportunity for a unique group to worship together, and to practice living out the realities of a diverse, global church. . . . We are called to ‘live into’ a new era for worship – without really knowing how to proceed.

“This proposal emerges out of a sense that we need time and space to intentionally observe, name, and share those realities which constitute our worship life. . . In concrete ways, this project will help us to increase our self-understanding, open possibilities for nurturing the quality and impact of our worship that we have not yet realized, and lead us into deeper engagement with one another. The hope is to fully encounter one another in worship, so that we may more fully encounter the presence of the Triune God,” wrote Dr. Travis.

In support of this proposed project, Principal Dorcas Gordon wrote, “It is my judgment that a project such as this is long overdue. Its two-fold intention – to revive worship so that it is more supportive of community formation, and to explore worship practices that relate to the spiritual needs and expectations of the community – is commendable.”

This project is one of 33 worship renewal projects funded for 2017-2018 as part of the CICW’s Vital Worship Grants Program. Each grant will fund a year-long project (beginning in June) that promotes vital worship and faith formation. This year’s awards range from $6,000 to $18,000 per project.

This year’s recipients are from around North America and include 20 congregations, one high school, four colleges and universities, three seminaries, and five other organizations. They also represent congregations and schools from 18 denominations, 19 states, and two Canadian provinces.

Since it began in the year 2000, the Vital Worship Grants Program has now awarded 784 grants to churches, schools, and organizations across North America for projects that generate thoughtfulness and energy for public worship and faith formation at the local, grass-roots level. An advisory board of pastors and teachers from a variety of backgrounds assisted in the grant selections, and the program is generously supported by Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. For more information on the grants program, including a complete list of this year’s grant recipients, see www.calvin.edu/worship.

Dr. Angela Schmidt appointed as Director of Experiential & Innovative Learning and Assistant Professor of Leadership at Knox College

Angela Schmidt

Knox College’s Board of Governors is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Angela Schmidt as Director of Experiential & Innovative Learning and Assistant Professor of Leadership at Knox College, beginning July 1, 2017. Dr. Schmidt brings to this role: experience in spiritual care management in healthcare facilities; broad teaching, learning, and experience in areas critical for Knox students’ pastoral education; and a commitment to ongoing learning. In this role, Dr. Schmidt will oversee and administer the contextual learning components required in Knox’s basic degree programs (M.Div., M.R.E., and M.P.S.).

Dr. Schmidt holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy from Waterloo Lutheran Seminary and wrote her thesis on Partnerships between Hospital and Community: A Qualitative Study on Collaboration for Spiritual Care in Healthcare. She also holds master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Wheaton College (Illinois) and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology (with honours) from the University of Western Ontario.

She is a registered psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists in Ontario (CRPO). As an Accreditation Chair for the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC), she worked closely with Supervised Pastoral Education programs across Canada. She presently is working to ensure that the training of those entering into practice as spiritual care practitioners or as psycho-spiritual therapists reflects the competencies of both the CASC and CRPO. Dr. Schmidt has extensive experience supervising theological students who are obtaining contextual education/field education clinical experience. Her work has resulted in student placements within hospitals, congregations, long-term care facilities, prisons, and hospices.

Dr. Schmidt is also a teacher and researcher. She has taught as Adjunct Faculty at Trinity College (University of Toronto), Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, Redeemer College, and Emmanuel Bible College. Her scholarly work includes both individual and team-written publications. She has presented workshops at international, national, and provincial conferences on Prayer with Hurting People, Bedside Conversations, Living with Loss, Multi-faith care, Palliative Care, Self-Abuse of Teens, Teens and Depression, and Skills for the Care Provider. She was lead editor and a contributor to Thriving on the Edge: Integrating Spiritual Practice, Theory and Research (2016) and wrote Partnerships Between Hospital and Community for Spiritual Care (2013).

Raised in the Lutheran tradition, Dr. Schmidt has been active in Christian congregations, including Presbyterian, her whole life. She was recently certified in the Children and Worship program of The Presbyterian Church in Canada.



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